19 June 2013

A Helping Hand

A nice idea from Plymouth Citybus 

New Help Me aides are now available for our passengers.

These are available to order online or from our Travel Centre on Royal Parade. They can display a destination, service number or company of your choice. This initiative has been specifically designed to help those passengers that have difficulty seeing our destination displays on buses and bus stops and shelters. All the passenger has to do is stand at the bus stop and hold out the sign. Our drivers will look out for these signs and if their bus is applicable to you, they will pull in. These signs will initially be available free of charge, to anybody that requests them.

To get one, all you have to do is visit our Travel Centre on Royal Parade and request one there, or request one online by clicking here. These destination signs take 3 working days to produce as they are made to order. When the cards are ready to collect from our Travel Centre, we will contact you.  The second aide we are introducing is the 'Help Me' card

These cards are the size of a typical credit card and are available to collect from our Travel Centre. The passenger, or a member of staff at the Travel Centre, will simply write what they would like the driver to know. Upon boarding, the passenger simply shows the driver the card who then acts upon the card's request. It is hoped that these two aides will make it easier for both our passengers and our drivers, especially those passengers who are hard of hearing,  have difficulty speaking or are visually impaired.

To request either a Help Me card or destination sign, click here and complete the online application form or visit our Travel Centre.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport together with  Go-Ahead Group is working towards an industry standard Help Me card. Please provide feedback on how you feel the scheme is working, so you can help other bus users around the county. Feedback and suggestions can be sent to our customer services team by clicking here.

First Group have tried similar schemes on a couple of occasions but not really followed it through but hopefully this will indeed go to to become an industry wide scheme. Anything which helps less able passengers use the buses has to be a good thing. Something as simple as having a card which can be discreetly shown to a driver so the driver is aware of the passengers needs without having the whole bus know is a positive step forward.

Of course it does depend on the driver actually reading the cards and actually trying to meet the passengers needs. The vast majority of drivers will have no problem with this, but as in any walk of life there will always be one or two who cant be bothered.

Plymouth Citybus

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