Para Transpo information session and workshop: workshop feedback

Feedback Received

Please note, this document contains all of the questions and feedback received from workshop participants. All comments were transcribed word-for-word.

Question #1

With online booking, there will be advance booking, meaning more than one day in advance. What number of days do you think works best?

Recommended Session 1 Session 2 Comments
2 days 1    
3 days 13 4  
7 days 14 5  
14 days 2 1  
Other 1 1 Same day bookings, up to 6 weeks in advance for special events
All of the above 1    

Comments received

Session 1

  • Online would be welcomed; however, still need a default system for phone requests to complement / supplement online booking.
  • Is it only the 14th day, or between the booking and 14 days?
  • # of days = 7 days because sometimes, with doctor's appointment, you may know a week ahead.
  • Advanced booking - stay as it is now.
  • 3 days ahead for regular would be awesome. Specialist or special appointments - in order to book ahead would be awesome. For some it may be complicated to use the online booking, however, we hope you will make an opportunity for those who do not have access, to book.
  • Advanced booking already being done for statutory holidays. If you want another booking made for something special that came up, or would you be red flagged and not able to make the adjustment?
  • Too long, I will forget; too short, may miss medical appointments.
  • 3 days ahead for regular booking , 7 days for specialist, doctors or traveling by plane or train.
  • 2 if there’s more than 2 days I may forget because I am too busy.
  • This would help hospital facility to do advance booking.
  • 3 days for a trial. 1 advance booking in addition to 24 hour bookings
  • Online booking should be optional and telephone booking maintained.
  • At most, 3 day advance booking, and this should apply to telephone booking also. Up to 3 advance bookings.
  • 14 days clogs up systems – see London ON and Kingston as examples
  • 7 days as a tourism bonus for out of towners.
  • Agreement for 3 – 7 days. Not 14 days. We have some concerns that could affect efficiency:
    • Re: on-line cancellations. This needs to be developed in-line with the automated advance booking system. Can it accommodate changes (for example. If you have a regular booking and cannot cancel more than 2 days in advance, what will happen if you try to book a trip 3 – 7 days in advance that conflicts with pre-booked trips)?
  • People with health appointments need to be able to book in advance (on demand). These rides and their purpose are not discretionary i.e. these request are need-driven, not want/wish driven. For hospitals and specialist appointments, patients may wait up to 18 months for their appointments
  • The more “advance notice” of bookings, the better (hopefully) the rescheduling of drivers trips will be. One month (30 days) and unlimited trips. Drawback is the further ahead one books, the greater the possibility of cancellation.
  • Want to prevent too many advance bookings that end up being cancelled or prevent others from making bookings.
  • Everyone should have the opportunity to choose their planned daily outings too. (Tout le monde devrait avoir la possibilité de choisir au quotidien leurs sorties prévoir aussi.)
  • I believe that 7 days of advance booking would work.

Session 2

  • Do we receive immediate notification of confirmed booking? Or is there a wait period to know you are confirmed for a run?
  • If I know about a doctor’s appointment (or have theatre tickets) 6 weeks in advance, I would like to book Para Transpo at that time.
  • More than 3 days is not necessary. No problem remembering this time.
  • 3 days – you have a good idea of weather
  • Could be longer than 3 days, only when online booking accessible more fairly
  • 3 days for both phone and online.
  • Should be a dual system – both online and usual cancellation phone line to assist with glitches online or special circumstances.
  • Online booking works on the current GPS system that is a failure, so why would an online system be an improvement based on the current GPS. GPS system needs to be revamped.
  • Online booking may avoid waiting on phones but does not change being scheduled for bad runs.
  • Would like to have the online system that does away with days. Would like to be able to book in less than 24 hours, such as emergency appointments/doctor’s appointments.
  • I am a customer who does not use a computer. Would like the same option for someone who uses the telephone.

How many non-subscription advance bookings should a customer be allowed? Why? And why not?

