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Q3 Product update: What’s new, what’s next

A new partnership with Lyft, cutting-edge trip planning precision, and fresh features to guarantee your service is running at full speed – welcome to Spare’s Q3 update.

Jeff Swan

We’ve been working hard to guarantee the best user experience from software to service this year. That starts with listening to the Spare community – you – and creating new features that solve your pressing issues. To that end, we’re expanding your service options, designing tools to make space for riders even when all vehicles are full, and resolving bugs that hurt user experience – for you and for your riders.

Our recent updates make it easier than ever to launch or optimize your transportation network.

See what's new in the Spare platform and what we are gradually rolling out in the near future.

Feature Updates


Long wait times create poor rider experience – especially when riders’ transit options are limited. But it doesn’t have to be that way – by using third-party transportation providers, you can add additional options to your demand-responsive transit services. That keeps wait times low and customers satisfied, and that’s why Spare officially partnered with Lyft!

By integrating Lyft and Spare, you can dispatch vehicles the same way you do with your dedicated fleet. If all your existing vehicles are booked, riders will have access to Lyft’s large network of drivers and riders through a system that is still run, monitored, and tracked through your Spare portal.

For you to soar with Lyft, we’re providing trips for free. If you’re an administrator on Spare, you’ll see an announcement on the Spare platform, where you can test it out immediately.

This integration is currently open to US transit agencies.

KPIs, now downloadable in Spare Analyze

In the past, Spare Analyze's Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) were view-only and changes were manual, meaning you had to build presentations and do further analytics on your performance indicators. Now, take advantage of our new "Download" button. All your KPIs are now available in CSV or Excel format and can be automatically filtered based on your preferences in Spare Analyze.

Deep Search & Override Flexibilities

With Override Flexibilities and Deep Search, we’re making sure no rider is left behind.

  • Deep Search: When your schedules are full, not being able to find space for new riders creates a poor user experience. With Deep Search, Spare Platform more efficiently schedules trips at the time of booking by optimizing space across vehicle manifests. This creates more space for additional riders on scheduled, but not yet live trips without sacrificing other riders’ pick-up times. Deep Search means that matched trips are no longer locked in, and that trips will have a much higher ⬆️ rate of matching success.

  • Override Flexibility: Ever needed to fit that last-minute trip in without the space in your schedule to do it? With Override Flexibilities, operators can choose to take on another ride - even if it shifts the arrival time of other riders. To enable quick decision-making, Spare Platform will show you who gets affected, on what services, and by how much - then you decide what to do. Your expertise is 🔑.

If you’d like to better understand these features, reach out to your Partner Success Manager.

Trip modification using Edit Request

A rider may want to change something about their trip - that shouldn’t be an issue for you. With Edit Request, you no longer need to cancel & rebook a trip when an edit is needed. Now, just edit the original trip request – all fields, including the rider, service, pickup time, custom fields, notes, & more are editable.

Edit Request is on limited release. Reach out to your PSM for early access.

Global Optimization: MINIMIZE cost + MAXIMIZE efficiency

Trips in the future shouldn’t be bound to the constraints of yesterday. With Global Optimization, you can define how you want the system to run and then let the system do all the heavy lifting in real-time to continually optimize driver’s manifests based on your service configuration. This includes rematching near-term trips on live duties. This helps keep riders happy in scenarios where drivers may be running late to pickups earlier on in their manifest or when there is new availability on a specific duty due to a cancellation.

Additionally, there are protections in place in order to prevent negative experiences for riders and drivers. For instance, Spare will not optimize a trip request if a driver is already headed for the pickup.

With this update, you will:

⬆️ passengers served by hour

⬇️ vehicle lateness

⬇️ service disruptions

⬇️ unsuccessful bookings

Global Optimization is on a limited release. Reach out to your PSM if you want early access.

The feature list goes on...

  • Trip & vehicle-based notifications: Keep riders up to date by using trip and vehicle variables as part of the notifications you send. Through push, call, and text notifications, you can convey what’s needed for a successful pickup.

