Valley County Transit has been awarded federal funds to purchase dispatching software. That is a huge step toward giving you, our customers, better service. The dispatching staff just went through a week of intensive training and is ready to begin using the new system on Tuesday, July 29.
There are many positive aspects to this new system, but that means there is the needed information gathering that must be accomplished first. So when you call for a ride, we will be asking every customer/rider for their name, address, phone number, birthdate, whether they need the wheelchair lift and their emergency contact information. This will be a one time entry of information.
Most importantly when you need a ride, you must call as much in advance as possible, give us your name, pickup location and drop-off location and if you have an appointment. Since this new system will be using GPS and will have all passenger information, it can determine which vehicle will best serve your needs and which route the driver will take. This will cut down on wait time and the time you will be on the bus.
As before, when we are given a pickup time, you can expect the bus to arrive up to 10 minutes before or 10 minutes after this time. Please make sure you are ready and waiting as we will only wait for one minute prior to departing for the next stop.
A few other changes will be implemented, once you have boarded the bus, you will not be able to change your destination; we will not be able to wait while you are transacting business; you must have the correct fare when boarding (i.e. no charging); every person who will be boarding the bus must have a reservation.
The staff at Valley County Transit would like to thank you in advance for helping make this a smooth transition for everyone. If you have any questions, call me at 228-8744.
Colleen Pankratz is manager for Valley County Transit and Daniels County Transportation.