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NEXTAXI helped reduce DUI! LPD: DUI numbers on the decline

  • By: Brittany Paris of KLKNTV
  • Posted: January 2, 2014
 

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You’re probably seeing them more and more throughout Lincoln. Taxis. And they could help fix a potentially fatal problem.

In the past year, drunken driving has fallen 28 percent. Officers say they made 134 DUI arrests in 2013. The year before, 186 people were arrested.

But what’s helping those who drink put down their keys?

Officers say it’s probably a few things. Their recent, “You Drink & Drive, You Lose,” campaign helped get 78 impaired drivers off the road.

And more cabs in the Capital City are helping people avoid driving drunk.

“I think it’s making a difference because if you go down to 14th and O Street, you will wind up seeing citizens using the taxi cabs down there,” Chief Jim Peschong, Lincoln Police Department, said.”

Even Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, says they’ve noticed more awareness.

“We used to get a lot of calls complaining about the taxi cab service. We’re getting less complaints about alternative transportation, and so that’s great that Lincoln is finally becoming a little more proactive in providing safer transportation for those who do go out and consume alcohol,” Andrea Frazier, Program Manager, MADD, said.

And taxi companies say people are using cabs more often. They say they understand it’s difficult to grab a cab, especially during Husker games. And when people have to wait hours  for a ride, they’re probably not going to.

Happy Cab developed an app with the hope of eliminating that problem. It’s called NexTaxi and it’s free.

“For a lot of people, when you’re downtown, you don’t know exactly where you are or you don’t have an exact address,” Rachel Wade, Happy Cab Lincoln Manager, said. “All you have to do is hit on this app and it says find me. And it will locate where you are. You put in where you want to go and we locate a cab for you.”

But while DUI numbers are down, MADD says drunk driving is still a problem.

The average blood alcohol content in Lincoln in 2013 was .15. And the youngest person caught driving impaired was 16.

“Remember that drunk driving is 100 percent preventable. Not only are people killed, they’re injured,” Frazier said.

Lincoln police say they hope the numbers continue to go down in 2014.

On New Year’s Eve, they had 6 DUI arrests, up just one from last year. But that is progress, in 2011, there were 29 New Year’s Eve DUI’s.

Hailing a Cab in SLC, there’s an app for that

nextaxi,taxi,apps,smart phones,Salt Lake City,transport,secure,safe,gps,technology,iPhone,android 

Typically, this is how it goes down: You call a taxi company, order a taxi and get an approximate time of arrival. Everything seems fine, until 20 minutes pass and you realize you’re 5 minutes late to wherever you’re supposed to be. When the taxi arrives, you bustle in hoping the driver puts the pedal to the metal. When you arrive—due to the gratuities, service fees, etc.—you’re not sure how much you owe. But you made it . . . right?

NexTaxi wipes all those bad taxi memories away. Universal TranWare principles Steven Juliver and Earl Epstein’s app has been on the market for six months, and is available on both Android and iPhone and services about 50 cities across the US and Canada. Salt Lake City is one of those cities you can use it in.

With the app, you can order a cab and watch the car, the driver and the location info on your screen. Just type in an address or pinpoint yourself on a map for the taxi to find you. The app will only send drivers from legitimate, approved taxi fleets and will never send an “indie” or off-duty driver. No fees or minimum gratuities, and you can pay over the app, so keep your cash.

In SLC, the NexTaxi works with Ute Cab. If you don’t know where you are, the app will find you. The app uses GPS integrated Transware technology—already installed in Ute Cab taxis—to find a passenger’s location around the Salt Lake Valley.

For more info, visit nextaxi.com.

E-hail taxi app and service picks up riders in Utah

 

Mobile » NexTaxi app can hail a cab quicker than calling a dispatcher.

Whenever Mike Evans goes drinking with his buddies on the weekend, he’s smart enough to call a taxi to drive them around. Sometimes, that could be a little tough.

It could take 45 minutes for Evans, a 42-year-old police officer from South Salt Lake, to get a cab on a weekend night because the dispatch is so busy with calls.

