Wolf Administration Project to Improve Operations, Customer Service at 32 Transit Systems while Adding Jobs at Pennsylvania Company
State College, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) held an event today to announce it has chosen Avail Technologies Inc. of State College, Pa., to implement a Fixed Route Intelligent Transportation System (FRITS) for 32 transit systems that will offer real-time service information for passengers, flexible fare payment options, and enhanced transit planning.
The company currently employs 92 people, 81 of whom work at the State College headquarters, and anticipates a 10 to 20 percent staff increase because of this and other recent contracts.
“We are using data to improve our operations and customer service throughout the department, and we’re excited to expand our efforts in improving transit services,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said of the event. “This project will enhance transit agencies’ data collection and reporting while improving communications with staff and customers.”
In addition to the service improvements that customers will see, the enhancements will assist with monitoring vehicles’ condition, automatically count passengers boarding or leaving vehicles, and provide a statewide reporting database for the department and transit agencies.
“The way that people use and interact with transportation services is changing, and that includes public transportation,” PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Toby Fauver said at the event. “Better data and technology ultimately improves efficiency and meets customer needs.”
The nearly $35.7 million, five-year project will begin this spring and installation is estimated to occur over three years. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority and Port Authority of Allegheny County are not included in the project because of their significant time and resources invested in their own similar systems.
“Avail is thrilled to be working with PennDOT and our state transit agencies to deploy the nation’s first statewide Fixed Route Intelligent Transportation System solution, which will create a common technology platform across all agencies to facilitate new operational standards and a level of operational data analysis that has never been seen before,” said Avail Technologies Inc. President and CEO Dorsey E. Houtz. “The FRITS project will be watched very closely by other states and again, Avail is thrilled to be on the team that will make PA the nation’s shining star of technology adoption in fixed route transit.”
With nearly two decades of nationwide experience serving the transit industry, Avail Technologies is pioneering total transit solutions and offers products for CAD/AVL, Passenger Information Systems, Finance Management, Payroll Processing, Human Resources, Inventory Management, Maintenance, Asset Management, Procurement Management, Operations, Planning/Scheduling, Statistical Reporting Management, as well as federal, state and National Transit Database (NTD) reporting. The company also has an office in Las Vegas, Nev.