LEEDS, UK, 2015-3-11 — /Travel PR News/ — Two of the UK’s biggest bus groups, First and Arriva, in partnership with the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) have today launched a new, state of the art Next [Bus] Stop Announcement Smartphone app, which could revolutionise bus travel for blind and visually impaired passengers.
Launched at Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium, the BUSFORUS branded app, which has been created and developed specifically for blind and visually impaired bus passengers, provides users with real-time audio and visual alert notifications, direct to the handset. It means passengers will know exactly where they are on a journey and at which stop to get off.
The Next Stop Announcement app – available as a beta version on Apple’s iOS platform (iPhone) during an eight week pilot in Leeds from 6 March to 1 May – also offers simple and easy to search and navigate route maps, next service information as well as a facility to save favourite and frequently used stops and bus routes.
Speaking at the launch, CPT Chairman Ian Morgan said: “On behalf of the bus industry I welcome the introduction of the Next Stop Announcement app.
“Having worked closely with blind and visually impaired bus passengers during its creation and development, I am confident that the pilot will clearly demonstrate that app technology has a key role to play in making bus journeys easier and more accessible for all.”
Giles Fearnley, Managing Director of First Bus added: “We are committed to making our services accessible to all of our passengers across the country. We are therefore very excited about the trial of this app, which we think has the potential to revolutionise bus travel for the blind and visually impaired community.
“First is delighted to be a partner in this project and we have high hopes that it will be very successful. We’ll be continuing to work closely with partners and user groups during the pilot.”
Mark Yexley, Commercial Director of Arriva said: “Over the course of the eight week pilot we hope to gain a firm understanding about the real benefits of this technology and how it can enhance the journey experience for bus passengers, especially those with visual impairments.”
Regular bus user and advisor to the Next Stop Announcement app project, Claire Randall said: “I have worked closely with the app project development team over the last six months and, having been able to share first hand some of the difficulties that I and other blind and visually impaired bus users face on a daily basis, I believe it will provide passengers with a greater sense of independence and freedom when taking the bus.
“I hope it will lead to more blind and visually impaired people having the confidence to make bus trips, and stories of passengers missing or getting off at the wrong stop will become a thing of the past.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Confederation of Passenger Transport UK (CPT) is the national trade association representing bus and coach operators.
- Busforus is the UK bus industry’s young person’s bus travel information website (www.busforus.co.uk).
- An eight-week pilot of the Busforus Next Stop Announcement app is being launched at 1130hrs on Friday 6 March in the Jack Charlton Suite (West Stand) of Leeds United’s Elland Road Stadium.
- The app is available by contacting:
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