PIER Chosen By Houston METRO To Meet Key Stakeholders' Communication Needs Throughout Expansion Project

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Access and Information Crucial for Success of Transit Expansion

AudienceCentral today announced that The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) has implemented a PIER communication system for key stakeholders throughout METRO's $2 billion transportation expansion project. METRO has already planned and received approval for this sizable expansion project for bus lines and light railways, which will increase public mobility by the year 2014.

AudienceCentral's PIER system, a Web-based system for managing public information and internal communications, was proposed as a complete solution for METRO's communication needs; the decision makers at Houston METRO accepted. The expansion project was already in the planning stages, however, and had been garnering large amounts of public interest. As a result, the system needed to be implemented quickly. AudienceCentral was able to provide rapid implementation: http://www.metrosolutions.org went live within 10 days from date of implementation.

"Using PIER allowed METRO to compress the implementation of the communication system into a two-week period, which would normally have taken four to six weeks," said Gerald Baron, founder and president of AudienceCentral. "We were able to create a PIER center that not only met METRO's key communication goals, but also maintained the look and feel of the METRO home site. This provided a familiar experience for those who accessed information between the two sites."

In order to make the expansion project as stress-free as possible for Houstonians, Houston METRO sought a resource that would provide a means to communicate the project's stages with residents and local businesses, as well as a central location where questions and concerns regarding the project could be posted.

Among the benefits that PIER provided for METRO were:

· METRO Public Affairs staff was able to easily distribute specific and relevant information to stakeholders via an ongoing newsletter

· Information was quickly generated, posted and accessed by all interested parties at any time

· Restricted-use Web-pages facilitated internal communication

· Timely and efficient response to stakeholder questions and concerns via PIER's inquiry management functionality

· Maintenance of administrative records for the federally mandated environmental impact process, via PIER's tracking capabilities

· Ability to meet an aggressive deadline; condensing a four to six week process into 10 days

· Streamlining resources allowed deadlines to be met and processes to be improved

With the help of PIER, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is successfully managing the communication of its Houston expansion project with key stakeholders, exceeding its goal of involving the community in both the design and build of the new transit system.

About Houston Metro

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, or METRO, has been in operation since 1979 when the first bus lines were approved by the city. Over the last 27 years, METRO has been striving to improve transportation and mobility for the communities within Harris County, including the city of Houston. For more information about The Metropolitan Transit Authority and their commitment to improving transportation, visit http://www.ridemetro.org.

About AudienceCentral

AudienceCentral provides an on-demand software system and professional services to help organizations manage communications with critical team members, employees, public officials, media, concerned citizens and other stakeholders. The company's premiere product, PIER, is a web-based system designed to help communication professionals and senior management communicate faster, more efficiently and more consistently. To learn more about AudienceCentral and the PIER system, visit http://www.audiencecentral.com.

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Brian Sibley
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