A new automated phone system will make it easier to get pick-up times and cancel appointments for passengers who use the paratransit service run by the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA). With the new interactive voice response (IVR) system, customers who use the RIde Program can opt to receive automated phone calls or texts providing them with the window of time in which the RIde van will pick them up. They also have the option of calling into the system at their convenience to receive pick-up information and they can cancel appointments through the automated system as well. Provided in accordance the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the RIde Program is RIPTA’s paratransit service for people with disabilities.
“The bottom line is that this automated feature will result in less time on hold for our customers and easier access to their trip information,” said Mark Therrien, Executive Director of the RIde Program. He noted that last year, RIPTA implemented the use of a website and mobile application that also provides passengers with pick-up time information. “Since the RIde service is reservation based, we are constantly looking at technology that will help us streamline operations and make it easier for our passengers to get the information they need,” he said.
RIPTA has been testing the new phone system with a sampling of customers and it will be active for all RIde passengers by November 22, 2016. In order to sign up for the service, passengers can simply inform their Customer Service Agent the next time they call to book a trip with RIde at (401) 461-9760. The same phone number will give them access to the new automated system for the purposes of obtaining a pick-up time or canceling a trip. Customers call the RIde phone number at 401-461-9760 and select extension 2 for the automated system.
The RIde Program provides curb-to-curb service throughout the state for any location in the designated paratransit corridor – which, as designated by the ADA, is any location within ¾ mile of regular fixed-route service. In the past, passengers have had to speak to a RIde Customer Service Agent to cancel a trip or get a window of time in which they will be picked up. RIde transports about 1,100 passengers per day, taking them to work, doctor’s appointments, meal sites, adult daycare centers and more.
For more information on the RIde Program, visit http://www.ripta.com/ride-1