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Bus app launched to aid visually impaired

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:46 -- geeta.nair

A FEATURE of the city’s bus service app, which was launched Wednesday, enables visually impaired riders to use their phone’s voice command function to acquire the latest public bus service information.

After visually impaired riders enter Setup Interface and select auxiliary mode on the app, “鹏城公交” (péng chéng gōng jiāo), will switch to a simplified edition that announces detailed bus route information and real-time bus service information broadcasts, according to Shenzhen Municipal Public Transport Bureau, the developer of the app, at a news conference Wednesday.

The voice command function can only be used when the Voice Over function is switched on for iOS users and on Android phones supporting the TalkBack app.

The audible version for visually impaired users is one of the four major functions that the app provides. The other functions are route planning, real-time broadcast of arriving bus stops, as well as lost-and-found assistance.

By inputting a starting point and destination, the app will generate several recommended routes for users’ journeys.

An electronic bus-stop guide incorporates 9,850 bus stops belonging to nearly 800 routes to allow users to instantly locate the bus stops nearest to them and their corresponding bus routes.

The app also shows when buses will arrive at each stop, enabling riders to better schedule when to arrive at their stops and avoid missing their buses or overly long waiting periods. The app can also be set to remind riders to get off when the bus arrives at their destination.

Using the app, those who accidentally leave personal belongings on a bus can easily retrace them by typing in the time and type of the items lost and the number of the bus they were lost on into the Lost and Found system.

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