4 April 2021
The Passenger Assistance Story (so far)
We're living in a world where technology has made it possible for us to get anything we want delivered straight to our doorstep and we can listen to any song that pops into our head in a matter of seconds. But, in so many ways we’ve fallen behind in creating technology for causes that create meaningful change in the world. In areas such as accessibility, diversity and inclusion there are many opportunities for technology to play a role in transforming lives, and Passenger Assistance is just one of them.
Back in 2017, our founder Jay Shen had the idea to make transport a more equal place. He wanted to democratise it and ensure transport operators were more aligned to their passenger’s needs, so he created Transreport. Fast forward to today and Jay’s vision has culminated in one of the most exciting apps on the market. This app, made by the Transreport team, is called Passenger Assistance and allows disabled people to arrange assistance in just a few clicks. It changes what is currently a long process, that has to be repeated each time, and that takes a lot of time and energy out of the busy lives of disabled passengers.
Why did we create this app?
We believe that everyone should be able to travel spontaneously and have the independence and flexibility they desire. If you wake up on a sunny day and decide to go to the beach, everyone should be able to do that easily and without a lot of hassle. However, we knew this wasn’t the case for a lot of disabled people, as travelling anywhere can take a lot of pre-planning. We wanted to take the first step into improving their experience and we started with rail travel. The technology our team has developed will allow a more stress-free and consistent booking experience, which has been a real issue within the disabled community for a number of years.
Working with disabled people
You might be sitting there thinking ‘that all sounds great, but how many disabled people have actually been a part of the making of all this?’ Well, a lot actually! At Transreport we support the mantra ‘nothing about us, without us’ and at every step of the development of the Passenger Assistance app, we have been working alongside disabled people. Initial workshops where those with a diverse range of accessibility needs provided their requirements for the app were instrumental in defining the user experience. A group were also assembled to test out the app and how it works in the real world, which then helped to get it to where it is today. We also have a dedicated accessibility panel who we regularly meet and consult with (virtually, of course!) who’ve made the launch of this app as accessible as possible.
What about the future?
We want this to just be the start! Although we’ve initially focussed on making the rail travel experience better, we want to take the same concept to every mode of transport. Soon we want to see all disabled people easily booking bus, airport, tram and taxi assistance through our one handy app. These things will take some time and a lot of brain power, but anything worth having is worth working for and we’re willing to put the work in. We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about the Transreport story and if you have any questions about the app you can get in touch here.