Issue 6 | September 4, 2018
Welcome Roadrunner Shuttle to our eSource publication and look forward to monthly insights from our newest group. Find out how Roadrunner leads with purpose!
RATP Dev’s Marketing Kit is your resource to increasing ridership in your community through digital marketing, cobranding, marketing analytics and persona analysis. Get the details here.
Waco Transit is honored with the APTA AdWheel Award for their “Anyone, Anywhere” campaign. Read all about it, plus find out which of our leaders were featured in the “Transit Unplugged” podcast.
Are the new wave of motorized scooters in your city here to stay? Some believe they are an emerging mode of transit, but not everyone feels this way. Click here to dive deeper into this topic.
Shuttle services provide convenient and cost-effective options to students and travelers. Find out how shuttle services are providing a first-mile, last-mile transportation option.
Discover the two important types of implicit bias, how they can drive actions in an investigation and the effects it can cause. Learn more here.
To Brick, great leadership is: “The ability to inspire and capture the hearts, minds, and spirit of others, and simplify the means they use to decide and act in pursuit of Extraordinary Goals and Extraordinary Results, with Courage and Confidence.”
Brick Conners, Regional Vice President, Roadrunner, joined RATP Dev USA in in May 2018, in a key leadership position from the recently acquired private transportation firm Roadrunner Shuttle. Brick leverages his 27 years of fighter pilot experience in the US Navy, with his corporate expertise as the CEO of Roadrunner Shuttle. During his tenure at Roadrunner, Brick developed extraordinary talent and enhanced performance levels. He brings a proven track record of developing best in class training and maintenance programs to RATP Dev USA, and is a firm believer in establishing aggressive risk management and continuous improvement.
We are proud to introduce a new monthly article for the eSource! Welcome Roadrunner Shuttle to our publication and look forward to monthly insights from our newest group!
Roadrunner Leads with Purpose
It has been said that in order to win hearts and minds, you have to lead with your heart as well as your mind. This is true when sitting in Dispatch at RATP Dev USA’s recently acquired Roadrunner Shuttle in Camarilllo, CA. Roadrunner’s diverse portfolio of transportation solutions means that in any given day dispatchers are orchestrating the safe connections for:
- Airport Rideshares – picking up grandmas from the airport and shuttling them to see grandchildren for the very first time
- Black Car Services – greeting businessmen and women and delivering them to the most important meetings of their careers
- Specialty Vehicles – providing celebratory services for brides and grooms as they wave farewell and escape on their honeymoon
- Charter Buses – taking groups on educational and adventurous excursions, and school teams to play their biggest rival
- Transit Operations – meeting strict published bus schedules for the commuting public from Santa Barbara, through Ventura and into Los Angeles County
At Roadrunner, we are not just professional, we are personal. We know the mission and understand the impact. It is no surprise, the team aptly embraced the Let’s Connect initiative and is poised to implement many of the exciting innovations that RATP Dev USA delivers. Look for monthly updates from Roadrunner as they brainstorm first and last mile game-changers for the global Innvo&Go Challenge .
Follow Roadrunner’s growth and achievements on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn @rrshuttle.
Roadrunner operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Literally, the door is always open – Let’s Connect!
Marketing Kit: Your Guide to Increased Ridership
Increasing ridership is a strategic area of focus for every transit system nationwide. Today, there are various multimodal options available to riders and the challenge has become how to effectively promote, attract and retain loyal passengers? The answer isn’t as easy as a singular activity that is done one time resulting in a spike in ridership. The answer is marketing on a consistent basis that combines unique ideas to increase interest, broaden awareness and encourage action of potential customers to ride public transportation.
RATP Dev USA understands the importance of creating a strategy and offering insight into the marketing best practices that work in the long-term to sustainably build a consistent increase in ridership. This is the reason we created the Marketing Kit program. We recently concluded the pilot which included ten systems, five courses and four different personas over 90 days; the goal was to identify the most effective ways to build a marketing campaign that are simple to execute and produce results.
The topics included:
As discussed on the August TeamTalks! we appreciate the participation and feedback from the pilot group. Based on the conversations and suggestions made we are preparing to launch the marketing kit program to each system company wide. Having access to a marketing guide/resource is essential to staying competitive and realizing solutions to the ever-growing demand to increase ridership.
It’s no secret that the transit industry is progressing quickly and not only with advancements in technology. New entrants like scooters, bike sharing, TNCs and on-demand opportunities are all added pieces to the bigger transit ecosystem. With effective marketing completed on a weekly basis, ridership can and will increase. The goal is to be consistent and offer value to those in need of your services. Be the solution for your customers and an increase in ridership will be inevitable.
Stay tuned for our Marketing Kits coming soon with best practices you can implement in your System.
Waco Transit System Honored with the 2018 APTA AdWheel Award
Waco Transit System (WTS) has been awarded the 2018 American Public Transportation Association (APTA) AdWheel Award, recognizing their strategic accomplishment through Communications and Marketing. The award will be presented at the AdWheel Grand Awards on Monday, Sept. 24, during the 2018 APTA Annual Meeting in Nashville.
