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Q1 Product update: What’s new, what’s next

Fleet agreements, enhanced trip notifications, accessibility improvements, and more! Here’s everything new in the Spare platform this quarter.

Cameron Stone

This quarter, the Spare platform is getting more robust and easier to use with all sorts of new features. We’re also announcing not one, not two, but three Early Access Programs for a variety of features that are underway. Here’s everything new and upcoming with Spare.

New Releases

NEW: Support Links for Fleets

Make it easier for your riders to find exactly what they’re looking for with fleet-specific support links for past trips. For dedicated fleet trips, link trips to your own lost and found page – or, for non-dedicated fleets, to their operators’ support page. Your riders will love how easy it is to access support!

NEW: Accessibility Improvements

Spare’s platform is now easier than ever for users to navigate – even users who use screen readers and other assistive devices.

Here are the most noteworthy changes:

  • New super-visible headings on each page, so sighted and unsighted users can easily understand where they are on the page
  • New on-page landmarks so screen reader users can skip to the part of the page they’re looking for
  • Improved screen reader labels and descriptions for interactive page elements

NEW: Fleet Agreements

Meet your regulatory obligations and streamline fleet integrations with our new Fleet Agreements feature.

With Fleet Agreements, your agency can integrate fleet vendors like Lyft and local taxi cabs into your services – while complying with the fleet provider’s terms of service and the FTA’s drug and alcohol regulations. This means higher-quality, lower-cost integrations with additional fleets.

This feature is available to Open Fleets customers. Contact your Partner Success Manager to learn more.

IMPROVED: Effortless Migration

Setting up your service in Spare is already a piece of cake (🍰), but importing the data from your previous Transit Management System can be a drag.

Not anymore!

We’re making it possible for new users to get up and running in record time. Spare’s improved migration toolset means customers can import riders, drivers, vehicles, trips, subscription trips, and driver schedules in just a few clicks!

NEW: Manual Intervention

Sometimes you know something that Spare doesn’t – like a particular reason why a passenger needs to be in a specific vehicle with a specific driver.

With Spare’s new Manual Intervention feature, you’ll be able to constrain a trip request to a single duty and specify the exact vehicle that you want your trip request to go on.

If the trip doesn’t fit with current requests or vehicles, Spare will automatically rematch other requests on the vehicle – provided that those requests still fit their stated trip flexibilities.

This feature is available in Spare's Dispatch Package. Contact your Partner Success Manager to learn more.

NEW: Customizable Report Templates

Customizable real-time data at your fingertips.

In addition to Spare’s pre-built reports, you’ll now be able to create customized report templates. Choose only the data you want to see, and none of the data that you don’t. Plus, you can save your custom report templates for easy access.

This feature is available in Spare’s Dispatch package. Contact your Partner Success Manager for more information.

IMPROVED: Enhanced Search

Sometimes searching by rider name just isn’t enough. If your booking agents are wasting hours trying to differentiate between riders with similar names, we have the fix.

Spare’s search functionality now supports Custom Fields, so you can search via the custom fields you’ve added to the rider’s profile. Search by birthday or a unique ID number instead of name and start booking trips in less time.

NEW: Custom Fields on Duties

A lot can happen while a vehicle is on duty, and we're enabling you to keep track of it all using Spare. Now, you add custom fields to each of your scheduled duties to track things like vehicle issues, reasons for pauses, or anything else your agency needs!

NEW: Request Custom Fields in the Rider App

Want to collect more data from customers before they book a trip? Now you can! With request custom fields visible in the rider application, you can ask your riders to fill in additional information before they book a trip. For instance, you can now ask them to specify the purpose of their journey. Collecting this information has never been easier!

NEW: View-only Custom Fields

Look but don't touch! You can now set custom fields to be viewable but not editable by your riders and drivers. Choose from Not Visible, View Only, and View and Edit when setting field availability.

NEW: Multiple File Upload

Your organization's processes are unique to you. Now, you can add another tool to your toolbox – riders or other users can upload multiple files to the Spare platform. For example, you can collect eligibility files for your paratransit service all in one place in Spare Engage, reducing the burden on riders and your organization!

NEW: Live Requests

Your operations are complex – moving riders from A to B is a lot easier said than done. Drivers can arrive late due to traffic, passengers may decide not to show, or there might not be an available slot for a trip request.

What if you could anticipate all these issues before they even happened?

