Visually impaired passengers in Boston have a new app called Blindways to help them locate the city’s more than 7,800 bus stops.
The new iOS app helps people fill in the fine detail missed by traditional GPS, like bus stops and entrance doors.
Today’s commercially available GPS leaves a traveler within a 30-50 foot radius of their destination, creating a navigational challenge that is often referred to as the “last 50 feet of frustration.”
Blindways provides clues from other riders in the community to bring visually impaired users within four or five feet of a bus stop sign (the average length of a white cane).
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Perkins School for the Blind collaborated with Raizlabs, a Boston digital app development firm, to create Blindways.
Blindways received a $750,000 grant from the Google Impact Challenge Disabilities program. Google’s charitable arm, Google.org, launched the program last spring to develop open-source technology to help disabled people. This fall, they announced the competition’s 30 winners that were awarded a total of $20 million in grants.
(capecodtimes.com, bostonmagazine.com, theverge.com, builtinboston.com, raizlabs.com, capecoddaily.com, bostonglobe.com, auburnmassdaily.com, google.org, photo by Jerry Berrier from perkins.org)
Books on Buses in California
California’s San Joaquin Regional Transit District supports countywide literacy efforts with a Books on Buses program.
RTD installed book crates on ten Stockton Metropolitan Area buses to help spread the love of reading and promote literacy. The RTD fills the crates with age-appropriate books for young passengers to enjoy on the bus or at home.
Children can return the books to any RTD Metro bus or branch of the Stockton San Joaquin County Public Library. Sponsors pay for the books.
(apta.com, sanjoaquinrtd.com, pacific.edu)
Tampa First to Use App
The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority introduced HyperLINK last month to riders in select Tampa areas. The innovative ride-hailing system is by Transdev, a private-sector international transit provider based near Chicago.
During HART’s two-year pilot program, HyperLINK passengers are the first in the nation to use this smartphone app. Passengers connect with an Uber-like service administered by the transit agency for subsidized rides to and from nearby bus stops.
The Florida Department of Transportation awarded a $200,000 grant to fund this solution to what we in the industry call a “first mile, last mile problem.”
(83degreesmedia.com, metro-magazine.com, apta.com, travhq.com, gohart.blogspot.com)
‘Til Next Time,
Jim Wilson, BWAT General Manager
MILESTONES . STRATEGIES . TRENDS . SOLUTIONS . PERSPECTIVES . NEWS
About Blue Water Wave… Jim Wilson comments on what’s happening in transit in the Blue Water Area, as well as interesting transit-related developments all around the globe. He observes new challenges, solutions, strategies, trends, and perspectives within the transit industry. We welcome your comments.