Driver sign-on: why it’s time to go mobile

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Trapeze’s Pete Adney outlines three reasons for implementing a mobile driver sign-on system

Efficient driver sign-on processes are central to any bus operation, underpinning every shift and shaping the business’ bottom line by streamlining operations.

Technology has played a significant role here, which is perhaps why so many operators have followed the same broad evolution: beginning with paper registers at the main depot; then introducing punch clock machines, followed by electronic registration stations, removing the need for dedicated sign-on staff. Today, most large operators use computerised allocation systems, often integrated with broader driver management systems.

Digitalisation has delivered numerous benefits: shift records integrated with HR and payroll ensure efficient and accurate payment with clear audit trails for any disputes. Advances in connectivity have also allowed sign-on stations to be distributed throughout a service area, removing the need for drivers to visit a single centralised point either side of their shift.

Yet despite this impressive evolution, even dedicated sign-on kiosks – or mobile inspectors positioned at key spots – tie drivers to specific locations, adding travel time and expense, both of which are detrimental to drivers and operators. Is there a better way?

The mobile solution

It is time for bus operators to embrace the next stage in this evolution with online driver portals that offer a single communications platform between drivers and the business. This approach makes it possible for drivers to sign on (and off) shifts from almost any location, and in real-time.

Clearly there are huge benefits to be derived from allowing drivers to start and end shifts at the most efficient locations, regardless of depot locations. However, there are several more nuanced factors too. Let’s take a look at them.[…]

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