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BlindWays: a crowdsourced bus stop location app

Navigate directly to a bus stop using the BlindWays iOS app.

For people who are blind or visually impaired, accessing public bus services can mean getting to work or class on time. However, it is challenging to quickly and easily find the exact location of a bus stop sign even with today’s GPS technology – which is accurate only to within a 30 foot radius of a precise location. Standing 30 feet away from a bus stop sign often means that the bus passes right by.

BlindWays, a new iPhone app from Perkins School for the Blind, closes that “last 30 feet of frustration” with crowdsourced clues that describe recognizable and permanent landmarks near the bus stop like a tree, a fire hydrant, a mailbox. The crowdsourced clues enable users to form a mental map guiding them to within four to five feet (the average length of a white cane) of their bus stop, so they can touch the signpost and verify they are in the right spot to get picked up by the bus.

BlindWays features include

BlindWays currently focuses on Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) bus stops. Over time, Perkins aims to bring BlindWays to additional cities.

BlindWays is available for free in the App Store. For more information on BlindWays, visit Perkins.org/BlindWays

By Luiza Aguiar

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