Real-time passenger information, CAD/AVL and mobile computing are just a few of the capabilities this solution brings to YOLOBUS
CALGARY, AB—February 3, 2009—YOLOBUS, located in Yolo County northern California, has implemented Mentor Engineering’s Mentor Streets® Transit ITS solution in their 50-vehicle fleet. Streets includes software applications for Computer-Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL), incident management, schedule and route adherence, as well as in-vehicle Mentor Ranger® computers.
With the neighbouring city of Sacramento and the University of California at Davis as important destinations, transporting people to and from this mostly rural county was a challenge. YOLOBUS wanted an ITS solution that would equip passengers with accurate bus schedule and location information, and give managers a transparent view of driver activity to better plan routes and respond to customer questions.
With Streets, passengers are able to go online and access real-time bus location information via the Ride Guide website designed by Mentor. As Erik Reitz, Transit Planner at Yolo County Transportation, explains: “The website plays an important role in serving customers because riders can see almost as much information as our dispatchers when it comes to the precise location of their bus. It’s a valuable tool for riders when planning their schedules, and I believe it will decrease the number of phone calls our customer service agents handle.”
Equipping YOLOBUS passengers with accurate information extends past the website. Mentor Ranger®, the rugged mobile computer installed in each fixed-route bus, has GPS functionality that tells the Streets software where the bus is on the route. This enables peripheral devices such as stop annunciators and in-vehicle LED signs to deliver accurate information to onboard passengers, and allows drivers to focus on the road.
In addition to AVL information, Ranger facilitates fast, reliable and secure data communication between drivers and dispatchers. Ranger also delivers real-time schedule and route adherence details to drivers, alerting them when they’re running early or late. Having this information helps drivers leave their stop when scheduled, and not before.
“Because of our large service area, the Mentor system is invaluable in saving us time,” says Erik. “If a bus breaks down the driver can instantly communicate that information using Ranger, dispatch can verify the bus’ location with the AVL maps and a replacement bus can immediately be dispatched to cover the route.”
With Streets as the backbone, transit planners like Erik are able to do their jobs more effectively. They can investigate driver delays and better plan route schedules based on the electronic reports that are generated, saving time and aiding efficient route planning.
About Mentor Engineering
Currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, Mentor Engineering provides comprehensive ITS solutions for paratransit and fixed-route transit operations. From the dispatch office to the vehicle, Mentor’s flexible solutions improve and expedite fleet management. Mentor is distinguished by technical innovation and services including system integration, training, and on-going support. Visit www.mentoreng.com for more information.
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