SAN ANTONIO – VIA Metropolitan Transit is revolutionizing the way people travel with NaviLens, a new technology system designed to improve accessibility and usability for all riders. With a focus on those who are blind, have low vision, or do not speak English, the app provides real-time audio directions using QR code-style signs at bus stops and transit locations across the city.
By 2024, San Antonio aims to be the first US city with systemwide adoption of NaviLens. The rollout cost over $600,000 and was federally funded as part of an effort to improve accessibility. VIA communications manager Lorraine Pulido highlighted the app’s benefits for non-English speakers, stating that it provides audio information in up to 34 languages. In addition to aiding navigation, NaviLens will also offer next-bus information and updates for more efficient trip planning.
The NaviLens app uses a phone’s camera to detect nearby signs up to 60 feet away and provides clear directions in over 34 languages. To try the app, interested individuals can find details on installation and use on VIA’s website.