For more than 30 years, PennDOT has subsidized demand-response transportation for vulnerable populations. These programs are complex to manage at the state and local level because demand-response transportation changes daily and because service hours and service delivery decisions are made at the local level. Over the years, individual demand-response systems have independently procured and implemented technology for passenger eligibility/registration, trip reservation, scheduling, dispatching, reporting, and invoicing. So lots of small systems and no one system with a sufficient economic impact on a vendor to influence support or software development.
PennDOT, in partnership with demand-response transportation providers and tech consultants, began developing specifications to address basic demand-response software functions that now maximizes productivity and efficiency (or trips per hour), maximizes effectiveness (in terms of better performance), cuts the costs of trips, improves customer service, standardizes everything including fare structures and reporting, while ensuring data consistency and accuracy. This $24 million project benefited system users system in terms of reliability, efficiency, and cost. Yet it also allowed PennDOT to make better use of its resources, thus saving money – some $600,000 per year on maintenance alone and millions more on administrative time.