The 2008 Czech At Prize

Within the programme of the gala event in the eve of opening of the international conference ISSS 2008 in Hradec Králové there were announced results of the competition Czech At in Klicpera’s theatre. This year the prestigious award was given to the new revolutionary service of Transportation Office of the Capital City Prague–a possibility to buy a ticket via sending a short text message from any existing GSM network–which was launched in November 2007.

The 2008 Czech At Prize

“The jury considered a few interesting projects, which made the decision making even more difficult than usually,” says Tomáš Renčín, director of the ISSS Conference and a member of the jury of the Czech At Association. “At the end we all agreed that the new service of Transportation Office of the Capital City Prague–even if it is not exactly from the sphere of public administration–presents a very concrete example of making life easier by means of modern technology for virtually everybody and in a very easy way.”

“Main motive of introducing SMS ticket service was to spare the passengers troubles with slot-machines, small coins and especially to give chance to involuntary deadheads to avoid non-paying and risking fines,” says Jan Svoboda, marketing director of the Transportation Office of the Capital City Prague.

The service is available anywhere and anytime. According to the statistics there is a rate of 1.5 of a mobile phone to one person in the Czech Republic, which confirms a high penetration of use of mobile phones and related services. According to the ticket system this service has been used on average by nineteen thousand passengers daily since January. A survey prepared for Transportation Office by an independent agency Westminster showed that 60% of users of SMS ticket presents new paying customers who recruited from the ranks of “involuntary” deadheads. The survey also shows clearly that introducing SMS ticket resulted in 1% reduction of tariff- undisciplined passengers (deadheads), there is approximately a 16% reduction in involuntary or occasional deadheads and on the other hand the number of paying passengers increased by 17%.

Decision of the jury of the competition Czech At of this year winner was apart from above mentioned reasons supported by the fact that the solution, which was as first introduced by the Transportation Office of the Capital City Prague, roused considerable interest in many other towns of the Czech Republic and inspired a number of projects that could use similar principles as for example in case of fees in health care or in some other areas.