Now, it only takes five minutes for the ride to come. Evans says a new mobile app called NexTaxi exclusively for the Ute Cab Company makes hailing a taxi much faster.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michael Norvell, a dispatch manager at Ute Cab in Salt Lake City shows off a relatively new mobile app called nextaxi that the company has been using for its customers to hail a cab, track it and pay for the ride through the app.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michael Norvell, a dispatch manager at Ute Cab in Salt Lake City shows off a relatively new mobile app called nextaxi that the company has been using for its customers to hail a cab, track it and pay for the ride through the app.

 

“I just think it’s much more convenient than having to wait in line on the phone,” he said. “That NexTaxi app uses GPS to track the closest cab. The most I’ve waited for a cab with that app is five minutes.”

NexTaxi, which is made by a Tucson company called Universal TranWare, is the first e-hailing taxi service to arrive in Utah, following on the popularity of other services such as Uber and Hailo.

Like those apps, a customer in need of a ride can use NexTaxi to send a message to the Ute Cab’s electronic dispatch system to hail the closest available taxi. The app is available for both the iPhone and Android phone via the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store, respectively.

The app uses the GPS locator in the customer’s phone, so it can instantly locate the rider and send that information to the dispatch system. The rider can send the address of where he or she wants to go or by calling up addresses from their phone’s contacts list or a point of interest on the map, such as a shopping mall. Then a signal is sent to the nearest available cab, and the driver knows immediately where to pick up the rider and the rider’s destination. There is no need to call the dispatch office.

And when the ride is over, the customer can pay the driver through the app and even add a tip ­— with no paperwork for the driver.

The NexTaxi app is tied in to Universal TranWare’s electronic taxi dispatch system, which Ute Cab Company has used for more than two years. Drivers use an Android tablet to record each ride, and the cars have GPS locators so customers using NexTaxi can see where their cab is before it arrives. All of Ute Cab’s 75 cars, which cover Salt Lake County, are connected to the computerized dispatch sytem and NexTaxi.

“It saves paperwork, which means it saves time,” NexTaxi CTO and founder Earl Epstein said. “Every ride counts in the day, and that’s the big advantage for the driver. Time is money.”

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michael Norvell, a dispatch manager at Ute Cab in Salt Lake City shows off the tablets they have been using with their drivers that alerts them when a customer has hailed a cab with the mobile app nextaxi. The relatively new app allows customers to hail a cab, track it and pay for the ride through the app.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Michael Norvell, a dispatch manager at Ute Cab in Salt Lake City shows off the tablets they have been using with their drivers that alerts them when a customer has hailed a cab with the mobile app nextaxi. The relatively new app allows customers to hail a cab, track it and pay for the ride through the app.

One app feature lets customers to leave special instructions for the driver to, for example, not ring the doorbell or to help the rider into the car. And there’s a button to stop the cab after it’s dropped passengers off in case they left something in the car.

The app also can save favorite locations that a rider visits often, as well as a list of recent trips.

“We’ve had a 100 percent success rate [with the app],” Ute Cab Dispatch Manager Mike Norvell said. “Every passenger that uses it continue to use it. They are only using the app so they aren’t tied up with the telephone and the dispatcher.”

He said a small number of people have begun using the app since Ute Cab adopted it this summer, but “it will grow in popularity.”

“Every single passenger that I have talked to has absolutely loved it,” Norvell added. “We’re super happy and excited about how this is going to turn out.”

Unlike the growing taxi service Uber, which uses a new fleet of black luxury vehicles, NexTaxi has implemented it in a cab company’s existing fleet so there are no added fees over the usual cab fare. And NexTaxi doesn’t have to jump through a city’s regulatory hoops to start a new fleet of taxis there, Epstein said.

So far, NexTaxi is deployed in about 50 U.S. markets including Chicago; Austin, Texas; and Tampa, Fla.

Uber ran into regulatory problems in New York City during its test phase earlier this year. Last spring, the Livery Roundtable and the Black Car Assistance Corporation filed for a temporary restraining order to stop services like Uber, claiming it was akin to pre-arranged yellow cab rides, which are outlawed by the city. A judge later dismissed the order.

 

vince@sltrib.com

Twitter: @ohmytech

Omaha cab fleets join e-hailing trend

 

Taxi Driver using Universal Tranware technology

E-hailing — or hailing a taxi via your smartphone — has arrived in Omaha.

