The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has collaborated with SG Enable to trial a new mobile application that uses assistive technologies to help bus commuters with special needs. These technologies include personalised smartphone alerts for passengers and display unit alerts for bus captains.
2. The trial, co-funded by the Land Transport Innovation Fund and INIT Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, will run from 28 January to end-April with three buses from Service 139 serving the Enabling Village. Following that, the three buses will be re-deployed to Service 141, which serves the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH), until the end of June 2019.
3. Under the trial, bus commuters who are wheelchair users, visually impaired or hearing-impaired will be able to try the new assistive technologies. For example, audio announcements which will be available both on the bus and at the bus stop, will allow visually impaired commuters to hear the service number and final destination of the approaching bus when they are waiting at the bus stop, and the next stop when they are on board the bus. Audio announcements will also be transmitted to hearing-impaired passengers via T-Coil enabled hearing aids.
4. The trial will also see the use of alerts on bus captains’ display unit to notify them of commuters with special needs at the bus stop ahead.
Mobility Assistance for the Visually Impaired and Special Users (MAVIS) – Mobile App
5. LTA, in partnership with INIT Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd, developed the assistive passenger information system for the trial, including the “MAVIS” mobile application, which will provide a seamless commuting experience by:
a) Providing commuters with personalised journey guidance, such as the estimated time of arrival and notifications to board or alight the bus;
b) Alerting bus captains that commuters with special needs will be boarding or alighting, enabling bus captains to render assistance accordingly; and
c) Allowing visually impaired passengers to activate the audio announcements at the boarding bus stop.
6. To participate in this trial, commuters with special needs are to register with SG Enable via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, who will facilitate the user registration.
7. During the six-month trial period, LTA may adjust parameters, such as the volume of the audio announcements, to better test the system. At the end of the trial, LTA will consider users’ feedback gathered during the trial to assess the benefits and feasibility of providing such assistive technologies on more public bus services.
Land Transport Master Plan 2040
8. The trial supports one of the key themes of the Land Transport Master Plan (LTMP) 2040, which explores how we can build a more inclusive transport system for all Singaporeans. During the public engagement process of LTMP 2040, members of public have shared their views on how the land transport system can be improved to cater to diverse commuter needs, and how Singaporeans can work together to create an easier and more welcoming commuting experience for all.
Annex: Mobility Assistance for the Visually Impaired and Special Users (MAVIS) – Mobile App
 The Land Transport Innovation Fund (LTIF) was set up in 2006 to facilitate innovation and technological advances in Singapore's land transport arena.