Their “Anyone, Anywhere” campaign included a TV commercial, which aired on a local TV station; and a full-length PSA, which was promoted on social media and shared by local partners. Both were produced in music video format and targeted residents of rural McLennan County. Just three months after launching, WTS saw a 44% increase in rural ridership! The program was so popular and successful that WTS had to hire additional rural transit drivers to meet the growing demand for service.
Blaine Rigler Featured in “Transit Unplugged” Podcast and Metro Magazine
Blaine Rigler joined The Trapeze Group’s Paul Comfort for his August 15, 2018 “Transit Unplugged” podcast. In this insightful conversation, Blaine discusses the personal journey that brought him to RATP Dev USA, and the company’s prosperous journey including how we’re looking to the future. Click on the image to listen to the full podcast!
In addition to his podcast feature, Blaine was also recently featured in a Q&A with Metro Magazine. In this article, Blaine discusses Orbyt, RATP Dev USA’s technology and innovation framework, and the future of RATP Dev USA and transit including MaaS and autonomous technology. Be sure to click the link to read the full article!
We Move People in California
Through our community outreach program, We Move People , RATP Dev USA and Roadrunner proudly supported Cedric the Entertainer’s Annual Celebrity Golf Classic on August 13, 2018. An array of participants including celebrities from sports, film, and television…and a few key team members from Roadrunner…gathered to enjoy a day of golf and raise money for the Boys and Girls Club of Camarillo. This amazing organization provides programs for young people between the ages of six and eighteen to inspire them to realize their full potential. We’re proud to continue to support this annual event!
An Innovative Upgrade to Traditional Scooters
Taking social news feeds, the internet “chattersphere” and cities by storm, motorized scooters are certainly making an impact in the transit network. Similar to the growing popularity of bike shares, motorized scooters are something you happen upon as you walk down the street, sometimes in a gaggle of other scooters, other times, a singular experience. Users walk up to the scooter, snap a picture of the QR code, add payment information and begin their transit experience – charged by cents per minute of usage. These are your traditional ‘push by foot’ scooters with an innovative twist – a motor has been added, GPS tracking, and paired QR code and app technology. As you zip off downtown, or to your nearest bus stop… you are now traveling on yet another mode of transit aiming to answer the first mile, last mile challenge.
But it’s not all fun and games in the motorized scooter business, in fact, many are facing strict backlash from the communities they are trying to enter. In one city, a cease and desist was ordered to one of the major scooter companies, after entering the city with no ‘green light’ from city officials and the transit department. In one day, hundreds of scooters were scattered across the city anywhere and everywhere. Another issue at the center of the debate – no regulations. As this new mode of transit has entered the industry so rapidly, regulations are following. For starters, should motorized scooters take to the busy city streets and obey traffic laws, or are they small enough to be allowed on the sidewalk with pedestrians. And how should local authorities address vandalism of the scooters? An odd theme emerging from this new trend is the destruction of these scooters – individuals have been dismantling them, throwing them in bodies of water, up in to trees, and more.
There are still questions left unanswered leaving cities in a state of flux: on one hand, you’re providing passengers with additional transit options, but on the other hand, are they safe to introduce to the transit ecosystem this early? Join the debate and follow the progress the motorize scooter companies make – it will surely be one that impacts the transit world as innovators try to connect individual transit experiences in to one connected system. Where ride shares, bike shares, and shuttle services were once the ‘new, hip’ ride, scooters have made their mark.
Interested in the motorized scooters? Read our blog, “Innovative Transit: Electric Scooters” - where we dive deeper in to this emerging mode of transit.
Shuttle Services Provide First-Mile, Last-Mile Options to Students and Travelers
There’s been a lot of talk recently about innovative solutions to the first-mile, last-mile challenge. New options, including microtransit offerings, are emerging but many people still strongly rely on traditional fixed-route shuttle services to provide them with flexible, affordable, and convenient rides. Whether a rider’s need is to or from the airport, or transportation around a university campus, shuttles continue to serve the riding public with smaller scale options where other forms of mass transit are not offered or are inconvenient.
For students, one of the most important services shuttles offer is safety. They are a convenient and reliable way for students to get around campus at night, particularly if they are alone. But university shuttles offer many more benefits to students and faculty including transportation to class, running errands, and getting to their job or appointments. On game days, patrons are provided with options to make it to the game without the hassle of traffic and struggling to find parking. The game-day shuttles often operate for hours before and after game time transporting thousands of people safely to the game and then back again to their cars or campus.
Airport shuttles are reliable and cost-effective options that transport the passenger between the airport and the destination of their choice, while eliminating the hassle of parking at an airport, not to mention the outrageous cost many airport parking facilities charge. A lot of hotels even offer complimentary shuttle services to and from the airport; a benefit many appreciate! Let’s face it, travel can be stressful. If you’re new to a city, your shuttle driver will often offer suggestions for dining, entertainment, and navigating the city they know so well.
