The Department for Transport is sponsoring a number of UK local authorities to undertake Total Transport pilot studies. The aim of the fund is
to integrate transport services currently commissioned by different central and local government agencies and provided by different operators. This will allow existing resources to be allocated and co-ordinated more efficiently, resulting in services to passengers that are more effective at meeting their needs. (Link)
Commissioned services might include Home to School, SEN, Adult Social Care, Non-Emergency Patient Transport, Demand Responsive Transport and public bus services.
To meet the needs of these diverse passenger groups and fulfil the aims of the fund, a Total Transport solution needs more than one type of routing and scheduling engine.
Successful solutions will minimise the number of vehicles needed and then maximise their utilisation.
For example, reducing the number of vehicles needed may come from optimising delivery of school and SEN transport. Those vehicles can then be reused throughout the day for more effective, flexible services, such as Non-Emergency Patient Transport, Demand Responsive Transport and public services.
QRoutes is a low-cost specialist routing and scheduling engine for schools and SEN transport and is working with flexible transport routing & scheduling providers to create these Total Transport solutions.
It’s no secret that local authorities in the UK face ever tightening budgets and the ongoing challenge of delivering the services their constituents need at lower costs.
In that context, Phil Lightowler, Head of Public Transport for Kent County Council, has this to say about QRoutes:
The feedback from the team is using QRoutes is very positive. They like the results it is producing, they like its user friendliness and most of all they like the fact that they can do a re-plan quickly.
The Summer re-tendering program has gone through QRoutes and is out with schools for comment. Initial results are very positive and it may just help us deliver what is a very, very challenging budget. So the package is doing everything you said it would. We are very pleased.
We have now got an agreed re-tendering program which will see the whole of our SEN Transport network re-tendered over two years. We couldn’t do this if we didn’t have QRoutes, as there would be too much planning for the team. – When you consider how long it took our consultant to do three schools and he was a dedicated resource, we are doing 7 big schools for Jan alone.
In short, QRoutes is helping Kent County Council meet the challenge of delivering the services required within budget. Something they wouldn’t have been able to do without it.
Get in touch if you’d like a no-obligation consultation on how QRoutes could help you do the same.