Dispatch SOP 012: Route Monitoring & Operator Relief


This procedure provides information for Dispatchers to use the CAD/AVL system to monitor active routes and monitor service delivery throughout the day. This procedure assumes the schedule has been pushed to the on-board CAD/AVL system (See SP-001-01). The process covers monitoring alerts, changing operators and vehicles, monitoring relief operations, reporting incidents, using Decision Support tools, and managing detours.    

Operational Impact and Metrics

Operational Impact: The CAD/AVL system streamlines a number of common dispatch tasks during service and helps identify and address problems as routes are run; to efficiently provide relief operators or replacement vehicles as necessary. By having access to yard maps, operator information, vehicle status information, Decision Support tools, and various monitoring alerts, dispatchers can respond quickly to route status concerns. 

Metrics: On-time performance, vehicle capacity, vehicle health, needed service adjustments, and bus bunching on route 


ITS  Intelligent Transportation Systems 
CAD/AVL  Computer-Aided Dispatch and Automatic Vehicle Location 
Block  All the routes run by a vehicle 
MDT  Mobile Data Terminal 


Continuous while vehicles are in revenue service 

Roles and Responsibilities

Implementation of this SOP is primarily the responsibility of “Dispatchers”, or whichever transit agency staff are directly responsible for assigning drivers to vehicles, assigning vehicles to routes, and monitoring vehicles in operation. Supervisory personnel should be familiar with these procedures to support the Dispatchers. Vehicle Operator responsibilities for monitoring information while in service are covered in SP-021-01. Road Supervisors' responsibilities for route monitoring and operator relief are covered in the parallel SP-050-01.


Route Monitoring  

  1. Utilize the badges on the “tabs” within myAvail to monitor route status
  2. On-time performance 
  3. Vehicle capacity  
  4. Bus bunching on route
  5. Route status tab – good, monitor, attention required  
  6. Monitor communication with operators from the Communication tab 
  7. Review and respond to canned messages from operators (where applicable)
  8. Respond to request to talk from operators 
  9. Respond immediately to emergency alarms from operators 
  10. Monitor Maintenance tab for VHM alerts, priority 1s (vehicle health monitoring alert - 1's are highest priority alerts)
  11. Utilize the Timeline tab to review a vehicle's schedule for the day and its analyze route information  
  12. Utilize Decision Support tools for service adjustment needs
  13. Respond to events as necessary per agency SOP 

Decision Support Tools

Decision Support tools are easily accessed through the right-click function from the Operations screen in myAvail or in the Operations product suite in ETMS. These tools allow dispatch to make adjustments to scheduled service, while also tagging incidents and service deviation entries, where needed. Right-click a vehicle record, or from a vehicle on the map, the Status tab, an Event or Communication, etc.. 

Frequency: Use Decision Support tools for the following scenarios throughout a service day:

  1. Use 'Replace Vehicle' for vehicles that are unable to continue performing service
  2. Add a 'Platoon Vehicle' for overcrowded vehicles
  3. Add a 'Helper Vehicle' to get service running very late back on track
  4. Use 'Cancel Service' for service that cannot be performed
  5. Use 'Discharge Only' for vehicles at capacity/ are full

Change Operator

  1.  From “Yard Map Grids” tab, use the drag-and-drop method to assign an available operator from “Extra Board” to the desired run (on the Pullout tab)
  2. Or select a new operator from the 'operator assignment column' drop-down menu on the “Pull Out” tab then notify the operator of the new assignment  

Change Vehicle

Use Decision Support tools or manage from the Pullout tab

  1. Operator reports issue or defect / or Maintenance VHM alert automatically populates the maintenance queue/tab (VHM alerts are based on configuration settings)
    • Review “pre-trip inspection status” for defect information  
    • Review “pre-trip test stats” for failure information 
  2. Notify maintenance  
  3. Open Decision Support tools > use the 'Replace Vehicle' card
  4. The vehicle being replaced auto-populates/ or enter Vehicle Id using drop-down menus
  5. Enter replacement vehicle information using the dropdown menu
  6. Enter messages, as preferred, for involved vehicle operator/s
  7. Enter incident information in the fields below, if applicable
  8. Enter service resumed information, if applicable
  9. The system will auto-calculate any differences 
  10. Select 'Save' to begin routing the information

