News story: Creating apps for travellers with disability: apply for contracts

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The South East of Scotland Transport Partnership (SEStran) has £150,000 to support up to 5 projects that look at developing a mobile app to help travellers with a disability to meet the challenges of using public transport.

Up to £300,000 could be available in a second phase to prototype the 2 best ideas and test them in the field.

The competition is funded by Scottish Enterprise’s Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund under the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme.


Find out more about SBRI and how it works.


SEStran is a regional transport partnership between City of Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, East Lothian, Falkirk, Fife, Midlothian, Scottish Borders and West Lothian.

Its area has a range of transport modes and issues, including urban congestion, rural transport, ferries and planes. It already offers a Thistle Assistance Card and app to help older people and those with disabilities to get around.

Understanding the challenges of travel


Projects should identify and understand the challenges faced by travellers with a disability and how it affects the way they travel, to develop a mobile app that helps to overcome these issues.

The app must:

  • benefit people with several disabilities, for example, sight impairment, hearing impairment, mobility issues and dementia
  • incorporate journey planning and wayfinding features
  • allow designated groups, such as family, emergency services and transport providers, to track the user in case of difficulty
  • allow the user to ask third parties for help
  • include multi-modal transport options
  • have an adaptable user interface, dependent on what the disability is
  • have the potential to be expanded at a later date to benefit people with disabilities not included in the initial launch
Competition information

  • the competition opens on Monday 12 November 2018, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 2 January 2019
  • organisations of any size can apply
  • we expect costs to range in size up to £30,000 and projects to last up to 6 months
  • projects will be 100% funded
  • a briefing event will be held in Edinburgh on 26 November 2018

Find out more about this competition and apply.

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