Benson Council gets a demo on Prairie 5 Rides dispatch system

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Benson Council gets a demo on Prairie 5 Rides dispatch system

Monday night Benson’s City Council got an overview of how a Prairie 5 Rides bus works with its electronic tablet that keeps track of who needs to get picked up, dropped off, where they are waiting and where they are going.

Prairie 5 Rides Manager Ted Nelson took the council aboard one of its busses to describe how the service works and answer questions. Bus driver Penny Schomaker assisted him.

Calls for pick ups and drop offs go to a central dispatching office in Montevideo and are posted to a drivers’ screen in the bus. The screen also lets the driver take care of payments from riders, keeping track of who has a punch card or pass, and who is paying in cash.

The computer-based rides program can also keep track of regularly scheduled rides, such as for those kids who use the bus to get to school every day.

It is the central dispatching and tablet programming that has led the council to discontinue the city’s Heartland Express bus service in favor of Prairie 5 Rides. It will be making the switch starting Aug. 1.


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