Staff Report #11 – Specialized Service Scheduling System Update

Staff Report #11

March 27, 2024

To All Commissioners

Re: Specialized Service Scheduling System Update


That the report be NOTED and FILED.


The 2023 Work Program included an initiative to undertake a review of the current software utilized for booking and scheduling trips on the specialized service. The software had been subject to re-sale twice in the previous two years, and the new owner indicated their intent in 2022 to ensure the software remained operational but to cease all activities relating to product enhancements. The review concluded that a replacement software was required in order to provide a number of key features that are considered to be key requirements of a specialized scheduling/booking system including:

  • Online customer portal that allows for on-line trip management including trip booking and cancellation;
  • Detailed customer database that maintains information relating to special accommodations including but not limited to the use of mobility devices, support persons or service animals and special instructions relating to pick-up or drop-off procedures;
  • Real-time arrival information available to customers via customer portal, text/email notification;
  • Ability to ensure equal access in trip booking between customers utilizing online booking with those utilizing telephone;
  • Customizable parameters for trip scheduling that align with London Transit service targets (length of time on vehicle, schedule adherence, etc.);
  • Detailed reporting of key service metrics (same day bookings, split between demand and subscription bookings, non-accommodated by time of day, etc.); and
  • In-vehicle tablets providing real-time trip manifests to drivers.

At the February 28, 2024 meeting, the Commission approved proceeding with the upgrade to the specialized service scheduling software to utilize TripSpark software at an upset limit cost of $500,000. The amount is inclusive of the software migration, licenses, services, onsite training, and the first year of software maintenance as well as hosting fees and exclusive of applicable taxes and directed administration to finalize the upgrade implementation schedule and report back on same at the March 27, 2024 meeting.

Subsequent to the February 27, 2024 meeting, a formal contract proposal was received from TripSpark Technologies outlining in detail the costs of the implementation to the new software, the annual software license fees and a projected implementation scheduled.

With respect to the implementation schedule, it has been broken down into phases each of which is described in greater detail below.

Project Initiation – The formal commencement of the project begins with the request for a formal proposal and culminates with final contract execution. During this phase, agency business rules and practices are collected, confirmed and clarified in order to ensure a smooth implementation.

Design – This phase involves a detailed review and documentation of the system design, capturing findings, observations and data points in an Operational Review Document that requires London Transit to sign off to ensure alignment on the design of the new system.

Build – This phase requires extensive engagement from the London Transit team both technically and operationally in establishing the core systems and technologies used. During this phase, a test environment is set up for ongoing testing and learning as the system is configured for use.

Training – This phase is two-fold, involving the review and testing of each module with the London Transit team followed by detailed training for all functional users. The training is customized to the various roles utilizing the system. The final step in this process is to conduct a readiness review to confirm the system is ready to go live.

Go Live – During this phase, the TripSpark Team will be onsite working with the London Transit team to ensure a smooth transition to the new system.

System Acceptance – Subsequent to the go live, the project team formally transitions the project to the Customer Care team, who will provide end-user support going forward.

The following table sets out the various phases of the software implementation project and the estimated business day requirements for each of the phases. These estimates are based on similar implementations that have been completed by the vendor with the variances recognizing unforeseen interruptions as well as local resource availability noting the service needs to continue to operate as normal during the entire period of implementation. These estimates are based on the assumption that no customizations will be required.

Project Phase Business Day Requirements
Project Start Estimate April 15, 2024
Project Kick-off 10 – 15
Operational Review 20 – 30
Software Install 30 – 40
Training 20 – 30
Go Live 10 – 15

It should be noted that there may be overlap between some of the phases as some work can progress prior to the next phase beginning. Assuming no overlap between phases, and staff availability during key times, it is estimated that go live dates for the new system will be somewhere between August 26, 2024 and October 14, 2024. It should be noted that these dates are provided as estimates only and regular update reports will be provided to the Commission as the project progresses including any required updates to the estimated timeframes.

As set out in the February 28, 2024 report, TripSpark Technologies had confirmed that the project implementation, including the first year of license fees, could be undertaken for an upset maximum cost of $500,000. The following tables sets out a detailed breakdown of the costs associated with the implementation as well as those going forward associated with the annual license and hosting fees.

System Component Total Cost Year 2 Year 3
New System Licences, Implementation Services $ 390,433
Software Maintenance/Licensing (Annual) 86,520 90,846 95,388
Hosting Fees (Annual) 19,987 20,986 22,035
Total Yearly Costs $ 496,940 $ 111,832 $ 117,423

In addition to the annual costs set out in the table above, there may be additional costs associated with data use on driver tablets which will be dependent on the features that are utilized (e.g. turn by turn navigation). In addition there will be fees associated with the notifications to customer the extent of which will be dependent on the method the customer utilizes (e.g. text notification will be billed on a per-text rate). Until such time as the system is fully functional it will be difficult to estimate these costs.

In addition to the requirement to train staff, there will be a need for a comprehensive communication program for customers of the specialized service detailing the new processes related to the new scheduling system. Administration will begin working on this program during the software install phase and finalize it during the training phase. The Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee will be consulted on the communications through the course of development. As indicated earlier in this report, until such time as the timelines are finalized as part of the project kick-off and contract phase, dates for these steps cannot be established.

At time of report writing, the project initiation phase is underway and as discussed in previous reports, regular updates with respect to project progress will be provided as applicable.

Recommended by:

Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations

Concurred in by:

Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager