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Automated bookings give way to smooth operations at Twin Transit

Goal

Alleviate the strain on agency employees by replacing an underperforming transit software provider with a platform that facilitates automatic scheduling.

Overview

Twin Transit, a fundamental transit pillar in Lewis County, Washington, offers an ADA transportation service, LIFTT, and microtransit service, Dial-a-Ride Twin Transit (DARTT). DARTT is a door to door service that helps riders get to where they need to go, whether that is to a medical appointment, the grocery store, school, shopping, or accessing other services.

Prior to Spare, Twin Transit operated with legacy software.Their previous operations required riders to call in when booking a ride; dispatchers had to manually schedule and match those rides as the requests came in. The switch to Spare automated the booking, scheduling and matching process, which has fostered greater independence for riders by putting them in control of their trips with a rider app.

Partner
Twin Transit
Location
Lewis County, Washington, USA
Launch
August 2022
Service Type
Microtransit, Paratransit

Challenges

  • Twin Transit back office employees were scheduling and dispatching rides manually
  • Riders were only able to book over the phone, straining labor resources and overcomplicating the booking process
  • Stop locations were approximate to where riders wanted and needed to go, not exact, creating more work for riders to get to their final destinations
  • As rider demand increased, Twin Transit had to reconsider its software provider to be able to effectively and automatically manage incoming requests

Solution

Twin Transit switched to Spare in search of automatic scheduling capabilities to replace the manual process that employees were facing with their legacy software. To give riders more agency throughout their trips, Twin Transit implemented a rider facing app in partnership with the Transit App; riders can now book, pay for and view ride history within the newly launched app without needing to call in to book a ride.

Twin Transit also commingles rides, using the same drivers and vehicles for microtransit and paratransit trips, to maximize vehicle efficiency and service coverage.

“The switching process from RouteMatch to Spare wasn’t difficult at all. Spare was there every step of the way. Beyond the migration, Spare assisted us both on the fly, and with longer term planning for our services to ensure the whole process was successful”

Spare Icon
Joey ZurfluhIT Specialist, Twin Transit

Results

By switching to Spare, Twin Transit schedulers and dispatchers no longer need to manually allocate, schedule and match rides. Transit operators have more insight into who and where their next pickups are, making for a more seamless experience from an operator standpoint and fostering stronger communication between operators and dispatchers in the odd cases of something going wrong or a driver being behind. A live map displaying the locations of all of the agency’s vehicles makes for more insight into the agency’s operations in real time.

Automated scheduling and mobility considerations built into Spare makes it much easier on dispatchers and schedulers as the software automatically accounts for mobility considerations when matching riders to vehicles. This stark improvement from the previous system alleviated pressure and stress from Twin Transit staff. Rapid implementation and a quick transition to Spare meant Twin Transit could focus on running its service sooner, and fulfilling its goal of moving people.

Twin Transit’s rider facing app, boasts an integrated payment system. For riders, this has proven to be a safer and more secure system and improves overall user experience by making it easier to pay for rides in the future, by securely storing information.

Twin Transit’s service area range is expansive with some trips spanning 71 miles, from Morton to Olympia. The service also works in tandem with other operators throughout western Washington State including Rural Transit, Intercity Transit, RiverCities Transit, Lower Columbia CAP, Cowlitz Tribal Transit and C-TRAN, providing riders with plenty of mobility options.

Operation Partners in the Region
6
Increase in app usage since launch
~3.5x
Increase in ridership since launch
79%