Wayfinding Centre in Ireland: Empowering passengers with disabilities

Go-Ahead donates a bus to an innovative project allowing customers to familiarise themselves with buses, trains, and aircraft.

In the UK, one person in every four has a disability – and those who do make 30% fewer journeys than the rest of the population. As a major public transport operator, it’s our responsibility to ensure that our buses and trains are available, and welcoming, to everybody.

The UK National Bus Strategy, published in 2021, set a goal of ensuring that disabled people can use buses just as easily as other passengers and a number of Go-Ahead’s operating companies are innovators in this field.

Brighton & Hove Buses and Metrobus, for example, was awarded ‘highest leader’ status by the Department for Transport in 2020 for initiatives such as altering the interior design of buses, including dementia-friendly flooring and additional space for wheelchairs. Our bus companies have ensured that their apps and websites are easy to navigate and that timetables are available in differing formats to meet customer needs.

GAI2.jpgEamon Ryan, Minister for Transport at the Wayfinding Centre. 

Go-Ahead Ireland, Go-Ahead’s bus operator in Dublin and Kildare, has gone a step further by working with fellow companies and the Irish Government to support a ‘Wayfinding Centre’ to familiarise people with public transport.

Go-Ahead Ireland has donated a double-decker bus to the centre, which also has a tram carriage, a train carriage and even the fuselage of an Airbus A319 aircraft to give people practical training and hands-on experience of transport – plus a street scape featuring lighting, acoustics, and hazards.

The Wayfinding Centre will not only offer people with access needs the opportunity to experience simulated scenarios of travelling by public transport - but will also upskill public transport professionals, helping them to understand how to support customers on their journeys.

Overall, the centre represents a €7.825 million overall joint agency investment led by Vision Ireland – and Go-Ahead is proud to be involved.