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Scheduling and Dispatching

The scheduler or dispatcher is an integral component of any rural transportation program. The role of the scheduler is to design the most effective routing system that efficiently fits the needs of the rider and the agency. A scheduler needs to be strategic when determining routing needs, including resolving scheduling issues and managing the requests of riders.

The role of the dispatcher is to coordinate the different facets of a transportation program, which often includes direct communication with riders and maintaining records of trips. Dispatchers are generally the first point-of-contact for the program's drivers in the case an issue arises.

People in these roles serve as frontline staff, engaging directly with customers, transit operators, drivers, and the rest of the program staff. Since they are also often the first people to interact externally with the public, training for dispatchers about the program, safety issues, and communication is important.

Resources to Learn More

Scheduling and Dispatching: Training Package for Rural Transit Systems
This report provides an overview of the role of rural schedulers and dispatchers and offers guidance on considerations for staff performing key responsibilities of these positions.
Organization(s): National Rural Transit Assistance Program
Date: 2009