NexTaxi, an app made by Universal Tranware, has been implemented in several Omaha cab fleets, including those of Happy Cab, Checker Cab, Yellow Cab, Cornhusker Cabs and Safeway Cabs, all of which are owned or managed by Mark Mitchell.

The free app, available for Apple and Android devices, allows users to request a cab, track it until it arrives and pay, all via one’s smartphone. Other features: The app shows users their route while in the cab, making it obvious when a cabdriver is deviating from the route, and it tells users the cab number and driver in the event that the rider forgets something in the cab.

E-hailing has taken off in larger cities such as New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco with smartphone apps such as Uber and Hailo, which connect users with a town car or a taxi near them, and allow them to pay and, in Uber’s case, rate drivers. However, those services have been slow to move into smaller markets where cabs are not an everyday necessity.

“The idea is not radical but it’s pretty new,” NexTaxi co-founder Earl Esptein said. “Five years ago, people didn’t think of their smartphone as much more than a way to surf the Web and make phone calls, and now people expect it to do everything.”

Instead of going directly to drivers, NexTaxi implements its app into entire existing fleets, ensuring a safe, on-duty driver that must follow specific regulations outlined by the Nebraska Public Service Commission.

“There’s a safety component there we think is very important,” Epstein said. With driver-targeted apps, any off-duty town car, limousine or taxi driver can pick someone up — even drivers who have been working for the past 15 hours.

Many other apps also charge extra during peak traffic times or charge more for multiple riders or for canceling a cab, but NexTaxi is free when users enter the promotional code “TAXI” when registering.

NexTaxi is available in large markets like Orlando, Fla., Chicago and Manhattan, as well as smaller cities like Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs and Iowa City. The app was created by Tucson, Ariz.-based Universal Tranware, which has been in the taxi software business for about 20 years.

The app has been available in Omaha and Lincoln for about two months, and Happy Cab information technology director Jeremy Eickman said more than 20 cabs are hailed via the app on a typical weekend night, although it varies depending on local events and the weather. Cabs are used more frequently in the winter, he said.

Typical users so far are age 20 to 30 on the weekends, he said.

Trent Allen, 26, of Lincoln said he has used e-hailing apps Uber, Sidecar and Lyft while traveling in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas. Allen said one of the most valuable features is being able to use his smartphone to pay for the cab fare because it’s not always clear whether cabs accept credit cards or cash only.

One drawback of implementing the app into existing cab fleets, he said, is that there will still be a shortage of cabs on busy nights, like during the College World Series or on New Year’s Eve.

However, Allen said he would be open to using NexTaxi. “I would say that’s a really good start. That has the features I’d want, anyway,” he said.

Drivers like the service as well, Eickman said. It allows them to limit the number of failed pickups — where the driver and the person who called the cab just can’t seem to find each other — because the rider can always see the taxi’s location in the app. If riders want to cancel their cab, they can do that, too, via the app before the driver arrives and has already lost money and time.

And the service is also paperless, which limits the amount of time a cabdriver might spend handling cash or doing paperwork.

Epstein said that Lincoln and Omaha were good candidates for the service because of the large populations of college students in both cities, but the company is hoping to get into as many markets as possible as quickly as possible.

Eickman said he and Epstein are working on a Web-based version of the app for people to use on computers to capture people who may not be comfortable using a smartphone. Eickman said Happy Cab has also reached out to hotels in Omaha that might be interested in using that version to request cabs for their customers.

“We wouldn’t say no to somebody from a small town or somewhere that’s not high-profile,” Epstein said. “We’re very excited to be in the markets that have regular people.”

All Hail the Taxi App

With free download, you can hail, track and pay for a taxi through your smartphone

PEORIA – Now you can catch a taxi in Peoria without waving your arm or calling the cab company.

With the NexTaxi app, hailing a cab is as close as your smartphone, said John Franks, owner of Peoria Yellow Checker Cab in Peoria, a company with more than 20 taxi cabs in operation.

“It’s completely voice-free. The app allows you to order, track and pay for your ride all through your phone,” he said.

