August 3, 2012 – Effective August 20, Dial-A-Ride Transportation (DART) service will begin utilizing new dispatch software that will allow additional pickup times beyond the current booking of rides on the hour and half hour.
With the new software system, riders will be asked for the appointment time for their destination when making a reservation. The software will determine a pickup time based on bus availability and other rides already booked. Same-day rides will continue to be accepted, and all rides will be booked on a first come, first served basis.
Riders who have standing order reservations will be notified in advance if their pickup time changes for a current ride reservation. Riders are asked to contact the DART office (837-6940) by August 14 to ensure that DART has a current phone number on file.
Rides will continue to be scheduled based on plus or minus 10 minutes. For example, if a rider is given a pickup time of 10:10 a.m., the bus will arrive between 10:00 - 10:20 a.m. The driver will still be required to wait two minutes inside the 20-minute pickup window before moving to their next location.
Another new feature of the software is that rides will be dispatched to drivers via a mobile data terminal in the bus. This replaces the current radio communications system.
Funding for the new dispatch software and mobile data terminals was made possible through an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) grant.
DART asks passengers for their patience as this new technology is implemented. The new software was purchased to help enhance service delivery and increase efficiencies.
For more information, contact Jan Yuergens, Assistant Director of Public Services at 837-6908.