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Texas Area Paratransit System Outfits Fleet With RouteMatch Software and Tablets in Unique Ways to Better Serve Rural Demand Response Passengers(March 28, 2012)
ATLANTA, GA and SHERMAN, TX -- (Marketwire) -- 03/28/12 -- Texoma Area Paratransit System (TAPS) today announced plans to pair RouteMatch Software's integrated passenger and vehicle management technologies with Samsung Galaxy Tablets on their fleet of 104 vehicles. Serving six counties in a region approximately 62 miles north of Dallas, TAPS is also unrolling RouteMatch's paratransit solution with automated notifications for improved passenger communications and flex deviation functionality to support 65 of their routes, including two university routes. Having outgrown their existing ITS platform, TAPS was looking to partner with a provider committed to quality customer service, as well as one that offered a web-based system to support their Cloud Services environment.
TAPS made the decision to choose RouteMatch Software as their technology partner and invest in the tablet solution after evaluating costlier alternatives. The agency determined that the tablet's combination of flexible technology, reliability and web-enabled driver/dispatcher communications abilities was the best choice for a transit agency that values and implements innovative solutions. The tablets will be pre-loaded and automatically connect with RouteMatch's end-to-end passenger and vehicle management platform and integrated peripheral devices. RouteMatch's technologies will help TAPS more effectively optimize routes, monitor vehicles and on-time performance, improve scheduling and dispatching functionalities and communications, and coordinate with other regional transportation providers.
"We're taking a little bit of a different approach with the tablets," says Brad Underwood, Executive Director at TAPS. "We are assigning the tablets to our drivers, instead of to each bus. The buses are equipped with wireless routers, with Wi-Fi set up from the tablets to the Internet. We are then able to control dispatcher/driver communications and the camera and fare card capabilities while providing wireless service to our riders."
One of the benefits of the tablets is that it can be used beyond day-to-day scheduling and dispatching and gathering real-time data. TAPS has also uploaded each tablet given to a driver with their employee training materials, handbook, and reports. Employees will even receive their electronic paycheck record on the tablet (TAPS' cellular plan is based per bus, not per tablet).
"Our drivers are so excited. We've already distributed the tablets to them, so they are able to start learning the ins and outs and become familiar with the technology. This has created a nice level of excitement in the company," says Brad.
Another factor in TAPS' decision to choose the tablets over traditional mobile data computers and other automated vehicle location (AVL) solutions was the ability to configure additional booster antennas onto the routers of each bus. Because they serve several rural areas, TAPS uses a router with a double-fail ratio, ensuring that the driver never loses communication with dispatch.
"For the people in rural areas, I can pull cell signals from the booster that's on the router. It makes so much sense," explains Brad. "Over 65% of our business is demand-response, and the notification module was also very important for us. Being able to tell a client when a bus is going to be there is huge; it creates an overall better experience for our clients."
TAPS ran a beta test before implementing the bus router-booster system, and are pleased with what they've devised. As an extra bonus, they also determined that the tablets are about 90% cheaper, overall, compared to what they might have spent on traditional mobile data computer units.
Aside from the affordable tablet solution offered by RouteMatch, TAPS was looking to partner with a technology provider that would engage in a long-term business partnership.
"We chose RouteMatch because of their focus on understanding our needs and operations, reputation and collaborative approach. We were looking for someone we can grow with, who would be a partner with us before, during and after the sale," Brad explains.
"TAPS is a stellar example of an agency taking a fresh look at an existing solution -- the tablets -- and making it work even better for them," says Tim Quinn, RouteMatch's Executive Vice President. "Aside from the cost savings, TAPS has applied RouteMatch technologies beyond their core operational needs, and created positive buy-in among their employees and better service for their riders. We are excited about the partnership and helping them achieve their goals."
About RouteMatch Software
RouteMatch is the leading provider of end-to-end transit ITS software and innovative passenger and vehicle technology solutions. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and works with more than 450 transit agencies across the U.S. and internationally, providing quality software and customer service. Partnering with public and private sector passenger transportation providers, the company's products address routing, scheduling, dispatching, billing, reporting, fixed route, CAD/AVL, paratransit and fixed route integration, traveler information services, fleet management, mobility management, and more. Additional information about RouteMatch's ITS technologies are available at www.routematch.com or by calling RouteMatch toll-free at (US) 1-888-840-8791.
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