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Adopting New Technologies

Shirley Cummins, Executive Director for Rural Transit Enterprises Coordinated, Inc. (RTEC) announced they have entered into a contract with Avail Technologies to update 140 vehicles with Mobile Data Terminals (MDT’s). The funds for the new equipment and technology were made possible through a Grant.

Avail Technologies is the successful bidder following RTEC’s request for proposals for Automatic Vehicle Locators (AVLs) and the mobile data computer equipment. Bids were reviewed in March and the contract was awarded in April this year, beginning with the Proof-of-Concept to be certain that the proposed equipment would be effective in the rural area of Southeast Kentucky.

The Proof-of-Concept was completed in June at RTEC’s office in Mount Vernon. During this test RTEC was able to test the units in the field and track the vehicles from the office. RTEC was very pleased with the outcome of the test and the ability of the units! Over the next couple of months TranSched and Digital Dispatch Systems (DDS) will complete the interface between their software and hardware. Once the interface is complete, installation of the units will begin. The next phase of the project is a 30-unit vehicle test before installing equipment in 110 vehicles, the final phase of the project.

Avail Technologies contracted to install DDS MC 1790 Windows CE device. This is a very practical size device with a color touch screen that also provides mapping capabilities to the vehicle operators. TranSched will interface the current scheduling and dispatching software TransView. Avail will enlist installation and support of the mobile units through Wilson & Deal Communications of Somerset. For data transfer, RTEC will be using Cellular Digital Packet Data, otherwise known as CDPD, provided by Cellular One. Besides having the ability to provide up-to-date information on vehicle locations for clients, the use of MDT’s will also provide RTEC with a more accurate reporting capability. RTEC is very excited to be working with Avail and are eager to get the vehicles installed with the MDT’s and provide our clients with the best transportation available.

RTEC anticipates that by the beginning of the New Year to have vehicles installed with the MC 1790’s and data transfer-taking place. The MDT will provide accurate odometer readings (or mileage) and accurate vehicle location, as well as Latitude, Longitude and current speed. The interface between the MDT and RTEC’s TransView software will immediately update the software on no-shows or instantly let drivers know of cancellations without voice contact from dispatch.

Check back often to see the latest changes in technologies taking place at RTEC.