App allows public to report infrastructure issues and sends them on to the relevant authorities
An app that was launched back in September giving people the possibility of reporting problems on Cyprus’ roads is currently making impressive strides.
Called Fix Cyprus, the app was developed by the Cyprus Centre for Research and Excellence (Kios) and operates under the University of Cyprus.
It allows people to take pictures of whatever problems they might encounter on the island’s challenging road network, such as potholes, faulty traffic lights and broken sidewalks, and send them to the public sector authorities, which in turn can investigate the claims and proceed with correcting them.
Since it started operating, the app has collected a total of 2,223 reports, of which 201 have already been dealt with, while 1,485 are currently assigned to various departments of the island.
“The entire project is the result of a great collaboration with the transport ministry and the department of public works,” George Christou, a senior researcher engineer working at Kios and the mind behind the app told the Sunday Mail.
“We needed a tool that would help the authorities keep track of all the issues encountered by people on the road network. Under these premises, we developed Fix Cyprus.”
The pictures taken by users are automatically geotagged and recorded on the Fix Cyprus database, along with a brief description of the issue.
They are then forwarded to the relevant authorities and departments around Cyprus.
“According to the location of the pictures and the report, all issues are then directed to the district offices of the public works department,” Christou said.
“If you took a picture of a fault in Limassol, the report will be handled by the town’s public works department. It’s a matter of decentralising the efforts in order to be more efficient in the response.”
Christou explained that in every public works department of the island, there are two employees specifically tasked with handling the reports, among other duties.
“The first thing they do after receiving the reports is redirect them from the app’s database to the relevant authority. For example, a report of a broken pipe would be directed to the water board of the according municipality for it to be fixed.
“All the relevant authorities, around 450 in Cyprus at the moment, have access to our web portal. Municipalities, public works department offices and other authorities responsible for dealing with issues on road networks or regarding faulty infrastructures, all of them are connected to Fix Cyprus.”
Christou added that all users can track the progress of their reports on the app under the ‘history’ tab of each complaint, in order to make sure it is properly addressed and assigned to the correct authority or department.
“We receive roughly ten reports a day,” he added. “It obviously depends, sometimes there are more, other times fewer.
“In general, when a certain fault or problem gets covered by the media, we tend to receive more reports about that particular issue.”
The team behind the app has also recently launched a webpage where it is possible to check data and stats collected from the reports.
According to the data collected by fixcyprus.cy, the highest number of complaints relate to issues encountered on roads, such as potholes, followed by broken sidewalks and faulty traffic lights.
In addition to that, a key performance indicator (KPI) index, a quantifiable measure of performance over time for a specific objective, revealed that the most efficient authority dealing with reports so far is the Nicosia department of public works, with a score of 4.44 out of 5. The lowest score was recorded by the Paphos electricity authority at 1.28.
“All the data collected is passed to Kios for further studies,” Christou said. “The app has a tremendous potential and we are constantly looking for ways to improve it and to offer a better service for the people in Cyprus.”