October 21, 2021
Every day, transit agencies have to react to countless unknowns in order to deliver service to their passengers effectively. No matter how perfectly scheduled, the realities of operating a fleet in the real world mean making changes to service in real time.
Swiftly Service Adjustments already enables transit agencies to dynamically manage ad hoc changes to their service, empowering agency staff with more flexibility and passengers with more transparency. Today we’re excited to announce several updates to Service Adjustments that weave ad hoc changes through more Swiftly modules, helping our products work even better together and allowing agency staff to collaboratively manage incidents as they happen and investigate issues after the fact.
The Live Operations module already allows Swiftly users to view real-time information about their fleet, including any Service Adjustments that are in effect. With the new changes to Service Adjustments, operations staff can now add a reason for a Service Adjustment using pre-set dropdowns as well as an open-ended notes section. This information is visible to anyone who needs to know -- from operations to customer service -- within the Swiftly Dashboard.
The Action Log view in Live Operations is a useful tool for seeing all current and recent Service Adjustments in effect from the past 30 days. With the new changes to the Service Adjustments product, “reasons'' and “notes” entered for Service Adjustments now also show up in the Action Log within Live Operations. This is particularly helpful when investigating incidents: the newly streamlined workflow sheds light on when and why changes were made to service.
The Swiftly On-Time Performance module was designed to help agency staff understand their schedule adherence, offering insights into where along a route there may be persistent issues. With the new enhancements to Service Adjustments, an indicator will now appear alongside schedule adherence information, showing whether a change to service was in place at a given time. This allows users to more easily parse whether on-time performance issues stemmed from operational issues or arose from special circumstances.
The Swiftly GPS Playback module allows agencies to easily replay vehicle movements at any point in time, revealing historical schedule adherence, speeds, vehicle positions, and more. Now, when playing back vehicle movements in GPS Playback, users will see indicators showing when Service Adjustments went into effect, making it easy to see why individual vehicles may have deviated from the schedule. We’ve also introduced a newly designed information panel for vehicles and stops matching the design in Live Operations.
Starting in late 2021, for agencies with access to Swiftly’s Rider Alerts product, Service Adjustments information will automatically pre-populate an associated Rider Alert. This will enable agencies to quickly augment Service Adjustments with additional rider-facing information on passenger-facing apps, and Swiftly’s SMS & Voice.
The status quo, for many agencies, means that crucial service information is "stuck" in a CAD/AVL database that most team members are not able to access easily. This is especially true for Customer Service teams, who have commonly had very limited access to real-time information when passengers call in, and to historical reporting when investigating complaints. For other agencies, data must be "double entered" so separate teams can gain access to the information -- for example, sending out an email to the communications team and into CAD/AVL software to inform riders.
As a result, sending out updates to all stakeholders can take hours, days, or be missed entirely. When riders are not up to date about travel-impacting incidents, this can be frustrating and erode trust in transit, especially when customer service teams are unaware of real-time incidents.
With these new features, agencies can now see all adjustments in one place rather than reviewing a slew of documents, spreadsheets, and written reports. For example, say there’s a medical emergency on a vehicle and dispatch has reached out to EMTs. Now agency staff can go into Live Operations and set modified departure times and add a note, so that Customer Service can quickly decipher why a change was made, and respond to customer calls with more authority.
The Swiftly APIs also make it easy for Service Adjustments to flow to other sources, such as pushing the information to reporting tools, and sending adjustments to passenger-facing websites.
For example, Cap Metro in Austin, TX, is now able to narrow in on the Service Adjustments usage of each dispatcher and see if they are cancelling trips or creating detours - metrics they use in operator performance reviews. Prior to Swiftly, Cap Metro was unable to utilize their CAD/AVL software in the same way because it had limited capabilities to show which functions operators use.
Private operators commonly spend several days a month investigating and documenting incidents that could lead to liquidated damages, like early timepoint departures and missed trips. This is time-consuming because it typically requires searching through multiple data sets and documents. With the new changes to Service Adjustments, agencies can now investigate the most common reasons around early timepoint departures and missed trips without switching between multiple cumbersome tools, instead seeing all relevant information within the GPS Playback module.
See how Swiftly can improve service reliability, passenger information, and operational efficiency at your agency with an in-depth demo.