Where’s My Bus Stop? Supporting Independence of Blind Transit Riders with StopInfo

Abstract

Locating bus stops, particularly in unfamiliar areas, can present challenges to people who are blind or low vision. At the same time, new information technology such as smart phones and mobile devices have enabled them to undertake a much greater range of activities with increased independence. We focus on the intersection of these issues. We developed and deployed StopInfo, a system for public transit riders that provides very detailed information about bus stops with the goal of helping riders find and verify bus stop locations. We augmented internal information from a major transit agency in the Seattle area with information entered by the community, primarily as they waited at these stops. Additionally, we conducted a five week field study with six blind and low vision participants to gauge usage patterns and determine values related to independent travel. We found that StopInfo was received positively and is generally usable. Furthermore, the system supports tenets of independence; participants took public transit trips that they might not have attempted otherwise. Lastly, an audit of bus stops in three Seattle neighborhoods found that information from both the transit agency and the community was accurate.

Citation

Campbell, M., Bennett, C., Bonnar, C., & Borning, A. (2014, October). Where’s My Bus Stop? Supporting Independence of Blind Transit Riders with StopInfo. In 16th International ACM SIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility.

Paper – external link

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