The Lab’s shuttle fleet has a new addition – badge readers – that speed entrance at the Lab’s gates and keep the shuttles on schedule. The Lab’s requirement to use a badge to access Lab sites led to an issue for those riding the Lab shuttles. Shuttles were forced to wait at the gate while a security person boarded the shuttle with a handheld badge reader and manually scanned each passenger’s badge. This led to a backup at the gate and shuttles that quickly became off-schedule.
John Chernowski, who is senior manager of transportation and parking demand, Heather Pinto, Facilities contracted services manager for the shuttles, and Blair Edwards, senior manager, site security operations, heard the feedback and teamed up to find a solution. Heather and Blair answered some questions about the change.
Elements: What was the problem you were trying to solve?
Blair Edwards: We had a backup at the gates when shuttles pulled up. Security needed to board the shuttle and check each badge with a handheld reader to ensure each badge was valid. When we first had people returning to the Lab, there might only be three people on the shuttle so it wasn’t a big problem. But as more people rode the shuttle, it took more time to scan all the badges manually.
Heather Pinto: We both had pain points. Passengers weren’t happy with the delay. The shuttle drivers weren’t happy because waiting at the gate interfered with their ability to stick to the schedule.
Blair: Our security team wasn’t happy either. We took feedback from many sources and decided this was a problem that could be fixed. We worked with our shuttle company, RydeTrans, and our application provider TripShot, to find a solution.
Elements: What was the solution?
Heather: We added badge readers on the shuttles. Riders who jump on a shuttle swipe their badge as they enter. When the shuttle driver reaches a Lab gate, they swipe their badge as a proxy for everyone on the shuttle. Riders have always needed to show their badge when they get on a shuttle outside the Lab gates, so the difference is now they swipe it on the reader.
Elements: What happens if a passenger is a business guest or a new employee?
Blair: The driver will still let them on the shuttle, but when they reach the gate, someone from security will come onto the shuttle and verify their guest pass or badge appointment pass. If there are only one or two people, it only takes a minute and it is a vast improvement to check in two people rather than 30.
Elements: What is the process for an employee who has an expired badge since they didn’t complete GERT training, or forgot their badge?
Blair: If your badge is expired the driver will still let you on the shuttle, but when you get to the gate you will need to exit the shuttle so your status can be verified. If you have lost your badge, you will need to show the shuttle driver their Lab email or other proof they are affiliated with the Lab. At the gate you will need to leave the shuttle in order to verify that you have an active appointment and you will be advised to make a badge appointment. If you do not show as active, the SOC will contact the person’s manager for guidance.
Elements: What has been the feedback since the badge readers were installed?
Heather: The passengers are happier. The shuttle drivers are thrilled they can keep moving since they hate to run late and disappoint their passengers.
Blair: The security team is happy they only need to board a shuttle when necessary. Teaming with Heather and John to solve the problem is a good example of how we can still meet Lab and DOE requirements and get everyone to their destination safely and on time.
I estimate that 40% of the time I board the Blue Uphill shuttle to come to the hill, the scanner doesn’t work. The driver tells boarding passengers that the scanner doesn’t work. When the bus comes to the Blackberry Gate, a guard comes on the bus with the handheld scanner.
Thank you for your feedback. We’re working with our shuttle provider to improve the reliability of the badge readers. Please continue to provide us any feedback to BusServices@lbl.gov.
Thank you for the feedback concerning the back up at the gate. I have reviewed the footage and will be addressing the challenges with the security officer team. There were definitely steps they could have taken to alleviate the backup and those will be reviewed with the officers. We will increase our auditing of gate operations focused on improving effectiveness and efficiency.
Why don’t the shuttles with visitors use the VISITOR lane? Or why aren’t shuttles with visitors/guests waived through to the pull-out just inside the gate? Yesterday at 10am there was a line of at least 8 cars (not including another shuttle) that reached the curve. Some of us stayed where we were supposed to while other drivers got impatient, went into the visitor lane, and the guards accommodated them – very demotivating.