Travelling by train can be stressful. From busy platforms and delays to making sure you have the right type of ticket, there is a lot to consider.
For disabled people, rail travel is even more complex. In addition to buying tickets and navigating stations, many require assistance and need to book suitable assistance for each leg of their journey, such as the use of a ramp, room for an assistance dog or wheelchair space.
Passenger Assistance by Transreport is transforming the process for booking travel assistance. What used to be a complex process can now be achieved in moments through the company’s mobile app. And now, the new Passenger Assistance Web App which means users can book their assistance through a website as an alternative to a mobile app.
Whilst phone apps are becoming a default, unlike websites there is no standard for accessibility meaning some people are unable to use or interact with them. For example, individuals with limited dexterity or other mobility impairments who find a desktop easier to use. The web app also means a carer or personal assistant can book assistance.
The Web App also helps individuals with disabilities and neurodivergent needs who may have difficulty accessing technology due to financial constraints. As reported in the Digital Lifeline impact assessment, fifteen percent of disabled people have never been online.
The Passenger Assistance Web App has been designed with insight and feedback from disabled people with a range of varying accessibility needs.
Founded in 2016, Transreport was born following a conversation between founder, Jay Shen (a student at Warwick University at the time), and a disabled passenger. In the few moments of exchange, Jay’s eyes were opened to the difficulties and anxieties faced every time the gentleman was travelling.
The following weekend, from his home, Jay coded the prototype of the Passenger Assistance app. Over the next few weeks, the team established an ‘Accessibility Panel’ of disabled and older users with first-hand experience to help refine the app.
Word travelled fast and soon ideas and suggestions were flooding in from everywhere. Additional accessibility features were built in every step of the way, for example different font sizes, different colour schemes and full voice-over compatibility. Transreport then started working with the Rail Delivery Group to scale their solution ready to roll out the technology to all the train companies in the UK.
Passenger Assistance has over 30,000 downloads, acknowledgement from Apple regarding standards of accessibility, and users including high profile athletes and prominent disability activists. The company recently received funding from BlackFinch and Praetura Ventures to support their global expansion.
Jay Shen - the Founder of Transreport - commented:
“Since launching in the UK, we have received the most incredible stories from users of the Passenger Assistance app who have travelled confidently, often for the first time, to visit family, enjoy days out and get to work. Seemingly normal journeys for many, but full of complexities and anxieties for the disabled community.
Transreport’s purpose is to enable everyone globally to make journeys freely with comfort and ease. Our latest technology, the Passenger Assistance web app, creates even more opportunity for disabled and older people to travel and enjoy more freedom.
We believe in the social model, that people are not disabled by their impairment, but by barriers in the world around them and we hope both the mobile app and now web app continue to break down some of those barriers on an even larger scale.”