Transit Manager for The Jule, Dubuque
We’re the Jule Transit, and we’re in the city of Dubuque. We have a fleet of 16 fixed route buses that we run Streets on with our Rangers. And we use that for dispatching but we also use that for reporting. And the reporting has been a huge piece for us for different grants we’ve written. And then also just reporting for different partners that we have in the community.
Every month we look at all of our ridership – who’s riding, where they’re going, which routes they’re using. So we were able to pinpoint what times of day we needed to go to those places and then stagger and do an alternate hour service for that, those routes. So we were actually able to save about 100,000 dollars, this last year. And without really impacting our ridership negatively.
We started using our system in about August of 2013. By January 2014 – so just like four months – we had already taken the data we had and restructured our entire system – and we cut trip times by 50% for most trips. And it was a very short period of time that we took and turned that around and completely re-structured. And after that point we saw, I think, upwards to 20% increases per month in ridership, just from those changes.
We don’t like seeing buses run empty. That’s not something that we want to do. We don’t want to mis-use public funds. We want to use them well. We want to get people to where they need to go in a more efficient way.
One of the things that I think went really well with working with TripSpark was, the staff we worked with really understand transit. And they were willing to understand our system and how it works. They want to help us solve a problem because they’re also talking to other transit systems and have that knowledge. I don’t know if you get that from every software provider. It’s actually a conversation, and a collaborative answer to that problem.
Every system is special and different. Staff that can come in and learn how your system works before they tell you how they should do something, is really important. And that’s what we had with staff that we worked with. They understand our system cause we’ve working with them for four years now. They know the ins and outs of what we do. They’re things we’ve done together before and like, oh it’s a way to build on what we’ve done. So they remember it, and we’re adding to what we have. It’s been a really good relationship.