The technology is relatively new, so there aren’t too many people using their smartphone to call cabs right now – probably fewer than 100 – but that number is growing, said Franks, who’s run the business since 2006, taking over for his father, who bought the taxi franchise in 1986.

It’s not the first computer innovation for the company, he said. “We purchased a computerized dispatch system in 2007. Dispatchers enter an order, and the computer chooses the best taxi based on GPS positioning and dispatches the cab,” said Franks.

“In 2011, with the tablet revolution, we upgraded our system with Universal Tranware, the company that produces NexTaxi, the e-hailing app,” he said.

“Our drivers have tablet computers right in the cab. They receive messages from dispatch as well as from a customer,” said Franks.

Earl Epstein, the co-founder and chief technology officer for Tucson, Ariz.-based Universal Tranware, said the app used in Peoria is now available in 50 cities across the country and in Canada.

“Our core business has been working with taxi fleets for 20 years. Now we have a mobile application that allows you to arrange a ride with that fleet,” he said.

While hailing a cab by phone has brought a number of players to the electronic cab stand – companies like Uber, Hailo and Lyft- NexTaxi is the only app that links you to established taxi companies, said Epstein.

“Rogue cabs that come into the market can be a problem. We only deal with established fleets,” he said.

The NexTaxi app is free to download from Apple and Google, said Epstein.

The new technology serves the Peoria area well, said Franks. “Peoria is a cab town, but we don’t do much of a flag-down business here,” he said, referring to cabs hailed from the street.

“Usually there’s a direct connection with regular customers who use cabs to go to the store or a medical appointment. We also do lots of business with the hotels,” said Franks.

 

Peoria Yellow Checker Cab company owner John Franks holds his smartphone displaying NexTaxi, an app that allows the user to hail a cab.

Photo Credit: DAVID ZALAZNIK/JOURNAL STAR

Peoria Yellow Checker Cab company owner John Franks holds his smartphone displaying NexTaxi, an app that allows the user to hail a cab.

With NexTaxi, a customer can order a cab and then track its progress to the pickup destination. “You know when the taxi gets there; it alerts you,” he said.

“We have corporate people coming into Peoria that can now request a taxi while they’re on their plane,” said Franks, adding that another opportunity for Peoria Yellow Checker is weekend business – between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. – for people at clubs who don’t want to – or can’t – drive, said Franks.

“We’re hoping that younger customers – those in their 20s who use their smartphones for almost everything – will find this to be a nice feature,” he said.

“Our goal is to keep up with the evolving business that’s going on in Peoria,” said Franks.

 

Peoria Yellow Checker Cab company driver James Hardin displays the device in his cab that receives the information transmitted by the user of NexTaxi, an app that allows the user to hail a cab through their smartphone.

Photo Credit: DAVID ZALAZNIK/JOURNAL STAR

Peoria Yellow Checker Cab company driver James Hardin displays the device in his cab that receives the information transmitted by the user of NexTaxi, an app that allows customers to hail a cab through their smartphone.

 

Steve Tarter can be reached at 686-3260 or starter@pjstar.com. Follow his blog, Minding Business, on pjstar.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveTarter.

California agency set to hammer down regulations for ride services such as Uber, Lyft, Sidecar

 

Lyft driver picking up passenger

ESSDRAS M SUAREZ/THE BOSTON GLOBE VIA GETTY IMAGES

A conflict in San Francisco between the troubled taxi industry and opportunistic ride services will reach a milestone Thursday when the California Public Utilities Commission votes on proposed regulations for the mobile app-based startups and possibly sets a precedent for the rest of the nation.

Since ride services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar launched in The City in the past few years, heavily regulated taxi drivers have been accusing them of using personal cars for commercial reasons and without comprehensive insurance. They also have said government agencies have unfairly allowed them to continue operating.

In August 2012, the CPUC sent cease-and-desist letters to the ride services. After they failed to comply, the commission allowed them to stay in business as it drafted regulations, which require background checks on drivers, specific insurance requirements, zero tolerance on alcohol and drugs, and driver training. The proposed regulations also put a name to the services: Transportation Network Company vehicles.

The companies don’t see the developments as a bad thing.

