Driving Accessibility Improvements
We are working with a range of disability groups to understand how we can provide services that are more accessible.
· Each of our 13,500 drivers is receiving training so that they better understand the obstacles people with sight issues need to overcome when using the bus. In 2014 we became the first bus operator to sign the RNIB's bus charter.
· In 2015 we trialled a NextStop audio visual product in Leeds through two channels, a BUSFOCUS branded App providing real-time audio and visual alert notifications direct to the handset and a fully integrated passenger information on-bus system fitted to three vehicles. The results of the trials will be used to inform how the technology can be used to further enhance journeys for all passengers.
· Working with the Alzheimer's Society we have implemented a module to its driver training programme so that front-line staff can provide assistance, if needed, to customers who have dementia.
· We have worked with Disability Action Alliance and Age UK and introduced 'Safe Journey Cards', which discreetly allow customers to let drivers know if they need extra help or assistance on their journeys. Such has been their success that Safe Journey Cards have been adopted by the bus industry in general.
· We have invested £220m in nearly 1300 brand new buses in the last three years. All the new buses come fitted with extra space for wheelchairs and buggies as standard, as well as extra grab-rails, benefitting all customers.