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OCR for page 33
33 Identify the cost of not establishing and enforcing Include as much automation as possible for collecting a no-show/late cancellation policy to determine the information and generating notices to passengers about benefits that will be realized. apparent no-shows on a regular--perhaps daily--basis. Be sure staff keeps current and is able to educate passengers about the no-show policies. POLICY CONTENT The following possible features of no-show/late cancella- POLICY IMPLEMENTATION tion policy content may assist transit agencies when devel- oping and reviewing their own policies. The following possible features of no-show/late cancella- tion policy implementation may assist transit agencies Incorporate a reasonable sanction for customers com- when developing and reviewing their own policies. mensurate with the level of the no-show infraction. Consider what length of suspension appears to be Measure customer satisfaction of both those who fair given the population served and the incidence could benefit by the reduction in the number of no- of the no-shows and/or late cancellations. shows and late cancellations by the fellow customers Note that ADA regulations do not specify fines and and of those who have incurred excessive late can- other financial penalties as a remedy for excessive cellations and no-shows. passenger no-shows. Make reasonable policy adjustments based on FTA has indicated that it is not appropriate to pub- feedback from customers. lish a restrictive no-show policy even if it is not Continue passenger education and outreach efforts. enforced. Use door hangers to notify customers of a no-show. Include incentive programs such as free ride coupons Educate by means of passenger brochures, bul- for passengers with exemplary records (e.g., passen- gers who have zero no-shows during a 6-month letins, and newsletters. period). Pay particular attention to educating new cus- Develop a manual of internal operating procedures tomers who may not understand the issue of no- for handling no-shows and late cancellations. shows and late cancellations. Record operating procedures particularly with Acquire technologies that will expedite the collection respect to dispatch and drivers on how to declare of accurate information and produce reports that an apparent passenger no-show (based on wait facilitate analysis. time, scheduled pick-up time versus actual arrival Acquire computer-assisted or automated schedul- time, and so on). ing and dispatching. Include detailed directions for contacting passengers. Use MDTs, AVLs, and other technologies. Use positive not demeaning language. Incorporate IVR and accessible on-line access to Include a written procedure for determining excused trip reservations, confirmations, and cancellations. no-shows based on consistently applied criteria. Employ smart cards for data collection and track- Communicate that procedure to passengers. ing passenger use of the system. Do not automatically cancel subsequent trips on the Identify alternative ways for passengers to notify the same day as an apparent passenger no-show. transit agency about late cancellations, particularly Establish a procedure for determining whether the after hours. remaining trips will be taken. Answering machine. Establish an internal procedure for identifying and Accessible on-line trip management. handling those trips. IVR. Develop an appeals process that is consistent with ADA Develop a means to collect good documentation regulatory requirements as described previously. based on a reliable, consistent method of recording Allow passengers to continue to use the service no-shows and late cancellations. during the appeals process. Ensure that drivers accurately record their times Provide an independent review board, such as the and locations in the event of an apparent passenger eligibility appeals board. no-show. Establish a way to monitor no-shows and late cancel- Ensure that late cancellations are handled quickly lations on an on-going basis and to impose suspen- and efficiently to give the dispatcher time to make sions at the appropriate time. real-time schedule adjustments. Use a software vendor's no-show/passenger sus- Encourage dispatchers to actively manage their pension module. drivers, particularly if they have access to AVL Or create your own customized no-show/passenger and MDTs, which allow for dynamic dispatching suspension module. throughout the day.