The Smart Bus Stops, Visible Bus Stops project, which was created by Hacettepe University Teknokent in order to help visually impaired people take a more active part in social and cultural life, was formally launched at a press conference. Initiated by Hacettepe University Chancellor Murat Tuncer and coordinated by the general secretary and manager of the Directorate of Clinical Training and Research, Kutluhan Yazıcı, the project aims to offer solutions to visually impaired people living in Ankara for problems they face while using public transportation. Thanks to the project, blind people will be able to learn the route number of the bus that is approaching a stop, the distance to the door of the bus and the names of the bus stops on the route with software that can be accessed on their smartphones.
Speaking at the press conference held at the Hacettepe University Cultural Center, Tuncer said everyone may need help at some point, so people should be sensitive about the issues the visually impaired face. He said they want to initiate additional projects that will make life easier for the visually impaired and stressed they are working on different projects.
Speaking after Tuncer, Kutluhan said the project will first be initiated at bus stops at the Beytepe and Sıhhiye campuses, but will be implemented throughout Ankara and then in the entire country. He said their intention is to help blind people use public transportation without facing danger or needing personal assistance. He added that the project will enable the visually impaired to experience freedom of travel and become independent individuals.
The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Family and Social Policies Ministry and Turkish Federation for the Blind released a joint statement announcing the project will have positive effects and that they will support any project that will make life easier for physically or visually impaired people.
The project will provide visually impaired people with a vocal guide that will provide information about their route, such as estimated arrival times and bus stops by using electronic tags and smartphone software. The electronic tags will notify the bus driver when a visually impaired person wants to get off the bus.
Hacettepe University will also join forces with the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, Family and Social Policies Ministry and the Turkish Federation for the Blind to expand the project across Turkey.