An update on BIG

Thank you. Thanks to several donations we've been able to dedicate some more time and resources to ensuring that Bay Islands Guide can continue to be the fantastic little app that it has always been. It's because of you, the users, that BIG was able to 'refreshed' or 'upgraded' into what it is now. I will go into some details below, for those who are interested. If you don't care/understand how it all works, and what has changed, that's fine too. For those who have donated to help BIG live on, thank you. For those who haven't yet, you can do so here. As always, this is not mandatory. Any amount is welcomed. Some backstory. I (Travis Place) have been doing website design and hosting for many, many years. When I moved to the SMBI, I decided to try my hand at mobile app development (Android and iPhone). At first, this was achievable without much effort, as TransLink had a publicly accessible service, that when used with permission, would allow people to build apps to navig…
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Let’s talk about BIG

Straight to the point I'll get straight to the point, then add a little history. While Bay Islands Guide is completely free to download and use, there are costs involved in keeping the system running. If you can donate to help us cover development and running costs, please do. But remember, it is in no way mandatory. A little history Bay Islands Guide was born in April of 2014 as a paid app (costing $1.99), where it saw 7 uses in the first month. As word of mouth spread, the usage quickly grew. Within a year we had reached almost 3500 trips planned per month. Fast-forward to July 2017 when we made the app completely free to download and use, the usage started to spike. By September 2017 we were seeing almost 8,000 trips planned per month, and we reached a milestone of 150,000 trips planned in total. Present Day As of December 2018, Bay Islands Guide is used to plan around 35,000 to 40,000 trips every month. As of this writing, it has been used 562,487 times to hel…
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Bay Islands Guide v5.0 for Android

Here at Bay Islands Info, we pay attention to what our Bay Islands Guide users say. We've been reading your app reviews and comments, and have implemented a few new features we think you're going to love. As well as reading your app reviews and comments, we've taken notice of what islanders ask for most frequently on Facebook. New features for the 'Ferry Planner': Completely redesigned, easier to read 'ferry results' screen - now with a route map! You can now see what time you will arrive at each stop - great if you're meeting someone on another island on the way to the mainland. A 'previous ferry' option is now available - a much requested feature. The ability to call a taxi - if your destination island has a taxi service, we've made it simple to call them to make a booking. Real-time ferry data - Still in BETA, but will soon be able to show you the ferry you are planning to catch is running on time or not. New features for the 'Business Directory': …
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Centre Against Sexual Violence to service Redlands/Bay Islands areas

The Centre Against Sexual Violence Inc. (CASV) has recently received funding to provide an enhanced service to the Redlands/Bay Island areas. CASV is a sexual assault counselling service and is funded through the Department of Communities, Disabilities Services and Seniors Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women. CASV is specifically funded for Young women from the age of 12 and Adult women. The service provides free counselling for recent and historical sexual assault. Who can access CASV? CASV is a women’s only space. Young women from the age of 12 and Adult women are able to access the service. CASV welcomes all women from all backgrounds, cultures and sexual orientations. CASV is wheelchair friendly. Where is CASV in the Redlands? CASV is located in Cleveland in a private arcade. Shop 9/165 Bloomfield Street, Cleveland. Hours of operations are as follows: Monday: 9-5pm Tuesday: 1:30pm-5pm Wednesday: 9am-5pm Thursday: 9am -5pm Friday: Closed. …
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A note about fares

The fare increase On Monday 22 January 2018, fares will increase on TransLink services across Queensland. In South East Queensland, adult and concession fares will increase by 1.5%, in line with the applicable Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate. This means (for the average adult islander using a go card) that a peak time trip to the mainland will now cost $6.05, up from the previous price of $5.96. So that's a $0.09 price increase. For those workers who leave the islands in the morning, and return later in the evening, therefore using off-peak services, have a price increase of $0.07, now costing $4.84 vs the previous $4.77. Here is the new pricing for adults and concession holders: Now, for a little bit of history When the current Go-Card system was introduced on July 1 2013, it marked a decrease in ferry fares, over the previous system. Not only was it more convenient to use a Go-Card, it was actually cheaper too. Then following on in November 2014, Queenslanders…
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Farewell 2017

As we say goodbye to 2017, here are a few updates and highlights: Bay Islands Guide Our little island app 'Bay Islands Guide' has been experiencing fantastic growth in user base, and plays a significant role in making island life easier. In 2017, we helped plan 82,315 ferry trips, with 81,034 of those planned using BIG, with an astonishing 14,444 of those planned in December alone (our biggest month yet!). But its not all about ferries.. BIG was used to search for local businesses 1581 times, with turn-by-turn directions being requested 382 times. We currently have 76 active listings in our Business Directory and we expect it to continue to grow throughout 2018. As we move into 2018, we have many exciting plans on the horizon, with the addition of Local Events and Local News to be included in BIG. Announcements During 2017, we made some pretty large announcements. We released our Bay Islands Info wallpaper pack, consisting of several high quality photographs…
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BIG is getting bigger!

Over the years Bay Islands Guide (BIG) has been gaining momentum, with more and more users installing it on their phones to make island life that little bit easier for themselves. When initially released in April 2014, BIG was only used 7 times to search for ferry times. This quickly changed however, with over 700 searches being done in May 2014. As the weeks and months went by, more and more people came to see how quick and easy our little app is to use, and the monthly ferry trips planned using BIG climbed. By March 2015 we started to see around 3500-4000 searches per month, with this trend continuing through until around July 2017. In July 2017 we added a whole bunch of new features to the Android version of our app, released some bug fixes, and even made the app FREE. At that point, the numbers really started to pick up! By November 2017 we had reached a new milestone - over 10,000 searches in a single month (10,590 to be exact). We would like to take this o…
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High speed Internet coming to the Islands

Are you tired of waiting for the NBN? We were too, so we did something about it. We've partnered with some like-minded people to form Moreton Bay ISP, a community Internet Service Provider. The aim is to bring high speed carrier grade Internet access to the Southern Moreton Bay Islands. We are currently in the planning stages, and have made a short survey to help gauge interest, as well as see what areas of the islands are in the most need. Our current roadmap should see us have our first customers online during March 2018, with the rest of the islands within a 12 month timeframe. We will be offering speeds that are greater than, or equal to NBN fixed wireless speeds, but at a lower cost. Also, 10% of our profits go back to the Island community, as well as employment opportunities for island residents. If you are interested in getting connected and helping out the island community, please fill out our online survey, and spread the word amongst other islanders! A…
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Bay Islands Guide reaches a milestone

In early 2014, we developed and released the very first version of Bay Islands Guide. It was born out of the frustration of there being no way to look up ferry times for the SMBI in a quick and easy fashion on your smartphone. Originally only release for iPhone, Bay Islands Guide was an instant local success, with around 1500 trips being planned using the app per month. Over the years, we've added other features, such as our local Business Directory, and even Go-Card balance checking. It wasn't until May 2016 that we would release our first ever Android version of Bay Islands Guide. We picked up quite a few new users, and our monthly ferry searches increased to around 3000-3500 per month.. not bad for a little island app! Fast forward to August 2017: We continued to design and implement new features.. new features which we thought would benefit from having as many users as possible. So, on the release of Bay Islands Guide v4.0 for Android, we made the app FREE for ever…
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