Travelling with the help of an app

By Renzo van den Berg, intern

An app that accompanies you when you travel with public transport. What might be a routine operation for many people, can for some be a real expedition. Since 2012, we are involved in a project dubbed 'Public Transport coach', in close cooperation with the Dutch Dr. Leo Kannerhuis in Oosterbeek, that offers help where needed. With an app on their iPod, children with a limitation can travel independently with public transport. The app acts as a navigator and answers all the questions that may arise during the trip with the train or bus, concerning planning problems, delays or transfers.

It all started in the municipality of Renkum some time ago. The app-coach travelled daily with 11 children. This proved to be a success, and after a few weeks all children that participated were able to travel on their own. Like 13-year old Cerissa, who received an iPod through the municipality, that says about the app: “It tells me how to pack my bag. Of what I must do when I missed my bus: go to someone or call my mother".

In the just started semester this year the app will also be used in the city of Groningen. Expectations are high and all parties working together are hoping to get the same results as in Renkum. The app is now a bit more generic and can be used on both Android as the current iOS devices.