Our colleagues of Dresden University have written a blog post about “Understanding People’s Mobility Needs for Cooperative, Connected, and Automated Mobility (CCAM)” earlier. This blog post will continue to talk about the needs of vulnerable groups when booking CCAM. We will focus on the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and will introduce our own glimble app as a demonstration.
As a public transport operator, we are always putting our travellers first. We always try to improve our services to include all different people within the society. This is one of the reasons to participate in the SINFONICA project as we want to learn what vulnerable groups need when we move to autonomous vehicles.

In the last few years, we have been working on Mobility as a Service to fulfil all the needs of our passengers. MaaS integrates all different modes of transport and services into one on-demand mobility service. In our Glimble app, people can book their journey with Arriva and all other public transport operators (PTO’s) in the Netherlands, but the app also shows connections to a next mobility provider such as shared cars, shared bikes and shared scooters. We aim to improve public and shared mobility services for our passengers and to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable society. The MaaS concept will be very useful to apply to our rural regions. For example, a person can book a small, automated vehicle that will bring them to a bigger hub from which they can take another mode of transportation to reach their end goal.

Our glimble app is aimed at people that have a smartphone and know how to use apps. It includes 40 different languages to include a big range of nationalities, so speaking Dutch is not necessary. We have optimized every screen across the app for VoiceOver and TalkBack technologies (screen-reading) on iOS and Android devices. With this enhanced accessibility integration, users use gestures to navigate through screen elements and focus on them. Once the focus is on an element, including buttons and labels, the VoiceOver / TalkBack feature reads aloud the text that appears on it. Specifically, with our ’Live Directions’ feature, the user gets step-by-step GPS-style guidance for their journey and even receives alerts when the bus is arriving or ’Get Off Alerts’ to get ready before they’ve reached their destination stop.

Next to that, the glimble multi-modal trip planner calculates trips that are wheelchair/stroller accessible. For the bigger stations in the Netherlands, glimble also indicates if they are wheelchair accessible and specific approaching lines that are wheelchair accessible. Moreover, glimble also supports ’Dynamic Type,’ providing users with the ability to increase font size. Product improvements have been made to ensure the content and layout on the app screens do not break and the reading experience is consistent.

Glimble displays information properly to users who are colour blind. Colour is never the sole way of distinguishing objects. Differences in brightness are being used to make coloured regions distinct and tests the interfaces in grayscale to confirm that they are still usable.

By taking all these steps glimble makes cities and public transport accessible for all.

Keywords: MaaS, Glimble, vulnerable users, inclusiveness

Picture from Freepik