Bucharest, June 26, 2017 – Visually impaired people in Bucharest can use more easily the surface transportation, thanks to a mobile solution implemented by Tandem Association in partnership with RATB and the Bucharest Mayor Office, within the Smart Public Transport project. The solution as been financed by the Vodafone Romania Foundation with over 400,000 lei, under the Connecting for Good program.
The project has been implemented between January 2015 and June 2017 and during this period 1,100 special devices, called iBeaconi, have been installed on all buses and trolleybuses from the RATB fleet. The Smart Public Transport solution has been developed to guide people with visual disabilities in using the surface public transportation network without any assistance from a personal assistant or intervention of other people around. The iBeacon device continuously releases a signal and communicates via a mobile application with a smartphone. When the bus or trolleybus approaches to a certain distance from the user located in the bus station, his or her telephone receives a notification announcing that the vehicle that he is waiting for is arriving. The mobile app integrates a GPS module that notifies the user on the stations that follow on the traffic route and the connections available for other public transportation. The mobile app can be downloaded for free from iOS and Android platforms.
„There are more than 5.000 people with visual impairments living in Bucharest. Based on our estimations, 900 of them are using public transportaiton services on ongoing basis. Right now, our application is already used by more than 400 people. We are glad to see that this project that we selected in our annual financing competition has succesfully concluded and already provides these people with the support they need”, stated Angela Galeta, Director of The Vodafone Foundation Romania.
„We are willing to create the first integrated intelligent technology-based system for urban accessibility in Europe, to help users navigate safely across the city, from home to destination. Smart Public Transport is a vital part of this model”, stated Florin Georgescu, Presindent of Tandem Association.
Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian nongovernmental organization with charitable status, distinct and independent of the company’s commercial operations, established in 1998. During the 19 years of activity, Vodafone Romania Foundation has financed 1,046 programs run by 660 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of health, education, social services. The projects had 1.9 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people, physically, socially or economically disadvantaged persons. So far, Vodafone Romania has invested more than 26 million euros in projects run by nonprofit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available on fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatia-vodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone