The Department of Empowerment of persons with disabilities (DEPeD), Minister of social Justice and Empowerment has formulated the “Accessible India Campaign (Sugamaya Bharat Abhyan)” as a nation-wide flagship campaign for achieving universal accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Mumbai First has been associated officially with the program as a “Knowledge and Implementation Partner “in Maharashtra.
The OnBoard project is to install devices across all the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) buses. The device can facilitate visually impaired commuters to identify the bus route / number and also seamless entry into the bus. The device works on radio frequency and consists of a very affordable, small user module and a bus module with a speaker fitted next to the entrance of the bus. The system has a very simple user interface.
The device was first tested with a small number of users on cluster operated by Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal transit system (DIMTS). The Mumbai trails was the first instance when a full scale real life unsupervised testing of the system has been undertaken.
The trails were immensely successful with nearly 90% of the users being able to board the first available bus on their chosen route independently. Trails clearly established the effectiveness of the system in giving visually impaired persons access to public buses.