Journey_Times

Journey Times
Navigator uses journey times or “travel Times” to calculate the length of a journey and estimate when a driver will clear from a job.  Travel times aren’t just the time it takes from pick-up to drop-off, they also include lead times and return to base times.  There are many parts of the system that rely on travel times to provide accurate information such as the Booking Limits Graph and lead times for despatching.


Journey/travel times are ever changing, so even when you’ve initially set them up, you can expect to regularly update and modify the times as part of the natural evolution of the system.  Lead Times will vary depending on feed back from drivers and customers.  Let’s say for example your lead time to the local airport is 40 minutes but drivers are complaining that they’re regularly getting there 15 minutes early, or customers are complaining that the drivers are often 15 minutes late, in either of these scenarios the lead times would need to be adjusted accordingly.  
The importance of Journey Times cannot be stressed enough for the reliability and efficiency of despatch and with this in mind we have recently developed the new Adjacent Plots feature.  Adjacent Plots can be used to create far more accurate journey times and distances, please refer to Adjacent Plots for more information.
Lead Times (LT)
The Lead Time is the time it takes for the vehicle to get to the pick-up plot – this is generally the time taken from Base but may be from the nearest place where vehicles are regularly ranked.
In System Preferences you must also set the Minimum Lead Time which is the minimum lead time that will be used by the system.  For example, if the lead time from Base to a plot called FARRINGDON has been set at 4 minutes and the Minimum Lead Time has been set as 5 minutes, any jobs to FARRINGDON will automatically be assigned a lead time of 5 minutes rather than 4.
Return to Base Time (RTB)
Return to Base Time is the time it takes for the vehicle to return to a point where it is usable for another booking after dropping off.
Booking Limits Graph showing current bookings and booking availability – this information is calculated using travel times   
The Job Information part of the screen shows lead time, journey time and return to base time – 14+12+23.  If there is no return to base time, just two numbers
For example, let’s say the lead time for Macdonald’s Restaurant in town is 5 minutes, the return to base time may be zero because the vehicle would probably stay in town and wait for another booking after dropping off.
If however, a nearby town had a lead time of 30 minutes, the return to base time may also be 30 minutes because the driver would probably return to your own town after dropping off.
Journey Time Factor
You can also add Journey Time Factors to certain times of the day to allow for peak travelling times or busy town centres on Friday and Saturday nights.   
Viewing a job’s journey time
The journey times can be viewed on the Despatch Screen by hovering the mouse over a driver ball…


Setting up journey times
Before Navigator can use journey times, they must first be entered into the system along with lead times, return to base times and journey time factors.  Whilst the process of setting up journey times might appear quite daunting, it’s actually quite straight forward.   
The initial set up of journey times may take a bit of time to complete and needs to be approached in a logical manner, but once this process is complete it can just be tweaked as necessary to improve journey time accuracy.
Even though there’s no hard and fast rules on the journey times set-up sequence, it’s advisable to approach it in a logical manner and complete each step in turn.  If you follow these steps you’re not going to go too far wrong…
1. Set the average speed of your vehicles
2. Set the Lead Time and Return to Base Time of each plot
3. Set the journey times between plots
4. Set the Journey Time Factors
Please note:  This section of the application is still under construction and completion is planned for later on this year (2004).  Whilst there may be changes to the dialogue box the basic functionality will stay the same.
Time on job shows the journey time so far and the estimated total time for the job

The Journey Times window
Let’s start by taking a look at the Journey Times window, please note that this is still under construction…  
1. Click on the Plots menu
2. Choose Journey Times and Factors


3. The Journey Times window will appear…


Setting the average speed
The average speed of your vehicles will be dependent on the type of area your business is based in and the type of work you do.  Cars operating in cities and built-up conurbations will have a lower average speed than cars in rural areas,
The From Plot list showing Lead Times and Return to Base Times for each plot
The To Plot list showing the journey time to this plot from the plot selected in the From Plot list.   
Key: Black – times specified by user, Blue – implied times, Red – times estimated by system (read on for more information about implied and estimated times)
Plot to Plot journey time field
Average Speed field
Plot Lead Time field
Plot Return to Base Time field
Display filter
Journey Time grid
Journey Time Factors button

whilst companies doing mostly executive long distance travel will have a higher average speed than most.   
As a general rule of thumb, central London companies will have an average speed of 10 mph, suburbs will have an average speed of 30 mph, whilst companies doing mainly executive work may have an average speed of 50 mph.  You know your local area and the majority of the type of work you do, so take a realistic view when you set your average speed. For the majority of private hire companies, the average speed is typically 20 mph.


