New app aids visually impaired transit riders

Visually-impaired BART rider
Photo courtesy LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired

A navigation app that guides users indoors and outdoors will significantly expand travel opportunities for visually impaired people, according to the developers of Waymap.

The app is now being rolled out in Washington D.C. and Waymap is interested in locations in California, including the Bay Area, according to a company spokesman.

Waymap, which is free to all users and does not use GPS, is accurate up to three feet of a destination and can operate regardless of cellphone signal strength. The step-by-step audio directions direct users from their front door to their office, to the theatre, or any location, with independence.

The app’s directions are specific, instructing the user exactly how many steps to take and how many degrees to turn to face a train door, for instance, while also providing valuable contextual information.

Separately, San Francisco's LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired has a page dedicated to transportation and travel.

MTC is focused on access, equity and mobility issues.