Transreport is expanding a smartphone app in Passenger Assistance to help provide accessibility beyond Britain’s railways to commercial aviation. The Passenger Assistance app is available on both Apple App Store and Google Play, so both Apple and Android smartphones can download the app to improve the passenger experience.
How does Passenger Assistance work?
Passenger Assistance, once downloaded to your smartphone or accessed from an internet browser, allows a person to book transport and then inform the transportation provider – whether that be a railway or airline – about the accessibility needs of the passenger. The accessibility requests could be boarding early, accommodating a service animal, having a wheelchair lift at the aircraft or helping with a mobility device. One can watch an explainer on YouTube below:
The app makes communication between the disability community and transportation providers much more straightforward. This way, there are no uncomfortable conversations along one’s journey, no matter their accessibility needs.
Transreport’s founder Jay Shen
Jay Shen founded Transreport because, as he shared with TechRound’s Dana Leigh on June 8, 2022;
“Transreport exists to help people have better public transport experiences. … Put simply, we build the app for people to plan their train journeys and arrange assistance quickly and easily, whether they’re blind, autistic, use a wheelchair or are temporarily injured.”
Shen explained that Passenger Access started because of a conversation between him and a train rider with disabilities. The app was user-tested and took four years to develop, but now, according to a May 2023 Transreport statement, the app is used by over 200,000 passengers with over 100,000 bookings processed monthly.
Taking Transreport to the aviation industry
For Shen, the aviation industry is the next step in making transportation more accessible for all. As Shen explained in a May 2023 statement,
“We believe that everyone should have their access needs prioritised when travelling. Unfortunately, many disabled and older people face significant challenges when travelling by plane, which has an impact upon both individuals and organisations alike. We are working with the aviation industry who are prioritising not just the accessibility of disabled and older people but the experiences they have within airports too. By working together, we can create a world where everyone can travel without barriers.”
Being able to inform airline employees of passengers’ accessibility needs will hopefully prevent situations like when a passenger had to crawl off of a commercial jetliner and when airlines like Ryanair have refused passengers wheelchairs. The United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is demanding reduced wait times for disabled travel assistance, which is something this app can help with.
Transreport also offers an aviation accessibility panel comprising of disabled persons offering lived experience, spokespeople and industry professionals. The panel ensures that the apps created meet the needs of both disabled travelers and transport providers.
There is also a complimentary airport accessibility audit to help you understand the connection between optimized processes, positive customer experience, safety, security, and the accessibility offered. The audit will be carried out in collaboration with a disabled person.
What motivates Transreport CEO Shen?
Ultimately for Shen, the top goal for Transreport is:
“I really want to play a part in changing the narrative around accessibility. Too many people assume accessibility is for other people. It’s not. Accessibility is everyone’s business.”