Staff Report #1
May 8, 2017
To All Members of the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee
Information Technology Update
That the report be NOTED and FILED.
The following report provides an update on ongoing IT projects which are included on the 2017 Work Program.
Specialized Service Scheduling/Dispatching System Implementation
The implementation of the new scheduling/dispatching system is underway, noting the following work has occurred:
- new phone system testing and go-live
- installation of all required hardware in specialized vehicles
- addition of all subscription trip data into new system
- quasi-parallel run using available subscription trip data and some additional manual entries
- schedule optimization practice and refinement by LTC staff
Cut-over to the new system occurred as scheduled, including the start of trip bookings on April 8, 2017 and on-road go-live on April 11, 2017.
The change in telephone system went well with the exception of a short period with no service on April 8, 2017, due to an error on the part of Bell Canada. The new system provides for increased capacity (22 lines) which will reduce the number of customers that receive a busy signal when calling the booking line, and also provides customers on the
line with information regarding where they are in the queue, and how long they can expect to wait for a booking agent.
The changes in the manner in which the new system is designed as compared to the previous system have resulted in some negative impacts on operations including increased time to complete booking calls and some scheduling irregularities associated with the unfamiliar and sometimes complex methods used in the software. Some of
these problems can be described as typical adjustments to a new system while others are being actively pursued with the vendor. LTC administration is working with the vendor to provide for additional onsite support during the transition to address ongoing operational issues as they arise.
System Acceptance Testing for Phase I (core software and vehicle hardware) and the beginning of Phase II (customer-facing information systems) of the project will be scheduled once the impacts of current issues have been assessed and necessary resolutions provided.
Smart Card Implementation
The process to move the smart card system to a hosted environment, which is expected to alleviate the ongoing issues relating to online revaluing and card updates, remains scheduled for the month of May. The software vendor has been keeping LTC apprised of any potential issues affecting the schedule, all of which have had no major impact onthe planned dates. LTC’s order of plastic fobs for the kids ride free implementation has arrived. At time of writing efforts are underway to get the smart card system configured to use them (import of unique identifiers) and implement and communicate a distribution program, which is anticipated to begin in early May.
LTC Website Update
The Marketing Department (TMD) staff is continuing to work on the LTC website, having been drawn into some additional development work associated with the creation of online bus schedules that are easily updated, fully accessible and complete in terms of route details. Assessment of required effort and associated costs are ongoing. Once decisions around these matters are made an estimated date for completion from TMD will be forthcoming.
Manager of Information Services
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny