About the Client
The County Coordinated Transportation Program for a major US city involves more than 15 sponsor organizations that buy tickets for the program and register customers. The program is administered by the County and is funded through CMAQ, the participating agencies, the County, and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5310 funds.
Overall, the program provides an enhanced level of mobility for the County residents that would not be available without the program. The “coordinated” elements of the program are primarily limited to:
Staffing, using dedicated program administration staff responsible for invoicing, marketing, and ticket sales, working with all of the participating agencies and operators;
The registration process, using the program application that is used by multiple registering agencies; and
Fare collection and reimbursement, which has been standardized for the transportation providers
The Goals/Objectives of the initiative were to:
- Eliminate paper transactions
- Automate billing and verification
- Establish an integrated transportation system
- Long-term goal – use smart cards instead of coupons
The stake holders of the program wanted to leverage technology to improve the efficiency of the Agency’s coupon voucher program for transportation of the Low-Income, the Disabled and the Elderly, primarily outside the Metro area. The beneficiaries would be able to purchase vouchers at a reduced cost and use them with providers at a reduced set rate for transportation.
The client wanted to automate numerous paper based transactions, manual entries, and generate various on demand reports related to the performance of the program. Silicus was chosen as the preferred vendor following a competitive bidding tender floated by the client.
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One of the bottlenecks in enabling the client achieve its objectives was the manual entry of information. This slowed down the entire process and resulted in a numerous paper based transactions. The source of these transactions and manual entry was the MS Excel spreadsheet submitted by the transportation providers to the County Coordinated Transportation Program office. This information was entered into their database by the data-entry personnel employed by the County.
Silicus developed a web based application that facilitated easy access, and with user friendly interface for ease of use. The application was developed using ASP.NET web forms and Microsoft.NET web technologies. Silicus ASP.NET experts developed several custom controls to facilitate menu driven activities that interact with the SQL Server database.
Silicus created a module that automated the process of importing contents of the excel spreadsheet into the database. Data entry operators could just click on a button and follow the UI forms to complete the excel spreadsheet import.
Silicus implemented data access, permission rights through a security module that allows administrators to set permissions for individual each user and group. The security module could be used to control the ability to create, edit, review and delete records. Application providers outside the agency were presented with restricted access rights to input data directly into the Database.
Silicus used the reporting functionality provided by ASP.NET to develop create simple and complex reporting for the client requirements. Reports were presented in HTML format with the option for users to download them in a suitable format. An e-mailing module was created that facilitated automated e-mailing of exception reports to a project sponsor for review and then back to the provider.
The client needed functionality for calculating distance between address and e-mail the information as a report. Silicus used Yahoo! Maps API to accept data inputs (a.k.a. addresses) that would be formatted in Web-standard RSS format and processed by the Yahoo maps application to provide the distance as an output.
MS SQL Server 2000
Greater User Productivity And Enhanced Operational Efficiency
The application delivered by Silicus eliminated the need for manual data entry, saving time as well as eliminating errors during the entry process. Decision makers benefitted from the powerful reporting module that saved time and provided relevant information for decision making.
Robust Application Design For Long Term Benefits
Silicus designed an efficient, effective and versatile software solution that facilitated greater collaboration between stakeholders and let to several benefits by using the application.
Lower Software Engineering Risks With Mature And Predictable Processes
Silicus used its years of experience in software development to address challenges and issues upfront before they could lead to delays in delivery. Silicus adopted latest project management and source code management tools from Microsoft and 3rd parties to ensure greater collaboration and visibility amongst stakeholders, leading to closer project tracking and monitoring.