Brisbane’s Buses Lead the Way

A new generation of information technology is currently being trialled by the Queensland Government in Brisbane, with the hopes of improving accessibility for vision impaired people.

Fifty-thousand dollars has been tipped toward the trial, as King George Square bus station has been fitted out with the innovative, audio-driven system, in an Australian first. Thirty speakers have been installed throughout the exchange, including speakers at the entry and at each bus stop, which provide information on the specific services.

Queensland disability services minister Coralee O’Rourke has high hopes for the scheme that is designed to make the bus network easier to use for people suffering from eyesight issues.

“The system provides blind and vision impaired persons with audible messages outlining bus station facilities, bus stop locations and details of which routes leave from any given stop.”

“The user is alerted to the location of speakers through the Step-Hear phone app, or by a dedicated wrist band which vibrates when in proximity, and they can activate the audio message using either of these devices.”

Guide Dogs Queensland played a key role in establishing the initiative, and worked closely with TransLink on the entire system.

“This is all part of our commitment to breaking down barriers and improving the lives of people with a disability.”

Guide Dogs Queensland chief executive Barb Tasker believes the new system will enable greater independence and clarity for vision impaired commuters.

“Travelling to the city each day with low or no vision can be quite a daunting task, but technology like this is a great step,” she said.

“This is the sort of independence we want to achieve.”