Brittany Shlacter Cover

Blink Hero: Brittany Schlacter, The Rapid

I’m Brittany Schlacter, Acting Communications Manager at The Rapid.

A little bit about us.

The Rapid is a transit authority. We serve the greater Grand Rapids area in Michigan, United States.

The Rapid bus driver

We have:

  • Over 400 employees.
  • Two main locations.
  • A large desk-less workforce.

Our pain points.

Oh, it was always issues around communicating with the frontline. If I wanted to speak to a bus operator or a maintenance technician, it would be pretty challenging. I’d have to find their schedule first – maybe I’d catch them, maybe not.

If there was an event, I would have to create a poster. And print it. And make sure I hung it somewhere everyone would see it. There was no way to reach people who didn’t have an email address – which was the majority of our workforce.

This is how Blink changed the way we work.

Blink helped us solve our issues through an accessible and easy piece of technology. When an employee shows up for their shift and wants to see what’s going on, all they need to do is log on.

They can just log on, check up on Blink to see what’s going on, look into the hub for different resources. That gives them information they would otherwise have to scramble for.

I now feel more connected to people I work. Our offices are joined digitally, even though we all work seperately.

Holding phone with Blink open

There’s more trust between us. People know who we are. They know our faces, even if they’ve never met us before. They know our little profile icons. We’re way more accessible.

Before Blink, there was no way for executive leadership to reach employees. Now everyone has access to our CEO on a daily basis. That’s powerful.

Our Covid-19 response.

We are now able to communicate with people on our workforce who are on temporary paid leave. Some of our bus operators aren’t working because we’re running a reduced service. But that doesn’t mean they’re left out of operations. They can check in, go on the Hub for updated resources, get messages from their colleagues and managers.

We’re even doing roster picks for bus service in future, when everyone’s back.

And for those of us who are still working? It’s been awesome to have a desktop access tool for our team to check in, since so many of us are working from home. Email was never going to work for everybody.

What I love most about Blink is…

The team. They are incredibly personable and genuine. And they actually care about the workforce they’re serving! To everyone at the Rapid, Blink feels like an extension of our team.

Members of the Blink team sat having meeting

The future’s bright at The Rapid.

As an industry, we’re in a pretty unique spot. Until recently, the most valuable part of our workforce – those who drive our vehicles, and communicate with our customers every day – couldn’t be reached with the information they needed.

Blink has changed that. It’s a tool that could completely transform how public transportation communicates. I think there’s a huge opportunity for other agencies to consider it as part of their internal communications strategy.