ComTrans is a non-emergency transportation company providing services to communities in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona, as well as San Diego, California. With a fleet of approximately 200 vehicles, 225 drivers, and 300 staff members, it is one of the largest specialized medical transport companies in the Southwest. Maintaining communications between dispatchers and drivers is critical to the company’s operations.
For almost 10 years, the company used Sprint Nextel for push-to-talk (PTT) communications. But with the shutdown of the Nextel network in 2013, the company was suddenly forced to look for an alternative. Operations Manager, Jay Mayer, tried their carrier’s new PTT service, but it was not as reliable as Nextel, and the coverage was spotty.
Not happy with their coverage, the company decided to look at other carriers and their PTT offerings. While consulting with a T-Mobile rep, Mayer learned about a new PTT solution - Zello@Work. Since Zello@Work offered a free 5-user network, Mayer decided to use it to field test Zello with T-Mobile. After a short trial, he concluded that Zello was more reliable than his current service and switched to Zello with T-Mobile. As Mayer stated, “We are even happier with Zello than we were with Nextel.”
In addition to being reliable, fast, and affordable, Zello offered several other beneficial features. Because Zello runs on any carrier network or Wi-Fi, the company can use a combination of carriers, if needed, with no network interruptions. Since Zello supports most smart devices including tablets and PCs, the company allows a “bring your own device” (BYOD) policy. With the BYOD policy, employees can use their personal devices for work, reducing the cost of buying company-owned devices.
Mayer especially liked the convenience of the admin management console which allowed him and other admins to easily add or delete users and manage user device settings. The history feature makes it easy to review calls made between dispatchers and drivers at any time. Since Zello works with wireless Bluetooth devices, administrators and dispatchers can leave their PCs to do other things while still connected to the Zello network.
Along with Zello, the company also installs their own in-house transportation app, allowing employees to perform all their work tasks with just one device. Currently, ComTrans has approximately 400 devices with Zello installed, and the network has been running for 2 years.
ComTrans was founded by Neal Thomas in 1995 with a fleet of three vehicles. Since that time, the fleet has grown to over 200. ComTrans and ComCare are responsible for the Maricopa County behavioral health system, providing crisis transport teams with emergency medical technicians. These EMTs work to relieve police and fire departments by transporting passengers to and from urgent care centers, detoxification facilities, domestic violence shelters and hospitals.