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Pothole relief almost a click away

An online applications developer is racing to bring to market an app which could spell relief for unhappy New Providence motorists voicing their pothole woes.

It’s been nearly six months since Quincy Rolle, president of United Data Technologies (UDT), announced his Bahamas’ Smart City app, designed to help rectify issues of potholes, debris, downed street lights, traffic signals and road kill along thoroughfares.

Rolle, who specializes in the creation of mobile apps, smart database systems and software products, is at the point of finalizing an agreement with an international company on the implementation of the communications platform designed for the Bahamian public to report non-emergency issues via cell phone.

The app would provide a means for Bahamians to keep government agencies abreast of trouble spots along their commute, in real time. It’s projected to go live in March.

“It has certainly been a journey developing the exclusive rights of this app for the entire Bahamas,” said Rolle, who possesses over a decade of experience in web and online applications development for local and foreign entities in a cross-section of industries. He envisions rolling out the app in the capital, before going live in the Family Islands.

The app is expected to provide at least four notifications along the way: when the complaint is successfully submitted, once it has been read, when it has been assigned and upon completion. The user who lodged the complaint is able to track the process every step of the way.

Rolle, who proposes to manage the app for the government, originally envisioned the Ministry of Public Works carrying out remedial work.

“After meeting with senior Ministry of Public Works officials and being briefed on the challenges of the current workload, we had to go back to the drawing board and research what other smart cities are doing around the world,” Rolle explained.

“Most of them outsource infrastructural maintenance. They have private companies doing the work. After much consultation, the idea emerged to section New Providence into five work zones and have private companies execute the work.”

According to the app developer, there are obvious benefits associated with outsourcing: the creation of new business opportunities, which could ultimately boost employment numbers specifically for marginalized inner city men; the accountability which comes along with private sector involvement; faster completion time (24 to 72 hours) and a higher standard of execution that accompanies contractual work in relation to the fear of termination upon failure to meet predetermined requirements.

“With four to five persons in UDT’s control room monitoring and relaying complaints, I’m confident the app will not only provide accountability within our city, but make the roads of New Providence easier to navigate,” said Rolle.

“The app improves efficiency and it is envisioned to save the Ministry of Public Works money, with new features to be released as it develops.”

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