Make system maintenance response time and local presence a priority when selecting a systems integrator.
Ventura County’s experience with an transit fare collection system integration.
The systems integrator (Echelon) for this project was located approximately 100 miles from the demonstration site. The operators reported that they felt the systems integrator was not able to respond quickly to agency needs and emergencies. Additionally, operators reported that the systems integrator scheduled too many appointments during scheduled site visits, and therefore could not sufficiently address and resolve the operator's problems. Moreover, the operators reported that the systems integrator often did not carry the necessary equipment to perform the repairs. Many times the integrator would travel back to the office to find the proper equipment. Consequently, operators became frustrated with the inability of the integrator to provide timely maintenance and technical support.
The systems integrator must have a local presence to effectively service the transit operators. Excessive maintenance response time can negate any potential benefits to be derived from the smart card program. The systems integrator should have an inventory of replacement parts, which are available nearby on a just-in-time basis. It is essential that these expectations be clearly defined in the procurement and reiterated as the project is launched.
U.S. DOT/RITA/John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Ventura County Transportation Commission
805-642-1591 ext 103
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
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