Gilbert, (September, 2023) — Arrowhead Transit, Minnesota’s Largest Rural Public Transportation Provider, is actively working to address the challenges faced by callers during peak times, particularly on Monday mornings. Dispatch Supervisor Todd Montgomery sheds light on the issue and offers solutions to enhance the reservation process.
During Monday mornings, Arrowhead Transit experiences a surge in calls from patrons seeking to schedule rides for the entire week. This increased demand sometimes leads to extended wait times, with calls that typically take five minutes now stretching to 10-15 minutes. In cases where high call volumes persist, wait times may reach up to 30 minutes.
To mitigate these delays, Arrowhead Transit suggests considering same-day reservations as an alternative to scheduling trips a week in advance. Same-day reservations involve calling in to set up a ride for the current day. Dispatch Supervisor Montgomery recommends placing such calls at least an hour in advance, or possibly two hours for areas with higher demand.
“It’s important to note that reservations are processed on a first-come, first-served basis,” Montgomery advises. “Providing ample time ensures we can accommodate your preferred time slot, and if those seats are filled, we’ll do our best to get you as close as possible.”
When placing a call to dispatch, patrons are encouraged to provide their complete address, including the city, to facilitate an efficient booking process. This information is crucial for accurately assigning the appropriate bus. Additionally, specifying the destination is vital, especially for routes covering multiple cities or regions.
While the dispatch team is diligently working to improve wait times, Todd Montgomery acknowledges that callers may experience varying wait times based on call volume. “Wait times can range from five minutes for the first caller to up to 30 minutes during peak periods,” Montgomery notes. “We understand the frustration, and we’re actively working on solutions.”
To expedite the reservation process, Arrowhead Transit is actively seeking additional dispatchers to expand their team. This recruitment effort aims to open an overflow desk, which will help alleviate wait times and enhance overall service efficiency.
For those interested in joining the Arrowhead Transit team as a dispatcher, please visit arrowheadtransit.com/careers.
About Arrowhead Transit:
Arrowhead Transit has been serving the Arrowhead Region of Minnesota since 1974, establishing itself as the largest public rural transportation system in the state.
Every year, we facilitate transportation for thousands of residents across 10 counties in Northeastern Minnesota and beyond. These counties include Aitkin, Itasca, Koochiching, St. Louis, Lake, Cook, Carlton, Pine, Chisago, and Isanti.
At Arrowhead Transit, we offer a range of services to cater to the diverse needs of our travelers and commuters. These services include scheduled service, Dial-A-Ride, and a Volunteer Driver Program.
We take pride in ensuring accessibility for all our passengers. All Arrowhead Transit buses are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are equipped with wheelchair lifts. This commitment allows us to serve individuals with mobility needs and provide an inclusive transportation experience.
For additional information or route scheduling, please contact 1-800-862-0175.
Mission: Provides affordable, safe, accessible public transportation and supports independent living and self-reliance.
Contact: Dominick Olivanti
Public Relations Coordinator Arrowhead Transit
Office Phone: 218-753-6815
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