Posted Thursday, December 5th, 2019
Goals: Improved Efficiency, More Rides, and Flexibility
The Morris Area Paratransit System (MAPS) will offer a new, upgraded ride appointment system starting on Dec. 17, with a goal of increasing efficiency to provide more rides for county residents and a more flexible appointment program.
A web and cloud-based paratransit and software system, approved by the Board of Freeholders, should offer technological advances to MAPS that will result in increased and better service for eligible senior, disabled, military veteran riders, and persons residing in rural areas.
“We know there is a great demand for our MAPS system and we want to be able to offer rides to as many people as possible, to more destinations, and with less advance booking time,’’ said Freeholder Kathy DeFillippo.
The new Ecolane system, which is currently used by Somerset County, will include installation and use of tablets in MAPS vehicles, allowing drivers and dispatchers to be better connected and better engage in real time scheduling.
If an appointment is cancelled or a person is delayed for pickup at a doctor’s office, for example, the new system can quickly deal with the vacancies and re-route to more efficiently care for other riders.
Expected improvements offered by the new system include:
The new system will make a change in business practices that will require longtime customers to get comfortable with some new rules:
County officials stress they will work with customers to ensure the transition goes smoothly for passengers and drivers.
“We have been scrutinizing MAPS to make it more efficient, to allow for more rides and riders, and to better serve our county residents,’’ said Morris County Human Services Director Sharon Yoo. “Over the next few months, we will work closely with our customers to make sure they understand the system and use it to their advantage.’’
MAPS is Morris County’s curb-to-curb transportation service for senior citizens (over age 60), people with disabilities, veterans, and the residents who reside in rural areas of the county that have no public transportation.
MAPS provides feeder service to NJ TRANSIT bus and rail, and travels to destinations five miles into contiguous counties. The scheduling of rides will remain the same with the new system.
For more information on MAPS, visit https://hs.morriscountynj.gov/adv/maps/ or call 888-282-6277.