[tabi] Re: A summary of TCB's meeting with Dial-A-Ride Personnel

  • From: "Chip and Allie Orange" <acorange@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 16 Nov 2013 19:03:36 -0500

Thank you Sila, very much, for sharing things with those who couldn't be







From: tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:tabi-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Sila Miller
Sent: Friday, November 15, 2013 10:23 PM
To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Cc: Ivan.maldonado@xxxxxxxxxx; Quintus.douglas@xxxxxxxxxx;
Subject: [tabi] A summary of TCB's meeting with Dial-A-Ride Personnel 


My apologies. I often forget to set the background correctly so those with
vision can actually see my text. This is a resend. Please forgive the


Sila (the tech blonde) 


Hello TABI and other interested parties,


Yesterday, TCB was pleased to have Ivan Maldonado , Quintus Douglas, and
Andrea Rosser from Dial-A-Ride at our meeting. For those interested but
unable to attend, the below is a summary of information provided and
questions and answers covered during our discussion.


Thank you, Andrea, Quintus and Ivan for sharing information with us and for
working as partners to make our system better. 


.       Ivan Maldonado is the Director of StarMetro and may be contacted or
copied with problems, concerns, and compliments at
<mailto:Ivan.maldonado@xxxxxxxxxx> Ivan.maldonado@xxxxxxxxxx


.       Quintus Douglas supervises Dial-A-Ride (DAR) and may be contacted at
<mailto:Quintus.douglas@xxxxxxxxxx> Quintus.douglas@xxxxxxxxxx


.       Andrea Rosser is the Mobility Coordinator and mainly works with
community coordinated transportation (Cecily Rose and Big Bend) related
issues and concerns. She and her assistants will personally assist patrons
to learn how to ride the fixed route system, make transfers and plan trips.
She may be reached at  <mailto:Andrea.rosser@xxxxxxxxxx>


1.    Q. How can TCB partner with DAR to request additional funding to hire
more drivers and/or purchase additional vans? 

A.   Apply for a Federal Transit Administration Grant. Communicate with City
Commissioners during budget planning sessions. There are plans for purchase
of three natural gas vehicles to add to the DAR fleet. Should be on the road
by April, 2014.


2.    Q. What other cities are using the new Mobile Data Terminal (MDT)
system? How long did it take them to get the system running smoothly?

A.   12 other cities. Takes approximately 6 - 9 months to iron out kinks.
Talley's system has been in place for approximately four months. It is
expected to vastly improve by February 2014. PassWeb equals screen reader
compatibility. In future, patrons will be able to schedule and cancel trips
and check on existing trips electronically. 


The current situation with DAR is putting undue stress on drivers, not only
being overbooked, but causing them to back-track. Drivers are encouraged not
to "disobey" the MDT so that problems can be identified. Quintus is working
closely with this system and drivers.


3.    Q. Why are patrons still being told they can't check on a ride until
after 30 minutes? 

A.   Unsure. Telephone recording software should put a stop to this. MDT
software allows dispatchers to know, within a few minutes of when the driver
should arrive. Possible future plans for an IVR auto call system to advise
patrons of what time to be ready.


4.    Q. When will the telephone recording software be installed? 

A.   By the end of 2013. Unsure how or who will monitor employees.


5.    Q. Until then, is there any kind of accountability for those working
in the call center and dispatch who are repeatedly dishonest, rude, and

A.   Quintus works with them. In some situations, patrons have and can be
sent tokens as a type of compensation. 


6.    Why wasn't there more pre-planning for the increased DAR ridership
StarMetro personnel knew decentralization (NOVA 2010) would cause? 

A.   Quintus asked for 15% increase for Dial-A-Ride. Was only allowed 10%.  


7.    Q. What are the penalties for having customers on the bus over the
allowed time (one hour)? 

A.   Nothing in place at this time. MDT allows Quintus to monitor drivers in
real time, offer additional training, and if driver is running late, move
patrons to different manifests. 


8.    Q. Why do other city's Para transits have a 30 minute window, yet
Tallahassee's is longer? 

A.   Other cities don't deal with money/patrons pre-pay. Some other cities
use smaller vehicles to serve furthest areas. Tallahassee unique. (trees) 


9.    Q. Are there fines or any kind of action being taken because of the
abnormalities occurring?

A.   In certain situations, patrons have and can be sent tokens as a type of


10.                    Q. If patrons need to change their trips home due to
work demands, will DAR be able to accommodate them as we were previously

A.   Commuter services of North Florida will issue an emergency voucher for
participants. To qualify for this service, folks must use StarMetro
transportation (includes fixed route and DAR) at least three days per week).
Andrea will send a link.



.       Four years ago, DAR provided 54,000 trips annually. They now provide

.       Future plans to tighten up qualification process. However. DAR
assures that patrons who use fixed route system, when they can will not
automatically be disqualified. 

.       DAR recently changed their phone tree because folks were having
trouble getting through.

.       The electric buses are being used on the Canopy route and have
resulted in saving approximately 3,000 gallons of fuel.  

.       Changes are in store for the Red Hills and Tall Timbers routes for
folks traveling to Southwood. Shuttles are planned to augment the
approximately 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. regular runs.

.       There will be a resulting change to Ride Guides. They are

.       Plan to have at least 50% of bus stops equipped with either seats or


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