Île-de-France Mobilités and SNCF facilitate transport journeys for visually impaired
Two of the biggest service providers of the Paris region, Île-de-France Mobilités and the SNCF, are supporting the development and implementation of the EZYMOB solution, a personal assistant that facilitates daily transport journeys for visually impaired passengers.
For several years, POLIS member Île-de-France Mobilités and SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français) have worked to ensure a safe and welcoming environment to all its passengers, dedicating particular attention to people with reduced mobility. Extensive improvements were made on the Paris region’s rail and metro network, by providing more accessible information, spaces (stations, stations, bus stops) and vehicles (trams, trains, buses), Île-de-France Mobilités and the SNCF are making sure to take into account different needs, including people with disabilities, to make sure everyone is able to travel autonomously across their network.
In December 2020, Île-de-France Mobilités awarded the Mobility Challenge (“Challenge Mobilities' ') to a young French start-up, currently developing the EZYMOB solution, a personal assistant that facilitates public transport journeys for visually impaired.
EZYMOB is an app that helps visually impaired people navigate public transport. The user is able to plan his or her route on the application by scanning his surroundings. The app then converts visual information into sound information and guides the user through the station.
In addition to the grant awarded by the Mobility Challenge, the startup is being supported by Île-de-France Mobilités and has the opportunity to carry out a life-size experiment, which will run from April 2021 until the fall. The app is currently being tested on 2 of the Ile-de-France network’s lines, the RER B and the RER C, allowing to improve the app’s usability, reliability and ease of use.
The application allows to: plan an itinerary, gain information regarding train’s arrival, detect available doors, seats and composting terminals, count stops, warn when getting off the train and provide an overall step-by-step guidance within stations.
The experiment is being carried out under the supervision of UNADEV (National Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired) which provides its expertise on visual impairment and puts the startup in touch with the voluntary testers, which provide crucial feedback. Started in April 2021, the experiment has recorded a Net Promoter Score of 10/10, with a 90% satisfaction regarding the application’s accessibility and 88% satisfaction linked to the overall platform’s intuitiveness.
The EZMOB solution’s experimentation phase is rapidly progressing and visually impaired passengers will soon be able to access this daily support solution, creating a more accessible and inclusive city.
This article is based on the Île-de-France Mobilités press release available (in French) here.