View Point to Point Reservations
Configuring Point to Point Reservations
Using the Hudson Point to Point System
Point to point (PtP) is a powerful feature in the local and web based reservation systems. PtP is used to automatically calculate a fare for travel between two Zones. Zones are defined as either; a geographic area (Boston Metro), a specific city/town/county (Cambridge) or a geographic collection of cities/towns/counties (Cambridge, Newton and Brookline belong to Zone 1).
- To setup PtoP you will need:
- Zones as defined above
- A ptpfares.csv file
- A zones.csv file
To setup your ptpfares.csv file please refer to your Fare Layout document. This file will contain your locations (city names, general areas, hotels, etc.) that you wish to include in your point to point service, do not set the prices in this file instead add a “Zone Price ID” to each location. A Zone Price ID is located in field AN in Excel. This ID is used to indicate what zone the location belongs to. In some setups each location will have a unique zone ID, for example if travel between each city is priced uniquely each location will have a unique Zone ID. Hudson recommends starting with Z01 through Z??, however any setup that is preferred can be used. In addition multiple locations could belong to the same Zone.
Once the locations are entered and the Zone Price ID is set, build or create a zone.csv file (see Zone Layout). This file is used to determine pricing for travel between two specified zones. The first field in the zones.csv file is called KEY, the KEY for PtoP is the two Zone Price IDs for which pricing is to be automatically calculated. For example, to price travel between Zone 1 and Zone 2 the KEY within the zones.csv file is Z01.Z02. (You do not need to add Z02.Z01 as a KEY, as the fare is the same in both directions and the system does not differentiate which zone you are starting in or ending in when determining the fare).** The pricing for travel between the zones is entered into each service that you will be offering. For example, if Service1 is your Shared Service, you only want to enter prices in Service1 if you offer Shared Service PtP.
NOTE: For Point to Point Pricing to work properly, you MUST specify the travel / lead time value in the appropriate column in the zone.csv file for all locations / key combinations!
Once your ptpfares.csv and zones.csv files are created, they must be imported individually via the HWebUtility program. The ptpfares.csv file is imported via the Import Fares option and the zones.csv file is imported via the Import Zone option (Please note these are general descriptions of the options your description may vary slightly).
**UPDATE: Spring 2008
Fares can now change based on Direction in Ptp Reservations
Ability is added to allow different pricing on Point to Point travel based on direction. Effective with HWeb Agent version 1.89a, you can now set a different rate for point to point travel depending on which location you are starting from. For example, you may wish to charge a higher fare when you begin a trip from a point inside the city and are travelling outbound to a suburb, but wish to charge a lower fare when travelling from the same suburb inbound to the city. Two fairly straightforward steps are required:
- Enable Unique Zone Pricing in Configuration
- Update Zone.csv table(s)
Enable Unique Zone Pricing in Configuration
Local SystemTools / Configuration / Advanced Features / Reservation Tab
Locate and place a check mark next to "Use Unique Zone Records"
Click Apply & OK to save changes.
Resutil Page / General Configuration / Direction Options / Point to Point
Use Unique Zone Records = Yes
Click SUBMIT to save changes.
Update Zone.csv table(s)
As stated in the third paragraph above, you do not need to reverse your zone KEYs in your zone.csv file when your PtP pricing model is simple - when the price is the same for both directions of travel between say Zone 1 and Zone 4: (Z01.Z04).
This is no longer true when you choose to enable the Unique Zone Pricing in Configuration. You now must have every desired Zone combination listed both ways on your zone.csv file: Z01.Z04, and Z04.Z01 even if the fare is the same in both directions. If you do not update your fare tables accordingly, you will get an error message when the specific direction being selected in Fare and Availability screen is not present in the Zone.csv table. For example, if you enable the Unique Zone Records in configuration, and select a trip from Zone1 to Zone 4, which is present in the zone.csv table, you will be presented with the appropriate fare. If you select a trip from Zone 4 to Zone 1, which is not present in the zone.csv table, a fare calculation error message will appear and you will not be able to create/save that reservation.
Updating the Zone.csv table can be time consuming, but is not complex, depending on the number of zones you have determined. Once the zone.csv table(s) are updated, they should be imported to the local system via HWeb Utilities. If you are also doing PtP reservations from your web site, you should upload and import your updated zone.csv table to the web system as well.
Another Option - Online Mapping and Web Services
The method outlined above is the original manner for configuring and setting point to point fares. The challenge is that it is not a very granular method. This means that you can easily calculate fares when the towns are known, but if your desire is to do point to point pricing based on the mileage, or travel time between the pickup and drop off locations, then the above method is not very good. This is where using a web service can be invaluable. There are an increasing number of mapping websites that Hudson can integrate with to derive real-time point to point travel time and distance calculations.
In this scenario, you would go into your local system, Service Configuration, and determine mileage rates for your different vehicle types. Hudson then helps you configure the system to pull distance and travel time from the web based mapping interface. When you enter a reservation for a caller, the Hudson system collects the mileage and travel time and then multiplies the appropriate value against you service mileage rate or hourly rate to arrive at a fare.
If you are undecided, or if you wish to use the web mapping services to calculate fares for some vehicle types and the traditional method described above for other vehicle types, this can be done too. You do have a choice. Regardless of which method you choose, both options have some benefits and some limitations which you can read about here: Point to Point vs Google Map.