Rightsizing Transportation Technology for Rural America
When it comes to technology, many rural transportation providers face a mismatch between their needs and what’s on the market today, particularly in terms of ride-scheduling software solutions. Software developers make assumptions about the agencies that will use their products, the services they provide, the availability of IT staff to monitor and maintain systems, and more. If an agency happens to fit in those boxes, off-the-shelf products could work quite well. However, for a small transit agency or transportation service in a rural area, operations may not align with any of these assumptions.
That was certainly the case for two nonprofit transportation providers—Inner Court Family Center (ICFC) and Lake County Senior Center Association (LCSCA) in highly rural Lake County, Oregon. The two nonprofits wanted to streamline ride-scheduling tasks and communication with drivers, make billing more transparent, and gain insights into cost drivers such as road conditions and trip distances. But they found off-the-shelf software solutions too complex and expensive for their needs.