Secure high level management support and broad participation throughout an organization during the implementation and operation of transit automatic vehicle location systems.

A synthesis of transit agency experience with bus AVL systems

Rochester,Pennsylvania,United States; Seattle,Washington,United States; Raleigh–Durham,North Carolina,United States; Phoenix,Arizona,United States

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Lesson Learned

The synthesis included the findings of a literature review, agency survey responses, and case study telephone interviews with agency personnel involved in the development and operation of bus AVL systems. The lessons below represent experience from multiple agencies and focus on issues related to the leadership and management of AVL systems and initiatives.
  • Secure stakeholder participation throughout an agency organization. Top management backing is critical to facilitate cooperation and information gathering among agency business units that do not interact on day-to-day basis. Leadership should present a vision for transit technology development and clearly define the purpose of the implementation.
  • Provide an executive-level project champion to ensure access to required resources, training, and staff for both implementation and operations. Business units throughout an agency are involved in a variety of ways in an AVL system implementation. Evaluate the effects of the implementation on the operations of each business unit, including its practices, organizational structure, and staffing. Involve these business units accordingly in the acquisition of the AVL system and once the system is in revenue service.
  • Be ready to adapt resources towards new projects. Successful agencies are readily able to allocate resources towards new projects. The most commonly reported specific changes undertaken by agencies to adapt operations to the effective use of AVL systems is altering procedures and providing training to staff. Training and Human Resources personnel will have a critical role preparing to train a large number of departments and staff (i.e., operators, dispatchers, supervisors, maintenance technicians, Information Technology staff, customer service, and marketing personnel). Assistance from experienced consultants can be helpful as they are aware of the functional capabilities of a wide variety of vendor systems.

Overall, this research recognized the need for business processes that enable staff to coordinate and share information across functional areas of an agency to enable more efficient system support and better management.

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AVL Systems for Bus Transit: Update (TCRP Synthesis 73)

Author: Doug J. Parker

Published By: Federal Transit Administration

Source Date: 2008

URL: http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/tcrp/tcrp_syn_73.pdf

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Lesson ID: 2009-00491