Trapeze Group, one of Volaris' companies, has become a leader in the people transportation sector by providing solutions that refine and improve services and features for transportation providers in Europe, North America, and Asia. Many of Trapeze's transportation projects have helped organizations that operate paratransit services on a schedule of pick-ups and drop-offs. Along the way, Trapeze has established certain standards and protocols to transform these community-based services into modern, efficient transportation systems. Other transportation-focused solutions would benefit from a thoughtful consideration of these best practices.
1. Focus on Improving the Customer Experience
The biggest benefit comes from making it convenient to access the service. So the first step is to make the service available through the Internet or a mobile device. Trapeze's solutions have benefitted riders by making sure that:
Riders have better access. Transit riders should be able to use a web browser or mobile device to:
- Check schedules
- Book and cancel trips
- Automatically book return trips
- Check the status of booked trips
People get real time updates. Passengers will gain from using a 24/7 telephone voice system to access real-time bus information. The administrators can also use the web and telephone systems to give passengers information or make announcements.
Passengers get confirmation calls. This feature has been critical. The system also gives automatic reminder calls that have reduced the number of "no show" pick-ups.
In Trapeze's experience, these three improvements alone have enhanced the customer experience dramatically.
2. Improve Your Scheduling System
Pick-ups and drop-offs are a transportation agency's core business. However, Trapeze found that most organizations continue relying on outdated Demand Response systems (dispatching, scheduling and booking systems) that use telephones, handwritten lists, and spreadsheet schedules. Trapeze solutions provide automated end-to-end Demand Response systems with enhanced capability for:
- Client registration
- Trip booking
- Workforce management
- Complaints/Incident Management
- Mobile data terminal interface
This technology has been a significant leap forward for efficiency as it empowers staff to stop juggling the scheduling tasks and focus on other priorities. The other best practices listed below have also proven effective at increasing staff efficiency.
3. Leverage Mobile Technology
People transportation is about movement. Shouldn't the systems also be mobile? It's a natural fit. Trapeze found that drivers and dispatchers are enthusiastic about equipping their vehicles with on-board computers or handheld devices such as smartphones or tablets. Drivers are more informed of cancellations or re-schedules and they have fewer "no-show" pick-ups. They also appreciate that the system automatically re-calculates the route and gives suggested directions. Call centre agents can now easily answer the "where's my ride?" questions. They can also re-schedule the driver's route to accommodate changes.
4. Take Complaint Handling Seriously
Quite often, customer satisfaction depends entirely on whether the person feels heard or not. Trapeze noticed that many transportation agencies were handling customer complaints with handwritten notes or spreadsheets. Unfortunately, it seems that these papers were then pushed between departments until they were forgotten or lost, and the customer's dissatisfaction kept growing. Trapeze solutions include features that allow customer service departments to capture, track, and follow-up on complaints and recommendations.
5. Use the Data for Improved Reporting
How have managers traditionally received data about problems and challenges? Probably through anecdotal stories. It's time to make sure they are focused on the right issues, and that they have the clear picture. The Trapeze solutions available can produce timely, accurate data reports on factors such as:
- Cancelled, missed, and no-shows
- Trip counts
- Trips per hour
- Trips by distance
Enhanced reporting allows the transportation agency to better plan for future growth.
Trapeze solutions has become an industry standard, and more and more transportation organizations expect the features and best practice supports that they provide.
What transportation-related challenges are you struggling with? Share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
To learn more about Trapeze and their People Transportation Solutions, visit: www.trapezegroup.com
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