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Specialized Transit Services

All-in-One LTE communications device

Siyata Mobile UV350

Specialized Transit Services

Disabled and elderly people depend on Specialized Transit Services. The non-profit company, a shared ride, door-to-door transit service, offers subsidized rides to disabled and elderly people who are unable to travel on Hamilton’s public transit system. The company operates a fleet of 130 vehicles including small buses, Ram ProMasters, MV1’s and mini vans. They provide approximately 3,000 rides per day.

The Problem: Extensive costs of maintaining an old two-way radio system

To ensure the drivers pick up the right passengers at the right place and time, the company has a team of dispatchers in their office, and they use technology to communicate with their driver and schedule the trips. Historically, the company used a two-way radio in each vehicle for voice communications, and they used a tablet with a SIM card operating on a cellular network. The tablet was mounted in the vehicles to send a data message to the drivers about who, where, and when they needed to pick up their next passengers.

As a non-profit organization in 2018, the company found these two solutions to be expensive since they were paying a monthly service fee for both the two-way radio, and for the tablet. They also found that there were some places in and around Hamilton where either the two-way radios or the tablets would struggle to be able to connect to the network. Lastly, they found the process of managing the tablets to be cumbersome. Each day, the driver would arrive at the the company office and sign out a tablet for that day. They would carry the tablet to the vehicle and insert it into its mounting holder. If the driver who used this tablet on the previous day had properly charged its battery, then the driver would begin their day by receiving a message on the tablet about their first passenger pick-up. At the end of the driver’s day, the reverse process would occur. The driver removed the tablet, carried it into the office, signed it back in, and connected it to a charger. Sometimes this process didn’t go as planned as tablets would occasionally be dropped and they would break, or they had charging issues, or they would go missing.

"While the old system of tablets and two-way radios was still working, the total op-ex cost of the system and some operational challenges caused us to rethink what would work best for our vehicle communications system today, and for the future.”
– Kathy McVicars, Manager of Operations and Human Resources

The Solution: Low costs of maintaining an modern all-in-one device

The company began searching for another solution. Their wireless carrier partner recommended to consider the new Siyata Mobile UV350 In-Vehicle device since this single device could perform the functions of both the two-way radio, and the tablet at a more affordable monthly service fee. The Siyata Mobile UV350 has an external antenna which means that it could receive cellular signal in weaker cellular areas. And because the device is permanently installed in a vehicle, it would mean that drivers for the company would no longer need to fuss with their tablets.

 

The company agreed to trial the Siyata Mobile UV350 device. The specialized team met with the company and arranged to have a professional installer install some Siyata Mobile UV350 devices into the company vehicles. The team also installed Wired Palm Mics which their drivers were accustomed to use with their two-way radios, and following the company´s request, they downloaded two key apps onto the devices. First, they downloaded an app for Push-to-Talk which works on the cellular network (Push-to-Talk over Cellular). This app would allow the company dispatchers and supervisors to speak with one or all of their drivers at once with a simple press of a button, and the drivers could respond to these conversations using their Wired Palm Mic, just as they did with their two-way radio.
Secondly, they downloaded a scheduling application. This was the very same scheduling app that the company had used on their tablets to send details to the drivers about their next passenger pick-up, but the company wanted to test the app to make sure it worked properly on the Siyata Mobile UV350.

More about Siyata Mobile UV350

The company tested the Siyata Mobile UV350 device for about one month to ensure the solution would meet their needs. After the month of testing, the company was convinced. Not only was the audio in the device loud and clear for the Push-to-Talk calls, but also the cellular reception throughout their service area was strong, and the dispatch app showed all the key passenger pick-up information clearly to the driver on the Siyata Mobile UV350. The wireless carrier partner provided a competitive quote to the company for both the devices and for the monthly service fee, so the company agreed to fully deploy the Siyata Mobile UV350 in its fleet of vehicles.
During the actual installation period, The team was on-site demonstrating the correct installation process to the company maintenance staff who had similar experience installing their older two-way radios in the past. The company maintenance staff quickly learned the installation process for the new devices, and within a few weeks all fleet vehicles were equipped with a device with a Wired Palm Mic, and they had their two key applications, Push-to-Talk over Cellular and the Scheduling app, downloaded and configured.

„The whole team was available to us whenever we needed them to address any issues which gave us confidence in the solution. The Siyata Mobile UV350 has been a good fit for the company since it allows us to only need one device in our vehicles instead of two, and it addresses the shortcomings that we experienced with our old communication system, all at a lower monthly cost.”
– Mark Mindorff, Executive Director