Vancouver pilots wayfinding app for visually impaired transit users

WAYFINDING: Users scan the code using the NaviLens app to get audio transit information

Visually impaired public transportation users in Vancouver in Canada can now receive both audio instructions that guide them to bus pick-up points and real-time transit information by scanning codes at bus bays and stops with their Apple or Android smartphone.

Transit operator TransLink is trialling the service at three locations in the city using the NaviLens app that enables passengers to access information by scanning “coded decals, resembling QR codes” at transit locations that “can be scanned from up to 14m away” and “in all light conditions”.

“Once the decals are scanned, the app provides audio instructions that guide customers to bus stops and exact points of pick-up. The app can also identify nearby amenities, such as elevators, and provide real-time information alerts,” TransLink explains.

The pilot will run for six months at three TransLink locations in Vancouver and then “be evaluated for future expansion throughout the region”, the transit operator says.

Translink began using ticketing data to let passengers check how busy their bus is likely to be in August 2021.

Vancouver pilots wayfinding app for visually impaired transit users was written by Tom Phillips and published by NFCW.