Case Study

Powering VGM’s Growth with Fleet Optimization

VGM's growth with Autofleet

How VGM consistently provides a reliable and sustainable NEMT service that exceeds the terms of its SLA, driving more business their way.


Non Emergency Medical Transfer (NEMT), and other forms of contract rides like school transport offer a great opportunity for mobility operators to get a steady source of income and grow their business. However, they present their own set of challenges, like how to make sure arrival windows are met consistently? How to meet different training and vehicle requirements? and how to grow and do more with your existing fleet?

VGM operates a privately owned fleet in NYC. They are a certified operator for the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) NEMT and paratransit program Access-A-Ride (AAR). Together with Autofleet, VGM is able to consistently meet the SLA requirements of the MTA and exceed them.

The problem

There are many challenges to operating an NEMT service, including making sure drivers meet specific training and certification required in your jurisdiction, the availability of ADA (Americans with Disability Act) vehicles where required and others. 

But once you have the operation up and running, planning, automating and optimizing these rides is the biggest challenge facing a company seeking to offer an NEMT service (or any other form of contract rides). 

Operational questions such as:

  • How to make sure the demand for rides is met efficiently, within the service parameters set by the contract? 
  • How to provide great service while ensuring profitability? 
  • How to make sure the route plan works not only in theory, but in practice and on the ground? 
  • And is the plan responsive to traffic conditions, changes in the city like roadblocks, and operational challenges like a driver calling in sick or a vehicle involved in an accident?  

Additional challenges 

Excellence in service and execution is important, but so is the ability to report it to other stakeholders, and specifically to the contract holder. Reporting is a critical component of a fleet’s ability to show compliance (and win the next contract). As well as its ability to learn and improve.

Alongside planning and reporting, the actual management and operation of NEMT services presents its own unique challenges, not the least of which is the challenge of ingesting multiple demand sources in multiple formats, including emails, CSV files and more.

The solution

VGM employed Autofleet’s platform for completely automating and optimizing their operations. Within weeks of launch, VGM became one of the highest performing service providers (compared to other fleets in the program) in terms of meeting the SLAs the MTA demands, and it remains consistently at the top. As a result, the team at VGM were able to grow their business without needing to increase headcount.

VGM's testimonial on workiing with Autofleet

Several key factors contributed to this success:

Easy integrations and ingestion of ride requests. Autofleet enabled VGM to automate much of its relationship with the MTA. Ride requests are received by email, as a .CSV file, and are automatically ingested into the platform to become part of the automated planning. Further integration with the MTA's systems allow rides to be updated live, improves reporting accuracy, and eliminates a lot of manual work. In fact, Autofleet can integrate and automate any ride request source, making planning and dispatching a lot easier.    

Superior responsive planning. VGM, using Autofleet’s platform, is able to optimize planning for future orders. The plans are created automatically, enforcing strict pickup and drop-off time windows, as set by the management team at VGM, as well as accommodating special passenger needs.

Not only that, Autofleet’s platform meets any passenger and vehicle constraints and results in reduced deadhead miles.

Continuous re-optimization of booked rides. The people of VGM do not rest on their laurels. Using Autofleet’s re-optimization engine, plans are matched against ground-truth traffic and city data in real time, as well as operational constraints like a driver calling in sick to make sure the best plan is always in play. 

Re-optimization is a powerful tool, allowing VGM to accommodate unexpected changes and take into account live conditions and driver/vehicle requirements. 

Complete control with the platform’s Control Center. In order to ensure passenger satisfaction and safety, as well as the smooth operation of its fleet, VGM uses the Control Center to:

  • Empower dispatch operators with full real time visibility and tracking, automatic anomaly detection, driver issues handling and more.
  • Gain operational and customer centric insights over numerous KPIs, Including On Time Pickup (OTP) within 5 minutes of appointment time, trip duration, and driver idle times
  • Automate numerous tasks like periodic checkups, driver training and certification, preventive maintenance and more. 

Keeping tabs on NEMT KPIs and operational reporting. Reporting, both internally and to external stakeholders, is made extremely easy using Autofleet. It allows VGM to focus on growth and excellence in service - and concentrate on drawing insight from KPIs like on-time performance, payment collection, driver breaks, and changes made by dispatchers - rather than struggle to issue any data.


Growth in number of rides per month with Autofleet's Opitimization Platfrom

The team at VGM were able to see an immediate increase in order completion rate and reduce cancellations by optimizing planning and routing and thus ensuring better On-Time Performance (OTP). This translates into better service to passengers, with shorter and more accurate arrival windows, and a better relationship with the MTA, and subsequently leads to more business for VGM. 

Autofleet enabled VGM to:

  • Increase efficiency and utilization while improving service levels.
  • Optimize dispatching and routing, taking into consideration the needs and attributes of patient, driver, vehicles, and appointment characteristics.
  • Provide full visibility to the operation in real time - audit drivers, patients, predict delays, ride tracker.
  • Monitor, analyze and provide actionable data based insights to meet the business KPIs and continue its growth.

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