Or update the assignment from the Pullout tab by

  1. From the Pullout tab - Click directly in the field to change: 'Operator Assignment' and/or 'Vehicle Assignment' 
  2. Use the dropdown menus to update the assignment
  3. Or, if using the Yard Map and Yard Map Grids, use the drag and drop method:
  4. Click on, drag-and-drop the operator from the Extraboard Grid to the Pullout tab to assign
  5. Click on, drag-and-drop the vehicle from the Yard Map to the Pullout tab to assign

Monitor Relief Operator Status  

  1. Monitor relief operator status from Run ID column on the “Pull Out” tab  
  2. Verify operator log out and relief operator log on  
  3. Monitor pre-trip inspection/tests (if required)  

Incident Reporting 

Is further action needed, such as vehicle swaps, service adjustments, accident reporting, operator changes? Use Decision Support and Incident Management tools for these 'on-the-fly' events. Use the 'Log with Incident' function when logging events/ communication:

Log with Incident

  1. Click "Log with Incident" if additional action is required (service adjustments, accident, breakdowns, vehicle swaps, etc.)
  2. This action will automatically tag related vehicle data such as:  Vehicle Id, Run, Route, Trip, Stop, Operator, Location, Time
  3. ETMS auto-launches/opens the Vehicle Incidents screen
  4. Fill in fields on the Basic Information tab ( Incident Title is required, Description, etc.)
  5. Enter additional information on the 2nd sub-tab (Vehicle Incident type, Vehicle Problem Code)
  6. Use the Replay Tool button to replay a set of minutes leading up to the event/the breadcrumb trail from the vehicle, as needed
  7. Enter related Notes on the 3rd sub-tab (software tracks all notations via a timestamp)
    • Use the Attachment button to upload related documentation (PDFs, etc.)
  8. Use the 4th sub-tab to document vehicle replacements and any missed/resumed service (the software will auto-calculate the adjustment differences for you)
  9. Use the Optional field to alert involved vehicle operators
  10. Use the 5th sub-tab to document road calls
  11. Select the Save button when done   
  12. The incident is stored on the main screen (can be edited by personnel with the permissions included in their accounts)
  13. Locate incident and open incident to edit: includes the ability to update incident status, reassign it, add additional notes/documentation as information is gathered, etc.) 
  14. Use send text feature to communicate with the operator if needed 

Create Incident and Automatically Tag Work Order

In software version 8.3+, work orders can be created from an incident, if configured. Here's how:

  • Please refer to the instructions for how to tag vehicle work orders from incidents

Detour Management

  1. Select myAvail Detour Tab 
  2. Click the green + sign to create a new detour 
  3. ETMS opens to the Detour tool
  4. Add name 
  5. Add cause 
  6. Add effect 
  7. Select days of the week using the sliders
  8. Add date and time ranges 
  9. Locate the impact zone area on the map
  10. Draw a polygon of the affected area on the map. (Affected routes and stops are automatically listed, and default messages for the operator and public are automatically built) 
  11. Edit each segment to redraw the path the vehicle will follow 
  12. Edit stops if service to affected stops will be provided during the active detour ( otherwise they display as skipped)
  13. Save detour 
  14. Close tab
  15. myAvail- open related messages for the detour to rebuild 
  16. Review and save each individual operator message 
  17. Review and save each individual public message and add message destinations (web, social media, etc.) 
  18. Click Save for the group
  19. Confirm messages have been built successfully:
    • Saved messages have a numeric value next to the #Public- Operator Messages column on the Detour tab: [e.g. 2-2- means 2 operator and 2 public messages have been built. 0-0 indicates messages have not been rebuilt/ sent]
    • Saved messages display on myStop applications ( based on publish date)

Supporting Documents

  1. Related Training Materials 
  2. Related SOPs 
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