Safety Series #1: What is the Safe Ride Support System?
Written by Karen Sampson
Safety is at the forefront of our innovative, technology-based transportation solution — and our Safe Ride Support System plays a pivotal role in helping to ensure safe, reliable rides for everyone who uses the HopSkipDrive platform.
From the very beginning, the Safe Ride Support System took its lead from our number-one company value: “safety is everything.” An integrated solution that provides end-to-end visibility into a ride for all parties involved, the always-on Safe Ride Support System combines two of our most essential resources — people and technology — to provide the safest possible ride experience.
Safe Ride Support Technology
The Safe Ride Support System uses innovative technology to monitor trips in real-time for any safety-related anomalies. The system flags any aberrations and generates alerts that are prioritized and addressed through established processes.
Our Safe Ride Support technology provides transparency into live ride progress by letting Ride Organizers know via text messages when a CareDriver is on the way, arrives for pickup, meets with the Rider, departs the pickup location, and when the Rider is dropped off and the ride is complete.
Our Safe Ride Support System also uses telematics to detect unsafe driving behavior, including telephone or text use while driving, braking force and speed. Other safety-related features of proprietary technology include incident prediction, real-time monitoring and alerting, automated issue resolution, collision detection, ongoing driving behavior feedback loops and more.
Safe Ride Support Team
On the “people” side of the equation is the Safe Ride Support (SRS) team, which consists of a group of specialists who are responsible for ensuring that every HopSkipDrive ride is completed safely and reliably. The Safe Ride Support team tracks the progress of every ride, and steps in to proactively resolve issues in real-time by communicating directly with Ride Organizers, CareDrivers and caregivers.
Every HopSkipDrive ride is assigned to a Safe Ride Support specialist, who tracks the ride through the SRS dashboard. SRS specialists are ready and waiting to respond if/when “alerts” are fired indicating such things as a ride that is late, a Rider that doesn’t show up for a scheduled trip, a ride that isn’t being properly tracked or — in rare cases — when there is an accident or any type of driving irregularity.
The SRS team can also build rides in the HopSkipDrive system if/when needed, such as when a Rider misses or is late for a ride and needs a replacement ride scheduled quickly.
As HopSkipDrive employees who work on the front lines to provide service and help people every day, members of the SRS team often develop meaningful relationships with CareDrivers, Ride Organizers and caregivers. It’s also very common for SRS team members to develop relationships with older Riders/senior citizens, who often use the HopSkipDrive platform to schedule transportation for doctor’s appointments, to run errands or for various activities.
As of early 2022, the SRS team includes a total of 27 SRS specialists (including contractors) and four SRS shift supervisors. The schedule of the SRS team is based on the timing of all Rides that are scheduled in the system, but the SRS team hours generally run from around 2 a.m. PST to 10 p.m. PST, plus weekends and some holidays.
Quick Q&A with Safe Ride Support Manager Anthony Reed
Q: What kind of background do you look for in Safe Ride Support team members?
A: We look for folks who have a background in call centers, education, hospitality or customer-facing roles who really share and embody the HopSkipDrive core values. Having a great phone voice and personality helps, too!
Q: Does the Safe Ride Support team undergo any special kind of training for HopSkipDrive?
A: Yes. We do an initial training and offer continuous shadowing and coaching opportunities throughout their time at HopSkipDrive. All Safe Ride Support team members receive crisis training, too, so they know how to identify and handle any big issues that may arise while monitoring rides.
Q: Can you share a couple of common scenarios the Safe Ride Support team may encounter, and how these types of issues might be resolved?
A: One scenario is needing to find a replacement for a CareDriver who gets a flat tire. In this case, the Safe Ride Support team would immediately call the client or Ride Organizer and the caregiver on the account before rebuilding the ride so a new CareDriver can pick up the Rider.
This situation can be tricky if the flat tire happens on a freeway or not near an easily identifiable address. In that instance, the Safe Ride Support team would then need to build a Ride for the nearest address while also being sure to expertly communicate with all parties to ensure everyone knows where the other parties are and can get there safely. This is an example of the need for the SRS team to balance empathy with safety and security. (And how the ability to read maps can really come in handy!)
But with other issues, like when an address is incorrect, for example, we have to call the Ride Organizer for approval. The reason for this is safety. It isn’t just about the Rider being picked up on time and taken to the right drop off; it’s also about making sure only authorized individuals are able to edit details like this on a ride.