We discussed with several of the focus groups the possibility of following the lead of leading cities around the world in ensuring that all of the new buses are equipped with a sound system that announces the next stop clearly at least one minute in advance so that all will be able to get to the door and prepare to exit. There was substantial support for this project.
The immediate reason for doing this is to provide convenience service for the blind and others suffering from visual impairments who cannot or have difficulty in recognizing stops, particularly when they use lines with which they’re not already familiar. These announcements will not only be useful for the visually handicapped but also for quite a wide range of other traveling Penangites and visitors.
Another great advantage of this approach is that it is low cost and immediately visible as a clear sign that new ideas are being tried and improved service for all is being targeted by the government and all those responsible.
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This was one of approximately 100 project ideas that came out of the succession of focus groups, master classes presentations, conferences, media events and other examples of the crowdsourcing approach that were organized by Think City in support of the project. You can see the full initial listing of these ideas here at http://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/new-mobility-initiatives-table-of-ideas/.
You may also wish to check out the posting this to get the needed “A New Mobility Agenda for the Vision-Impaired in Penang” at http://wp.me/p3GVVk-8V.
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About the editor:
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Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton