Senior busing gets a little easier

Grant helps fund upgrade to Senior Service’s transportation software

Vans can hold 12 passengers and the service runs about 80 trips a day.

Vans can hold 12 passengers and the service runs about 80 trips a day. Submitted Photo

— Before purchasing the software in July, the center used different software but manually managed the scheduling for the trips. With the new system, it automatically saves the scheduling.

Executive Director of Colonie Senior Service Center Ed Neary said they had been looking for a different transportation programs over the years.

“Using the same software scheduling program for many years worked for us, but it didn’t allow us to grow or expand or interface with anybody,” Neary said. “One of the principal reasons we wanted to try this is to be able to communicate better.”

The new software works directly with the Capital District Transportation Authority’s ACCESS program, which arranges transportation for Albany County seniors. Using communication within the software, ACCESS helps coordinate resources with Colonie Senior Services. If a senior will be staying longer at a destination than expected, for example, Senior Services can work with ACCESS to find an alternative resource for that person, like a taxi that works with CDTA.

“When we have a need we can’t fulfill, ACCESS will find another resource to make sure that person has transportation services,” Neary said.

By using the same software as ACCESS, Neary said they “thought it would make things easier.”

“It has, it does and it will,” he said.

Since the new program has been up and running since July, Director of CSSC Transportation Services Larry Conaway said it’s “going really, really good.”

“(There are) a lot of advantages to it. The software takes into account mileage and times. It also gives us a lot of reporting functions and we’re hoping it will save a lot of gas and wear and tear on the busses so they won’t need repairs as often,” Conaway said. “It’s a benefit to the client because it is a more on time scheduling.”

Conaway said he’s still manually managing the scheduling for now but eventually the entire routing system will be automatic.

“Once we work out the tweaks in it, we think it’s (going to be) a great system. It’s easy to communicate,” Conaway said. “I think all in all it’s exactly what we expected it to be. It’s been doing a great job.”

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