Winter weather is the perfect time to brush up on using tech for O&M purposes and to build skills which will encourage student independence. Does your student use a transit app to learn about nearby public transportation options? Can your student find the best departure time of the desired bus or train? Can your student use the transit app’s trip planner to quickly compare trips – including the time involved for different options and the cost differences between options such as taking a ride share (Uber or Lyft) vs. public transportation?
What about students in rural areas? I live in a rural area that does not have public transportation of any kind, which makes public transportation lessons challenging; trip planning is a critical part of the O&M lesson prior to a ‘feet-in-the-street practice with public transportation. For maximum success, create a scenario that has meaning for the student. For high school students, that might be to look at transit options near their favorite university and plan a trip from a potential dorm to the student’s favorite type of restaurant. Is the class planning a school field trip the Washington DC? Take a look at the transit options near the Smithsonian and plan a trip from one tourist area to another. What is the nearest city to your student? Airport? Mall? Family vacation? Create an engaging scenario and check out potential transit options. Can you tie in the lesson with other studies or classroom activities about specific countries or locations? Example: If the student is studying about Australia or the student is researching or writing about a Australia, then use a transit app to plan a trip to city in Australia, such as Sydney or Melbourne.
There are several different transit apps available, with the top three most popular mainstream transit apps: Moovit, Transit and Citymapper. These popular transit apps are available for numerous cities world-wide. Moovit currently covers the largest numbe of urban areas and is used by the most people. However, it appears that the Transit app is highly popular with blind and low vision users. There are many options including Google Transit, with its trip planning, routes, schedules and fare information integrated into Google Maps. Some cities/areas have their own transit apps.
The Transit app is a mobile app providing real-time public transit data, now available in more than 300 cities. (Moovit currently covers 3,400 cities.) Get real-time info for bus, train, Uber, Lyft, bikeshare and scooters. The core app features remain free; although, there is a paid subscription for certain transit features. Transit app is accessible with a screen reader.
In the quick video below, Casey, a student with low vision, shares that he relies on public transportation and uses Transit to know what bus lines are nearby and the departure time of these buses. Casey challenges other students to check out the Transit app.
Casey: Check out the transit app Take Charge Daily Challenge YouTube video
By Diane Brauner
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