“We started having criminal background checks, having insurance from the beginning because we’ve always wanted to do them, not because of our regulatory structure,” said Lyft co-founder John Zimmer. “I think as long as the focus remains on safety and allows for innovation to provide the solution that consumers want, then it’s a positive thing.”

But Hansu Kim, president of DeSoto Cab Co., which has a 170-taxi fleet, said the concern should be about drivers using personal vehicles for commercial purposes, which Lyft and Sidecar introduced and Uber followed.

Kim admitted he is “all for consumer choice” and that his own industry has been failing to meet demand, but regulations for these companies need to be on par with the stringent requirements for taxis.

Even if the new regulations level the playing field, Kim had another concern: “You really think CPUC is going to regulate and enforce rideshares locally? No way. They don’t have any kind of edifice to even enforce them on a state level.”

Regulations would be a good thing simply because “right now is, there is no regulation everywhere,” said Earl Epstein, a founding partner and chief technology officer of NexTaxi, which has been working on taxi dispatch systems for two decades and integrated an app for cab fleets three years ago.

“Any kind of new technology has a good time at first because they enter the space and don’t need to play by rules,” Epstein said. “And until someone comes up with rules, they get away with it.”

NexTaxi for iOS Press Release at Yahoo! Finance

  • Posted:  July 26, 2013

Universal TranWare Logo

NexTaxi for iPhone Integrates Smartphone e-Hailing Through Licensed Taxicab Dispatch Systems for Safer, Regulated Taxi Rides

Free Taxi Ordering App for iPhone Respects Industry Regulation to Provide Safe, Real-Time Access to Legitimate, Licensed Taxis, With No Up-Charges or Fees and Flexible Cash and Secure Mobile Payment Options

 

TUCSON, AZ–(Marketwired – Jul 25, 2013) – Universal TranWare™, the Trusted Taxi Solutions Company™ for fleets and taxi riders, today announced the launch and availability of the NextTaxi™ app for iPhone. This more sophisticated approach to mobile app taxi access leverages the company’s 20 year track record in advanced taxi fleet solutions, mobile technology and secure payment to integrate its technology directly into dispatching systems of only licensed and compliant taxicab companies. With NexTaxi, users always receive a legitimate taxi with an on-duty driver and can track its approach and pay directly from their smartphone.

Now available free-of-charge on the iPhone App Store, the NexTaxi smartphone hailing app introduces a fundamentally different approach that gives riders access to more than 10,000 taxis in dozens of markets via its rapidly expanding nationwide alliance of fleets at no additional cost to the rider. Its technology works completely within the established safety, pricing and insurance framework of the transportation industry, providing customers with safer rides at standard metered-fare costs. NexTaxi does not mark-up or randomly vary the fare, or add forced ‘gratuities,’ nor does it send users ‘rogue’ drivers or vehicles that may endanger riders.

Unlike rogue e-Hailing apps that disregard transportation industry regulations, NexTaxi connects riders’ requests directly to taxi fleet dispatch systems. In as few as two taps, users are assigned a nearby legitimate cab and appropriately licensed driver via an approved fleet, providing more control and a safer, more reliable experience than other taxi apps. The user can also visually track the GPS location of their taxi and see car, driver and ETA details directly from their smartphone while enjoying the comfort of their home or finishing their business meeting as they conveniently monitor their car’s approach — no more waiting by the door, wondering.

“We’ve seen the mobile e-Hailing movement have a significant impact on the taxicab and limousine transportation market,” said Earl Epstein, CTO, Universal TranWare, “But what we see, as industry veterans, are inexperienced companies hoping to skirt an established system that in large part exists to protect riders. Established taxi fleets diligently respect safety, insurance and accountability guidelines, yet typical rider apps bypass these, removing the fleet — and their value to the rider — from the equation. The Department of Transportation in Los Angeles’ recent cease-and-desist orders to rogue ‘ride sharing’ app companies shows that people see the difference, and that in order for this movement to succeed, it must do so within the guidelines of industry regulation just as established taxi-fleet operators do.”