Recommended Session 1 Session 2 Comments
1 per day 1    
3 per day 13 4  
4 per day 4 2 Current level
3 per week 2 1  
5 per week 1    
6 per week 1   3 round trips per week
8 per week 1   4 round trips per week
12 per week 1   6 round trips per week
20 per week 1   5 to 10 round trips per week
"Limited" 2    
Unlimited 5 5  
Other   1 Unlimited for medical

Comments received

Session 1

Session 2

  • Limited /month
  • Limited depending on situation
  • People should be allowed to book as needed/wanted regardless of number IF room is available.
  • This question needs more in depth discussion. Question is too broad – what are the parameters of the question?
  • unlimited. Why should it be limited?
  • For tonight’s presentation, we knew in advance, and therefore the users could have booked in advance. (Comme pour la presentation de ce soir, on le savait d’avance donc les usagers auraient pur réserver d’avance.)
  • This will allow people, who really need the services for important appointments to book and not to worry about not being able to get to their medical appointment. Example: if there will be a limit it should be on monthly basis.
  • Would prefer not to have a limitation of number of days. If there is an availability, then I book. Perhaps a limitation of how many bookings I can perform – no more than 3 in a week period.
  • As many as may be required especially when it comes to appointments. Possibly 3.
  • 3 round trips per week (that would cover trips to doctor’s appointments).
  • Unlimited.
  • I do not think there should be a limit at all, other than what is feasible for that customer.
  • 4 round trips per week to cover any unexpected trips or doctor’s appointments.
  • Do you mean return trips or single? If return, 2.
  • 5-10 return trips would be ideal /week. Consider doctor appointments, church, banking, groceries, friends, or someone who works casual and has different meetings, different places and days.
  • The number of non-subscription (demand) advance bookings that clients should be allowed is six (6) round-trip bookings in a week.
  • Unlimited – life circumstances can change (health, i.e. cancer treatments).
  • No limit to non-subscription bookings if more resources or assurance of less misuse of the system can be guaranteed.
  • I think two should work.
  • Working, doctor’s appointments and volunteer, then another 4 for leisure.
  • Depends on the type of bookings. It is okay to make advance bookings for doctor/medical appointments. Should have a medical phone line if you have a doctor/medical appointment
  • People have life challenges that come up; it may require more non-subscription bookings. Illness that requires a lot of appointments.
  • Unlimited non-subscription.

Question #2

Booking reminders: a) If booking is further than 1 day in advance, will a reminder be required?

Recommended Session 1 Session 2 Comments
Yes 4 4  
No 1 1  
If more than 7 days 1 2  
Depends on User 1 1  

Comments received

Session 1

  • For 7 days or less – No (but option should be available). For more than 7 days – Yes.
  • Especially for those who suffer from memory problems
  • If more than 1 day in advance, should offer a reminder by phone or email. Would improve efficiency.
  • Not for all passengers, but for some. Probably wise to remind everyone.
  • No, it should automatically be sent to a calendar. If yes, text or email.

Session 2

  • Depends on the individual.
  • Yes, the previous day, a call (recorded) to remind the customer.
  • Reminders in general are good for the system.
  • It might be nice to have a reminder the day before.
  • No, unless required maybe email

Received by e-mail

  • Yes a reminder is required. Especially for those with memory problems.

b) If yes, what type of reminders would work best for you?

Recommended Session 1 Session 2 Comments
Phone message 10 3  
E-mail 12 3  
Text 6 1  
Other 2 2 Smartphone app, "ICAL" link, Messenger

Comments received

Session 1

  • Introduction of phone system
  • Yes, automated phone message, or the manner specified on my profile.
  • There should be an option to choose automated message or email
  • Emails are not as easily deleted, so a reminder by email is great
  • Elderly patients would appreciate a phone call; younger population would use email or text.
  • Suggestion phone app - how long does it take driver to get there.
  • A reminder would be helpful
  • Should be client preference and specific.
  • Any way, but phone message came first.
  • Could ask part-time users if they want reminders.
  • Once solution could be seeking permission to add a note to individual files who need/wants a reminder and how to be reminded, and who does not need/want reminders. This can be a case-by-case approach dependent on a passenger’s specific need for accommodation.
  • Are there reminders now? A “no show” is a “no show” – move on to the next trip.
  • Every rider needs to take responsibility. An ICAL link would be nice. Email and text reminders.
  • A one or two day reminder via the email or an automated phone message would be best.

Session 2

  • Concerned about people in nursing homes as they rely on others to make the call to Para. May not be able to call until 9am
  • Workers for people with developmental disabilities need to be on the system too.
  • Customer chooses if they get it by email, phone or text, or all three or combination.
  • Customer chooses if they want a reminder
  • Track your Para app?
  • Phone app estimated time, bus how far away – will free up the phones.
  • Should have a choice of reminder options – depends on the nature of a person’s barrier or disability.
    • Automated phone / email – provide both options and allow customer to select.
  • Do we receive immediate conformation of a booking? Or is there a waiting period in order for scheduler to group clients together?
  • The type of reminder should be the choice of the client. There should not be a standard option.
  • I am a customer who writes down everything. This is not required for me.
  • Using either an app or phone message or computer, or other method depending on customers needs.
  • Ultimately, keeping track of bookings is the customer’s responsibility and staff should not be spending too much time doing this. Automated phone or e-reminders are possibly helpful after 2-3 days, but must be automated.
  • Only remind when specifically requested.
  • Automated phone message or email as appropriate to the customer. Some of us cannot use the phone due to hearing loss. Some of us cannot use/don’t have a computer. Email or text would work best for me, due to my severe hearing loss.

