Making public transport more inclusive – Passenger

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is coming up this Thursday (19 May) and Greg Hepworth, Head of Product at Bournemouth-based app and web provider, Passenger has shared his thoughts on what more could be done to make public transport information more inclusive.

“More needs to be done to ensure those who can travel by bus have the necessary information at their fingertips” – Greg Hepworth, Head of Product at Passenger

Greg Hepworth

Greg Hepworth, Head of Product at Passenger, commented: “Global Accessibility Awareness Day (19th May) is a key reminder of the importance of considering accessibility in everything a business does. Technology is always adapting, which allows it to be used to meet changing needs and demands – but there is always a risk that accessibility can be forgotten in the heat of the moment.

“In the transport industry, inclusivity is essential as it’s everyone’s journey. In a 2020 survey, the Department for Transport revealed that just over half of disabled people were satisfied with the provision of transport information. Careful consideration needs to be applied to any product or service when it comes to quality and it should be the same for accessibility requirements.

“More needs to be done to ensure those who can travel by bus have the necessary information at their fingertips. Accessibility is a core focus for Passenger, so much so that we are working towards achieving further accreditation from the Digital Accessibility Centre. The process involves an intricate review of our products to ensure they are sufficiently accessible and can be officially recognised as such in the future.

“We have spent the past years enhancing our accessibility features across all our products. For example, features like Dark Mode within apps and websites help those with photosensitivity or visual impairments with colour. A key feature we’ve created for Nottingham City Transport is ‘Stop The Bus’, which allows passengers with vision difficulties to send a notification, via the app, to operators so they can alert drivers on where to stop.

“Our team is continually reviewing products against accessibility guidelines to accommodate screenreader users, keyboard-only users, and vision-impaired users. We also have a dedicated Inclusion Guild – a working group, made up of representatives across the company including Product, Marketing, and Engineering teams. Their mission is simple – to make it easier for everyone to get where they are going. Their role is to challenge assumptions about requirements, ensuring that everyone is thinking about the outcome of a product and its potential usage limitations.

“It is not just one person’s responsibility to think about accessibility. Accessibility Champions can help change the way in which others think, but they form part of a wider team which is committed to enforcing that change. Together, we can be a more accessible business and subsequently, allow our customers to be more inclusive.”



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