[tabi] Re: StarMetro Update

  • From: "Sila Miller" <Silamiller@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2014 22:30:18 -0500

Hello Brian,
Thank you for your update. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Below are some questions and feedback. Hopefully they make sense and will be 
kept in mind during future planning.

1. While I applaud StarMetro for adding amenities to their star stops, I 
sincerely believe that money would have been better spent on 
       * more frequent routes 
       * expansion of bus service or 
       * automated stop announcements.

2. Does the bus stop sign redesign/braille plates mean new poles? Will this 
take place before or after the amenities are installed? 

3. Do the electronic fare cards actually provide an additional option or are 
they to replace tokens and cash? Has research been done to add voice over to 
the card readers to allow for compliance with the 21st Century legislation? 

I have been and remain willing to assist in testing. My experience tells me 
those electronic fare cards and the faulty readers have a ways yet to go.

Again, thank you for your update.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Waterman, Brian 
  To: tabi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Friday, December 19, 2014 3:28 PM
  Subject: [tabi] StarMetro Update

  Happy Holidays to everyone at TABI. Before the year ended,  I wanted to 
provide an update on what we are doing at StarMetro. If you have any questions 
on any of these items or have other questions, feel free to let me know. 


  1.      Technology - StarMetro currently has an IPhone App on the App Store. 
We are waiting to market it until the Android App is completed and to have more 
time to test it. If you have an IOS device, go ahead and download it. We would 
appreciate your feedback. We are also working with our vendor on providing our 
transit data to third party vendors, such as GoogleTransit. The data feeds and 
Android App should be in completed in the 1st Quarter of 2015.

  2.      Amenities - It is our goal that every bus stop have an amenity (two 
seat bus pole, bench, shelter, etc.). To  accomplish this, we have updated our 
Bus Stop Policy, included funding in the recent Sales Tax Referenda, and 
selected vendors for a shelter and bench program. The contracts with the 
vendors should be completed by March with installation starting shortly 
thereafter. Over 300 shelters, benches, or 2 seat bus poles should be installed 
in 2015. 

  3.      Bus Stop Sign Redesign/Braille Plates - We are redesigning our Bus 
stops signs to be more visible and contain more information. Staff will start 
installing these signs next year. Since we have over 800 bus stops, it may take 
over a year before this project is completed. Braille plates will be updated as 
new signs are added. 

  4.      Service Changes - StarMetro is implementing an annual route change 
process to allow for more public comment, more analysis, and more outreach on 
changes. Route changes should only take place in December. From January 1 to 
March 31, we are taking public comment on possible changes the public would 
like to see. Please email brian.waterman@xxxxxxxxxx or Charles.main@xxxxxxxxxx 
with suggested changes or questions.

  5.      Dial-A Ride Update

  a.      Call Center Recording - The call recording system is fully 
operational. This technology is helping us to ensure customer service is 
maintained through analysis of randomly selected phone recordings and follow-up 
on recordings where a customer/staff member has raised an issue.  Recordings 
are being used as a training tool as well.

  b.      Online Scheduling - Online scheduling is a web based application 
enabling customers to confirm, cancel or book trips online without the need to 
speak with a reservationist.  This system is currently being tested and we 
anticipate rolling this out to the public in the first quarter of 2015.

  c.      Interactive Voice Response (IVR) - The IVR system will send customers 
automated notices via voice mail, e-mail or text message (customer can choose 
how they want to receive this information) reminding them of upcoming trips, 
trip booking confirmation, trip cancellation confirmation, as well as imminent 
arrival confirmations (Vehicle is 20 minutes away).  This system is currently 
being tested and we anticipate rolling this out to the public in the first 
quarter of 2015.

  d.      Electronic Fare cards - The electronic fare cards provide an 
additional option to exact change and paper tokens when using DAR. We have 
started testing this system and are working with our Contractor to fix glitches 
in the system.  We anticipate rolling this out to the public in the first 
quarter of 2015.


  We want to thank those who have helped us test the online scheduling, the IVR 
system and the new fare cards.  Your input helped us fix many issues which 
internal testing alone would not have found. We look forward to continue 
working with you in 2015.



  Brian S. Waterman, AICP 
  Transit Planning Manager


  Office: (850) 891-5564

  Cell: (850) 339-9969


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