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NAVILOENS IN SAN ANTONIO: VIA Metropolitan Transit Launches New Accessibility System

SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit has recently launched NaviLens, a new technology system designed to improve accessibility and usability for all riders, with a focus on those who are blind, have low vision, or do not speak English. The innovative system is part of an effort to make public transportation more accessible and user-friendly for everyone.

At the heart of NaviLens is a free app that can be downloaded on any smartphone. When scanned with a smartphone at one of the 6,000 QR code-style signs installed at bus stops and transit locations across the city, the app provides real-time audio directions to help riders navigate to their stops and buses. The app uses a phone’s camera to detect nearby signs up to 60 feet away and provides clear directions in over 34 languages.

VIA communications manager Lorraine Pulido highlighted the benefits of NaviLens for non-English speakers, stating that it provides audio information in up to 34 languages. In addition to aiding navigation, NaviLens will also offer next-bus information and updates for more efficient trip planning.

The cost of implementing NaviLens was over $600,000 and was federally funded as part of an effort to improve accessibility. By the end of 2024, San Antonio aims to be the first US city with systemwide adoption of NaviLens. Pulido believes that this technology will “revolutionize the way that people travel.”

For those interested in trying out NaviLens, details on installation and use can be found on VIA’s website. With its focus on accessibility and user-friendliness, NaviLens is sure to make traveling by public transportation easier than ever before.

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