Product Features

Optimize Transit Scheduling with RideCo’s Dynamic Driver Breaks

Jess Blenkarn
April 13, 2021
 - 
4 minute read

All over the world, transit agencies face many challenges when scheduling their drivers’ breaks. Some agencies spend hours manually rescheduling routes to accommodate breaks, while some have to shuttle a new driver out to a bus stop to replace the driver that’s going on break, costing the agency time and money.

That’s where RideCo’s Dynamic Driver Breaks can help! By autonomously and continuously optimizing drivers’ schedules, our platform always ensures drivers are taking breaks at the best possible time so that riders are consistently picked up on time, and dispatchers have time to focus on other important tasks.

How Do Dynamic Driver Breaks Work?

The best part about this feature is that it’s easy to use!

The first step is for agencies to set the rules or requirements for the system to follow. Agencies should consider union rules, contracts, government regulations, and more, when determining how to set up break windows.

For example, after considering those factors, agencies may tell the system to give all drivers a half hour lunch break between 11 am and 1 pm. Then, our autonomous routing and scheduling platform handles the rest. Our optimization engine treats the driver’s break just like it would a ride, and rearranges it in the driver’s schedule accordingly. This means drivers are consistently going to get their breaks at the best possible time, while still adhering to the rules or requirements set by agencies.

Agencies set rules surrounding when drivers can take breaks, and the Dynamic Driver Breaks feature continuously and autonomously optimizes the best possible time for each driver to take their break.

What Does this Mean for My Agency?

This feature is particularly useful for agencies that have frequent changes to their schedule. If a driver is out sick, or a vehicle is broken down, the system accommodates these challenges autonomously.

RideCo makes booking and scheduling easy, efficient, and works for our passengers’ schedules. My favourite feature is how RideCo handles last minute emergencies such as vehicle breakdowns, as we no longer have to manually reschedule rides and our passengers are still picked up with little or no delay. Features like this have made my job so much more stress-free and efficient.”

— Deborah Diebolt, Lead Hand, Transit Operations at Guelph Transit

Rather than having dispatchers juggling both riders and drivers by manually readjusting the schedules, costing time and money, the system does it for you! Now, agency dispatchers can focus on operational improvements, while RideCo gets riders to their destinations on time.

Driver Breaks, just like booked rides, are continuously reorganized, and can be affected by last-minute schedule changes caused by vehicle breakdowns or a driver calling in sick, for example.

Seamless, dynamic break scheduling introduces many benefits to your agency:

  • It improves efficiency, productivity, on-time performance, and wait times, because the system is quickly choosing the best possible time for breaks, keeping drivers on the road when they’re needed, and on break when they’re not.
  • It considers changing traffic and road conditions, real-time and pre-scheduled trips, other network conditions, and other driver itineraries simultaneously to ensure riders and drivers have the best possible experience.
  • It saves operation hours by ensuring nobody needs to manually schedule breaktimes, or communicate changes in schedules with drivers in the field. This is all done through our Driver App and RideCo Dashboard.

This feature is currently being used across almost all of our services, with the Houston METRO team being particularly impressed by the 98% on-time performance resulting from using the feature.

Being able to have that sliding scale and have the system decide when [is] the best time to have a lunch for these operators really helped the service.

— Michael Andrade, Director of Paratransit and Microtransit Services, Houston METRO

Our Dynamic Driver Breaks feature is also improving operations in Los Angeles. Labor laws in California call for a ten minute rest break every four hours, and a thirty minute meal break every five hours. With our platform, Los Angeles Metro simply has to set these rules in the system, and the platform will ensure it abides by them at all times.

Agencies can feel confident that their drivers will get their required breaks at the optimal time while riders will still arrive at their destinations on-time.

Contact us to learn more about how our Dynamic Driver Breaks feature can save your agency time and money, benefiting both you and your riders.

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