With the opening of the Purchase Area Regional Transit’s (PART) Travel Management Coordination Center on March 12 in Paducah, K.Y., Western Kentucky riders will be able to reserve, manage and track their transportation with Paducah Area Transit System (PATS), Easter Seals West Kentucky, Fulton County Transit Authority and Murray-Calloway Transit Authority. All four transportation providers came together to form PART and are partners in the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) initiative.
PATS was selected as one of three organizations from across the nation to develop, create and open a Travel Management Coordination Center — other locations chosen were Aiken, S.C. and Camden, N.J.
Customers will be able to access the center by phone or Internet to make or alter travel plans, then track the vehicles in which they’ll be riding utilizing GPS technologies on each vehicle. All four PART members are also now connected through the latest computer dispatching software, which communicates with every individual vehicle by on-board computers. Callers to the center will also be able to receive information on health and human services, as well as general governmental and educational information.
The center’s establishment grew out of Paducah Area Transit System’s participation in the U.S. DOT and Federal Transit Administration’s Mobility Services for All Americans research initiative. The goal of the research grant is developing a regional call center utilizing the latest technologies, or intelligent transportation systems, which other transportation agencies across the nation could use as a blueprint to make transportation more cost efficient for providers and passengers alike, especially passengers facing special challenges, including disabilities, age or rural barriers.