Traveling on public transport can be intimidating for individuals with a visual impairment. The challenges of crowds, self-navigation, and checking inaccessible schedules all makes for a difficult experience. Most recent available data shows that in the UK, people with disabilities take 38% fewer trips than those without. This figure hasn’t changed for over a decade, despite being a recognised issue.
Now, Avanti West Coast wants to change this by taking accessible transportation to the next level! AWC has launched a dedicated resource, Travel Companion, to provide customers living with disabilities with instant help during their journey, in a first for the UK rail industry! Through this service, AWC connects passengers to a person that can offer special assistance when traveling, making journeys more accessible by giving disabled customers the opportunity to contact a human being for dedicated support in times of need.
But there’s more, and this is where Be My Eyes enters the picture! To further enhance accessibility for all people traveling on the West Coast Line, AWC has decided to join our Specialized Help Service. That’s right! From today, all blind and low vision Be My Eyes users in the UK can connect with an Avanti West Coast representative to get real time video assistance while traveling on the West Coast Main Line.
“Utilizing accessible technology to build a rapport with our disabled customers and respond to their needs will help us to improve the journey experience. Our partnership with Be My Eyes – a first for the transport industry - will further enhance the overall interaction via Travel Companion, so we can assist customers in the best possible way.” said Brandon Peat, Accessibility and Inclusion Manager at Avanti West Coast.
“Our partnership with Avanti West Coast is a further step into a more accessible and inclusive travel experience for millions of blind and low vision individuals” says Hans Jørgen Wiberg, Founder of Be My Eyes Be My Eyes “This is the first time a transportation company joins Be My Eyes Specialized Help and we are all so excited about this opportunity! ”.
Avanti West Coast representatives are available on Be My Eyes Specialized Help everyday from 7am to 10pm GMT. The service is available in English. Reaching out to an AWC representative is easy: open the Be My Eyes app, click on Specialized Help and select “Travel & Transportation”. Here, tap on Avanti West Coast and you will be connected in a matter of seconds! You can also visit their profile by clicking on this link: Avanti West Coast profile
Together, Be My Eyes and Avanti West Coast take another step in providing accessible and inclusive transportation to millions of blind and low vision individuals in the UK. If you too are interested in making an impact by joining our platform, don’t hesitate to reach out for more information!