Q3 Product Updates: A closer look at our new & upcoming releases
Making multi-modal transportation more inclusive and convenient, simplifying Open Fleets' integration capabilities, and game changing tools for dispatchers, eligibility managers and more. Here’s what’s on deck in Spare platform this quarter.
Our team has dedicated significant efforts to ensure that our customers have all the tools needed to run an efficient and customer-centric public transportation system in their communities. We’re excited to share our product updates for Q3, starting with the launch of an exciting infrastructure improvement:
Making ‘plug and play’ possible with fleet integrations
This quarter, we’re actioning on the $3 million funding from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) by refining Open Fleets into a world-class product. With the recent improvements, integrating your fleets into Spare through a Plug & Play model has never been simpler! With Open Fleets, anyone who leverages Spare platform to dispatch trips to non-dedicated service providers can now independently and effortlessly add a Lyft integration to their public transportation service in under a minute.
For Riders: Continuing work on accessibility improvements
We believe that accessibility and inclusivity in transit is not just a preference, but a necessity. Our Rider Experience (RX) team has been hard at work enhancing accessibility in our rider-facing apps, such as refined field labeling for screen reader capabilities, enhanced keyboard navigation, and improved colors and contrast.
These new enhancements will build upon the experience of all riders who interact with Spare-powered services and move the needle closer to achieving WCAG 2.1 AA compliance.
Offer accessible rides with Lyft (and more!)
In our blog last quarter, we hinted at an exciting integration with Lyft Assisted. This quarter, we’re excited to announce that it’s arrived.
Our latest partnership with Lyft brings specialized, door-to-door service of Lyft Assisted and accessible vehicles with a Lyft wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV). Drivers are trained to deliver rides that need assistance, such as escorting riders to and from the front door or helping them enter or exit the vehicle. Now anyone offering Lyft rides through Spare can manage a wide range of trips, including standard, assisted and WAV all from a single interface.
We also have access to all Lyft fleet products now, directly on the Spare platform! This includes Lyft XL and Lyft Wait and Save–bringing cost savings and a range of trips to accommodate an equally wide range of passengers.
For Riders: Making multi-modal magic happen
These days to get from point A to B, riders require multiple modes of transport within a single trip. To help make the travel experience and transitions between fixed-route and on-demand services smoother, we’re excited to announce new features:
Guarantee connections to fixed route & transfer points
Time is of the essence when riders try making connections between on-demand and fixed route services. Riders planning their commutes need to make their fixed route connection after getting off their on-demand shuttle? GTFS Real-Time data surfaces up-to-date fixed route information, enabling your on-demand customers to transition between services accurately.
Surface fixed route alternatives
An exciting release for booking agents–with Alternative Routes, agents can now effortlessly view and report on the equivalent fixed-route times for paratransit journeys, personalizing rides by Least Transfers, Shortest Transfer Distance, and Shortest Duration preferences. By offering a side-by-side comparison of on-demand and alternative fixed-route trip options, agencies can enforce conditional eligibility effectively, guaranteeing efficient resource allocation and improved rider experience.
For Transit Management & Dispatchers: Giving dispatchers more superpowers
To ease frustrations and save time in a dispatcher’s day-to-day activities, we’re rolling out features that solve tricky situations that dispatchers often find themselves in within a matter of a few clicks:
Spot every issue before it becomes a problem
Transit managers and dispatch teams can already view a comprehensive summary of their day by using Live Requests. Watchlist takes this a step further and drills down to show just trips which are having a hard time finding a spot or are running late. Now, dispatchers can spot issues quickly before they become a problem and easily take action directly from the Watchlist.
Manage vehicle breakdowns with ease and control
In the event of unexpected incidents like vehicle breakdowns on the road, Spare's Vehicle Breakdown Wizard ensures that your riders are tended to immediately. It will automatically rematch in-progress trips to alternative vehicles, with the pickup location set close to the breakdown site.
Course correct rider no-show
A driver shows up at a pickup location and waits the appropriate five minutes before marking the rider as a no-show, but just as they click the button, the rider appears. This is when the Reverse No Show feature comes in handy, allowing the driver to re-assign the rider to the trip and carry on as usual, no further action required!
For Eligibility Managers: Get to inbox 0 with better case visibility
Summary bars and case statuses
We’re investing even more in Engage, our digital eligibility management tool this quarter. Summary Bar now provides eligibility teams with an immediate understanding of the current state of all applications, without the need to navigate through multiple screens.
On the rider-side, we’re making case visibility more pronounced. Now, you can allow riders to view case statuses directly from the rider app, if you want that level of information to be shared!
Other noteworthy updates
Frequent and faster engine optimization
We already know that Global Optimization of Live Duties (GOLD) routes trips in real-time, including rematching near-term trips on active duties. Now, customers have the option to leverage even faster and more frequent optimization. With the latest update of GOLD, expect improved service performance as we’ve now doubled the frequency at which trips are optimized.
Track and report on vehicle locations and speed
Dive deeper into duty performance and make informed decisions with this new functionality. Duty Time Travel allows you to easily download and access detailed records of driver duties, including shift history and vehicle locations and speed. This means that all of the essential information you need for further analysis, reporting, and compliance checks are at your disposal.
For Drivers: Improved navigation
Finally, we understand the importance of efficient navigation for your drivers, and that's why we're excited to announce enhancements to the Spare Driver App!
With this update, drivers can look forward to a streamlined user interface, optimized route planning between stops, and a more stable, bug-free experience. We're committed to empowering your drivers with the tools they need to get their work done effectively.
Note: This release requires users to update their app in their applicable app store.
The work doesn't stop here
These are only a short glimpse into all of the tools we're building in Q3 alone to make transit more convenient and equitable, while improving the efficiency of transit teams, who are the unsung heroes of public transit.
And it's not all.
Our team is laser-focused on providing even more tools to give everyone—from the rider and booking agent to the dispatcher and eligibility manager—more tools in their toolkit for a better user experience.
Interested to learn more about these new features and how they can best serve your transit operations? Be sure to check out our product roadmap for a full list of releases or contact your Spare representative to learn more.