Thank you, Hallie. We appreciate your time and interest in LookingBus. Everyone in the community is invited to the outreach activities and to be active in the social media groups. We encourage members of the community who do not have disabilities to participate as well so they will have a better understanding of the environment present to riders with disabilities. There will be multiple sessions to accommodate time conflicts for as many people as possible, and there will be on-going support through social media.
Thanks again for the wonderful questions MaCie'. Allow me to clarify, the LookingBus system is not just an app, but a connected vehicle system that includes both hardware (sensors at the bus-stops) and a set of software applications (including multiple apps such as the driver app and the rider app). The sensors are the heart of the system and have a central role in the accuracy, reliability, and safety of the service. The sensors are the ones that send the alerts to the drivers about the presence of the rider at the bus stop, not the app. This approach has many advantages, the most important one is the “Alerts reliability”. With the LookingBus sensors at the bus-stops, alerts are sent out to bus drivers only when riders are physically waiting at the stop. Similarly, the sensors also cancel the notification in the event that the rider leaves the bus-stop. Based on feedback from drivers, this is a critical feature of the service as it prevents drivers from losing time in their strict schedules because they stopped to look for a user that no longer intends on boarding the bus. The LookingBus system also allows riders to reserve a trip within a flexible time window. Reservations can also be made by a 3rd party, such as doctor office or family members. With the LookingBus system, the riders only need to walk nearby the bus-stop, without any additional actions on their end. Once they are at the stop, the sensors do all the work for them. In addition, the presence of the sensors at the bus-stops help the riders with the micro-navigation to the precise location of the bus-stop out of many other nearby poles (which is explained in more details in my answer to Iris above).
Great Question Irena. Thanks for asking. The driver app does not require any action from the drivers while they are operating the vehicle. A special device installed with the app will be positioned in the driver’s pit so that it is not distracting to the driver. The driver will be alerted of pick-up and drop-off requests with a color-coded alert system. The screen will change color depending on the request. For example, if a pick-up is requested, the device screen will turn red. Once at the stop, the driver can check the details of message so they can assist the passenger as needed.