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Transit agencies are continuously inundated with data from multiple sources. Suffice to say, managing data streams from finance, operations, maintenance, customer service, and more can become overwhelming. For this reason, proper organization and management of this information are instrumental to making informed decisions regarding the agency’s fleet, personnel, grants, and investments. This is where a transit management system comes into play. If implemented correctly, the ideal transit management software easily connects and streamlines all of the agency’s various data points.
The following are the top 10 questions your transit agency software should be equipped to help you answer.
With data spread across multiple systems and departments, transit agencies are at risk of faulty forecasting and erroneous decision-making. A centralized/unified data platform functions as an integrated system or data warehouse that houses all key transit agency information. A consolidated view of the agency’s crucial data empowers departments with the required situational awareness for tactical and strategic decision-making.
Additionally, compounded data is invaluable to transit agencies because not only does it streamline one department’s data, but you have the ability to drill down into your data sets due to the combination of data from different departments. For example, combining finance data with operations metrics will show the cost per hour, mile, or passenger on the granular level to help improve overall efficiency.
Competent transit agency software should provide data collection capabilities and metrics for continuously tracking the fleet’s overall health and operational status. With continuous visibility into their fleet's potential faults and risk indicators, transit agencies are better equipped to address issues before they turn into breakdowns and service interruptions. Fleet maintenance, parts inventory management, and tire management are just a few helpful insights into fleet health that transit software can provide.
Data siloing is a common issue among all transit agencies resulting in unnecessary redundancies, duplication of efforts, and increased operational inefficiencies across departments. For this reason, team members across the transit agency should have access to all the data required for their jobs/tasks—when they need it, on-demand. Transit agency software needs to satisfy the data access requirements of all users, from senior management to operational resources.
Different transit agency staff will require varying data views and reports to complete their specific tasks and job duties. Transit agency software should therefore offer flexible options for entering, reviewing, and reporting on transit agency data, as well as easy-to-use mechanisms for exporting data to other systems and third-party applications.
For example, TransTrack Manager™ features a self-service analytics customization tool for tracking, reporting, and visualizing any data point in the system. Data can also be exported from views/reports in PDF or Microsoft Excel formats. The solution's open architecture allows for connecting to any source system for custom integrations.
Different departments within the agency may be responsible for varying operational aspects. However, management and decision-makers often have overlapping, cross-departmental reporting requirements that require a cohesive picture. Disparate data streams must be integrated for efficient emissions, incident, and financial reporting. Unifying these data streams and reports with standard spreadsheets quickly becomes unwieldy. Ideally, transit emissions, incident, and financial reporting are unified within transit agency software, along with tools for measuring operator efficiency, route efficiency, and automatic passenger counter data (APC), to name a few.
NTD data collecting should be a streamlined, cross-departmental effort that isn't contingent on a single individual to undertake. By adopting a software platform that allows for cross-collaboration across all departments, transit agencies can ensure that NTD data collection and report preparation is consistent, doesn't hinge on a single point of failure (i.e., one individual), and allows for collective assessments/improvements across the agency at large.
Public transit agencies are required to comply with Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) TAM requirements. Transit agency software should provide the required data for meeting these compliance objectives, as well as enable public transit agencies to perform TAM planning/reporting for rolling stock, equipment, and facilities. A platform like TransTrack Manager™ separates facilities into different asset classes to better manage useful life benchmarks and assess conditions.
Advanced transit agency software provides business analysis tools for delivering insights to a diverse set of users with varying reporting requirements, from senior management to operational staff. Decision-makers and managers are better positioned to effectively reach and exceed agency KPIs and objectives when custom dashboards, standard/ad-hoc reports, data export capabilities, and alerts are available.
Transit agencies are under constant pressure to meet operational efficiency targets and other key performance indicators (e.g., ridership metrics, on-time performance, and safety). An integrated transit agency software enables agencies to quickly track and validate adherence to performance targets and objectives, as well as offer standard reports for quickly assessing their agency’s performance and operating effectiveness.
To better manage funding and grants, transit agencies should continuously measure their cost of service by comparing revenues with service expenses. Transit agency software allows agencies to do this effectively within the same platform—for example, in identifying key focus areas based on ridership, revenue, and cost measurements.
In short, your transit agency software should enable your organization to make informed decisions through a combination of tools and features, resulting in better-managed resources and more cohesive inter-departmental initiatives. If your transit agency management software isn’t addressing all of these needs, it may be time to upgrade. Learn more about TransTrack Manager™, the leading transit agency software designed and developed by transit agency professionals.