Founder: Jay Shen
Business: Transreport is a rail assistance app for passengers with disabilities.
About Jay and Transreport
Launched in May 2021, Passenger Assistance by Transreport is designed to make it simpler for disabled, neurodivergent and older people to arrange the assistance they need on public transport so they can travel with comfort, ease and greater confidence.
Travelling by train can be stressful. From busy platforms and delays to making sure you have the right type of ticket, there is a lot to consider. For disabled, neurodivergent and elderly people, rail travel is even more complex. In addition to buying tickets and navigating stations, many require assistance and need to book suitable assistance for each leg of their journey, such as the use of a ramp, room for an assistance dog or wheelchair space.
The idea for Passenger Assistance was born following a conversation between founder, Jay Shen (a student at Warwick University at the time), and a disabled passenger. In the few moments of exchange, Jay’s eyes were opened to the difficulties and anxieties faced every time the gentleman was travelling.
The following weekend, Jay coded the prototype of the Passenger Assistance app. In the months that followed, Jay established a team and an ‘Accessibility Panel’ of disabled, neurodivergent and older users with first-hand experience to help refine the app. Word travelled fast and soon ideas and suggestions were flooding in from everywhere.
Additional accessibility features were built in every step of the way, for example different font sizes, different colour schemes and full voice-over compatibility. The team then started working with the Rail Delivery Group to scale their solution ready to roll out the technology to all the train companies in the UK.
Originally launching in 2020, the global pandemic posed a huge challenge to the company. Requests for assistance dropped from 1.2 million to 145,825 during the height of the pandemic. However, with travel now on the increase the Passenger Assistance app has over 50,000 downloads, a web app, ratings system, acknowledgement from Apple regarding standards of accessibility, and users including high profile athletes and prominent disability activists.
The company recently received funding to support their global expansion and has ambitious plans for 2023.
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