OPTiMiSe is software aimed at helping Community Transport Organisations (CTOs) organise their booking process easily and efficiently.
Booking data is displayed in 2 ways: in the form of a Diary or as series of data lists. Currently the system handles the following types of bookings:
- Community car (where volunteers pick up passengers in their own vehicles)
- Dial-a-ride (where volunteers use CTO vehicles to pick up disabled passengers)
- Dial-a-bus (where a number of passengers can book onto a pre-arranged trip in a CTO vehicle)
- Group transport (where an external organisation hires a CTO vehicle for their own use, either with or without a driver)
The system also keeps track of a number of different types of data:
System administrators can also access an Admin menu to help them tailor the system to their own requirements.
Running the system
OPTiMiSe runs in a standard web browser and can be accessed at app.optimise-ct.co.uk. We recommend that you use Google Chrome. The browser you use must be reasonably modern - if you try to log in with a browser that’s too old it will warn you.
The login screen asks for a company name and your username and password. The System administrator for your CTO will have to create an account for you before you can log in. When you log in successfully, the system will display the Diary page for the current week.
Once you’ve logged in a system menu will appear at the top of the screen. This allows you to navigate to any part of the system. The only time this menu will not be available is when you are entering some data into a popup form.
The area under the system menu is called the page menu. This displays extra menu options which change depending on the page being displayed.
The Diary page is the first page displayed when you log in. The view can be changed between the week view and the month view using the buttons at the top right. A box is drawn around today’s date.
The dates displayed can be selected using the date control at the top left. The arrows move the view backwards or forwards a week or month at a time. If a specific date is required you can click on the displayed date and use a drop-down calendar to select the desired date.
Booking data is displayed on the diary using a combination of colours and icons. Colours have the following meaning:
- Red - the booking requires attention
- White - the booking has been set up and doesn’t currently require attention
- Green - the booking has been completed and completion data should be entered when available
Icons are used to show the booking status in more detail:
|Community car booking|
|Group transport booking|
|Provisional booking: awaiting confirmation from client|
|Awaiting allocation of driver|
|Awaiting allocation of vehicle|
|Awaiting confirmation of driver|
|Awaiting notification of client|
|Awaiting notification of group|
|Awaiting completion information|
|(8/12)||Number of seats taken / total seats on a Dial-a-bus trip|
The Week view shows all the individual bookings for the current week. Clicking on a booking in the Week view will display the Detail page for that booking.
The Month view shows a summary of all the bookings on each day in the current month, grouped by the type of booking. The total number of bookings of each type is shown on the left, while any bookings of that type needing attention are shown in bold on the right. Clicking on one of the entries shows all the individual bookings of that type - clicking on one of the individual bookings will display the Detail page for that booking.
On either the Week or the Month view, clicking on a blank part of a day will popup a menu allowing you to enter a new booking.
The Bookings menu gives access to the 4 types of booking supported by the system. Selecting any of the 4 types display a list of all the bookings of that type for the current month. The list can be toggled between a month view and a day view using the buttons at the top right.
An entry on the page menu allows you to enter a new booking for the type you’ve currently got selected.
Bookings for other dates can be displayed using the date control at the top left. Pressing the ‘today’ button either shows today’s bookings (if on the day view) or the bookings starting at today’s date (if on the month view). Filters are available at the top of the list to reduce the bookings displayed in the list.
The status of each booking is displayed using the same colours and icons as the Diary page. If a booking has been cancelled, it is displayed with the text struck through. If the booking has been completed (and completion information has been entered), the text is greyed out. Clicking on any booking in a list will display the Detail page for that booking.
A Detail page is displayed whenever you click on a booking, either on a Diary page or in a Booking list. All the information the system holds about the booking is displayed on screen.
Sections of the booking can be edited by clicking the Edit button next to the appropriate section. Further information can be displayed about clients, drivers, vehicles, groups and doctors by clicking on links - these are items of data in blue which display a yellow background when you mouse over them.
The page menu near the top of the page will contain a number of entries allowing further action on the booking:
- Print - print the booking data either to a printer or a pdf file
- Complete - Enter completion information for the booking (only visible when the booking is in the past)
- Clone - copy as much information as possible from the booking to a new booking
- Convert - allows a Community Car booking to be converted to a Dial-a-ride booking and vice versa
- Cancel - allows a booking to be cancelled. The booking will still be displayed in the system and included in reports
- Delete - permanently remove the booking from the system
A number of reports can be accessed from the system menu. When a report is selected, any available data is shown on-screen. Filters at the top of each report allow the required data to be displayed.
A print button will (depending on your browser) allow a report to be printed or saved in pdf format. Note that if the system does not hold information on a field that needs to be included in the printed report, this data can be manually entered before the report is printed.
The system contains a number of lists of data which hold background information used during normal system operation, for example when selecting a client or a driver. These lists can be accessed from the Data entry on the system menu. They include:
- Clients - the customers using the services provided by the CTO
- Drivers - volunteer drivers
- Groups - organisations either hiring CTO vehicles or booking their own customers on a Dial-a-bus trip
- Vehicles - CTO owned vehicles
- Doctors - customers’ doctors
Selecting a list shows all the data in that list. The page menu allows a new record to be added to the list. An entry on the Drivers page menu also allows the drivers’ availability to be displayed.
Clicking on any entry in a list shows detailed information about that entry. Sections of the detailed information can be edited by clicking the appropriate Edit button. The page menu on these detail pages contains a number of options depending on the page:
- Ban (Clients or Groups) - mark a client or group as being banned. Their details are kept in the system but they cannot be included in a new booking
- Delete (all lists) - permanently delete the selected record from the system
The administration pages allow system administrators to access system functions not available to other users. The pages include:
- Users - maintain user accounts to control access to the system
- Data tables - edit seldom-changed data used in the running of the system
- Upload data - import data into the system from a spreadsheet
- Download data - export data from the system into a series of spreadsheets
System messages are created by the following events:
- When the system has been updated since the user last logged in
- When an office user requests a driver to undertake a booking
- When a driver accepts or rejects a booking
- When a driver enters completion information for a booking
- When the total number of purchased bookings drops below the number of bookings used in the previous month (admins only)
System messages are accessed by clicking on the letter icon to the left of the search box. If a new system message arrives a red exclamation mark is displayed. Clicking on a message will take you to the appropriate part of the system to help you deal with the message e.g. when a driver accepts a booking, clicking on the message will display the detail page for that booking.
The system can be searched for any text using the search box at the top right of every page. Once you have entered the text to be searched for, click on the magnifying glass icon or press the
The search results are shown in a full page table. Note that the results are shown by category - the list of categories is shown at the top of the page and you can select which category to show. Categories include the different types of trips and the data lists.
Your search term will be highlighted on the screen. You can click on any entry in the table of search results to go to the matching record. If you can’t see you search term in a search result, it means that the term has been found in another field in the record not shown in the table.
User options are displayed by clicking on the head and shoulders icon at the right of the system menu. This will display a popup showing the name of the currently logged in user along with the name of the CTO. A number of other menu options are displayed:
- About - displays a popup giving information about OPTiMiSe. You can also display the changes made to the system by clicking on ‘View Changelog’
- Preferences - lets you choose whether the help icons are displayed on the system and the data and time format you would like the system to use
- Logout - logs the current user out of the system and displays the Login page
Shutting down the system
The most secure way to shut down the system is to log out using the user options menu. This will mean that you have to log in again the next time you use the system. If you do not log out, the system will still be logged in the next time you use it (as long as you use the same web browser).