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Train Information Service Wins Innovation Award

12 October 2004

ARC Train Information Service Wins Innovation Award

An Auckland Regional Council text message information system for rail passengers has won a BearingPoint innovation award.

The information service was established by the ARC in conjunction with Toll NZ in May, to keep passengers up-to-date on train services. It won top honours in the Local Government section of the awards held last night.

The BearingPoint awards are held annually to recognise creativity in the public sector.

The ARC Rail Project Director, Elena Trout, says the recognition comes after an intensive period of planning and refining to develop a system that best suits the Auckland region.

“The text messages let passengers know when trains are significantly delayed, and ease the frustration people naturally feel when they are not kept informed”.

The programme is the first in New Zealand to provide real time rail service delay information direct to commuters.

“The service has already proved popular with passengers, and I am very pleased and honoured that it has been recognised at these prestigious awards”, Mrs Trout says.

Passengers can receive messages about services across the entire rail network. It costs 20 cents to join, but messages are free.

Mrs Trout says the ARC is leading several projects to improve Auckland’s passenger rail services, including double tracking the Western Rail Line and upgrading the region’s trains.

“This system is an immediate solution to keep passengers informed while the rail system is developing. Eventually real time information displays and public address systems at stations will complement the text messages across the whole network”.

ENDS

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