One means of transportation that is still in use today and has been present for ages, dating back to the days of the ancient Greeks in 1300 BC, is volunteer transportation, despite the rise of transportation alternatives on the horizon and all the enthusiasm around new shared mobility possibilities. Although its appearance has changed and passenger comfort levels have significantly increased, the advantages, flexibility, and cost efficiency remain to outweigh all competitors.
Volunteer transportation functions effectively as a stand-alone alternative for transportation or as an add-on programme. It may be readily increased or decreased depending on demand or population density without requiring significant capital investment, is reasonably priced, and fosters relationships between drivers and passengers. However, it should be remembered that these programmes must be thought out and managed efficiently, just like any other programme, in order to run smoothly and safely. They also require ongoing maintenance.
Launching or maintaining a successful volunteer driver programme requires the following 5 factors:
You need to make sure that your organisation, board of directors, and drivers are all covered by insurance. Make sure that the liability and insurance are covered in your passenger and driver agreement. When anything goes wrong, not if, thus you need to make contingency plans for it from every viewpoint. Even though mishaps are unlikely, you should have these discussions up front to guarantee everyone’s safety. Know your policy inside and out, be able to explain it simply, and be ready to respond with “It depends. There are many different variables.
You cannot have software without drivers. Drivers are the most important component of the whole equation, second only to insurance. The lack of a sufficient number of drivers is one of the greatest problems I hear about. Too often, people have the misconception that if we implement the programme, then undoubtedly, drivers will sign up, just as in “Field of Dreams.” However, to actually see those drivers apply and take the wheel day in and day out, rain or shine, high-powered recruitment, constant rewards, and recognition are required.
You must work hard round-the-clock if you want plenty of drivers and good drivers. Ask as many people as you can, whether it be through Facebook marketing, craigslist, Zip Recruiter, radio, newspaper, movie theatres, churches, friends, or family. Additionally, you can count on hitting a wall when it looks like no matter how much recruiting you to do, nobody is interested and you want to give up. But that is to be expected, and if you just keep spreading the word in front of your mind, you will discover how the neighbourhood reacts, which may change depending on the season.
This includes reaching out to organisations with comparable missions and needs. One of the simplest ways to make the programme more popular and visible in the community is to establish a Mobility Leadership Circle or Mobility Management Council. Basically, this entails regularly convening local leaders with complementary goals and a shared desire to discuss the mobility issues of the present and the future and how to collaborate to address them.
No matter how big or small the community, the mobility demands of today will differ from those of 3 to 5 years from now. The Circle or Council can rank community needs, collaborate to apply for grants or raise money, and celebrate successes.
4. Data Collection
You will be able to view the programme from several angles if you make sure to collect and acquire data on not only reporting rides but also quality metrics and operational metrics. What exactly is growing, shrinking, or maintaining? What elements or variables lead to a change? It may seem small and downright sad when you first begin but give it time. Concentrate on how the data is collected and what can be done to make it easier or simpler for when you are offering more trips. Eventually, the data will tell the tale, and you will be able to utilise those figures to run the programme rather than just reacting and putting out fires. Examples of metrics are:
- Tips provided
- Trip length
- Miles travelled
- Passenger satisfaction
- Driver satisfaction
- Cost of outreach to secure one driver
- Types of trip purpose
To get a new perspective on how the programme is doing, the metrics above can be measured in terms of the average, median, or mode. Additionally, examining the range of each data set may be helpful. Whatever the case, the end objective is to turn all of that data into information to manage the programme.
Now that you have the data, regularly and continuously convey what is pertinent and important. Please, please, please don’t hide it in an excel file on your desktop or your email archive; instead, share it with your team of drivers, your employees, management, and the media. You’ve put in too much effort to just bury it. You must communicate the benefits that were provided to the community if you want your programme to be effective. You can develop a traditional “by the numbers” and continuously highlight 5 to 10 metrics so that you aren’t constantly trying to think of what or how to give an update. When you have significant updates or significant accomplishments, send a press release to the list of reporters and radio talk show hosts you’ve created. For additional drivers, the media provides free advertising.
Additionally, you must remember to record the experiences of your passengers, drivers, and programme managers. The best approach to communicate successfully and ensure that the word is spread throughout the community is through stories, which are data with a soul.
In conclusion, you need to have a solid plan for insurance, drivers, teamwork, data collecting, and effect in order to start and maintain a successful driver programme. If you can do those five things, you’re off to a great start and have a bright future ahead of you in terms of raising the standard of living in your neighbourhood. Check out bluesky airport shuttle to have more information.