TransPennine Express (TPE) has launched two new tech innovations that will make rail travel more accessible for passengers who are blind, visually impaired, autistic, or anxious.
The two new technologies, My Station View and GoodMaps Explore, are both designed to help customers navigate TPE’s managed stations across the north.
Kathryn O’Brien, customer service and operations director at TransPennine Express, said: “These two revolutionary technologies have been launched in our 19 managed stations to make rail travel more accessible for people who are blind, visually impaired, have mobility issues, are autistic or have anxiety.
“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and we are doing all we can to make our network as inclusive and as accessible as possible. We’re committed to enhancing accessibility with innovations such as My Station View and GoodMaps to ensure our customers feel confident travelling with us at all times.”
My Station View is a pre-departure tool that allows customers to take a virtual tour of the station they are visiting before they leave. The website allows customers to explore the station, enabling customers with autism or anxiety to plan a route giving them more confidence to travel.
The innovative technology that provides a 360-degree view of the station will also benefit customers with mobility issues as they will be able view the route from the entrance of the station all the way to the required platform, viewing points of interest and facilities along the way ensuring that key areas are accessible to them. My Station View also allows passengers to explore the interior of TPE’s trains to help them locate priority seats and other on-board facilities.
GoodMaps Explore provides accurate navigation for customers that are blind or visually impaired. The free app allows customers to receive turn-by-turn navigation instructions directing customers to station platforms and points of interest. The app pinpoints a customer’s location using their phone’s camera and provides accurate directions to help navigate the station safely.
The new technology is the next step in TPE’s accessibility push after introducing British Sign Language (BSL) message boards and a BSL interpretation service in ticket offices earlier this year. The two services have been designed to offer extra support for customers travelling on the railway by offering people who are deaf, or have a hearing impairment, the opportunity to access enhanced information or assistance whilst at the station or on their journey.
Image credit: TransPennine Express