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Technology advances helping ARC achieve

Technology advances helping ARC achieve regional outcomes

2 July 2002

The ARC has won the IBM award for ‘Overall Excellence in the Use of IT’ for the development of “Virtually thr”; an initiative aimed at encouraging Aucklanders to use public transport. The award was presented at the Computerworld Excellence Awards on Friday June 28.

Virtually thr, (meaning ‘virtually there’) is the text messaging and WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) service linked to ARC’s transport information website www.rideline.co.nz. It allows information about buses, trains and ferries to be requested and received by text messaging from mobile phones.

ARC’s Operations Manager Tony Darby said that the award reflects ARC’s ongoing commitment to utilising technology for the achievement of environmental and social outcomes. “Continuous technology development plays a vital role in the way ARC achieves its outcomes,” said Mr Darby.

“Not only do we make better information more accessible to more people, we also spend less money doing so and make good gains on our objectives for the region,” said Mr Darby.

The ARC wishes to make it as easy as possible for people to receive the best information on public transport,” said ARC Transport Committee Chairwoman Catherine Harland.

Rideline (www.rideline.co.nz) has grown to handle around 400,000 interactions a year over the Internet giving people around the region detailed information, from simple queries such as “when does the next bus leave my location” to fares, route maps and even the walking distance required for a door-to-door trip.

ARC was a finalist for three categories of the awards including ‘e-Business of the Year’ and ‘Excellence in the Use of IT for Customer Service’. They were supported by business partners Transfund NZ, Datasquirt, Spatial Media and Ivan Barshinskey Productions. The Computerworld Excellence Awards honours outstanding achievement in the field of IT.

Virtually thr is one of the many initiatives that have contributed to the 7% increase in public transport usage over the last year.

For more information please call:

Tony Darby Operations Manager

366 2001

Catherine Harland Chairwoman, Passenger Transport Committee

366 2111

Zac Qereqeretabua Community Relations Advisor

366 2000 x8135

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