For those with disabilities, getting around any city can be a challenge. Though plenty of affected people struggle to take public transit and use special services such as Access-A-Ride service in cities like New York, London may be worse for those who need accessible transit.
Transport For London’s website provides three documents to help disabled riders reach their destination. One is a standard tube map, another is a map of stations without stairs and a third is a guide to avoiding stairs in the Underground. These can be helpful, but using all three is a pain. Design student Rebecca Grover thought this shouldn’t be so complicated, so for the RSA Student Design Awards, she aimed to simply the process with an app. London Accessible combines all the relevant information from the three aforementioned documents into a single, more navigable experience.
Her app uses already existing information about the tube and filters it according to the needs of the user. Users can select to only see routes that are accessible to them by filling out a profile indicating whether they can use stairs and escalators, if they need a station with elevators, accessible train cars or if they know they’ll need help getting to the train. Clicking on a station shows you which criteria it fulfills. Best of all, Grover also created an API plug-in for London Accessible, so it can be overlaid on other transit apps like Citymapper.
Grover hopes that her app will make it easier for disabled people to go on trips without having to meticulously plan their route in advance. In the future, Grover plans to expand the service to help people with a wider variety of disabilities (the app already includes a voiceover for those with impaired vision). She also wants to work on adding bus routes and other transport options, and is hoping to collaborate with TFL to extend her program.
For more on the project, click here.