  • Pick-up early option on Spare Driver: If a driver arrives early and the rider is good to go, Spare Driver would have asked the driver to wait until the scheduled pick-up time. Now, it allows drivers to start trips early. With GOLD enabled, we re-optimize the rest of the trip manifest with the early pick-up in mind.

  • Phone number bans: Want to better enforce who can and can’t use your service? You can now ban user phone numbers. Riders will be blocked from creating a new account with the same #️⃣.
  • Automatically Populated Dates: If a trip is a return trip (meaning your rider takes a 2nd trip from their initial destination to their origin), Spare Platform automatically populates the same date to match the date of the trip created. This reduces the potential of booking returns on different dates.
  • Request Rematching: If Spare Platform is taking a long time to generate a trip, a notification will let users know this is a rematching request.
  • Spare Engine V2 now supports private rides: Spare Engine V2 now supports private rides. If you couldn’t migrate to Spare Engine V2 because your operations depend on rides not being pooled, you can now. (Reach out to your PSM for more information and if you’d like to move to Spare Engine V2 to get access to features like Global Optimization and Deep Search to boost your operations performance.)
  • Improved admin notifications page: Administrators receive many notifications and subscribe to even more. With our improved admin notifications page, separated sections enable you to find the notifications that may be important to you.
  • Support for external ride URLs in requests: You may have your own URL to track rides when a request is dispatched to an Open Fleet. We’ve now made this available through Spare Open API.
  • Webhook for userID: Add a webhook for userID when a rider and any of their details are updated.
  • Edit recurring trips: When riders book recurring trips, sometimes details about their trip requirements may change. To avoid cancellation or rebooking a recurring ride to make a change or fix a mistake, you can now edit trip notes, accessibility features, and the #️⃣/type of passengers.

Latest Bug Fixes

We’re dedicated to making our existing features seamless through regular big fixes. Here are the critical bugs we’ve fixed recently.

You decide who edits duties

We fixed an issue that prevented people in your team scheduling rides from editing duties in certain situations. In practice, this meant a duty couldn’t be extended or started earlier, even if the schedule allowed for it. This won’t be an issue now.

Riders get picked up where they want

We solved a bug causing pooled riders to be routed beyond their pick-up spot. Now, you have higher accuracy, better rider experience.

Coming Soon: Features to get excited about

Transit data to impress your team, now customizable

Spare already provides pre-built ridership data reports. Soon, you can create a report template tailored to your needs and the data you want to see. Pre-build your report with the data you want to see, the way you want to see it, and save it for quick access whenever you want to see it.

Respect driver schedules with Automatic Driver Breaks

Spare Platform now includes Automatic Driver Breaks 🙌. Automatic Driver Breaks means organizational driver requirements are respected while ⬇️the shift-scheduling burden on your team.

You’ll simply set up a policy for how driver breaks should be facilitated on your fleets. Then, the policy will automatically schedule breaks in your duties, and as they fill up, breaks will automatically move around to maximize overall schedule efficiency. Once a driver begins their duty, real-time optimization ensures that breaks remain efficiently scheduled and adapts to the events of the day.

More to look forward to:

  • Audit Log: Decision-making traceability is essential to high-quality service – that’s why Spare is building enhanced audit capacities that allow customers to easily troubleshoot issues when they arise with Audit Log.
  • Constrain a trip request to a duty: Riders sometimes need specific vehicles for specific reasons. Now, you can specify the exact vehicle a trip should be served by. If the trip doesn’t match current vehicle requests, Spare automatically rematches requests with another vehicle (as long as those requests still fit their stated trip flexibilities). (This feature is part of Spare's Early Access Program. Contact your PSM to get on the list for early access.)

  • Single Spare Rider sign-on: Riders can soon log into Spare Rider through any authentication that uses SAML and OpenID Connect. The ⬇️ riders need to remember, the better.

Thank you for your continued feedback and passion for our products - we can’t do what we do without you. If you have any feedback or product suggestions, please send an email to your partner success manager or submit your suggestion here.