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    Wednesday, December 12, 2018-3:39:05P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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COTA implements new transportation tracking software system

(Press Release) — Following considerable investment and phased planning, the Commonwealth Office of Transit Authority under the Office of the Governor is pleased to announce the successful implementation of its long awaited transportation tracking software system for the current demand response and forthcoming fixed route public transportation system.

Through close collaboration with RouteMatch Software Inc., the implementation of this transportation tracking system represents significant progress and is a critical phase in COTA’s development of the public transportation system in the CNMI.

RouteMatch Software, Inc. provides enterprise intelligent transportation systems and mobile data system deployments to public and private transit sectors. It offers software, hardware, and a wireless platform for fixed route management systems, demand response management systems, flex route services, coordination and mobility management, multi-modal traveler information systems, business intelligence/analytics, intelligent vehicles, and university and campus transportation. The company also provides non-emergency medical transportation; and transit asset management solutions. In addition, it offers customer support, training and education, implementation, consulting, and cloud services.

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COTA Transportation Information Specialist Kelvin Fitial looks on as  RouteMatch Software Inc. Program Director Debbie Mayfield provides technical assistance training in the One-Call/One-Click Resource Center for COTA.COTA Transportation Information Specialist Kelvin Fitial looks on as RouteMatch Software Inc. Program Director Debbie Mayfield provides technical assistance training in the One-Call/One-Click Resource Center for COTA.
COTA Transit Operator Joe Salas learns how to navigate through the new system using tablets with Route Match Software Inc. Program Director Debbie Mayfield.COTA Transit Operator Joe Salas learns how to navigate through the new system using tablets with Route Match Software Inc. Program Director Debbie Mayfield.
Route Match Software Inc. Program Director Debbie Mayfield gives Operations and Maintenance Coordinator Jose “Ping” Santos and Special Assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda P. Camacho a run through of the integrated tracking system for COTA.  COTA photosRoute Match Software Inc. Program Director Debbie Mayfield gives Operations and Maintenance Coordinator Jose “Ping” Santos and Special Assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda P. Camacho a run through of the integrated tracking system for COTA. COTA photos

Special Assistant for Public Transportation Alfreda P. Camacho said the new system reaffirms COTA’s plans to deliver further improvements as the expansion of the much needed transit system launches.

“The implementation of our new tracking system delivers a series of benefits to our clients and our program, and it has progressively become very apparent. This includes improved yearly reporting for the Federal Transit Administration National Transit Database, visibility of scheduling and dispatching data, and some “under the bonnet” improvements which result in vastly improved services,” Camacho said.

RoutMatch Program Director Debbie Mayfield noted that this has been an exciting time for RouteMatch to be part of the Demand and Fixed Route implementation for COTA.

“RouteMatch’s Demand application will allow schedulers and dispatchers to manage schedules for the riders more efficiently. The riders will need to be educated on a pickup window concept when calling in for ride. Part of RouteMatch’s goal is helping with more effective schedules and increase ridership. The agency is installing new devices for the drivers, equipped with the RouteMatch application, which will provides a more accurate manifest to their drivers, ensuring correct pick-up and drop off information. The tablets will help in reducing the amount of paper used for transit operations and allow for more efficient reporting. I believe the software is easy to learn and user friendly. The drivers and dispatchers are doing great and quickly adapting and learning the software. This is a great group of people here at COTA, and I am glad to be part of their implementation,” Mayfield said.

COTA Operations and Maintenance Coordinator Jose “Ping” Santos added that the new software underscores the importance and commitment towards the proper execution of the fixed route system on the island of Saipan.

“We have achieved this system migration and implementation with the expert knowledge of RouteMatch. The support we received was outstanding —meaning we were able to integrate into this system and ‘go live’ within a week of the contractor being on island,” Santos said.

COTA staff expressed how the new software system has made their jobs a lot easier and more efficient.

“The RouteMatch software makes our work life easier by scheduling our clients quicker and efficiently and we save the environment by using less paper by inputting our client reservations in digital format,” said Transit Information Specialist John Demapan, who has worked at COTA for four years and is the office’s longest running Transit Information Specialist. Demapan successfully completed the software integration training.

“RouteMatch is a wonderful software that helps make our job a lot easier and quicker. It helps give our clients a more accurate time in scheduling them daily. RouteMatch saves our riders time over the phone and it saves our time in completing our tasks,” said Transit Information Specialist Shane Mendiola, who has been with COTA for six months.

“As a transit operator for COTA, it is a very big help using the tablets now, we can actually find the rider’s pick up and drop off location using the installed navigation system. In addition, it is convenient because it classifies the client, what mode of payment or pass each client will obtain before pick up, and assists greatly with the practicality of scheduling for both the drivers and clients,” said Transit Operator Jun Del Rosario, who has been with COTA for four months.

“The understanding and cooperation of our clients, partner agencies, and the entire community during the integration and implementation of the transportation tracking software system was also an important factor in the successful transition from the old system (manual) to the new. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their understanding and support throughout the process,” Special Assistant Camacho added.

Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres said that this is another big and exciting advancement for COTA.

“Plans for this project started back in July 2013, but movement on this project did not start until July 2015, when I appointed Alfreda to administer COTA. The project would not have gotten off the ground until Alfreda and her team stepped up to finish it. After almost two and a half years of weekly meetings with RouteMatch and their perseverance, COTA successfully migrated over to the transportation tracking software system on November 7, 2017. This is another important step for COTA moving forward for our community,” Governor Torres added.

This project was funded in whole by federal grant funds from the Federal Transportation Administration through the U.S. Department of Transportation.