LTA wins award for inclusive bus trip app

Land Transport Authority chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping (second from right) and deputy chief executive for policy and planning Jeremy Yap receiving the prize in the Diversity and Inclusion category together with Mr Klaus Janke, managing director of
Land Transport Authority chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping (second from right) and deputy chief executive for policy and planning Jeremy Yap receiving the prize in the Diversity and Inclusion category together with Mr Klaus Janke, managing director of INIT, and Dr Roxana Hess, project manager of INIT, at the 2019 International Association of Public Transport Awards in Stockholm, for the Mobility Assistance for the Visually Impaired and Selected Users (Mavis) app.PHOTO: KHAW BOON WAN / FACEBOOK

A mobile application that alerts bus drivers to passengers with special needs who are boarding or alighting has won the Land Transport Authority (LTA) an international prize.

The app, named Mobility Assistance for the Visually Impaired and Selected Users (Mavis), also allows those with visual disabilities to activate audio announcements for upcoming bus stops.

The audio announcements can be transmitted to hearing-impaired passengers via T-Coil enabled hearing aids.

LTA won in the Diversity and Inclusion category at the 2019 International Association of Public Transport (UITP) Awards held in Stockholm on Wednesday.

The app, which beat out entries from Australia and Britain, was developed together with German firm INIT as part of a trial on the use of an "assistive passenger information system" to help commuters with special needs take public buses.

The ongoing trial, conducted in collaboration with SG Enable and SBS Transit, began in January this year.

LTA also received the UITP Asia-Pacific Special Recognition Award for the app at the association's summit on Monday.

 

The authority had different projects shortlisted in two other categories as well: Operational and Technological Excellence, and Public and Urban Transport Strategy.

LTA was not the only winner from Singapore. On Monday, the Public Transport Council won the UITP Asia-Pacific Special Recognition Award for its Heart Zones and Heartwheels@Linkway projects at MRT stations.

Congratulating the two agencies, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on his Facebook page: "Public transport is an important service for our citizens. We will continue to work hard to make it better, more inclusive and more caring."

Making the Republic's transport network more inclusive is one of the key thrusts of the 2040 Land Transport Master Plan, which was unveiled last month.

As part of these efforts, priority queues will be introduced at all MRT stations by the end of this year, and all public buses will be wheelchair-accessible by next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2019, with the headline 'LTA wins award for inclusive bus trip app'. Print Edition | Subscribe