Shuttles service providers strive to create an outstanding customer experience every time. Converting first-time passengers into long-term, loyal, and happy riders is the ultimate goal. Accessibility, transparency, and technology are the reasons that shuttles will continue to gain ridership. Making the offerings easily available to passengers through convenient locations and schedules, ensuring you are the primary source of information that the passenger turns to for their transit options, and providing technology that allows them to easily use an app to book and track their shuttle, will ensure you convert your first-time passengers into delighted riders who gladly sing your praises – and bring you new customers.
As we look to the future, we may well see these shuttles become autonomous. Universities and similar areas are beginning to test fixed-route autonomous shuttles. Keep your eye out for these and try them out when you find one!
Managing Implicit Bias in an Investigation
Implicit biases refer to biases that we are not really aware of—at least not at the time they affect our behavior. Having implicit biases does not make you a bad person; that’s one of the first things to keep in mind. Everyone has them. They are one category within a broader range of unconscious behavior that drives our actions.
There are many types of implicit bias, but two of them are particularly important for investigators. The first is affinity bias. Affinity bias, sometimes called “in-group” bias, is interesting because it is not entirely unconscious. We are all aware of our affinities for certain groups or individuals with whom we share common characteristics: a region we come from, a university we attended, a religion we share, an ethnic or cultural heritage, etc. What we need to address as investigators is the unconscious element of affinity bias that inevitably sneaks into our work in three contexts:
- Bias of the interviewer in conducting an interview
- Bias of the interviewee being interviewed
- Bias of the investigator in evaluating representations made by others (starting with the initial allegation)
Affinity bias can have a significant detrimental effect on interviews, since both interviewer and interviewee bring implicit biases into the room. At its most extreme, this can lead to incorrect conclusions regarding the honesty or dishonesty of an interviewee. But even if affinity bias doesn’t have that dramatic of an impact, there are more subtle influences it can have. There is a natural tendency to shorten discussions and move along too quickly when we are uncomfortable, and we tend to be most comfortable around people we have the most in common with. And the discomfort is not likely something we are consciously aware of. But it’s there.
Where this most significantly harms interviews is in the rapport-building stages. Affinity bias can be a significant barrier to building rapport, an essential component of informational interviewing. However, having a lot in common with the interviewee can result in a level of comfort that can lead to being less observant of behavioral anomalies and signs of deception from an interviewee.
The good news is that the acknowledgment of affinity bias really is more than half the battle. Then, taking action to compensate for it is not terribly difficult. For example, when interviewing someone with whom you have little in common, you may need to make a more deliberate effort to find the common ground and to establish a good tone. Plan for it accordingly by preparing carefully for your interviews. And remind yourself periodically, “What action should I take to counter affinity bias in the next interview?” You’ll find by taking these simple steps, you’ll be a more consistent and thorough interviewer.
The second type of bias that can tarnish investigations is confirmation bias, which is the natural tendency to seek out or interpret information in a manner that supports an existing hypothesis or belief. This one is trickier to deal with than affinity bias. It is entirely unconscious and very natural.
Confirmation bias can affect an investigation from the outset. Many investigators think that their job is to find fraud, corruption, and noncompliance. Then, an allegation comes in. You already have two strikes against your impartiality. First, you should view your job as “fact finder.” It’s not as sexy as fraud or corruption finder, but it’s important. Then, in connection with the allegation, you have to view your role as equal parts clearing the individual and proving the allegation. Let the facts fall where they may.
Confirmation bias also creeps into an investigation after it has begun, sometimes very early. How it manifests itself in this stage is that an investigator develops a hypothesis (e.g., who did it, how they did it) based on early evidence. The investigator then begins interpreting all additional evidence in a manner that supports the hypothesis, sometimes even ignoring conflicting evidence (this variation is sometimes called bounded awareness).
Again, it is perfectly natural to do this. We all do it. Yes, even investigators. A key point here is that nobody is naturally impartial. We have to take specific actions to “become” impartial or, more accurately, offset the effects of our natural confirmation bias.
Trying to refrain from developing a hypothesis too early can help, but it is sometimes impossible. Instead, one good technique is to occasionally make a conscious effort to poke holes in your hypothesis, consider where it could be wrong, and even temporarily assume it is wrong. It’s helpful to write down alternative hypotheses or possible problems with the current theory.
Along the same lines is a concept known as reverse proof, which refers to testing every alternative hypothesis. By proving each one wrong, hopefully, your original hypothesis is proven to be the only one that has not been disproven. The reverse proof approach is useful in investigations involving a lot of indirect (circumstantial) evidence, although it is certainly not limited to such cases.
Another technique, albeit one that might not be possible in smaller organizations, is to have an independent reviewer of the case file. These fresh looks at a case can reveal new theories or identify gaps in logic.
There are many other important steps to becoming unbiased, too many for this article. But they all begin with the acknowledgment that everyone has implicit biases, and offsetting those bias’ takes much more than saying, “I’ll be impartial.”
Adapted from an article written by Gerry Zack with the “Compliance and Ethics Blog”. Further reading can be found at: http://complianceandethics.org/investigators-must-account-for-implicit-bias/