A pivotal moment for the sector
The Trapeze team was delighted to join our Routematch customers and industry colleagues in Lake Macquarie for the Community Transport Organisation’s annual conference.
Hot topics included innovations in service delivery, the impact of regulatory changes, and strategies to improve access to transport for disadvantaged communities. If you couldn’t make it to CTO 2023, this wrap-up blog provides a selection of conference highlights.
This year’s gathering came at a pivotal moment for the sector. As Trapeze’s David Eason explained in his presentation, community transport in New South Wales has entered a period of new opportunities, with the funding system administered by Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) being replaced by a one-to-one commercial model in the coming months.
David sounded a positive note by announcing the extension of the current Routematch contract until the end of June 2024. He assured delegates that Trapeze is here for the long term and reminded Routematch customers that remaining with their familiar, proven platform protects their business from the risks and costs of unnecessary change.
The connection between transport and community health was the subject of a panel moderated by Isaac Smith from HART Services. The speakers were Hilton Naden from Healthy North Coast and Michelle Maxwell from the NSW Ministry of Health, who began the session by highlighting the importance of frequent and reliable transport services.
She introduced the state’s strategic plan for regional health, which features local transport solutions as a priority for enabling better access to health services. Community transport providers and bus services have a key part to play in this strategy.
Ms Maxwell also discussed how local transport modes can reduce the role of ambulances in non-emergency patient transfers, freeing these essential resources for more urgent cases. She mentioned the example of renal dialysis patients, who can require transport for treatment up to three times per week.
Mr Naden’s work with Healthy North Coast covers a large area which includes Port Macquarie, on Birpai country, where the CTO Conference was held. He reminded the audience that every Australian has a right to access appropriate healthcare, but First Nations people often face barriers to achieving this. The lack of access to reliable transport is experienced disproportionally by disadvantaged Australians in regional areas, including First Nations people.
He demonstrated the problem by sharing some cultural safety scenarios and emphasised the need for organisations to have a Reconciliation Action Plan as the starting point for change. He also recommended that more First Nations people be recruited into driving roles where possible.
The presentation by Jacob Loadsman, Transport Partnerships Senior Finance Manager at TfNSW, gave delegates an overview of service delivery and customer profiles under the Future Transport Strategy.
Mr Loadsman started by recapping TfNSW’s goals for community transport. These include helping older residents to maintain their independence while living in their own homes for longer; promoting social inclusion by helping customers to attend activities and appointments; and participating in other public transport service provision such as on-demand trials.
Departmental data from FY 2022/23 offered a snapshot of the sector which has 68 active providers, seventy per cent of which are not-for-profit operators. Total spending on community transport was $91.1 million, enabling a fleet of more than 900 vehicles to deliver around 1.6 million trips with support from more than 2,700 volunteers.
The Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP) represented $78.2 million of total funding, with the Community Transport Program (CTP) accounting for a further $11.9 million.
Reporting through Routematch showed that more than 71,000 individual customers received community transport services. This was an increase of 12,000 from the previous year which Mr Loadsman interpreted as evidence of a continued rebound to pre-pandemic levels.
Around eighty-five per cent of customers were aged 65 and over, with the average age being 77 years old, and around five per cent were reported as having mobility needs. Each customer averaged 22 trips, and Mr Loadsman noted this number was broadly consistent across metropolitan and regional areas. He congratulated community transport providers for delivering a level of service that keeps customers coming back for more.
Trapeze’s National Manager for Enterprise Solutions, David Eason, opened his presentation by assuring delegates that Trapeze is committed to investing in Routematch and supporting Routematch users.
He explained that Trapeze is part of Modaxo, a global collective of technology companies with a shared passion for changing the face of People Transportation. Modaxo and its parent company, Constellation Software, have never sold a business once it has been acquired.
David encouraged organisations to make the most of the platform’s best-in-breed Scheduling and Despatch modules, which include the Optimiser and Group Management functions.
When these are set up correctly, Routematch users can base their entire business around the platform, streamlining processes from bookings and scheduling to payments and reporting. These efficiencies let organisations operate with only a single scheduling staff member at any one time, which reduces costs or releases staff for other priorities.
David emphasised the system’s value beyond pure scheduling, including the commercial benefits of using it to manage multiple funding channels. As an example, he showed that the different data requirements of CHSP, CTP, NDIS, and the Home Care Packages Program can be accommodated within the Client Profile settings. Commercial activities such as transportation contracts with nursing homes can also be managed within the system.
With the client’s consent, Routematch can also retain a limited amount of medical information to help organisations provide them with tailored mobility services. Are they legally blind? Do they have cancer or diabetes? Must they travel with a carer? The purpose is to match individuals with the optimal type of transport while ensuring drivers can respond swiftly and appropriately to an emergency situation.
During questions at the end of his presentation David was happy to share that enhancing Routematch’s mapping functionality is a priority, as the map data had not been updated in several years by the previous owners. Routematch customers can look forward to experiencing these mapping improvements very soon.
Did you connect with us at the CTO Conference? Let’s continue the conversation!
If you couldn’t attend, our team would be delighted to share their personal insights from Lake Macquarie about the issues that were discussed in presentations and on the conference floor.
We love to talk about how getting the most from Routematch can transform your scheduling, create commercial value, and streamline your operations so get in touch with us today.
AusRail Plus 2023 was a welcome opportunity for industry leaders to connect at our sector’s largest annual event. The Trapeze stand was busy as our team connected with fellow executives and hosted DAS and WFM demonstrations.