Vehicle Operator SOP 021: Perform Revenue Service


This procedure provides information for vehicle operators to use the MDT of the CAD/AVL system during revenue service. This procedure assumes the schedule has been pushed to the on-board CAD/AVL system. The process covers adherence to schedule, reporting schedule issues, communicating with Dispatch, using emergency alarms, fare collection, and various possible in-service events.   

Operational Impact and Metrics  

Operational Impact: The CAD/AVL system streamlines several common operator tasks during service and helps identify and address problems as routes are running and efficiently provide relief operators or replacement buses as necessary.  

Metrics: On-time performance, Vehicle capacity, Bus bunching on route 


ITS  Intelligent Transportation Systems 
CAD/AVL  Computer-Aided Dispatch and Automatic Vehicle Location 
MDT  Mobile Data Terminal 
TCP  Transfer Connection Protection 
Driver Off/ Driver On Alert Dispatch Office When off the Vehicle


Continuous monitoring and communication with Dispatch during revenue service; every service day 

Roles and Responsibilities 

Implementation of this SOP is primarily the responsibility of Vehicle Operators. Supervisory personnel should also be familiar with these procedures to support the operators. Dispatcher responsibilities for monitoring during revenue service are covered in the SP-012-01. 


  1. Log into the MDT with the correct Block / Run 
  2. Adhere to schedule 
    • Confirm Route, Trip and Direction are correct/match schedule 
    • Use Trip Select, if the scheduled service display on the MDT is incorrect
    • Menu> Trip Select> Touch piece of work needed> MDT auto- updates to correct piece of work
    • Monitor your arrival time of the next timepoint on the MDT 
    • Adhere to the dwell time once you have arrived at the next timepoint 
    • Monitor MDT for ‘time to depart’
    • Repeat steps 2,6,7,8 while in revenue service 

Reporting Schedule Data Issues  

  1. Call Dispatch to report the issue, location, and description:
  2. Schedule issues could include: 
    • Announcements – missing/incorrect, too early/late 
    • Headsign failed to change or changed to the wrong route 
    • Schedule data – incorrect timepoint or wrong departure time

Communication to Dispatch 

  1. Canned text messages 
    • For informational one-way communication press the ‘MSG’ button on the MDT 
    • Select by pressing the desired canned message from the list on the MDT 
    • Confirm the message was delivered by monitoring the ‘Status Bar’ 

Receiving Canned Messages from Dispatch 

  1. View message in the INBOX 
  2. Respond to Dispatch messages as requested, by type:
    • Respond Yes or No, as required
    • Respond 'Acknowledge’, as required
    • No response needed 

Request to Talk – Voice Radio / Closed Mic System

  1. For informational two-way communication press the ‘RTT’ button on the MDT 
  2. For emergency two-way communication press the ‘PRTT’ button on the MDT 
    • Accident, medical emergency, etc.  
  3. Pick up handset when prompted by MDT 
  4. Receiving Request to talk from Dispatch   
    • Pick up handset when prompted by MDT 

Emergency Covert Alarm/Silent Alarm 

  1. Only use during hostile situations 
  2. Press Covert button 
  3. Monitor for Dispatch acknowledgement  
    • Monitor clock on the MDT,  
    • When the colon stops blinking, Dispatch received your alert 
    • When the colon disappears, Dispatch is listening in 
  4. Covertly describe the situation, if able

Fare Collection (two options) 

  1. Operator manually indicates receipt of fare on MDT or Farebox 
    • When at a stop, open the door and the fare screen will display 
    • Press fare buttons to accurately record ridership 
    • Close door and pull away, the screen will disappear  
  2. Customer taps fare card on reader and MDT records fare automatically 

In-Service Events  

  1. Driver Off/ Driver On Button  
    • If you need to notify dispatch that you're off the vehicle/out of service, click ‘MENU ’ then click ‘Driver Off’ (Avail recommends closing the door completely when not in service to avoid boards) 
    • To go back into service, click ‘menu’ and click ‘Driver On’ 
  2. Drop-off only mode (may not be applicable to all agencies) 
    • Call Dispatch to report the vehicle is full as dispatch can use Decision Support tools to put the vehicle in ‘discharge mode’, thus updating the headsign to alert ridership that the vehicle is in 'drop off only' mode
    • Proceed in a ‘discharge only’ state until the bus clears out 
    • Alert dispatch when the vehicle is ready to resume normal service 


  1. Scheduled detour 
    • When you login, any scheduled detours on your run will be sent to you automatically as a data message 
    • Review the message in the INBOX and let Dispatch know if you have any questions 
    • At the last stop before detour is active, press 'Detour Upcoming' to view a popup of turn by turn directions
  2. Unscheduled detour 
    • Notify Dispatch of the issues (traffic, construction, police activity) 
    • Let Dispatch know if you know of a detour route, if not, request a detour route from Dispatch 
    • Adhere to detoured route until the original route clears out 

Driver Off Mode 

  1. When you get to a safe layover point, let passengers off the vehicle, click ‘MENU’ and click ‘Driver Off'
  2. Secure the vehicle’s doors and exit the vehicle (NOTE: when the vehicle door is open, the APC sensor is active)
  3. Upon returning to the vehicle, open the doors, enter 
  4. On the MDT, click ‘MENU’ and click ‘Driver On’ 
  5. Allow passengers to board 

Trip Select Function 

  1. If you notice your trip or direction are incorrectly listed on the MDT, click "MENU" and then touch  ‘Trip Select’ 
  2. Select the correct trip from the list (Your headsign, stops display and ADA announcements will update to correct piece of work) 
  3. The MDT will update to display the correct stops  

APC Adjust Function  

  1. Several times during the run (e.g. at a trip layover) confirm and/or adjust the onboard count 
  2. Perform a visual check of onboard passenger count 
  3. Tap ‘APC adjust’ to validate the onboard count if necessary 
  4. Enter the actual onboard count on the APC adjust screen 
  5. Click ‘Save’ 

Transfer Connection Protection 

  1. Initiating a TCP request 
    • Operator presses ‘XFER’ button on MDT 
    • Operator selects the following information 
      • Route 
      • Direction 
      • Enter number of passengers to transfer
      • Indicate if passenger/s use a wheelchair 
    • Operator presses the send button 

Receiving Vehicle - TCP Request 

  1. Operator monitors MDT for TCP requests 
  2. Review incoming transfer information in INBOX
  3. Wait for Dispatcher instructions  

Supporting Documents

  1. Related Training Materials 
  2. Related SOPs 
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