Received by e-mail

  • Email is one of the preferred methods, next one is text and call.
  • If driver has cell phone number of person who is waiting, they can call instead of us calling. Frustration would be reduced. Outbound calls. This would be a follow up to online booking. Vehicles are equipped with GPS however taxis do not have great GPS right now.

Question #3

Para Transpo has a diverse customer base, and many of them are not able to use a computerized system.

Barriers include (but are not limited to):

• Lack of computer skills
• Cognitive skills
• Financial barriers (no computer, no internet, no cell phone)

Can you identify any other barriers people may face if an online system were introduced?

Comments recived

Session 1

  • Language barriers (different language if % is high), physical barriers (there should be voice command).
  • Physical: Arthritis in the fingers prevent my mom from many computer entries.
  • Blindness: My mother is loosing her sight rapidly, and using electronics is difficult.
  • Lack of literacy skills, lack of help (no assistance), lack of or low fine motor skills, “fancy wording” making it difficult to understand.
  • Might be complicated for some elderlies or someone with a mental illness. Best for them to speak with a person.
  • Motor functions/physical ability, temporary visual problems, language, complexity of the booking system.
  • Internet is down
  • Physical barriers/motor functions
  • Severe physical disability (stroke, quadriplegic, ALS)
  • Many cannot use online and will be left out.
  • If errors are made in advance bookings, how will they be handled?
  • Language
  • Visually impaired, hearing impaired.
  • Physical disabilities – unable to use computer
  • No additional barriers if dual system is kept in place.
  • Many people have workers, family and friends who can book for them.
  • Have phone bookings because they will not have massive calls before online booking.
  • Library.
  • System breakdown, dexterity, visual impairment.
  • If the online system itself is not accessible (for example if it cannot be used with a screen reader or if it is difficult to click/select options or it “times out” too quickly)
  • Scheduling (example: at work/school and cannot make booking during required time).
  • Precision of typing (Precision du doigté)
  • Voice interface to couteract the possibility of manual typing (Adaptation vocale pour contrer la non possibilité d’appuyer manuellement)
  • Skype, FaceTime, model to allow people to read books / sites not easily understood. (Skype, facetime, modèle pour luteutre et lire les livres d’une personne non facilement coupreheusive.)
  • Temporary or permanent visual impairments.
  • Language barriers, given the growing numbers of new Canadians.
  • Manual dexterity impairments, which make the use of hands difficult or impossible.
  • Downtimes of an ISP.

Session 2:

  • Memory not the best.
  • Even if the member has a computer – it may not be reliable to work properly.
  • People may not be able to use a computer keyboard
  • Internet security issues – false bookings. What is a fair way of prioritization? (online vs. phone)
  • Illiterate (learning disability or intellectual disability)
  • Visibly impaired.
  • Visual impairments
  • Over the phone is easiest – can ask for repetition or clarification.
  • Computer training to use online booking.
  • Language
  • Language – foreign language might be stronger than English or French.
  • Educational – illiteracy – client may not have strong enough reading and writing skills (lack of education)
  • System too complicated.
  • Web/computer is simply many more steps than picking up the phone.
  • Language – Arabic
  • Lack of physical ability to type. Parkinson’s. ALS. Cerebral Palsy. Visual disabilities.
  • System down (Para or at home).
  • No access because in hospital or welled walled building, school, meeting
  • Shared computer.
  • Over burden of system
  • Language barriers
  • Backup system to online system
  • Privacy concerns over booking places (anxiety booking to bars/clubs, special events). Unauthorized people trying to check (family, friends, etc..).
  • Ability to create own password for privacy
  • Authorized people to check bookings/online system.
  • Would need a computer with voice recognition.
  • For people with developmental disabilities Passport Funding is available.
  • Funding available through CNIB

Received by E-Mail

  • Maybe they don’t have comp or not comf using it. I said- online system is accessible. Blind may not be able to fill out screen buttons too close together. Ensure website is accessible. Maybe if people could use public areas like the library- access to computer. Someone touched on not enough time to make cancellation. Ensure that there is no time outs during online system.