Beyond requesting a ride and tracking your car’s approach, NexTaxi includes a suite of passenger-friendly features to enhance and simplify taxi travel. Additional features that benefit the NexTaxi user include:

  • Secure in-app payment using business or personal credit cards with detailed email receipt
  • Easy recall of favorite locations and routes
  • A “No!.. Wait!.. Stop!” function that recalls the taxi in case a personal item didn’t leave the vehicle with you.
  • Fast address entry using:
    • GPS- based ‘Find me!’
    • Point-of-interest lookup
    • An existing contact

To find out if NexTaxi is currently available in your market please visit www.nextaxi.com. Download the free NexTaxi for iPhone at the iPhone App Store.

About Universal TranWare:
Founded in 1994, Universal TranWare is an early pioneer and one of the world’s leading providers of advanced fleet management, digital dispatching and mobile payment solutions for taxi and black car fleets across the U.S. and Canada. More than 10,000 vehicles in nearly 100 markets rely on our fleet management technologies and constant innovation to streamline operations and drive efficiencies and growth while enhancing rider satisfaction. Unlike rogue taxi hailing apps that bypass fleets and prey on loopholes in legislation, the NexTaxi™ app for Android™ and iPhone devices is absolutely free of charge and is fully integrated with Universal TranWare’s fleet customers’ operations. This model gives riders peace-of-mind and fast, free and secure access to quality vehicles with legitimate on-duty drivers across the country, while empowering them to locate, track and pay for their rides with ease. To learn more visit www.tranware.com. Follow NexTaxi on Twitter at https://twitter.com/NexTaxiApp and Like Us on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/nextaxi.

Contact:
Media
Stephen Drusano
Skyya Communications
(518) 461-0352
stephen@skyya.com
www.skyya.com

11 Free Mobile Apps for City Life

 

Find a Ride: NexTaxi

NexTaxi partners with existing car services to offer you transportation. It starts with a task menu: You can get a car based on your current location or a previous trip, or set up a return request for a completed trip. The resulting interface isn’t as slick as some of its competitors, but the program is every bit as useful.

Trips can be arranged based on a map location, your contacts list or a typed address; you can even pass a note to the driver (“Look for the guy with the red umbrella.”). Best feature: If you leave something in a car, you can send a message so that the driver will come back.

Available for Android and iOS.

NexTaxi Mobile Taxi App screens from Computerworld article on Free Mobile Apps

Don’t Wait for the Next Taxi, Hail Your Own with NexTaxi!

 

iPhone App – Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

NexTaxi App screen on an iPhone device

Universal TranWare has been digitally improving upon taxi and limousine services for years, and they’ve just released their latest handy bit of tech onto the App Store.

NexTaxi is an app that keeps the rider’s needs in mind. Thanks to their iOS device’s GPS functionality users can call for and track a taxi, while the app finds a nearby licensed (very important) car to send. It actually integrates into the dispatching system to make finding a cab (and a fare) easier and faster. Users can also pay for their ride directly through the app with no need to fish for pocket change.

Anyone who uses cabs with any regularity can download NexTaxi for free right now and enjoy using the service throughout one of close to 50 different cities, including New York, Orlando, Iowa City, Augusta, Cincinnati, Salt Lake City, the Chicago area, and more.

Read more: http://www.148apps.com/news/dont-wait-taxi-hail-nextaxi/

Accessible Taxi of Tyler TX Launches CNG fleet and NexTaxi service

 

KETK - Jennifer Kielman

Jennifer Kielman6 & 10 Anchor

Accessible Taxi of Tyler TX Launches CNG fleet and NexTaxi service

TYLER (KETK) — The City of Tyler is keeping up with technology and moving forward with the times.

The first public access alternative fueling station was unveiled on Wednesday.

The event took place at a ribbon cutting ceremony in downtown Tyler.

The station offers compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas.

Experts tell KETK, the new alternative will help save money, provide a cleaner environment and help America to become more energy efficient.

Accessible Cab Company of Tyler/Smith County unveiled their new fleet of taxis that run on natural gas.

And, a new app for your smartphone was also unveiled.

It’s called Nex Taxi.

For more information on the app,  CLICK HERE.

The actual gas station will be located at 425 North Bois D’ Arc.

It will not be open to the public until mid-October or November.

The temporary station, which is also located on North Bois D’ Arc, is for private use only.

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