Accessible Public Transportation

This project develops a Global Access Information Navigator (GAIN) system to collect, enhance and share location-based information to empower a blind or visually impaired person with the relevant information to determine the optimal sequence to efficiently utilize available public transportation options. Producing a dynamic accessible public transportation information device that goes beyond the crucial step of software development for existing devices and adds new personalization capabilities. For instance, rather than having to ask a passerby when bus 12 leaves and where to buy the ticket, the user's accessible GPS device will present everything that is associated with that bus terminal. With the press of a couple buttons, the bus schedule will be displayed and the terminal layout described to the user. This is only a glimpse into the amazing potential of this technology.

Project Accomplishments

  1. Evaluated existing User Generated Content (UGC) products. To accommodate User Generated Content we have added preset tags for common types of Points of Interest (POIs). Examples of these tags are Revolving door, Trash can, and Escalator bottom. These tags enable the user to better record and narrate their surroundings.
  2. Developed the conversion program for the Google Transit Feed Spec, now including detailed transit information from various cities like Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego, Denver, Chicago, Kansas City, Boston, Albany, New York City, Charlotte, Portland, Dallas, Seattle, Milwaukee and many more. Total of 43 feeds and counting.
  3. Collected User Generated Content sample data for a city, deployed a team of 12 blind surveyors and collected hundreds of unique POIs that day.

Key Personnel

Michael May, Principal Investigator

Charles LaPierre, CTO

Bryan Bashin, Grant Manager

Gil Lutz, Staff Tester

Chris Grabowski, Staff Tester