Interim General Manager, Tulsa Transit
My name is Debbie Ruggles. I’m the Interim General Manager at Tulsa Transit in Tulsa Oklahoma. We operate about 62 fixed route vehicles and 40 paratransit vehicles.
DriverMate is an app that allows our manifests to be sent electronically to our paratransit drivers. A lot of times with paratransit, you have cancellations during the day which leave holes in your manifest and with paper manifest you can’t tighten those up. But with electronic manifest, you have the opportunity to tighten those up. When you have a snow day for instance, before people are cancelling like crazy and at the end of the day, you end up with these manifests that have all these holes in it that drivers have sat around half the day and your passengers per-hour have really fallen.
With DriverMate, you simply re-batch and have the opportunity to tighten all those back up, and by the end of the day you have an efficient operation. Because we’re able to batch during the day, we have been able to increase our passengers per-hour by 5% and that translates into real dollars, which is really important for a public agency.
Before DriverMate, our drivers had to report their pick-ups and drop-offs to the dispatchers, who recorded every single trip. And then our validators actually took them from paper and pen and input them again. So it was a very labor intensive process.
With DriverMate, now our drivers do not have to call in because all of that is recorded electronically. They simply push the button to perform and all of that is taken care of.
The learning curve was much quicker than anyone thought it would be. Because the software is so intuitive, that it really is incredibly easy for people to pick-up. And so the Drivers, albeit, were a bit afraid of it at first, found out that it was a piece of cake. And they learned very quickly.
If someone were to call me and ask me about DriverMate, I would say run, don’t walk toward DriverMate. There’s so many incredible benefits to the app and I would encourage people to get it sooner rather than later.