Public Transit Tips for Individuals with Low Vision
Public transportation offers independence to individuals with low vision, providing opportunities for community involvement, job commute, and so much more. While public transportation offers independence, it can be difficult for individuals with low vision to navigate the transportation system. Any public transportation can be complicated to use--from finding the right route, boarding the correct bus, and exiting at the right stop.
Developing a level of comfort for using public transportation takes time, and it may require a variation of tools to help. When preparing to use public transportation, it’s important to develop a set of options for how to make yourself more comfortable using trains, buses, or subways.
Befriend Commute Drivers
Take the time to get to know your transportation drivers if you are able to do so. Oftentimes, transportation drivers are willing to provide you with more information and help you figure out your route.
Know How to Pay
Most cities encourage the use of a transport card specific to their public transportation system, allowing passengers to place a certain amount on the card and scan into different types of transportation. Not only is this easy, but it also cuts down on nervously counting change in hectic moments.
Keep Your Bag Close
If you carry a bag onto the bus, train, or subway, keep it on your lap while sitting or place it at your feet if you’re standing. Always be considerate of those around you. If the vehicle is filling up, make sure your bag isn’t taking up a free seat.
Be Aware of Your Topic
If you’re talking on the phone or to a friend on public transportation, be wise about what you say. You are in a public place where other people can overhear you.
Gather Information About Your Surroundings
Take the time to figure out what kind of landmarks are in your area and around your stop to ensure your safety. Large intersections can be more difficult to navigate and confusing for anyone, so be sure to know where you want to go.
Use Technology to Check the Arrival Time of Your Bus
While most public transportation systems include a vocal announcement of stops, it can sometimes be difficult to hear. Certain apps offer a countdown system to track an approaching bus or notify of an upcoming stop. You can also choose to stand near the bus driver so you don’t miss your stop.
Stay Tuned to the Bus Sounds
Buses have very distinctive sounds from the engines to the door hinges. These sound cues can help riders with low vision recognize when stops are approaching. When you board, be sure to sit near to the front so that you can catch the sound cues over the bus engine.
Call a Taxi, Uber, or Lyft
Sometimes your best option will be a taxi, Uber, or Lyft. These vehicles will pick you up from where you stand and take you to your desired location. You won’t need to pay attention as closely as you do on public transportation.
Using public transportation can be confusing for anyone, but we hope these public transportation tips for individuals with low vision can help make the journey easier. At StrongGo, we believe in the importance of an accessible world, and we do our part to make our neighborhoods more accessible by creating reliable and durable TekWay detectable dome tiles. Talk to our industry experts today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.