Paratransit Transportation Software:
When the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was passed in 1990, the whole purpose was to provide equal facilitations for the people with disabilities and protect them from any sort of discrimination. Despite this act, almost 10% of people with disabilities across all major cities and states face difficulties in several areas of public service such as transportation, construction, and even shopping for that matter. In addition to disabled folks, the percentage of senior citizens in these states is also increasing, which means more people who are motor skill challenged have impaired vision and diminishing mobility. How can we alleviate these challenges and improve mobility options for them?
What is Paratransit?
Paratransit is a demand responsive transportation system where people with disabilities and seniors are provided public transportation to get from point A to point B. People are offered fixed route bus services based on their route and each bus is fitted with ramps to accommodate people in wheelchairs. Paratransit services are also offered via smaller vans offering curb-to-curb pick and drop services for different purposes (nutrition, medical, shopping, social, education and employment).
The importance of Paratransit Services
Studies have shown that there is a steady increase in the number of people with physical functioning disabilities as years pass by. Due to their disabilities, most of these people are housebound or have limited their travel. Since conventional transportation services do not match their requirements, paratransit comes into play. Paratransit transportation now allows disabled people to reach their destinations which could be nutrition, medical, shopping, social, education and/or employment. Paratransit has also considerably reduced the risk of social isolation, depression, and premature morbidity in this population.
What is Paratransit Software?
Paratransit software is an AI-powered mobility operating system that ensures efficient operation of a paratransit system. The efficiency stems from moving more people per hour, while honoring the appointments and travel time guidelines. Paratransit demand is more predictable than on-demand services, wherein 70% of the demand is known to riders 24+ hours in advance. Giving them the option to book their rides in advance (e.g. medical) and if recurring (e.g. nutrition, social, education, employment) allows the scheduling software to better optimize rides on available resources. On the day of travel the software collects real time location information from tablets/smartphones, and uses the data to adapt the on-road schedules to changes influenced by traffic, cancellations, no-shows, and other operational issues. Paratransit management software is equipped with an advanced scheduling engine that continuously advises drivers on changes to their routes, allowing the dispatchers to handle driver and passenger incidents, as well as other disruptions that happen in course of the day.
How does paratransit scheduling and dispatching software work?
Step 1: The passenger books a trip with a paratransit trip provider.
Step 2: AI engine in the software considers other reservations on the same date and on the same route after which using an algorithm, comes up with the most optimized and cost-effective assignment of the trip to a driver segment.
Step 3: Drivers load their daily work orders (manifests) on their tablets and proceed to perform pickups and drop-offs.
Step 4: A passenger gets an alert (via voice or smart phone) with the real time location of the vehicle and allows them to track the movement and identify the exact time and place of the pickup.
Step 5: Trip can be monitored on the dispatch screen, until the passenger is dropped off at desired location.
How does paratransit software help transportation providers?
Paratransit scheduling and dispatching software optimizes the entire transportation journey for riders and providers.
- Booking and reservation process is simplified and available 24×7
- Timely alerts and notifications to avoid confusion – via voice, text, email
- Real-time tracking of rides using AVL on mobile phone or desktop
- Simplified payment systems
- Safe and reliable travel times
- Automatic generation of schedules and driver manifests (work orders)
- Easier to schedule trips during external disruptions such as bad weather or vehicle breakdown
- Increase efficiency due to reduced human error
- Eliminate dispatcher-driver communication for location checking due to continuous feedback on location as well as arrival and departure tracking
- Provide quality service with a convenient oversight of operations