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The Master Scheduler

This section offers the history and general description of our flagship product, The Master Scheduler. Originally prototyped at the APTA Annual Convention in the fall of 1991, TMS became a production system at Phoenix Transit in 1993.

Product History

When TMS was conceived of, we knew that the next wave of PC-based computing would occur in a Microsoft Windows environment. With that in mind, we embarked upon the creation of the first Windows-based Public Transit Scheduling System. We also knew that computing in the future would be based around component-built systems. This meant that rather than building a street map and reporting interface to the system, we would research the market and integrate those portions into the final product.

When TMS moved from prototype to production at Phoenix Transit in 1993, it brought with it the first successful public transit integration of the highly-respected MapInfo for Windows and Crystal Reports products.

TMS itself follows a table-driven relational database model. Data components, such as routes, patterns, trips, and blocks are all directly input into the system, or are generated based  on input data. Node-to-node running, travel, and deadhead times are kept in a central location, offering ease-of-use whenever the data has to be viewed or modified. Blocking can be performed either manually or optimally in the system. The TMS Optimal Blocker offers trip-to-vehicle assignments that are mathematically provable as the most cost-efficient. The TMS Runcutter also runs in manual and optimal modes, and produces beautifully-cut runs based on user-defined costing rules. The TMS Rostering Module creates weekly assignments that maximize the number of consecutive days off. Our Bidding Module allows for "cafeteria-style" operator bidding. Our Trip Planner can produce multiple itineraries in several languages.

Schedule Masters, Inc. adheres to a relatively unique model in the transit software business - all our customers have and use the same release of the software. There are no "one-offs". Any time the system is enhanced, all customers benefit from the enhancement.

We can talk to your systems

The dynamic nature of the TMS database allows us to construct data downloads to your existing systems. For example, the download to the Precursor system, described below, took us under a day to write and implement. If you need schedule data downloaded to other systems, talk to us!


Yes, TMS runs with NetWare. We've been certified by Novell Labs since 1991 as having a product that's network aware and network ready.

Look for the TMS listing in http://developer.novell.com/nss/


MapInfo for Windows is used by TMS to geocode timepoints in the TMS database, and to perform proximity searches for the Trip Planner. When TMS sees the longitude/latitude data generated by the geocoding process, it knows how to automatically calculate node-to-node mileages.

MapInfo is also used to show route mapping. Once displayed, the map can easily be imported into any desktop publishing system, and, along with trip data from TMS, can be used for the in-house production of public timetables.

The many possibilities of MapInfo in a Public Transit environment are not restricted to geocoding and route display. Please see the excellent MapInfo web site athttp://www.mapinfo.comfor more information, and then contact us atsales@themasterscheduler.com.


Crystal Reports is the backbone of the TMS reporting engine. Our software is shipped with a number of user-modifiable Crystal Reports templates. When a report is called for within TMS, the Crystal Engine displays it directly on the screen, and offers the scheduler printing and exporting options. The entire Crystal Reports package is bundled with TMS. Complimentary reports to those furnished with TMS can be defined and generated at any time. Please take a moment to visit the Crystal Reports site athttp://www.crystaldecisions.com, and then let us assist you further by emailing us atsales@themasterscheduler.com.

System Requirements and Additional Information

Features

Routes
  • Define an unlimited number of timepoints
  • Define an unlimited number of patterns
  • Define an unlimited number of running times
  • Define an unlimited number of relief points
  • Define an unlimited number of service days
  • Identify timepoints and relief points by street addressYes
  • Share running times between timepoints for multiple routes
  • Define any number of timepoints, patterns, running times, relief points, and services without special software customization or configuration
  • Define an unlimited number of vehicle types and assign them at the trip level
  • Add any comment to any route and see it in any report

Trips and Patterns
  • Specify all patterns quickly by only indicating changes from a base pattern of timepoints
  • Generate trips directly from relevant running times. Trip regeneration is never required - running time changes are instantly updated everywhere in the system
  • Trips running across time boundaries are automatically smoothed - the most applicable running times are always used
  • See times in military
  • See times in APX
  • See times in minutes and seconds
  • See times in minutes only
  • Sort trips by any criteria
  • See summaries and trip statistics
  • Add any comment to any trip and see it in any report

Runcutting
  • Establish up to 100 different run classifications
  • Allow up to 10 pieces on an individual run
  • Define maximum spread time and spread overtime premiums
  • Define all driver pay time rules and costs with point-and-click
  • See a graphical profile of cut and uncut blocks
  • Cut runs manually or automatically by specifying start and end time of day and runtype
  • Improve the runcut through a powerful runcut optimizer
  • See an on-screen summary of each runtype and its percentage of the total
  • Automatically calculate the costs of existing runs after changing the run classification rules
  • Use an automatic run classifier to determine the exact costs of a run, whether it's valid, and get an English-language explanation if it's not
  • Hook and unhook runs
  • Incorporate driver shuttle vans into the runcutYes
  • Automatically calculate "Dynamic Travel Times", wherein drivers ride with "in-service" vehicles to move between relief points
  • Establish paid and unpaid breaks
  • Add any comment to any run and see it in any report


