New app to help people with disabilities navigate public transit

Posted on March 13, 2019

Focus Group at the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo: Feonix Mobility Rising
Focus Group at the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo: Feonix Mobility Rising

Feonix - Mobility Rising and its partners, the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) and Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living (AACIL) are setting out to create supportive technology providing step-by-step assistance for people with disabilities in navigating transit.

Using the state-of-the-art locational platform, what3words, Feonix is developing an app, called "Connect," that will provide turn-by-turn audio and visual directions for passengers navigating public transportation, as well as nuanced information most helpful for people with disabilities.

"New mobility tech like Feonix's Connect app are needed now more than ever," says Julia Roberts, TheRide Regional Planner. "By helping customers to age in place with increasing rates of visual, hearing, and other cognitive impairments, TheRide can aid in improving each individual's transport experience, as well as the quality of life for their family, friends, and community."

The aging population in the Ann Arbor area and across the country are growing at unprecedented rates, especially as baby boomers retire. Specifically, with regard to vision and hearing disabilities, the 2016 US Census indicated that:

  • 7.5 million Americans identify as having "significant vision loss," encompassing both near or total blindness, and "trouble seeing, even when wearing glasses or contact lenses."
  • 11.5 million individuals report significant hearing difficulty.

The what3words technology will be utilized with the "Connect" app, will enable users to gain three-meter accuracy to pick-up or drop off locations for fixed and paratransit service- providing a better experience and less stress for both passengers and drivers. Traditionally, addresses can cover an entire block or even several acres. With what3words, users can precisely schedule pickups and drop-offs at a specific entrance, landmark, or facility.

The project is set to launch the prototype for demonstration this summer and is expected to be released in the app stores this fall. Feonix plans to bring this innovative technology to public transit agencies across the U.S. and around the world.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Micromobility device users operate without clear, consistent rules: Study

MTI authors concluded that states are the appropriate entity to set comprehensive regulations for personal transportation device riders.

FMCSA, NHTSA seeking input on testing vehicles with automated driving systems

Seeking comments at this stage to ensure that all potential approaches are fully considered as the agencies move forward with these regulatory actions.

How a rural Colorado town helped boost mobility options for its citizens

Aging plains residents were struggling with remaining in their communities due to transportation challenges into Colorado Springs.

What mobility option will make an impact at your operation?

With a plethora of options out there today, including bike-share and microtransit METRO asked top officials which they think will have the most impact at their agency.

Collin County Transit adds new city to on-demand service roster

Expanding service footprint and will begin operating in the city of Prosper effective Monday, June 3.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation