A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of presenting a report on BBC Click for their episode on disability and tech, about a product that I truly rate: the new Passenger Assist app, that could be a real game changer for disabled travellers using the UK rail network. If you’ve recently travelled by train, I’m sure you’ll be aware that, in order to confirm your assistance on and off the train, it’s advised that you book at least 24 hours in advance. Sounds simple, but it can often be a real pain, especially if you’re freelance like me, and often don’t know where you’re going to be working from one day to the next. The brand spanking new Passenger Assist app promises that this system will soon all be in the past, as disabled users will be able to arrive at the station just before travelling, alert a member of staff of their presence and need for assistance, track the staff member as they make their way to them, and even message them (think uber, but for disabled assistance – pretty cool hey?!)
As part of the BBC Click report, I had the opportunity to try the app out, and see how it works for staff members, too. In a world where we can track our pizza delivery by the minute, I’m really glad that the same can now be said for assistance, too. The thing that I really loved about the Passenger Assist app is that, even for me, a confident world traveller, it took the anxiety away from getting on and off the trains just that little bit more, as I knew exactly who was coming to assist me, how far away they were and even what their name was! Fingers crossed that with this very simple, but nifty piece of tech, getting stranded on the platform (or worse, on the train) becomes a thing of the past.