The Victorian Government is giving Victorians the tools they need to safely travel again as the state continues on the pathway to COVID Normal, with updated technology to help Victorians back onto the transport network.
Minister for Public Transport Ben Carroll today launched the new-look PTV app, which has been redesigned to be fully accessible and delivers more personalised functionality for the more than 500,000 Victorians who used the app every week before the coronavirus pandemic.
Passengers will be able to easily search their frequent journeys, stops and stations, and save home and work locations to enable instant notifications for disruptions. Improved journey planning capabilities will improve travel experiences and provide more predictable journeys once restrictions allow greater freedom of movement.
The new design has been developed in response to community feedback and further functionality will be added in coming months. The additions will allow passengers to manage their myki through the app, providing alternatives to queuing for over-the-counter myki transactions or top-up machines – as well as real-time bus and train location information to help passengers know when their service will arrive.
The Department of Transport has worked closely with Vision Australia through the design process, and the app will ensure blind and low-vision passengers can use VoiceOver and TalkBack capabilities to help them travel.
To give passengers more information in the future, the Department of Transport has today started the first phase of a trial to give passengers information about how busy their train, station or bus is – helping them comply with physical distancing guidelines as patronage returns.
A small group of public transport users, including essential workers, will participate in the trial across Melbourne’s trains and several bus routes to test predictive modelling technology and passenger counting sensors which will give passengers real-time information about how many people are currently on board or at their train station.
The trial has been developed in partnership with private technology providers and – depending on the success of the early trial, will be progressively expanded over the coming months with an evaluation in the new year.
These changes come on top of the enhanced cleaning across the network, extra off-peak services added in June and the removal of cash handling to keep passengers and staff safe across public transport.
The new PTV app is now available on iOS and Android devices and can be downloaded for free from Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.
As stated by Minister for Public Transport and Roads Ben Carroll
“While everyone has been doing the right thing and staying home over the past few months, we’ve been hard at work to make Victorians’ journeys easier and safer as we move towards a COVID Normal world.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has presented an opportunity for us to rethink how we travel around the state – we want these passenger modelling trials to help people travel more reliably and safely.”
As stated by Neil King, National Manager Digital Access, Vision Australia
“Public transport is vital for people with disability. The Department of Transport’s decision to consider accessibility at the outset of the design process means important public transport information is now fully available to all Victorians.”