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Title:Framework for Enhancing Scheduling Software for Small to Medium Size Paratransit Agencies
Authors:Ashwin Sullia and William Grenney
Publication Date:Jun 2005
Report #:MPC-05-171
Project #:MPC-237
TRID #:01003139
Keywords:costs, geographic information systems, implementation, paratransit services, scheduling, software
Type:Research Report – MPC Publications

 

Abstract

This report describes a framework of software extensions that could be added to modest-priced scheduling software to improve the scheduling effectiveness for small to medium size paratransit agencies. The operations at nine paratransit agencies at various locations around the country were observed and summarized in a previous report. The agencies ranged in size from small to medium (300 to 17,000 rides per month). All of the agencies used low- to moderately-priced software for their scheduling and reporting activities. The type of software they were using can be classified as visual trip ticket schema, and it is not based on commercial geographic information system (GIS) packages nor does it include specialized GIS features like displaying street maps, analyzing statistics for geographical sub areas, point-to-point routing of vehicles, or automatic scheduling of their vehicles. Based on observations and interviews at the nine agencies, a list of features was derived representing the consensus of additional features that would most improve scheduling performance. The people at the agencies had formulated their opinions based on information they had learned about the advantages of GIS applications from personal experience, transit literature, and at conferences. Some of these desired features would eliminate many manual scheduling errors and could be added to existing software at very little expense. Others would greatly reduce the effort required for scheduling, but would be costly to implement on existing software.

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