A new app described by disabled comedian Tanyalee Davis as “life-changing” has been previewed, allowing instantaneous support at the click of a button for disabled rail users. Developed by Transreport, Passenger Assist is currently being trialled by four rail operators, and is expected to launch nationwide in Autumn next year.
Currently, disabled people travelling by train need to book assistance in advance, with a paper list given to station staff in the morning. This system falls down when a change occurs, as the list isn’t updated during the day – meaning staff could be in the wrong place, or assistance could be missed entirely. Worse, it doesn’t allow people the flexibility to arrange spontaneous travel plans.
The new Passenger Assist app will let you set up a profile, detailing the specific assistance you need for travel (such as space for a guide dog or a wheelchair ramp), amend and cancel bookings, and give staff live information to accommodate short-notice changes. You can share your precise location at a station to request assistance immediately, with train staff able to find exactly where you are.
Different parts of an early version of the app are currently being trailled by West Midlands Railway, London Northwestern Railway, Greater Anglia, and South Western Railway, and developer Transreport expect it to have a full launch around this time next year.