Melbourne’s tram network is becoming more accessible for blind and low vision passengers through the launch of its new navigation application, NaviLens. 

NaviLens codes are set to featured and throughout every tram stop on the route 96 tram which stretches from St Kilda Beach to East Brunswick. 

The codes are similar to brightly coloured QR codes and when scanned using the NaviLens app, can audibly provide passengers with information about passengers current location, routes serving the location and live tram arrival information. 

Victorian Minister for Public Transport, Ben Carroll, said the government is consistently looking for new ways to make transport accessible for all members of the public. 

“We’re delivering projects that are making sure our public transport network is accessible to all Victorians, including delivering 100 Next Generation Trams,” Mr Carroll said.

“The NaviLens trial will assist people who are blind or have low vision to be more independent when navigating our city’s tram system.” 

The application can translate the scanned information into more than 30 different languages and can also read the codes from a long distance, providing spatial information such as which direction and how far the code is from the user to help individuals navigate the transportation system. 

The NaviLens codes are set to be implemented on all 100 E-Class trams throughout Melbourne, covering routes 11, 30, 58 and 86, as well as other routes during special events. 

The installation of the first NaviLens code was completed on the corner of Bourke and Spring Street, stop number 9 in the city, on 14 August, with more than 3,000 codes expected to be installed over the coming weeks. 

NaviLens codes have successfully been integrated into the public transportation systems in Singapore, Spain, New York and California.

The NaviLens codes will be interconnected into the Yarra Trams operation centre which will help feed live information to the app, ensuring code information is accurate and dynamic at each stop for each trams. 

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