Whoosh tech platform

Tech start-up firm Whoosh Media has launched a new smartphone-based system that promises to help simplify rail travel for disabled travellers.

The Real-Time Journey Dashboard is activated by scanning a QR Code on the passenger’s seat and enables users to access a wealth of information personalised to their exact journey.

This can include location of disabled toilets on their train, full details of facilities available at every station on their route, live timetables for onward travel such as buses and trains at their destination, and even the ability to order drinks and snacks direct to their seat.

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According to the firm, travelling by train is very often a hazardous lottery for wheelchair users and those with restricted mobility, simply because rail companies have failed to keep up with the way people research their journeys.

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) called for the country’s 25 rail operators to improve in this same category in order to make travel easier for disabled people. In April, however, a review by disability charity the Shaw Trust showed that less than half (11) were able to meet Website Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Whoosh Media founder Ed Caldecott commented: “The Real-Time Journey Dashboard puts the power back in the hands of passengers in a modern and stress-free way.

“Travellers are kept informed in real time how their journey is progressing on a virtual map and informed if they are running late, which is especially useful for disabled passengers who may be being collected at their destination.

“Most importantly, there is a two-way communication between the passenger and rail operator, which means you can ask questions about the service and request help when needed.

“This technology is available now and fits right in with the way people are living their lives today. It is not about doing something special for disabled passengers, but more about giving everyone the right tools to make their journey as stress-free as possible.”

“We’re in the age of the smartphone, but the train operating companies still think like everything is steam powered.

“For disabled people, planning a trip by rail becomes a Herculean task that involves finding out about accessible stations and platforms, perhaps pre-arranging help on and off the train and thinking about whether there will be a suitable toilet when they are travelling – and that’s before you factor in temporary reductions in accessibility and details of delays or disruptions to services and facilities.”

In April, the House of Commons Transport Committee has said that the failure of several rail operators to meet previous targets to make trains fully accessible is unacceptable, and it asked the Department for Transport to set out the sanctions that will apply if companies fail to meet deadlines.

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https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/40408_whoosh.rti_.10.02.2021_671660_crop.jpg?fit=900%2C471&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/40408_whoosh.rti_.10.02.2021_671660_crop.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Liane McIvorNewsroomSupplier NewsTrade Newsdisabled,rail,smartphone,travel,travellers,WhooshTech start-up firm Whoosh Media has launched a new smartphone-based system that promises to help simplify rail travel for disabled travellers. The Real-Time Journey Dashboard is activated by scanning a QR Code on the passenger’s seat and enables users to access a wealth of information personalised to their exact journey. This...News, views & products for mobility, access and independent living professionals