Lyft is expanding its partnership with Lazarillo, a free app-based service that helps people with visual disabilities navigate through their city and environments to actively participate in society, to include integration of bike and scooter corrals into their app and linked a newly created customer support form to be accessible for blind users in Washington, DC. Lazarillo is available for Android & iOS and is available in 25 languages. The Lazarillo app works by providing users with real-time audio messages about streets they are walking, while also helping them navigate through buildings such as shops or restaurants. Currently in Washington DC, there are 845 Lazarillo app users, and overall across 252 cities in the US, there are over 30k Lazarillo app users.
This partnership involves the following (currently live in Washington, DC):
- API Integration & Alerts – Station Locations: Lazarillo has integrated and created profiles for scooter corrals in their app. When Lazarillo users come across a scooter corral, the app will alert them audibly using the screen reader on the user’s phone.
- Reporting & Customer Support: Lazarillo has integrated Lyft’s customer support phone number and online form into the Lazarillo app so that their users can more easily connect with a Lyft customer support agent and report if they have encountered an improperly parked scooter. The customer support agent will then alert Lyft’s local operations team to move the scooter.
Features and initiatives under development, not yet live in DC:
- API Integration & Alerts – Individual Bikes: In addition to the integration of available data to alert Lazarillo users of scooter and bike corral station locations, Lazarillo and Lyft are currently exploring how best to alert Lazarillo users to the presence of bikes and scooters locked outside of stations.
Heat Maps: Lyft will have access to Lazarillo’s internal heat maps that capture aggregated data on how users move through DC. Lyft’s operations team will look to use this information to prioritize clearing freelocked bikes from areas on sidewalks where people with vision loss most frequently travel. In addition, Lyft will work with DDOT to use these heat maps to inform station siting considerations.
Screenshots of Live Lazarillo App Features:
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