Third, the UTA police department received revenue from a security fee that was allocated to improving safety and security resources for the campus community. PATS was able to secure $60,000 of this revenue annually to expand the late-night security escort service from a five-day, 7 p.m.–1 a.m. service into a seven-day, 7 p.m.–3 a.m. service. Through a reallocation of financial resources, PATS was able to create meaningful savings from a lean budget and implement value-added features of the new mobility plan. The department did this in three specific ways: technology enhancements, equipment improvements, and expanded service.
GPS data proves invaluable as headway counts can now be tracked to ensure the wait times are kept to a minimum. Additionally, automated passenger counting systems allow drivers to focus on service and safety instead of trying to keep up with manual passenger counts. Most significantly for the late-night security service, introducing an app-based request platform has turned the service into a car-share-like experience. Drivers can automatically be rerouted to pick up new passengers along the route, maximizing the number of customers carried per trip. Additionally, students can now see exactly where the vehicle is in real-time and then decide to study a bit longer or start heading for the door. The new technology enhancements provide an immediate, value-added proposition for customers. This helps the department meet the customers’ expectations for the service they were ultimately funding.
New technology connects the campus community with existing mobility options. Gone are the days of sitting at a stop, wondering when the next bus will arrive or phoning a dispatcher to request a security ride and having a golf cart appear—already at capacity. Partnerships with Doublemap and Tapride have improved technology and answered the most pressing question department staff received: “Where is the vehicle, and when will it be here?” Passengers now have the answer at their fingertips through the company app and are able to set notifications for when the vehicle is nearing, allowing them to receive instant communication of any route delays or modifications. Additionally, the new technology provides a wealth of valuable data to department decision-makers. Using this data, staff was able to better understand the supply and demand patterns for each service and allocate appropriate resources to maximize the customer experience.
Other improvements to the system include equipment upgrades. Outsourcing the shuttle service allowed the department to immediately upgrade all shuttle vehicles with a fleet of new Starcraft Allstar F-550 buses. The buses were then branded with eye-catching UTA designs that rebranded the shuttle bus to the Mav Mover. For the first time, the look of the buses helps the service stand out on the busy Arlington streets. Additional funding went to replace the aged and wrong-sized golf cart fleet. The four-passenger carts were replaced with new eight-passenger carts that can keep up with growing demand. Branding was also added to these vehicles.
ate Night Security scort Ridership Annual 2016‐2019 Running Total
70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0
THE PARKING PROFESSIONAL | MARCH 2019 | PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG "39
From the March 2019 issue of The Parking Professional.