July 22, 2020
COVID-19 has transformed the way transit agencies manage operations. Closings and reopenings happen on a dime, congestion fluctuates dramatically, and emergencies are incessant. Agility has never been more important than it is right now.
Even before COVID-19, operations worked on a significantly faster timeline than other departments. But now, dramatic operational changes are happening in minutes. We caught up with Bruce Withers, Director of Operations at MV Las Vegas, in our most recent webinar to learn about the operational acrobatics his team undertakes on a daily basis.
Withers and his team need to maintain the health and safety of their passengers and employees in this rapidly changing environment, while still ensuring riders get where they need to go.
COVID-19 has put everyone on the defensive, but Withers stays on his toes with proactive solutions to daily health and safety challenges. The team is ensuring social distancing on coaches through backboarding, securing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for employees through mask pickups, and adjusting operations to ensure all passengers are picked up using methods like pairing coaches.
“Pairing coaches follow behind a regularly scheduled coach to make sure everyone is picked up” said Withers. “We didn’t want to leave anyone on the curb.”
To implement pairing coaches and other rapid changes to service, dispatchers at MV Las Vegas use Swiftly Live Operations to proactively space vehicles by flagging, in real time, the vehicles that are contributing most to bunching, gapping, and poor schedule adherence.
“Live Operations Ladder View gives dispatchers the ability to monitor gaps in headways in real-time and identify where coaches might get hung up,” Withers said. “When this happens we have the opportunity to add an extra service coach or implement a fill to ensure our passengers are being transported. As you know it can get pretty hot in Las Vegas in the summer, and the last thing we want is a passenger to be left outside waiting in the heat.”
“We want to make sure no one is struggling to get from point A to point B,” Withers continued. “We’ve displayed ladders on the TVs in our operations control centers to ensure our passengers get to where they need to go. Dispatchers can quickly see and then mitigate any issues that might occur. Our dispatchers also have Live Operations up on their computers so they can dig in deeper on a specific route. Lastly, we equipped our road supervisors with tablets that have Live Operations installed so they can see what’s happening out in the field and fix challenges before they occur.”
COVID-19 continues to change how MV Las Vegas will need to approach day-to-day operations. But with Swiftly, they are able to respond fast, and keep staff and passengers safe. Want to learn more about how MV Las Vegas is managing and communicating rapid change during the pandemic? Watch the webinar now.
Want to see how Live Operations could work at your agency? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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