This is a brief overview of an app called Moovit, which enables you to travel independently on public transport.
The great thing about this app which I like, is that it works on most smart phones, but it isn’t specific to people with sight loss and it works in many countries throughout the world and best of all, it’s totally add free and doesn’t cost anything. You can obtain it through the app store on apple and the play store if using an android device.
Before we get into the app itself, I’ll briefly discuss how much more it enhances my independence due to my own sight loss. I’m pretty sure many of you have had this issue, you get on a bus that doesn’t talk, you arrive at your destination and the driver hasn’t told you where to get off and your stuck. Well move it alleviates this problem altogether. The app will tell you when your bus is arriving so you know it’s your bus and when you arrive at your destination, it will alert you when you’re three stops away, then again at two, and get very persistent when you’re about to arrive so you know it’s time to get off so for those of you who don’t travel on public transport because you don’t want to rely on a driver, you no longer have this problem.
Before going any further, in order to benefit from this app, you must have some sort of an internet connection to use it, weather that’s a wireless network or mobile connection. When you first launch the app, you can scroll across and set your home address. Once you’ve done this, it will then allow you to link this with your accounts such as Facebook, google or your email account, meaning that if you ever get a new phone or device, all of your settings will be on every device you own. Once all of this is complete, you can begin using the app.
So, let’s pretend you’re out and about and you want to get home. If you launch the app, and scroll across to home in your favourite locations, you can click this button and you will be presented with options to change the date and time, or to reverse the directions if you wish. But if you just want to know how to get home now, you will be presented with several options.
If I take an example route here, it’s giving me three routes I can choose and if I click on each one, I can look and see which one I would prefer. The great thing is it will tell you how long it would take with each suggested route and what time you would be home which is the great thing here. It also gives you the option of taking a taxi and how long it would take in order to do so, giving you more flexibility if the option of public transport just doesn’t seem like a practical option which tends to be the third option. So, let’s take the first route here, pretending I want to go from work to home. Before I even click on it, voiceover tells me to walk three minutes, catch a Trans Pennine express train, then walk one minute, take the 75 bus then walk three minutes, total time 1 hour 28 minutes, and to leave in 10, 17 or 25 minutes so let’s click on this and see more details. Once I’ve clicked this, I have the option to leave later, or If I continue to swipe, it tells me to walk 850 feet to the local train station and that it will take me an average of three minutes to get there. I can then click a navigate button and it will map out a route relevant to the current time and day as I’m walking nearer to each destination.
In short, it’s an app that I would highly recommend enhancing your independence.
For further information, feel free to listen to my tech a break presentation for a more in-depth view of the app and a demonstration in Realtime.