Category Archives: Work done

Yeah, I guess I can be useful sometimes…

Braga 3.0 – A sustainable community

“Cities always die or, lets just say, end up being abandoned. However, the city, while human habitat or way of life, is immortal.” – Tu Qiyu

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We inhabit a planet full of competition. Full of competitors. It is a world that surrenders to the numbers, to the rankings and statistics, and cities are no exception. And in this chapter, there is a question frequently asked: which city is the best city to live?

We can call all of this as the concept of smart city, the new paradigm associated with all of this new visions for a new city, perhaps new is a little far-fetched, lets just say how to reinvent the city so that it can keep up with our new needs.

In recent months we have seen a lot about smart cities, some of the thoughts that have flourished are utopian. It will have become a political ideology? Who knows, but what we know is what intelligent cities create in thinkers, visionaries, philosophers, researchers, engineers, architects, writers, painters and perhaps you. The internet has been what has given more power to citizens. Suddenly citizens have a voice and can make themselves heard and this freedom does not stop there, it can’t stop here.

This small introduction is part of a work that I was asked to do, a participation on a newspapaper supplement, and what can I say about it? It was all so much fun! I had opportunity to listen to lots of people, hear all what they had to share and then create an opinion of my own, and that is priceless. And the result of all of this were 4 texts.

To anyone that might be interested, just click the image and you can see all what i’m talking about.

PS: all the text is in portuguese.

Such a long night

I was invited to perform some work for a new project that will appear in Braga in late April, and last night was quite busy to put some of that stuff online.

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What’s in this for me? Knowledge of my limits. Experience. Real world knowledge.

Next week I’ll talk a little more about it!

A seminar? Me? – “Mobility for All”

This was a long day, a hot one, dealing with many kinds of people, I arrived at the office after preparing a new project, and while checking my emails I look at the phone and see that the CEOs are calling at my phone:

“Hello?” – me
“Rui?” – CEO
“Yes”- me
“Come to my office, we need to speak to you.”- CEO
“We?” – me
“Yes, we are both here!”

My instant thoughts: have I done something wrong?!

No, I could never have guessed this one: “You are going to represent the company on a seminar about mobility and accessibility during the European Mobility Week here in Braga!”, and I just said “ok!” and asked how much time I had to prepare mylself for the seminar and they just smiled and said that I had a week to prepare it. A week??? A week?!?! I had a full agenda and I had to deal with the return of the new university semester and everything else… but ok, if it wasn’t a challenge it wouldn’t be fun!

and the time passed quickly…

“Mobility and Social Inclusion, September 22 – Seminar “Mobility for All”

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Within the European Mobility Week, the local transport services and ACAPO joined so for, in partnership, to launch the debate on the importance of “Mobility for All”.

At the meeting, aimed at professionals related to aspects of urban mobility, the Rehabilitation Technicians, Teachers, the handicapped, the blind and the general public, it was possible to discuss and analyze the problems of Mobility and Inclusion, an initiative that had the presence of:

  • Altino Bessa, Environment Councillor of the city of Braga,
  • Ana Paula Amorim, Braga delegation of ACAPO,
  • Peter Colwell, an expert on urban mobility issues
  • Rui Martins, IT @ TUB (ME!!!!)
  • Filipe Azevedo, employee of TUB and a person with visual impairment.

My mission was to speak a bit of urban transport and all the effort we have been doing in order to make accessible all urban transport in Braga, through IT solutions as TUBmobile, integration of our offer in various solutions like google maps and our site, and I am proud to have worked on all of them (TUBmobile, Google maps) and even creating the company website.

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Here is the presentation that I made for this seminar, in portuguese:

And this was another challenge that I always thought I would fail if one day I had to do something like this, what a surprise!

Ruca, September 2014

Project “ATM Payments”

Imagine that you could make the payment of the monthly pass in more than 40 locations in the city, and not to mention the outskirts of it.

Imagine that you could have the convenience of managing the stress and time wasted in a queue at our traditional selling points.

Imagine that you could perform the payments of your monthly pass using your own computer or smartphone.

