Perkins School, MBTA launch new app to help vision impaired at bus stops

Standing with her white cane and iPhone, a woman who is blind stands at an MBTA bus stop

Joann Becker uses BlindWays to accurately navigate to an MBTA bus stop.

September 20, 2016

BOSTON - A new app could help blind and vision impaired people find MBTA stops, thanks to a partnership with the Perkins School for the Blind.

The new BlindWays app launched Tuesday and it aims to help MBTA customers navigate Boston's transit system.

"I use an app on my phone for GPS navigation, and it would tell me that there was a bus stop, but it would be 30 or 50 feet off. So, inevitably, I would miss the bus. The bus would go right past me," Joanne Becker explained to FOX25's Elizabeth Hopkins.

GPS can guide travelers to within a 30-50 foot radius of his or her destination, which can leave vision impaired riders too far from a bus stop to be noticed.

"It's a harder problem than you think for the visually impaired," The Perkins School's Dave Power said. 

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