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VIA Introduces NaviLens Technology to Make Public Transit More Accessible for Riders

SAN ANTONIO – The city’s transportation authority, VIA Metropolitan Transit, is launching a new technology system called NaviLens. This cutting-edge technology is designed to improve accessibility and usability for all riders, with a special focus on those who are blind, have low vision, or do not speak English.

The system involves installing QR code-style signs at bus stops and transit locations across the city. By next year, VIA plans to have 6,000 of these signs in place. When scanned with a smartphone and the free NaviLens app, these signs provide audio directions in real-time to help riders navigate to stops and buses.

VIA communications manager Lorraine Pulido emphasized the benefits of the app for non-English speakers. “NaviLens provides audio information in up to 34 languages,” she said. In addition to helping with navigation, the app also offers next-bus information and updates for more efficient trip planning.

The rollout of NaviLens cost over $600,000 and was federally funded as part of an effort to improve accessibility for all riders. 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.”

Those interested in trying out NaviLens can find more information about installation and use on VIA’s website.

By Editor

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