What was meant to improve the Handi-Van service turned out to be anything but that.
Two weeks ago, Handi-Van converted to a computerized reservation system to cut down on the wait times for pick ups.
But an Action Line caller told us the new system led to a longer waiting time just to get through or resulted in a constant busy signal.
KHON2 spoke with the president of Oahu Transit Services which runs the Handi-Van. He says there have been some problems with the new system.
Plagued with back problems, Catherine Cooper rides the Handi-Van twice a week. But lately, it has taken up 45 minutes just to reserve a pick-up.
“There’s been glitches all along but now with the new system that they’re working on it’s just total insanity,” she said.
“We had a glitch here which caused us a problem,” Morton said. He admits they were caught off guard.
Morton says there were glitches in the new software of the reservation system, and because the way reservations are now taken is different, many callers could not get through.
Reservation calls average two minutes each, but under the new system, it’s closer to four minutes. Handi-Van gets about 1,400 calls a day.
“We did plan for our calls to be a little bit longer but it was more than we had anticipated,” Morton said.
The computerized system is supposed to make scheduled pick-ups more accurate so riders won’t have to wait as long. Before, it was all done manually, which led to long delays.
With the new reservation system, there are also new vans. Ninety-nine of them are expected by the end of the year. Morton says they’ve already received 70.
Morton says two more reservationists have also been added, so the phone calls are getting closer to the normal length of two minutes and wait times for reservations and pick ups should be better from here on.
Riders are now given a half-hour window from their scheduled pick-up, which is an improvement from the old system.