Rostering and On-line Bidding
  • Maintain Drivers and Driver Types tables
  • Automate the run selection process with an interactive "Run Bidding" module
  • Define varying day work weeks
  • Specify on and off days manually or automatically
  • Define minimum off times in roster combinations
  • Define run type combination rules
  • Define all rostering parameters with point-and-click
  • Use roster optimizer to decrease total costs
  • Automatically generate consecutive days off whenever possible
  • Show the cost of each and all rosters

Reports
  • Bundled with the award-winning Crystal Reports report writer
  • Print any on-screen table to any Windows-compatible printer
  • Allow for print preview
  • Create reports in native Excel, 1-2-3, Word, WordPerfect, ASCII Text, Email, or any of the other more than 20 formats supported by Crystal Reports
  • Utilize built-in reports such as vehicle and driver paddles, and downloads to desktop publishing systems that produce public timetables
  • Customize reports on-screen with point and click
  • See report times in military or APX formats
  • Customize the menu bar to include only those reports you're interested in

Mapping
  • Bundled with the MapInfo™ package - a commercially-available, supportable, and non-proprietary mapping system
  • Incorporate the local map of your area
  • Have map updates that are commercially available
  • Print maps
  • Edit maps on-screen
  • Display routes graphically on the map
  • Geocode timepoints interactively by intersection or street address
  • Compute point to point distances automatically and see them in reports
  • Interface with the ArcInfo™ and MapObjects packages
  • Support real-time AVL display

User Interface
  • Standard Windows user-interface look and feel
  • All major features available from toolbar icons
  • Only activate relevant features at any point in the program
  • Standard Windows user-interface look and feel
  • All major features available from toolbar icons
  • Only activate relevant features at any point in the program
  • All features accessible with point-and-click in dialog boxes
  • All data only entered once - no retyping ever
  • All data is fully checked when it's entered
  • Resize and hide or show table columns any time, and modify the displayed font
  • Save screen preferences on a user-by-user basis
  • Fully searchable, fully indexed, Windows on-line help and a comprehensive, fully indexed, user manual
  • Access the map display and editor, and create and modify report templates from within the user interface

Support and Maintenance
  • Phone support available 8AM to 6PM (EST), with 24-hour Fax support
  • Support through the Internet including data uploads and downloads
  • New-version program upgrades distributed via the Internet
  • All new versions and upgrades included in annual maintenance fee
  • First year of support and maintenance included with the software

Training
  • Comprehensive training performed in five days, with additional training available if necessary
  • Hands-on training performed with your data
  • Training performed at your property on your machines (and network)
  • Replication of the existing runcut after the training session
  • Typically live within seven days of training

Special Event Capabilities
  • Completely plan special event transit services in a few hours
  • Quickly and optimally determine vehicle requirements
  • Quickly and optimally determine driver requirements
  • Integrate and determine the impact of the special event service on your regular service
  • Quickly determine all costs and requirements needed to bid on special events

Support for What-ifs
  • Keep unlimited versions of your data and solutions
  • Configure all rules and costs from point-and-click dialogs
  • Quickly evaluate the impact of route changes
  • Evaluate the cost of work-rule and/or running time changes without recutting your existing runs
  • When necessary, reblock your trips and recut your runs quickly

Database
  • Commercially-available, fully normalized and indexed, relational database
  • Record-level locking that allows simultaneous multi-user access without data conflicts
  • ODBC compliance, allowing other applications to access the database through the Windows ODBC interface

Hardware and Environment
  • Runs on an Intel-based PC
  • Runs as a 32-bit application under Windows 95/98/2000/ME/NT /XP
  • Has "Yes, it runs with NetWare" certification

Trip Planning
  • Runs on a "read-only" workstation, utilizing the most current scheduling data
  • No license fee increase for multiple "read-only" stations
  • Allows for the use of street intersections, addresses, and landmarks
  • Selectable "shortest time" or "fewest transfers" along with day of week
  • Accepts departure or arrival times
  • Results can be printed, faxed, or emailed
Requirements

The Master Scheduler - Recommended Minimum* System Requirements:

Component Details
CPU Pentium 4, 2.0Ghz, 1Gb of RAM
Disk 500 Mb of hard disk space, CD-ROM
Monitor Minimum 17" monitor
Keyboard/Mouse Standard PC keyboard, Microsoft-compatible mouse
Internet Connection High-speed (or modem if not available)
Printer Windows-compatible laser printer
Operating System Microsoft Windows XP Professional / Vista Office
Network Novell NetWare, Microsoft Network
Business Software TMS is compatible with most Windows business application software, including Excel, Word, Quattro Pro, Lotus 123, WordPerfect, MS-Mail, and PageMaker. Please consult your Schedule Masters, Inc. representative for more details on specific packages.
GPS Message Type (AVL) TMS is compatible with both NMEA 0183 and Trimble TSIP message formats. Serial connections up to 9600 baud. Update intervals from 1-600 seconds.

*Actual system requirements may vary .

White Papers

Contact Information

  • E-mail:sales@themasterscheduler.com
  • Telephone: (905) 495-5402
  • Fax: (905) 495-5404
  • Address: 200 -5A Conestoga Drive, Brampton, Ontario, Canada L6Z4N5

Guided Tour PPT

Download our updated Guided Tour

PowerPoint Presentation (5.37 Mb)


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Client Upload System

Existing TMS Clients can send us their database files using this simple form .

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