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Challenges and opportunities for faith-based transportation services

Challenges and opportunities for faith-based transportation services

Faith-based organizations provide essential services to communities large and small across North America.  Shining examples of such organizations are Jewish family services, Catholic Charities, Lutheran family services, Methodist family services, Latter Day Saints, and many others. Their core purpose is to provide human-care services that empower children, adults, and families to improve their lives. One of the most critical needs is that of transportation whether it be for employment, the elderly, disabled, or special needs community. The Covid19 pandemic altered the landscape of providing transportation services enabling new challenges but also presenting new opportunities in the post-pandemic world.  In this article, we’ll take a look at what new things might be interesting to leverage and where improvements in the old could make for a better service.

Volunteer drivers are typically the lifeblood of organizations doing good for the community. Respecting their needs, and wants and also coordinating with what your organization needs are a never-ending balance. Today’s modern volunteer-based organizations understand that this balance can happen with the use of digital and software tools. But it’s just not about having a scheduling and communication tool that matches volunteer time with clients’ needs and requests, it is about having a deeper and more meaningful connection with both the volunteer and client. Having great volunteer managers and coordinators allow this to happen but these types of people are harder to come by and even harder to train. SPEDSTA has taken a different approach to this age-old challenge and has introduced a new way to engage with your community by using Machine Learning and AI to interpret the community data that you already generating. By looking and sifting through the data, we can identify those volunteer drivers that are most productive to your organization and also identify any trends in client satisfaction. The idea is to use your data in a way that identifies trouble spots and bright spots and then encourages in real-time a way to improve your services.

Transportation by necessity needs to use expensive and hard-to-maintain assets like buses, vans, and sedans to transport clients. With fuel costs at all-time highs, it is becoming critical to allow volunteer drivers the ability to provide rides in the most fuel-efficient way.  Using smart scheduling tools that leverage GPS locations, home locations and proximity to pickup/dropoff locations allows for that to happen. SPEDSTA’s nuanced software platform has a host of mapping and navigation tools that can be leveraged to allow your volunteers to make the most impact with the lowest dollar hit on their wallets.

 When providing other services such as lunch programs, meal delivery, bus transportation and other types of transportation having automatic route planning is critical to get the most rides completed at the lowest cost. SPEDSTA responded to this challenge by creating multiple automatic route planning tools all in one platform. As your program responds to the ever-changing needs of your community, SPEDSTA’s flexible software platform changes and grows with you.