HALIFAX, March 25, 2022— Following dialogue with community leaders in North Preston, the Mobility as a Service Solutions company Moovit Inc. has committed to sponsoring historical panels at the Arnold D. Johnson Sports field in North Preston to highlight the stories of the Black community.
The discussions were sparked last year after an anonymous user from a third-party database created a racist label to describe the community which appeared on the company’s app.
Following the discovery of the page, members of the North Preston Ratepayers Association, staff of ANSDPAD, the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission, and the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, contacted Moovit Inc. to discuss the incident and look at solution-oriented strategies. Moovit technicians adjusted the algorithms to minimize, if not, eliminate racist hatred online. The company had already taken various actions in the interim, including removing the offensive description, adding additional filters, and rescanning its repository of addresses in 100+ countries where Moovit operates to prevent inappropriate content in any city.
The deliberations also led to the company’s sponsorship of interpretive panels that will serve to commemorate the site's historical relevance to the community and to honor the spirit of perseverance and resilience through the voices of the members of Canada’s largest African Nova Scotian community.
“Unfortunately, African Nova Scotians continually endure the effects of systemic racism,” said Viola Fraser from the North Preston Ratepayers Association. “Our triumph is that the story of our great ancestors will be reflected within the Historical Panels on site at the Arnold D. Johnson Sports field for all to see and learn. We have united on an international front against this act of hatred. Today marks a battle won against racism.”
“The ASDPAD Coalition is pleased with the positive outcome that has resulted from this traumatic racial incident,” said Vanessa Fells, Director of Operation for the African Nova Scotian Decade for People of African Descent Coalition (ANSDPAD). “We would like to commend all those who have worked over the past year to come to resolve these issues. This could not have been accomplished without the collaborative and collective dedication of the ANS community in North Preston, Moovit, and the ANSDPAD Coalition holding courageous conversations.”
“Moovit has a zero tolerance policy for racism,” said Yovav Meydad, Moovit’s Chief Growth and Marketing Officer based in Israel. “Of the 10 years that Moovit has provided service in thousands of cities, having even a single piece of inappropriate content like this reflected in the app is one too many and definitely not aligned with Moovit’s values. We hope that by tackling this issue head on we are able to make public transit and public transit information a more inclusive and equitable place for riders.”
North Preston is a community located in the northeastern part of the Halifax Regional Municipality established by Black Loyalists after their arrival in 1783. The community of just over 4,000 residents has the highest concentration of people of African ancestry in Canada.
About North Preston Rate Payers Association: The North Preston Rate Payers Association was first established in the late 1940’s by Councillor Allan W. Evans. The association was created to support the creation of community infrastructure, to further community development, and to provide a collective voice for the community. The Rate Payers association has acted as advocates for the community providing support for a number of organizations that exist within community for the positive benefit of community members.
Recognizing that African Nova Scotians are a distinct founding people in Nova Scotia who have been a key part of the province’s culture and history since 1605, DPAD’s mission is twofold: to build strength and health across African Nova Scotian communities, and to forge a renewed working relationship with government(s) that creates conditions for all African-descended people in Nova Scotia to thrive.
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation was created in 1996 to reaffirm the principles of justice and equality for all in Canada. The mandate of the Foundation is to facilitate throughout Canada the development, sharing, and application of knowledge and expertise to contribute to the elimination of racism and all forms of racial discrimination in Canadian society.
Moovit (www.moovit.com), an Intel company, is a leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions provider and the creator of the #1 urban mobility app. Moovit was acquired by Intel in 2020 to join forces with Mobileye and advance its MaaS strategy. Together, Moovit and Mobileye will accelerate the global adoption of autonomous transportation.
Moovit’s iOS, Android, and Web apps guide people in getting around town effectively and conveniently, using any mode of transport. Introduced in 2012 it now serves over 1 billion users in more than 3,500 cities across 112 countries.
Moovit amasses up to six billion anonymous data points a day to add to the world’s largest repository of transit and urban mobility data. For governments, cities, transit agencies, and private companies, Moovit offers AI-powered MaaS solutions covering planning, operations, and optimization with proven value in reducing congestion, growing ridership, and increasing efficiency and asset utilization. Industry leaders such as Uber and Cubic have partnered with Moovit to power their mobility offerings.
For media inquiries, please contact:
North Preston Rate Payers Association
902 435 4640
902 307 2512
Canadian Race Relations Foundation