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Benzie Bus Launches Remote Dispatching System for Employees


Under the guidelines in the epidemic orders, everyone is required to work from home unless it’s not possible.

One of those businesses forced to make changes was Benzie Bus.

“I don’t mind being at home, but yeah I do miss the office a little bit,” said Benzie Bus dispatcher Arlene Killeen. “Just small adjustments that you have to make.”

Instead of dispatching bus rides from the Benzie Bus office, she’s doing her job from her desk at home.

“I have my actual desk phone from my desk at work, it’s plugged right into the internet and it works perfectly fine as if I’m at work,” Killeen said. “I have a tablet that my computer, and then I have a extra monitor.”

Benzie Bus was actually testing out their at-home system the day before the new orders were announced.

“The day after, the Department of Health and Human Services made their announcement that folks should work remotely if they could,” said Benzie Bus Executive Director Bill Kennis. “Since then we haven’t turned back.”

Their new operation is a cloud-based dispatching system with phones that can connect to the internet.

“I believe we’re the only public transit in the state that is doing remote dispatching” Kennis said.

And there’s virtually no difference to the dispatchers or riders.

“I haven’t had any glitches at all,” Killeen said. “It’s just a matter of getting it set up and being able to use it.”

“It’s very seamless,” Kennis said. “The customers have no idea that they’re being dispatched from somebody’s kitchen table.”

Benzie Bus plans to keep this system in place until the Coronavirus pandemic slows down.

“It’s a very big concern,” Kennis said. “To keep our employees safe and to keep the service up and running, we’re going to do whatever it takes.”