Leeds City Council, DriverMate
With a fleet of approximately 100 drivers undertaking 4,500 trips per day, Leeds City Council relies upon Trapeze’s PASS system to process bookings and produce optimised, cost-effective schedules for its Adult Social Care & Educational Transport services.
However, in early 2013 the council recognized that by improving the systems used to contact drivers it could make operations more reliable and efficient. At the time drivers were issued with printed manifests at the beginning of each shift, with changes to the schedule communicated over the phone: this was problematic when drivers were often unable to answer calls. The Council decided to trial Trapeze’s DriverMate App, believing that it would not only address communications issues but also improve scheduling efficiency and deliver cost-savings.
DriverMate is a downloadable mobile App which drivers use to communicate with the PASS office system. The App provides all the information required on scheduled routes, including real-time updates from the back office. It is available on Windows, Blackberry and Android devices, giving Local Authorities flexibility and control over the type of in-vehicle hardware they use.
DriverMate enables ongoing communications between the office staff and drivers, making it simple to exchange messages, for example on changes to the schedule or no-shows, throughout the working day. Additionally DriverMate utilises Google Maps, Navigation and Street View to provide drivers with further details on their routes and guide them to pick-up and drop-off points.
In May 2013 Leeds City Council became the first Trapeze customer in the UK to use DriverMate. “Trapeze’s deployment of the system was good,” remarks Dylan Owen, Business Support Manager at the council, “It took a couple of days to set up the office system, we trained the drivers instantly and the next day they were using the apps. It was very quick.”
After only a couple of months of using DriverMate, staff at Leeds City Council have been very impressed by the impact it had had on their Adult Social Care & Educational Transport services.
“It’s a great bit of kit and as a communication tool it’s fantastic,” comments Mr Owen. “DriverMate has had a very positive impact on office communications both with our drivers and our passengers. Rather than calling drivers we can send messages through the App, and if a customer calls to ask where their vehicle is we can identify the location for them.”
DriverMate has also enabled the council to adapt its schedules as bookings come in during the day, thereby improving the service it delivers to passengers. “DriverMate offers us more flexibility and we are utilising that,” says Mr Owen, “If a vehicle is running late, we can unload trips on to another unit or send more vehicles. It’s a quicker, smoother process.”
In addition to improving customer service and streamlining the work of the back office team, DriverMate has also, unsurprisingly, become a hit with the drivers. “The drivers like the App. It’s simple to use, easy to read and provides them with a lot of information, which they like,” concludes Mr Owen.
“Rather than calling drivers we can send messages through the App, and if a customer calls to ask where their vehicle is we can identify the location for them.”
- Dylan Owen, Business Support Manager