London, UK – 17 August 2020: SkedGo, the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) tech-enabler, is calling on the UK government to ensure transport operators include accessibility data as part of its Bus Open Data Service (BODS).
Sandra Witzel, head of marketing at SkedGo, says: “The Department for Transport (DfT) will require all operators of local bus services in England to publish data on timetables and stops by the end of 2020, but the new laws don’t compel them to disclose whether vehicles and bus stops are accessible to wheelchair users and Persons of Reduced Mobility.
“We’re backing the call by disability campaigner Lord Chris Holmes for the DfT to set a timeline for operators to publish this data. One billion people worldwide live with a disability and sharing greater accessibility information will open up their public transport choices.”
SkedGo already has experience in this area, working with open data to improve accessible journey planning worldwide. In Australia, SkedGo supports Transport for New South Wales (TfNSW) to make wheelchair-friendly routing and carriage occupancy data available via TripGo, its showcase MaaS app, Application Programming Interface (API) and Software Development Kit (SDK).
TfNSW’s open data strategy means passengers can see which rail stations are wheelchair accessible, the carriages that are least crowded and whether lifts are in service, rerouting parts of their journey if needed.
Witzel adds: “Our work in Australia has proven that open accessibility data can benefit everyone – from passengers with limited mobility, to parents with small children and users with ‘hidden’ disabilities, such as a fear of crowds. An inclusive approach will boost passenger numbers and support the recovery of the transport industry after COVID-19.”
In addition to timetables and stops, the DfT is legislating that all bus operators in England publish fares and location data by January 2021 and complex fare information by January 2023, advising it may consider how to provide accessibility data in a later stage.
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SkedGo was founded in 2009. Its HQ is in Sydney, Australia and the enterprise has teams in Germany, UK, Vietnam and Argentina. SkedGo provides the technological building blocks, which include its award-winning TripGo API, to create optimal MaaS solutions for governments, leading start-ups and corporations.
In 2016, TripGo spin-off RioGo won the official Rio Olympic City Transport challenge for the Olympic games. In 2017, SkedGo was named Gartner Cool Vendor for Smart Cities Applications and Solutions. Also in 2017, SkedGo won the Smart Cities & Accessibility Challenge run by the NSW Department of Finance, Service and Innovation with Transport for NSW and Slingshot to include more features for wheelchair users.
In 2018, TripGo was named ‘Best Smartphone App’ by industry publication Business MaaS. Strategic consultancy Ptolemus nominated SkedGo as ‘Best Mobility Platform Provider’ in 2019.
In 2020, SkedGo was awarded Smart City Platform of the year at the Future Digital Awards.
Title photo by Glen Wallace via flickr