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Grace’s Transportation Wins a State Contract with an Assist from LiveViewGPS

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The problem

New Orleans. The Big Easy. Mardi Gras and jazz festivals. Proms and weddings. A tourist town; a home town. A good place to own a transportation company.

Grace’s Transportation has provided the greater New Orleans and St. Tammany Parish areas with superior transportation services since 1995. They offer a wide variety of vehicles to suit specific groups and events including private charters; transportation for celebrations, proms and graduations; day trips and scenic tours; airport and cruise ship transportation; corporate car and shuttle service contracts.

“Being in the transportation business for years, we know what it takes not only to meet our customers’ needs, but to exceed them,” says general manager Robbie Williamson. “Our customers travel in comfort with clean, late-model vehicles. Plus, we offer very competitive rates and can accommodate a variety of transportation needs.”

When Grace’s Transportation learned the state of Louisiana was sending out a contract to bid on a shuttle service for a local state hospital, they thought they were prepared. They had the experience, and they had the licenses from the city of New Orleans and the Louisiana Public Service Commission.

“We were up against 30 competitors,” Williamson says. “The contract called for five shuttles a day to transport workers between the state hospital and the parking area a couple of miles away... We knew we had the vehicles, the facilities and efficient operations to be competitive. However, the state required one thing we didn’t have: a GPS vehicle tracking system.

The LiveViewGPS solution

“I called and evaluated several GPS providers,” Williamson continues. “We selected LiveViewGPS because they were by far the best. We liked their quality products, real-time tracking, tracking accuracy, detailed reports and customer service.”

Grace’s Transportation installed Live Trac G-5 Vehicle Trackers in their vehicles. The G-5 is one of the industry’s most reliable and proven vehicle tracking solutions and is ideal for small and large fleets, powered assets and personal use (teen drivers, the elderly and family members).

G-5 GPS Vehicle Trackers operate on LiveViewGPS’ new Live Trac Platform, a next-generation, real-time vehicle tracking system offering 1-, 5- and 10-second vehicle tracking capabilities on highly sensitive receivers. Like other Live Trac units, the G-5 works in environments where other GPS units fail.

The Live Trac GPS Platform features reliable 99.9 percent server uptime and requires no software to install. System updates are free, and live support is built into the platform. Users log on via their computer browser or web-enabled mobile device and, once connected, can track multiple vehicles in real time on a high-resolution satellite map, set geofencing (zones), find addresses, see aerial or road map views, and view historical data up to 90 days. A personal dashboard allows users to set and manage mapping, reporting and alert features to meet business or personal needs.

Benefits

“When the bidding process was finished, we learned we’d submitted the second lowest bid,” Williamson says with some pride. “We ended up winning the shuttle contract because we already had all the licenses, and the lowest bidder didn’t. We’ve been successfully shuttling hospital workers back and forth since last year.”

Knowing where all vehicles are at all times allows Grace’s Transportation to call drivers after a job is completed to tell them another customer is waiting. The driver can go directly to the new assignment without returning to base, making them more efficient. In emergencies, when customers need transportation immediately, cutting travel time is a must; otherwise the customers may not be there when the driver arrives.

Grace’s Transportation also operates five charter busses that are required to make certain stops. The GPS vehicle tracking system monitors where the busses are, if they are on schedule, whether they are following the correct route and whether they make all scheduled stops.

“We get a lot of nuts-and-bolts benefits that are vital to any transportation fleet,” Williamson notes. “These benefits aren’t glamorous, but they keep us competitive. For example, we monitor idling time, which can really kill us in the summer when vehicle air conditioners are running. Summer is also hard on coolant and oil. Thanks to LiveViewGPS monitoring and reports, we’ve established better maintenance routines to keep costs down.

“Because Live Trac’s online satellite map gives us a bird’s-eye view of the entire area, we see things our drivers can’t. Traffic congestion is always a problem, especially during Mardi Gras. With our satellite view we can spot congested streets or accidents and instantly give our drivers alternate routes. Using historical data, we can analyze tour routes to determine the most efficient itinerary.

“By reducing idling time and using more efficient routes, we discovered we’ve reduced fuel bills about 3% every week. Fleet-wide, that adds up to significant savings.”

Grace’s Transportation’s Live Trac GPS system also doubles as an efficient training tool. Drivers can watch satellite feeds showing the routes they should have taken instead of the ones they chose. This helps improve efficiency while reducing operating costs.

When asked about LiveViewGPS customer service, Williamson replies, “We’ve had no problems at all. We’ve only called customer support twice and they were great. One time I had a couple of questions about their reports, and they gave me some extra one-on-one training.

“We’re a service business competing with other transportation companies. Running our company more efficiently and keeping our customers happy is our competitive edge. We rely on LiveViewGPS to help us maintain that edge.”

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