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Studying the Usage of the Bangalore Bus System by the Blind

Ensuring that people with disabilities are able to reach voting centers is key. This study can serve as a pointer for us to gain empathy into pain points and discover opportunities in improving the accessibility of transport systems.

Photo of Ishan Bhalla
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This is  from a research that a couple of my friends and I conducted. We studied the usage of the Bangalore City operated bus system by the blind. Our findings I think would hold true in many parts of India and the world.

Some key findings:

1. Blind people have a concept of landmarkswhich relies on sounds, smells and kinaesthetic. They use this as a way to help them get around.

2. Driver discipline is the biggest problem: In Bangalore as in most of India, the busses don’t always stop exactly at bus stops. This presents multiple problems for the blind: safety in and ability to get on and get of the bus, way finding after getting off the bus etc.

3. Braille signs do not work in India: Blind people in India are hesitant to touch Braille signs in public areas because of cleanliness and hygiene concerns.

Here is a link to the full report:
http://lukwhostalking.com/research-report-studying-the-accessibility-of

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Photo of Jeroen

Hi Ishan, interesting research! I shared an inspiration about using public transport during voting. Maybe it will help you to create a concept in the next phase or we could team up to create a concept together. http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/inspiration/voting-in-public-transport/

Photo of Meena

Could certainly be some learnings for Bangalore (& this challenge) from the internationally award winning BRTS in Ahmedabad http://places.designobserver.com/feature/peoples-way-urban-mobility-in-ahmedabad/12918/ When I was researching this story a few years back, I was heartened at the response from those who previously faced accessibility issues that were now enjoying this system.