let’s face it, public transportation sucks, add in a vision impairment and it gets much worse. We are faced with the difficulty of identifying services, reading signage and the unhelpful bus drivers who don’t even acknowledge you. (yes this really happens).
Technology is your friend, and especially in relation to timetabling on the Sydney trains network, Most if not all of the apps below tap into the NSW Transport API’s, meaning they get their data directly from the source NSW Transport.
- Google Maps
Things To Be Careful Of
Quiet Carriages Can Be The Source Of Antisocial Behavior
I was once thretened with being ‘stabbed’ for speaking in a quiet carriage.
Keep Valuables Secure & Out Of Site
Theft is a real issue, and does occur.
One of my best friends had her Laptop and cosmetics stolen from a suticase on a train traveling in NSW.
I have also personally witnessed someone attempting to look through someones suitcase at night on a overnight train.
You most likely will be approached for money
When traveling through Central or other stations on the network be prepared for people to ask you for money.
They will generally approach people who have their hands full or have their wallets out.
It’s up to you what you choose to do, however I advise you to use extreme caution and keep a firm grip of your belongings and wallet. I have persoanlly offered to buy ‘beggers’ food or coffee before and they have declined seeking cash instead.
I’m not trying to make a blanket statement, however from my observation I get the impression that not all have honest intentions when asking for donations.
I personally don’t give money, but don’t say no, rather use a softer exuse such as “sorry mate, I don’t have any cash on me.’ or ‘sorry I don’t have any change.’
I feel these expressions could help prevent aggression.
Making Life Easier
Disabled Toilets Can Be Accessed Via MLAK Keys
Most stations on the network are fitted with an MLAK key, this is a key that you can obtain from certain locksmiths that grant you unatended access to disabled toilets.
As a vision impaired person myself, and generally traveling with luggage, I consider this a must.
For me it’s not just about the privacy, rather the personal security benifits. These facailites are thier own locked room with restricted access.
This could prevent you from being the victim of antisocial behaviour.
Fill In The Gaps With Your Phones Camera
When you need to see information that can’t be easily accessed from an app or online service, fill in the gaps by using your smartphones camera to “zoom” in on objects, menus and signage.
App’s can guide me to the correct stop but I still have to wave down the correct bus service from a particular stop, I use the zoom function on my phone to “zoom” into the electronic signs of the buses as they approach.