Specified, estimated and implied times
Before we start entering lead times, return to base times and journey times, let’s just spend a minute understanding the difference between specified, estimated and implied times.
The very first time you come into the Journey Times window, you’ll notice lots of times (minutes) in red.  These are times estimated by Navigator.  Navigator estimates these times by taking the line of sight distance multiplying it by 1.3 and dividing it by the average speed.
Times that you manually enter are called specified times and appear in black or dark green.   
As you manually specify times, Navigator will create implied times that appear in blue.  For example, let’s say it takes 10 minutes to travel from BULLS FARM to HIGHGATE, Navigator will presume that it also takes 10 minutes to travel back the other way from HIGHGATE to BULLS FARM.
Key Summary:
Red – estimated times calculated by a line of sight and average speed equation
Black – specified journey times manually entered into the system
Click into the Average Speed field and enter your average speed

Green – specified lead times and return to base times manually entered into the system
Blue – implied times calculated by Navigator using the times you have manually specified
Setting the Plot Lead Time and Return To Base Time
The plot lead time is the time taken for a vehicle to reach the pick-up plot from the nearest place where vehicles are regularly ranked.  The Return to Base Time is the time it takes for the vehicle to return to a point where it is usable for another booking after dropping off.
Please note:  To improve the accuracy of lead and journey times, it is advisable to specify lead and return to base times for individual places as well as plots because a plot may cover quite a large area.  Please refer to Edit Place for more information.
1. Select the plot in the left-hand list (From Plot list)
2. Enter the lead time in minutes in the Plot Lead Time field
3. Enter the return to base time in the Plot Return to Base Time field
4. If there is no return to base time, place a tick in the No RTB check box
5. Select the next plot in the list and repeat continuing for all the plots in the list.  Please note: There should be no Lead Time or RTB Time for the National or OOT (Out of Town) plots


Setting the journey times between plots
Next we’re going to tell Navigator how long it takes to travel from one plot to another plot.  The easiest way to do this is to set all the journey times from the first plot to all the other plots in turn…
Select the plot in the From Plot list
Enter the lead time (in minutes) in the Plot Lead Time field
Enter the return to base time in the Plot Return to Base Time field
If there is no return to base time, place a tick in the No RTB check box

1. Select the first plot in the in the left-hand list (From Plot list)
2. Select the first plot in the right-hand list (To Plot list)
3. Enter the time it takes (in minutes) to travel from the left-hand plot to the right-hand plot in the Plot-Plot Journey Times field
4. Select the next plot in the right-hand list (To Plot list)
5. Enter the journey time (minutes) in the Plot-Plot Journey Times field
6. Continue down the list until you reach the bottom and then select the second plot in the left-hand list (From Plot list) and work you way down again
Do not set journey times for the National or OOT (Out of Town) plots


Journey Time Factor
The journey time factor allows for variations to the normal journey time for different times of the day or week such as peak travelling hours or busy town centres on Friday and Saturday nights.
It’s actually very easy to understand.  The normal journey time is considered to be 100% of the journey time, therefore if during morning rush hour the journey takes half as long again the journey time factor is 150%.  Additionally if at 3.00 in the morning a journey only takes half the normal time, the journey time factor is 50%.   
1. Select the from plot in the From Plot list
2. Select the to plot in the To Plot list
3. Enter the journey time in minutes in the Plot – Plot Journey Times field
5. Select the next plot in the list and enter the journey time, continuing down the list until you have completed journey times for all the plots
6. Select the next plot in the From Plot list and repeat the procedure

Example:
If a journey from Abraham Close to the Train Station normally takes 20 minutes, but during morning and evening rush hours it takes 30 minutes, the additional time taken is 10 minutes.  10 minutes is 50% of the normal 20 minute journey, so the journey time factor is 100% + 50% = 150%...easy!
Adding journey time factors
1. To open the Journey Time Factors window click on the Edit Journey Time Factors button


2. The Journey Time Factors window will open and before you go any further make sure that the Allow multi select check box is selected – this will allow you to select and populate more than one time slot (cell) at the same time


To open the Journey Time Factors window, click on the Edit Journey Time Factor button
3. Locate the time slot by using the scroll bar to scroll up and down the list
4. Select the first set of cells you want to change by clicking and dragging over them with your mouse, just like you would select a range of cells in Microsoft Excel
5. Type the % factor in the field at the bottom of the screen and then click the Fill selected button to fill the selected cells with the percentage
Use the scroll bar to scroll up and down through the list
Click and drag over a group of cells to select. Don’t worry!  The first cell is selected even though it isn’t blue!
Enter the time factor % in this field
Make sure the Allow multi select check box is ticked to allow multiple selection of cells Click the Fill selected button to fill the selected cells with the time factor %
Before you start make sure the Allow multi select check box is ticked


5. Click OK when done
Regular Booking Journey Times
You can now view and modify the lead, journey and return to base times on the Regular Booking templates…
1. Click on the Configuration menu and choose Regular Booking
2. A window will appear with a list of all the regular bookings…


3. Select the regular booking you wish to modify  
4. Click on the first button on the toolbar or right-mouse click and choose Edit regular template from the shortcut menu
5. Click on the Booking details tab and enter or change the journey times at the bottom of the window
Click