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GATRA upgrades legacy paratransit system of 30 years by expanding services with Spare

On January 29th 2024, the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) launched their Dial-A-Ride and ADA Paratransit services in Wareham, Plymouth, Attleboro, and Taunton, Massachusetts, USA


Jenna Dhanani

We’re happy to announce that we’ve reached a noteworthy milestone in our collaborative journey with the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA), as we celebrated the successful completion of the third phase of our joint project to enhance Dial-A-Ride and ADA Paratransit services using the Spare platform.

In the initial phase of our partnership, we had the privilege of introducing these critical services in Wareham, offering convenient transportation solutions to its residents and the many visitors it welcomes each year. Our collaboration then extended to Plymouth, where our services became an integral part of the daily lives of its 60,000 residents. This latest expansion to the Attleboro and Taunton region, including Norton, Easton, Mansfield, Dighton, Raynham, and Berkeley, is particularly noteworthy. We are now serving an additional 102,000 residents, many of whom have traditionally relied on personal vehicles for their transportation needs.

Before the integration of the Spare platform, GATRA faced several operational challenges, including the use of outdated Paratransit Management Software (PtMS) systems, reliance on manual processes, and the lack of clearly defined service boundaries. These challenges resulted in disparities in trip capacity among drivers, contributing to increased stress and driver turnover. Additionally, the recruitment and training of drivers, along with balancing demand against available resources, were ongoing concerns.

With the introduction of Spare's technology, GATRA has been able to address these issues. Spare replaced aging systems with advanced software that enables real-time updates and dynamic scheduling, significantly automating and streamlining processes. The software's balanced and dynamic route planning capabilities have also helped to evenly distribute trips among drivers, reducing stress and turnover.

Our collaboration with GATRA has played a supportive role in their efforts to train their team and manage workloads more effectively. We strive to make our software user-friendly to aid in change management for drivers.  Improved service planning features have aided GATRA in recruiting and training drivers. In broader service areas, the software's optimization algorithms and dynamic routing have been helpful in addressing vehicle scarcity, contributing to meeting increased demand, reducing rider wait times, and aiding in enhancing service reliability.

We are particularly proud of our joint response during a severe storm that hit the Plymouth service area. Despite the challenges posed by fallen trees and power outages, our collaborative efforts, including the use of backup generators and alternative networks, ensured uninterrupted service. This demonstrated our collective resilience and the team’s ability to maintain operations even under the most challenging conditions.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with GATRA. Congratulations to everyone involved in this successful expansion!