By Barrier Free Japan with extracts from NHK World
February 3 2022
JAPAN – Transportation operators in Japan have launched a trial information-sharing project to make it easier for wheelchair users to fly and transfer to rail or road.
Mobility as a Service, or MaaS is an emerging type of service that, through an app or other type of digital service or software, enables users to plan, book, and pay for multiple types of mobility services.
Airlines, train and taxi companies share details before travel with the approval of passengers with disability. They include the size of their wheelchair or the kind of assistance they need.
The new system notifies operators of the passenger’s route and is expected to enable them to respond smoothly in case of delays or other problems.
Previously, people with disability had to provide such information to each transportation operator separately to get assistance.
Osawa Nobuaki, who is in charge of the trial at All Nippon Airways, says the aim is to make it possible for wheelchair users to go anywhere, anytime they want.
Tsukuba City in Ibaraki is experimenting with similar technology, producing a service that would allow users to use a single app to make cab reservations and arrange for vehicles to be automatically driven around hospitals so that elderly people and people with disabilities who have difficulty getting around can visit medical institutions smoothly.
Osaka Metro has also produced a similar app to enable people with disabilities travel on the Osaka Metro line.