Identifying Scheduling and Dispatch Needs
- Date: May 5, 2022
N-CATT's Strategic Technology Technical Assistance Teams (STTATs) work directly with individual transit agencies to identify what, if any, technology tools can help them achieve certain outcomes. The process focuses on identifying goals (e.g. addressing a certain service challenge, providing a new service), then examining current processes and circumstances around it. Laying out that information helps agencies identify the criteria that would successfully lead them toward their stated outcomes. Only then should they determine what type of technologies address those needs, and the level of sophistication required to reasonably accomplish their goals. After going through this process, transit agencies have a road map that will help them navigate existing vendors and applications and determine which tools best help them do what they need to do. Those efforts have resulted in documents to help TA recipients through this process, and we now have generic versions of these documents to help you understand the process and see how it could apply to your agency.
One of these TA efforts supported a group of transit agencies in a large rural area who needed to determine the best path for providing computer-aided scheduling and dispatching. They discussed what they hoped to accomplish, current pain points and processes for the legacy system, and technical requirements for their desired outcomes moving forward. It's important to note that this does not prescribe a particular technology or system, but instead gives the agencies the blueprint for what to look for as they explore their options.