WMCA’s new journey planning app to enhance accessibility on public transit

Posted: 20 May 2022 | | No comments yet

With the help of volunteers with disabilities, WMCA will trial the new journey planning app, which aims to remove barriers on public transport for people with disabilities and those with long-term health conditions.

WMCA to trial app designed to support disabled people when travelling

Credit: West Midlands Combined Authority

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced that it is trialling a new journey planning app aimed at enhancing accessibility on public transport for those with long-term health conditions. As part of the trial, the authority is on the lookout for volunteers with disabilities who can help test the new app.

The new service will look to allow better co-ordination of personal travel assistance needs, between the transport operator and the destination host, by alerting each stage of a journey when a person is on the way who needs additional support.

The creation of the planner is part of Include Me WM, a regional approach to making the West Midlands an exemplar region for engaging disabled people and people with long-term health conditions to be physically active.

Mark Fossbrook, Paralympian and WMCA Include Me Manager, will help trial the Include Me journey planner, which will take place on transport routes serving four West Midlands leisure facilities in Coventry and Wolverhampton.

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Volunteers who participate in the trial will have their cost of the journey covered automatically on booking and as a thank you, they will also receive Amazon vouchers at the end of each journey.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “We are inviting residents to volunteer to trial a new app that provides the less able bodied with a journey planner designed to remove barriers they may face whilst navigating public transport. I encourage locals to step forward and help improve quality of life for the fellow West Midlanders.”

Anne Shaw, Executive Director of Transport for West Midlands, said: “We are always keen to ensure that disabled people are supported throughout our transport networks and any existing barriers involving them reaching their destination are removed. The introduction and eventual implementation of this scheme will be vital in developing our offering and make sure that transport becomes much more inclusive and accessible”.

Brigid Jones, Deputy Leader of Birmingham City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for Inclusive Communities, said: “Public transport should serve all the public. This is an important project to remove the barriers people may face in using public transport and meeting our Include Me WM pledge to ensure that disabled people and those with long term health conditions are able to be more active and enjoy all the opportunities and experiences that our amazing region has to offer.”