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____ Summer Week 11: September 3 - September 8, 2015 ____

Exchange Morning Post "daily "distribution resumes September 8, 2015

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App Collaboration

Local municipal governments come together to answer your service questions in one place – your phone

Waterloo Region – Seamless, 24-7 access to real-time information ranging from planned road closures to municipal events has become even more robust with the Region of Waterloo joining the cities of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge on Pingstreet, an interactive mobile app available on the App Store, Blackberry World and Google Play.

Pingstreet provides one-touch access to helpful information and services including road closures; garbage collection; hospital wait times; GRT bus schedules and school bus cancellations. It also provides two-way communication between users and government, allowing citizens to photograph and upload local concerns such as potholes, graffiti, parking complaints and more.

“We often hear from residents that we need to work together as municipalities to provide better access to information. As partner municipalities, one of our collective goals with this initiative was to do just that – to work together to make it easier for citizens to navigate road construction, no matter where they may be in the region. It was a very successful collaboration and we look forward to working with our partners to find more ways to provide seamless online customer service to all of our citizens in the future,” says Jana Miller, executive director of Kitchener’s chief administrator’s office.

Information on Pingstreet is localized so that users can pick their city or region, and information to that specific location becomes instantly available. In addition to seamless daily interactions between citizens and multi-level government, the app also provides quick links to social media to make public interaction and engagement easier.

“Our citizens like that Pingstreet uses their location to show information relevant to them,” says Shawn Falcao, corporate communications and marketing coordinator, City of Cambridge. “We are all working together as local municipalities to make it easy for citizens to find information specific to their needs.”

Also, if you live in one city and work in another, you can easily switch to another municipality by choosing from a list of Ontario cities. “This feature is helpful to us because everyone lives in different cities within the region of Waterloo, yet we offer some unique services for all region residents like garbage collection, maintenance of Regional roads and transit to name a few,” says Deb Bergey, citizen service manager, Region of Waterloo. “This partnership will make access to our information and services easier.”

“The City of Waterloo was the first municipality to launch Pingstreet in 2013, and we are thrilled that this strong collaboration is making it easier for our citizens to get the information they need with a touch of a button,” says Megan Harris, director of communications and marketing for the City of Waterloo. “We are excited to be part of this citizen-focused partnership and look forward to further collaboration.”



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