Question #4

How do you recommend overcoming these barriers?

Options include (but are not limited to):

• Allowing phone booking to start 2 hours prior to online booking
• Creating a phone IVR booking system (will only book to certain select addresses)

Options Session 1 Session 2 Comments
Phone booking start 2 hours prior 3 3  
Phone IVR booking system 3 3  
Assign a % of bookings to each of online or phone 1    
Have computer kiosks at malls or libraries 1    
FaceTime or Skype 1    

Comments received

Session 1

  • Why phone and online separate times? Should be parallel
  • Case by case accommodations. Could be contentious as perceived as unfair to some.
  • Assign a % of bookings to on-line booking and a % to phone bookings.
  • Have kiosk in malls in City Facility, library.
  • 3-way system: access internet, get a line over the phone, FaceTime (face to face)
  • 2-hour head start ok.
  • Phone bookings should start 2 hours prior to online bookings.
  • Still to maintain the phone system, both internet and phone should run in parallel.

Session 2

  • Be careful that this doesn’t get overwhelmed.
  • If phone booking starts 2 hours before online booking, but you cannot get through or you may be #30 in line.
  • Extend to 2.5 hours in advance.
  • Top 5 + 10 (for IVR)

Can you recommend any other ways to overcome these barriers?

Comments received

Session 1

  • Once again priority should be given to necessary appointments like medical, work, school, should be eligible 3 days prior of booking only. Other booking should only be eligible after this one day prior to the trip.
  • Profiles include identifying how the client will perform bookings (on-line vs. phone – cannot use both).
  • Again with a live person on the phone.
  • Suspension not a good idea, warning is better.
  • Ask permission to input individual files to note need for accommodation on a case-by- case basis.
  • No additional barriers identified.
  • Phone booking should be allowed for selected (pre-identified) customers. Adhering to W3C accessibility standards at the AA level.
  • Ensure the online system is WCAG compliant (i.e. adheres to standards for accessible design).
  • Ensure user has enough time to complete booking (i.e. more than 10 minutes).
  • Register the preferred locations of the person in advance (Enregistré les endroits préférés de la personne en avance)
  • Colour code if the person cannot read, pictograms (Code de couleurs si la personne ne sait pas lire, pictogramnes)
  • Users able to help others could help others (Les usagerss en mesure d’aider les autres pouraient aider d’autres.)
  • Creating a telephone IVR booking option for those in need. Also it is important for clients to get through and not wait inordinate lengths of time on the telephone. Long wait times on the telephone engender great anxiety and frustration for clients already facing enormous medical challenges.

Session 2

  • Easy to use app (mobile and consumer friendly)
  • We need to have flexibility – start with 2 hours prior phone bookings but make changes as required.
  • When member books a trip send email/phone message to remind them.
  • Allows have both phone and online bookings available.
  • For those customers that cannot use keyboard ensure phone bookings are available.
  • Make sure online bookings are secured to avoid security issues.
  • Calculate the average number of people who use Para when it is busiest. Are enough drivers and purchase enough vehicles so that everyone has a ride and no one is left without a ride.
  • Also Para Transpo staff need to meet with Gatineau’s system to find out how their online booking system works. Invite Toronto, Hamilton, Kingston, Montreal, York Region, Victoria for a conference call to find out how their online booking systems works.
  • Continue with phone bookings as well as online
  • Training to use computer program.
  • Workshop training to use computer booking system or app (small training groups)
  • Language, 911 system (OPP) has 27 languages.
  • I don’t like this (creating a phone IVR booking system), what if one day my computer crashes?
  • First option, as the phone is more accessible than web. This is a more level playing field. Customers must be able to phone in advance (7am – 9am). Continually monitor access to different systems every few years to ensure fairness.
  • Alternate idea is to block off certain number of trips for phone only or online only bookings, again for fairness.
  • Two phone lines
    • Requirements i.e. medical appointments/work
    • Flexible needs – recreational opportunities, errands, family visits, etc.
  • Medical/work/school appointments should be given priority over flexible events like shopping or social events.
  • Can someone book on your behalf?
  • Get rid of the separation between 7am and 9am booking options.
  • Bicameral system – have both online and phone system for each customer’s need.
  • 50% of seats for each system.
  • Evaluate at end of one year as to if that is the proper balance.
  • John Manconi at last Transit Commission meeting “one size does not fit all.”
  • Have phone line start at same time – equal access.
  • IVR 5 + 10 top bookings
  • Text/messenger

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