December 9, 2021
“We used to spend several hours a day copying and pasting alerts into Twitter. Now it’ll probably add up to a few minutes a day. Those are several extra staff-hours every day that we can spend on more important projects.”
“As schedules change due to a variety of circumstances, making sure our riders have current information is critical to the overall customer experience. The Rider Alerts integration will help us do that more efficiently.”—Damon Blythe, Chief Operations Officer, Bus, NCTD
As we head into the new year, a nationwide operator shortage crisis hamstrings transit agencies of all sizes, and a once-in-a-generation construction boom threatens to unravel on-time performance and the rider experience along with it. Bringing back riders is top of mind at every transit agency, but with challenges like these, how do agencies maintain rider trust and a consistent rider experience?
The answer is agility. Ad hoc changes to service will be a hallmark of operating transit service in 2022, and that’s why here at Swiftly we’ve been investing in ways to reimagine the manual processes usually associated with on-the-fly service changes. We’re excited to announce a new integration that addresses these challenges head on. Here’s what’s new at Swiftly.
Earlier this year, we launched Service Adjustments, a new product aims at making the most common ad hoc changes to service — including trip cancellations, trip additions, stop closures, detours and changes to departure times — actionable right in the Swiftly Dashboard. Agencies love Service Adjustments because it not only simplifies implementing unplanned changes, but it also immediately sends updated arrival data to rider-facing apps and internal staff, keeping everyone up to date when last minute changes to service are unavoidable.
We also launched our Rider Alerts product, which makes it easy to send (GTFS-RT) service alerts for canceled trips, detours, and significant delays to riders through the most common rider-facing channels, including Twitter, SMS, Transit App, dynamic signage, and many more.
These two products have gone a long way in empowering agencies to stay agile while also keeping riders and staff informed of changes.
Today we’re excited to announce an integration between Service Adjustments and Rider Alerts, offering operations staff a seamless way to keep riders informed when creating ad hoc changes to service. Now, when staff make Service Adjustments in the Swiftly Dashboard, they have an option to automatically generate a Rider Alert and send it out without entering the same information twice.
How does it work? Let’s say there’s heavy construction on a main thoroughfare, and a detour is necessary. Operations staff can draw a detour Service Adjustment, enacting stop closures in seconds. Within the same flow, staff can opt to create a rider-facing alert with supplemental information. All the critical details from the Service Adjustments automatically pre-fill the Rider Alert, minimizing double entry and getting info to passengers faster.
This new workflow empowers riders to make decisions that best suit them with all of the information available at their fingertips, instead of waiting for a bus that may never show up. At a time when the rider experience is vital to bringing passengers back, every positive experience rebuilds rider trust.
Our customers are already seeing the benefits of the Service Adjustment and Rider Alerts integration. As agencies are cancelling dozens of trips daily, operations teams are put under significant pressure to keep riders informed. By using Rider Alerts with Service Adjustments, operations staff can now cancel service much more quickly, and ensure riders and staff have the latest, up-to-date information when cancellations are inevitable.
See how Swiftly can improve service reliability at your agency with an in-depth demo.