Freight Rail, Technology and IT

Digital engagement tool allows Inland Rail to “pinpoint” resident feedback

The interactive mapping tool seeks to improve outcomes for both Inland Rail and affected residents in southern Queensland.

As COVID-19 affects the way we live, one aspect of the Australian Rail Track Corporation’s (ARTC) digital engagement strategy for Inland Rail continues to hit new highs.

The Inland Rail team initially introduced the interactive mapping tool Social Pinpoint on Queensland’s Gowrie to Kagaru project section in November 2018.

The platform allows users to drop pins on a map to show exactly where their feedback, ideas and concerns relate

Since then, Inland Rail has introduced maps across all 13 project sections with the latest Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section uploaded recently and now effectively covering the entire 1700km alignment from Melbourne to Brisbane.

Inland Rail spokesperson Rebecca Pickering said the platform had been a tremendous success.

“Social Pinpoint has undoubtably become one of our most popular platforms for stakeholder engagement,” Pickering said.

“With the social distancing requirements introduced across Australia during the COVID-19 Pandemic we have had to find a new way to engage and this has been one of the success stories.

“Since the launch of the first maps more than 77,500 users have visited the maps and left more than 1000 comments,” she said.

“Our interactive maps work for those that have been confined to home due to the lockdowns, while it also allows time-poor residents with competing demands during the day to add their thoughts when they have time, whenever it’s convenient.

“Our face-to-face engagement has been disrupted at times due to the changing regulations around combatting the virus, but we have remained committed to gaining as much information as we can to examine the impacts of Inland Rail on our individual communities and how best to mitigate them.

“Comments have ranged from letting us know where the route emergency services use and school buses run to asking questions about a proposed bridge, this two-way engagement has informed design and helped us address key concerns,” she said.

“I would encourage all residents to visit their local map, drop a pin and comment if they have any questions, concerns and feedback. The more information we have the better the result the community will achieve.”

Social Pinpoint director of customer success Oliver Bates said ARTC is currently the company’s largest global customer based on the number of active maps, the value of the project and the number of stakeholders engaging on the platform.

“For a project spanning such a large distance and such a vast number of stakeholders, Social Pinpoint’s interactive mapping seemed like the perfect fit to allow users to get a clear understanding of the scope for the project and also the opportunity to leave location-specific feedback,” Bates said.

“Since launching the first Inland Rail map in 2018, the community has had an overwhelming response to engaging using this method making ARTC our largest global customer based on the volume of unique stakeholders leaving feedback across a single project,” he said.

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