LookingBus is a Smart City service that aims to improve the accessibility of public transportation, specifically the boarding and disembarking, for people with disabilities, including people with visual impairments. People with visual impairments heavily depend on public transit as an essential service for engaging in daily life and social activities. However, they often face challenges with (1) determining which bus to board, especially at busy bus stops when multiple buses approach, and (2) boarding the correct bus in a timely fashion before the bus leaves the stop. By utilizing Smart City technology, LookingBus provides drivers with advanced notifications of riders with disabilities at their upcoming stops to ensure that drivers can assist the riders as they board the correct bus. Likewise, the driver will get a similar notification to alert when the rider needs to get off the bus. LookingBus' proprietary technology not only improves safety and reliability, but also customer experience, specifically for those who rely on fixed-route services.
LookingBus is currently implementing a pilot system in Lansing, MI collaborating with the Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) through funding provided by the $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge. LookingBus is eager to continue growing by implementing our system in the Pittsburgh area. As part of the Smart City vision, LookingBus will enhance connectivity of public transportation systems through greater communication between riders and drivers by means of smart sensors.