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Transit Agencies vs. Software Providers: Connect the Disconnect [Interactive]

Jun 22, 2017
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Hi there! Didn’t expect us to interact with you like this right? Well, you’re in for a ride! Before I get right in to the blog, who am I speaking to?
Ah, hi . We’re trying something new here at Trapeze. I’ll jump in here and there while you read through the post.
If you want to exit this interactive chat, just click on the blue button on your right. So what do you say?
This is super cool. I’m in!
Just the blog post for now, thanks.

You know that feeling you get when you want to tell someone your side of the story but it doesn’t come out quite as nicely as you wanted?

You aren’t alone. Frustrations accumulate. Miscommunication becomes the norm. I’ve been there and done that.

But in reality that can only last so long until the relationship between both parties become strained. The solution? An open and safe platform for both parties to come together and share their perspectives.

Likewise, in transit, agencies and software providers sometimes aren’t on the same page due to various factors, especially when it comes to working with agencies’ IT department. We wanted to peel back the curtain and provide them the platform to showcase their story.

Can you guess what question we proposed to transit IT professionals?
What they do on a daily basis?
Tell me!

The first question proposed to them was: What’s the one thing you wish software providers understood about your agency?

Craig Gosselin, System Manager, TARC: Simple, uncomplicated, and plain. The interface for the typical scheduling application is so busy and populated with input and report boxes that the end user’s daily contact with the interface leads to exhaustion of the eyes and brain. Simplifying the process at the interface leads to less stress and a best fit experience for the person using the application.

Simplicity is key, wouldn’t you agree?
Really? Tell me more.

Gary Miskell, Chief Information Officer, VTA: We continue to invest a lot into our software providers so we’d like to see a higher return on our investment in our software applications. We’d also like to have common tools and business processes in our light rail operations and bus operations.

Kerry Kinkade, Chief Information Officer, Metro Transit – St. Louis: Our data is our data and we have every right to access it as we wish. Solutions have to be built with integration to other systems and data extraction in mind.

Steve Young, Vice President of Information Technology, VIA Metropolitan Transit: There are lots of things, but I think the biggest is that software providers need to understand that many agencies have very small IT teams, especially given the breadth of technologies and systems they have to support. This means our resources are very scarce and there is always a project and work backlog.

Well, that was just the first part of a two-part series where transit IT professionals speak up and share their insights with the industry. After all, when we work together to bridge the gap is when, together, we can ensure the implementation and execution of the latest technology and deliver the most optimal transit experience for riders.

Thanks for the input everyone! And I hope you found this valuable. Stay tuned for part two. In the meantime, do you want to get more cool content like this?
For sure!
Maybe next time.
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This is the third piece in Trapeze Group’s IT content series. Missed the last one? Check out “The IT Talent Crisis (And How to Fix It)” here.

Note: This is a special interactive blog post which is unlike all our other posts. It’s good to try new things sometimes, right? If you prefer, check out our other blog posts for a regular reading experience.

Michelle Hsu is the Marketing Engagement Coordinator at Trapeze Group where she focuses on content, social media, and marketing operations. She's worked for B2B and B2C startups in various sectors - FinTech, EdTech, and CSR. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from the Rotman Commerce program at the University of Toronto.
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