Dispatching Demand Response Transit Service: Maximizing Productivity and Service Quality Guidebook

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A.S. Edrington, J.C. Arndt

Publication Date:

March 2009


The ability of transit agencies to staff dispatch effectively and use technology to its full advantage is critical in responding proactively as service changes occur and in making sound routing decisions. Sound routing decisions result in improved productivity and cost-effective service delivery. A modest 3% improvement in service productivity would save the average rural demand response transit agency approximately $65,000 annually. This project focused on improving productivity while maintaining service quality. Researchers collected data from 42 demand response rural and small urban transit agencies regarding operations and use of technology. A database of results identified five transit providers that represented a cross-section of agencies and could be used for case studies of dispatch operation. Case studies focused on: 1) dispatcher goals and objectives, 2) dispatch-driver policies and procedures, 3) team responsibilities and expectations, and 4) reports and material collection. This resulting draft guidebook describes the impact of maximizing productivity, development of policies and procedures that affect productivity, service delivery strategies that impact productivity, dispatch performance measurement, an assessment tool for productivity elements of dispatch, and steps to implement a productive dispatch operation. The final guidebook, when available, will be placed on the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) web site. Staff will request approval to post it on the Texas Department of Transportation's Regional Service Planning web site as well. Notification of the report will be made through e-mail to the U.S. Department of Transportation public transportation coordinators.

Report Number:

UTCM 08-24-05


Demand responsive transportation, Public transit, Transit operating agencies, Quality of service, Costeffectiveness, Regional planning, Regional transportation, Texas, Research projects

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