Logon Before or After Run Time
For Fixed-end logons, the validation process for logging on ensures that the operator selects an active run. Consequently, logon attempts will fail if they are performed too early. By default, the earliest valid time is 30 minutes before the scheduled pullout time. Generally, Avail recommends that vehicles do not begin their runs more than 15 minutes before the scheduled time, however, there are times when the operator will log on between the earliest valid logon time and the recommended logon time. For these cases, the MDT displays a warning, as shown below:
Press the button to continue the logon process. Avail recommends that operators wait until the start time to begin the trip to avoid any issues.
myAvail also verifies whether the run is still active at logon time. If it is more than one second after the end time of the final trip, the MDT displays the warning below:
In most cases, entering the incorrect run or block ID number causes this warning. If that is the case, press the button and log on using the correct run or block ID number.
Block File Download
For Fixed-end logons, the myAvail in-vehicle application utilizes detailed information pertaining to each vehicle assigned Block, like trip times, stop locations, and stop announcements. myAvail stores this detailed information in Block specific data files. At operator logon, the myAvail system determines which data file a vehicle must use based on the logged-on Run or Block number, the time of day, and the day of the week. For example, operator J. Doe is assigned to Run 10 on Monday, which has a 6:00 AM run piece and a 4:00 PM run piece, where each Run is assigned to two different vehicles. In this case, myAvail knows to use two different Block data files for each vehicle that the operator logs on to.
If any changes at all are made to the blocks (new stops, moved stops, modified trip times, new announcements), the backend system will generate new block data files for the affected blocks. The backend will then download new block data files to all vehicles via a wireless Local Area Network (LAN). Typically, these file downloads occur days before the new block changes go into effect.
Sometimes though, operators log on to vehicles that may not have the new Block data files. When the myAvail system detects out-of-date block data files, it will automatically trigger the download of the correct files from the backend. In this scenario, if the MDT is at the home screen shortly after logon, and before the new file has already been downloaded, the Home screen will display a message similar to the image below: File(s) Being Downloaded. If the operator waits too long to go to the MDT Home screen after logon, they may miss the download process, which is perfectly OK.
The download process can occur while the operator provides service. Unless directed by dispatch, operators should not delay their service to allow the file transfer to complete. After the download is complete, the system automatically begins tracking the operator’s schedule adherence and displays the vehicle in myStop (the web and phone applications). However, if enough time is available, it is preferable for the vehicle to start the run after the file download is complete.
After the logon process completes, the system automatically does the following:
- Displays the schedule for the run/paddle on the MDT.
- Sets the Headsign for the proper destination.
- Logs the operator on the farebox and sets the proper values based on run, route, direction, and trip and changes these values as needed.
- Uses the automated announcement system and internal signs throughout the run to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- If your agency uses the optional MDT Screen Lockout functionality, most softkeys on the MDT will be disabled when the vehicle exceeds a configurable speed.