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SCVNews.com | Ex-City IT Staffer Wins National Award for Developing Transit App | 12-16-2011
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The City of Santa Clarita is proud to announce that former technology services employee Ryan Resella is the winner of a national competition to develop a cell phone application to help Americans access government services.

Resella was one of 75 applicants from across the country to participate in the “Applications for Communities” challenge hosted by the Federal Communications Commission.  His award-winning cell phone application was selected because of its ability to help low-income or underserved residents connect to government services.

Resella, who now lives in San Francisco, attended the awards ceremony Dec. 15  in Menlo Park.

The award-winning application allows cell phone users the ability to text or call to receive real-time transit information in English or Spanish.  Resella commented that he developed the application to provide better service to an underserved population.  Specifically, the application aims to keep children, seniors and the disabled from having to wait in bad weather or unfamiliar neighborhoods for transit service.

The award comes as the City of Santa Clarita Transit prepares to launch the application in early spring 2012.  The new technology uses text messaging to provide transit users with bus arrival times.

New signage will be installed at all bus stops beginning in February 2012, which will also provide QR codes for smart phone users. A separate number will be provided on bus stop signage for transit clients who do not have smart phones using Resella’s application to provide the same real time information via phone call or text.

“We were thrilled to learn of Ryan’s award-winning application.  Not only are we proud of his accomplishment, but we are excited to be using his application right here in our community,” said Mayor Laurie Ender.  “The City of Santa Clarita prides itself on being a technically savvy municipality. We recognize that most of our residents not only want convenient technology-based access to their local government, but prefer interaction using their mobile devices, so this is an exciting development for the City and its residents.”

The “Applications for Communities” challenge was developed to help extend the reach of local government and to provide better service.  In the case of Resella’s application, technology is used to help people who rely on the bus and may not own a smart phone to access bus arrival times quickly and easily.

For more information about the City’s plans to enhance transit services using QR codes and Resella’s award-winning application, please contact City IT Analyst, Ryan Drake, at 661-286-4070 or webmaster(at)santa-clarita.com.

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