Some key bus stops in Kaohsiung now let people waiting for a ride not just see their bus coming, but also “hear” it arriving. To make it easier for visually impaired people to travel by bus, Kaohsiung City Government’s Transportation Bureau said on Monday last week that it had finished installing 10 bus arrival audio announcement devices that can help city residents keep better track of their bus-waiting time and hail and board buses in good time, so that they can avoid missing the bus.
The Transportation Bureau has installed 10 bus arrival time audio announcement devices at certain bus shelters where a large number of people pass through or where visually impaired people frequently board buses, namely Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Fongshan Bus Transfer Station, Kaohsiung Station, Fongshan Administration Center and the Kaoshiung Fruit and Vegetable Marketing Company.
Transportation Bureau Director-General Chang Shu-chuan said that these 10 bus arrival time audio announcement devices have been installed since September last year. When a bus is about to arrive, the devices automatically announce the name of the bus route and provide prompt and accurate information about its location and expected arrival time, so that people can ride the bus with no worries.
Photo: Huang Liang-chieh, Liberty Times 照片：自由時報黃良傑
A visually impaired man surnamed Tsai said that when waiting for a bus in the past, he had to call the Transportation Bureau to ask for real-time information, but now that there are spoken announcements at bus stops, he knows when a bus on a particular route is approaching.
In addition, to make it convenient for visually impaired people to use the Kaohsiung iBus mobile app, in October last year the bureau invited the Kaohsiung Chi-Ming Association, the Association of Blind Taiwan and delegates from the group for safeguarding and promoting the rights of people with disabilities to jointly evaluate the app. The bureau will require their suggestions to be included in future updates, so as to create a still more user-friendly environment for riding buses.(Translated by Julian Clegg, Taipei Times)
Photo courtesy of Chang Shu-chuan via CNA照片：中央社，張淑娟提供
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