Oklahoma State University (OSU)-Stillwater Transit Services, serving the campus of OSU and surrounding community of Stillwater recently upgraded their paratransit service with RouteMatch Software's Demand Response system.
The system includes automated scheduling, dispatching, and routing abilities as well as trip optimization, reporting and an integrated platform built for expandable features.
OSU-Stillwater Community Transit is in its 10th year of operations and performs approximately 625,000 passenger trips per year, primarily serving the student population as well as university employees. The general public also uses the services — both fixed route and demand response — which are the main source of public transit for the Stillwater community. OSU-Stillwater Community Transit operates three buses on their demand-response service and averages 55 trips per day.
"We are excited we chose RouteMatch for our new system," said Tom Duncan, Manager, transit services, at OSU-Stillwater Community Transit. "We came from another software system which relied heavily on manual entry. RouteMatch is user-friendly, organized and laid out very well. We are particularly excited about trip optimization. Before, it could take as long as an hour to build out a schedule; now it's a matter of minutes."
Previously, trip optimization, scheduling and routing functions were heavily dependent on individual user-knowledge.
"Now, we will be able to do predictive analysis and strive for continuous improvement," explained Duncan. "Bringing RouteMatch onboard is a big step towards this important goal."
Reporting and data integration abilities are another feature of the new system that will have a dramatic impact. OSU-Stillwater Community Transit works closely with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT), through which they are required to submit reports via internet-based recording tool Myleonet. The new, streamlined RouteMatch Demand system will enable the creation of custom reporting that can then generate data to import directly into Myleonet, eliminating manual tabulation.
OSU-Stillwater Community Transit's ridership is rapidly growing and serves a mix of riders that heavily rely on the system for employment, medical trips and social outings.
"Although we're rural, we run more like a small urban system with multiple funding sources," explained Duncan. "To expand services, we are looking for funding outside of university and state allocated grants. RouteMatch's advanced reporting allows us to pull quantifiable data to show exactly what we're doing and show trip passenger counts, mileage and trends to justify those various funding requests."
OSU-Stillwater Community Transit staff are already excited about the transition to the new system and the overall greater consistency of customer data and trip information that is available for their day-to-day operations. OSU-Stillwater Community Transit is also taking advantage of other expandable features of RouteMatch Demand and its mobile data communications platform such as customized messaging for streamlined driver and dispatch communications on its tablet devices.
OSU-Stillwater Community Transit chose RouteMatch Cloud Services hosting model — a fit that has already proved beneficial.
"We chose the Cloud Services hosting environment because we want to focus on transportation and the business of serving our community — and not on hosting and IT," Duncan said. "And recently, when OSU's previous off-site provider lost power and the entire system was down for all state-wide users of the same system, RouteMatch was still up and running."