There is the notion that it is necessary to create more ways and places for a costumer to perform the payment of the monthly pass. It is common sense that we should acknowledge the faults in our selling system so that the solutions can arise, and here is one of them: ATM payments! And what a wonderful solution that is!

Let’s talk about this project a little and making a little abstract of this post:

“I am a customer and I want to pay my monthly ticket using one of the many ATMs that can be found in the city of Braga, or using the website of my bank, how could I do this?”

The answer is quite simple, and do it is even simpler. You only need to go to a point of sale, request the activation of the payment by ATM on your record, show your monthly pass and indicate your tax number and email and that’s it! Now from the 21st day of each month you will receive an email with all information and then you may perform the payment using your bank website or ATM machine. After that, and within 2 days, when you use the pass on the bus, the pass will be validated automatically and you will also receive by email the invoice of the payment you have previously done.

Objectives:

  • Simplify the payments of almost every monthly pass;
  • Multiply by almost an infinite way the places where a costumer can make the payments of the monthly pass;
  • Attracting new customers to public transport due this new ease of payments;
  • Explain all the rules for this new method of payment;
  • Demonstration of how everything works;
  • Advertise this future mode of payment by ATMs.

 And what should be taken into account to meet the objectives?

  • Suiting all resources, even if few, to the goals set;
  • Betting, as never before, in the training of all the involved people in all the various areas of operation of the company;
  • Invest in advertising like social networking, panels on the buses, flyers, media, general public, etc …

The result:

  • Beta testing being a huge success;
  • A dedicated service desk ticketing to promote this new way of payment;
  • Hundreds of subscriptions on the first month of general deployment;
  • Continuous advertising;
  • And last but not least, the will to see how everything went after only two months offering this service, and this is no small step because it was never considered on any other project…

So starting from the beginning:
Contacts with the technology solution providers
Initial contacts were performed with nearly a year in advance, because this was such a huge step that it would take careful planning and because of that many meetings were conducted.

The results of all these meetings:

  • the way to implement the communications with our servers and the remote servers of the ATM company;
  • the business rules to the fares that could be paid using the ATM, or similar;
  • the marketing strategy;
  • the training of all the staff involved.

All of this was determined on those reunions. That helped determine what would be needed from a technological point of view, and not only, that was how I came to in charge of this project.

Continue reading Project “ATM Payments”

TUB held a promotional event in Braga Hospital

Today was a fun day, during a pilot experiment the media wondered why we performed these activities, like this one and the  “A Welcome to the new UMinho students”, and nothing better than to interview me to have access to all the answers and obtain some feedback . :p

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Later I will talk about this week activity at the Hospital of Braga in more detail.

Project “A Welcome to the new UMinho students”

In the on-going search for new customers, and for the third consecutive year, I was asked to undertake efforts with the University of Minho in order to repeat the same success as previous years, and taking into account that, in my opinion, the previous year was a success, make this year something else would be a challenge that would lead me to explore all the options available.

I can not deny that I would have loved to see some other person to do this in order to show that it is always easier to criticize than actually do but I had some ideas that I would like to see applied and perhaps even improve the quality of what was done in the past year.

Objectives:

  • Simplification of public transport next to the future clients;
  • Attracting new customers to public transport;
  • Explain all the rules for fees;
  • Demonstrate how everything works;
  • Perform personalized service;
  • Produce and customize new cards for personal use on buses;
  • Advertise future mode of payment by ATMs.

And so little time to prepare all of it, because it was already July and the event was to be held between the 8th and the 12th of September.

 And what should be taken into account to meet the objectives?

  • Suiting all resources, even if few, to the goals set;
  • Carry out contacts at the university in order to prepare the space that would be assigned in: physical space, logistics, media and power supply, communications structure (Wi-Fi, Ethernet, etc.);
  • Produce and prepare all the necessary flyers to publicize what was intended;

 The Results:

  • A dedicated service desk ticketing;
  • A post dedicated to printing, personalization and at the same instant of the public transport card;
  • Advertising.

So starting at the beginning:

Continue reading Project “A Welcome to the new UMinho students”