Last fall, GRTC launched a new tool that enables its CARE paratransit customers to request, view, and cancel trips via their computer or mobile device. The platform, known as Amble, is provided by Routematch.
“Some of the younger users and their parents, or parents of caregivers, said they wanted a more flexible option that didn’t require them to have to call in the traditional way,” explains Carrie Rose Pace, GRTC’s director, communications. “They didn’t want to fax us, or even necessarily email us, they wanted to take care of it all online and even make adjustments to their reservations without even having to call.”
Rose Pace adds that the idea first came up during one of its CARE advisory group meetings, which are held quarterly.
An extra benefit to the program is that the platform also enables riders, caretakers, and family members to use the app or website to track the location of their loved ones, via real-time vehicle location.
“Generally, parents of caregivers are concerned about knowing where their child is, so it has been a great benefit for them,” says Rose Pace. “For our partners, it also allows them to know where their vehicles are and keep up with how their trips are going.”
Rose Pace adds that the new tool also allows GRTC to reduce calls associated with reservations or cancellations, freeing customer service representatives to more quickly focus on clients with additional needs over the phone.
To help with customer outreach, GRTC made a step-by-step PDF available to its customers and offers them the opportunity to practice setting up trips with one of the agency’s employees from its Information Systems Department.
“They will guide them through the entire process and then help them to do a practice booking and another exercise,” Rose Pace explains. “That whole process takes about 15 to 30 minutes per client, which is a lot of time, but we found the investment really alleviates their stress and gets our customers over the hurdle of giving it a try.”