With Live Requests, you can. In addition to the Live Map, this page is your mission control center for dispatchers. It enables you to:

  • Keep a close eye on the current day’s operations and drill into challenges before they occur
  • See an overview of aggregated OTP for the day, including completed and predicted OTP
  • Drill down into current request stats by Service and Driver
  • Action immediately with quick filters based on your selection

This feature is available in Spare's Dispatch Package. Contact your Partner Success Manager to learn more.

NEW: Booking Cutoff

Are last-minute bookings causing you headaches? Having a hard time dealing with sudden changes?

That’ll all soon be in the past.

We’re giving you more control over bookings. Soon, you’ll be able to choose between a minimum advance booking time (e.g. 3 hours in advance) or a booking cutoff time (e.g. 5 PM the day before service). Instead of scrambling at the last minute to fit in unexpected trips, you’ll be able to set the terms.

NEW: Equivalent Fixed Route Trip Time Reporting

Boost confidence in your ADA compliance with Spare Analyze.

The ADA’s paratransit regulations state that in-trip time for a paratransit journey must be “comparable” to that of a fixed-route journey between the exact locations.

Spare Analyze will calculate and display the equivalent fixed-route trip time for every paratransit journey taken, so you can instantly see how your service performs.

This feature is available in Spare's Dispatch Package. Contact your Partner Success Manager to learn more.

NEW: Recent Address Suggestions

Save time searching for addresses when booking a trip! Smarter recent address suggestions will now appear in the address bar based on the rider’s recent trips and frequently visited locations. Your dispatchers can now spend less time on the phone searching for a particular address – a better experience for them & your riders.

NEW: On Time Performance on the Live Map

Why is it late? Have you found yourself asking that same question about a vehicle on your Live Map? We’ve taken the guesswork away so you can focus on improving your On-Time Performance (OTP). Click on any vehicle to see their upcoming stops and discover which one might be the culprit that is putting the vehicle behind.

Armed with all this information, you can now quickly take appropriate action to ensure a smooth experience for your riders.

Additionally, now your dispatchers can see On-Time Performance (OTP) information when viewing an individual trip request. Oh, and we changed the “X min after requested leave time” to be in grey. We know, it bugged us too when it was red.

NEW: Activity Log

You don’t need it until you need it. Spare knows that when problems arise it pays to have your vehicle’s activity history on tap. To help you improve your troubleshooting capabilities and quality of service, we’re going to bring you upgraded logging tools, so you have a clearer picture of what, when and why.

14 Day retention is available to all customers. 100 Day retention is included in the Data & Access package. Contact your Partner Success Manager to learn more.

Coming Soon: Features to get excited about

Eligibility Made Simple

Managing ADA paratransit eligibility is challenging. Most paratransit applications are sent via mail, and all of the applications require manual processing. To this date, very little of the eligibility and application data exists in a digital format, making it difficult to provide access control – and it’s impossible to automate the process.

Last year, we introduced a 100% digital, fully-automated eligibility management feature on Spare – and now, we’re taking it even further.

Spare Engage will now handle acceptance and appeal letters for you. Engage takes your templates and letterhead, converts them to letters, and automatically mails them to the recipients.

But what about tracking? It’s nearly impossible to track hundreds of applications to ensure you stay within the 21-day timeline for each one. That’s where our new eligibility dashboard and automated reminders come in. With these features, you’ll be able to quickly and easily manage ADA applications from one central portal.

We’re still adding many more great features to Spare Engage, and we can’t wait for you to try it out.

Data Residency

It matters where you keep your data. Whether it’s for regulatory reasons or due to agency policy, there are only certain places where your data can be warehoused.

Now, Spare’s platform enables you to seamlessly store and process all of your data in the country of your choice.

Unmatched Requests (In Beta)

If you run a paratransit service, chances are you typically accept all trips upfront and then figure out how to make them fit later. Now, Unmatched Requests will help you do exactly that!

If Spare can’t find a spot for a rider immediately, you can create an Unmatched Request instead. You can find all of these requests in one central place in the Duty Schedule or Live Requests view. As their ride gets closer, Spare will automatically fit these riders into a schedule gap created by cancellations. Dispatchers can also manually create room, so you fulfill every request.

This feature will be available in Spare's Dispatch Package. Contact your Partner Success Manager to learn more.

Delayed & Early Trip Notifications (In Beta)

You want your transit service to run like a Swiss watch – but sometimes, unforeseen circumstances mean your drivers show up a few minutes early or a few minutes late.

Rider app users have always benefited from Spare’s real-time ETA updates – and soon, riders who book via phone will also be informed of changes to their pickup time!

Spare’s Delayed and Early Trip Notifications can be sent to riders via phone call, email, SMS message, or push notification.