Our latest webinar has revealed some interesting advice on the subject of technology spending from transit funding opportunities. As we all know, federal funding is hesitant and unpredictable and the best advice anyone can offer is to spend your money wisely. One of the main issues we heard discussed in the webinar is how to balance the need for newer buses and equipment and the need for sophisticated technology systems to enhance operations. The future of any agency will depend upon how they spend in these two areas.
Before you consider implementing fixed route software, be aware of how you need to use it and what parts are essential. Webinar guest John Metzinger (CityBus) advises transit agencies to be sure they’re actually using the full functionality of the fixed route software solutions they’re purchasing. “Don’t use 10% of the products,” he warns. Being aware of exactly what you need is essential so you can squeeze the most out of every dollar. When shopping for technology, John says agencies should, “think through the total impact on their culture. Do they have enough staff to get maximum utility out of the product?”
Another key take-away from our webinar is how technology can actually drive revenue for the future. Reporting capabilities built into software can identify inefficient processes and routes. By trimming the fat from route planning and bus stop placement, valuable resources can be saved. And with the integration of passenger information systems, smartphone apps for trip planning and new faring options, your technology infrastructure will allow your agency to grow, increase services and drive greater ridership.
In the case of CityBus, data is the ultimate tool for determining an agency’s immediate financial needs and will help to drive decision-makers on making spending choices. Bring in consultants and data analysts to underline the narrative of how your transit system is actually being used. Analytics on rider demographics may reveal transit is essential for workers and job seekers to travel to and from valuable employment opportunities. If this is the case, your system can be sold as an employment generator, which in turn can bolster the need for more spending on key areas, including technology.
Are you looking at rider-facing apps to enhance your transit system? Are you looking to integrate new faring technologies into your fixed route software system? You should first look at the big picture to make sure that all decisions align with a long-term plan with specific results. Learn more about how TripSpark Streets can be built to suit any sized agency.