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IndyGo hiring wheelchair users for new program aimed at keeping sidewalks, bus stations accessible

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Australian technology company Briometrix first came to Indianapolis last year as a finalist in Ford’s City: One Challenge.

That contest was aimed at finding mobility solutions around public transit and while Briometrix didn’t win, IndyGo saw their data mapping mobility program as an opportunity for the Purple Line.

The goal of the program is to gather as much data as possible to help inform accessibility decisions.

In order to get the information, Andy Brown with Briometrix North America says the company is hiring paid volunteers to cover 50 miles of sidewalk around future purple line stations. A data logger and camera attached to each user’s wheelchair will collect information on terrain, user effort, surface material, and even interference. Briometrix then turns that data into color coded maps which can help people with disabilities live more independent lives.

“For the four or five people people in wheelchairs that are afraid to go out the front door because they don’t know what they’re going to run into in a journey, this is a win,” said Brown.

Brown says nearly half of people with disabilities live within a quarter mile of bus lines. IndyGo says it knows its service needs help with infrustaructure and are hoping this pilot program moves them in the right direction.

“The purple line is a major infrastructure investment for the corridor. More than half of the $160 million budget is going to infrastructure improvements that will also be ADA compliant,’ said IndyGO PIO Faith Chadwick.

“Our job is to come in and make sure the infrastructure is there to allow someone in a wheelchair or someone with disabilities or someone pushing a stroller to get from their front door to the bus stop, and then from the bus stop to lets say Methodist Hospital,” said Brown.

To become a paid volunteer people must use a manual or power chair, be able to roll one to four miles a day for nine days, and be able to use devices like a tablet and cell phone with ease.

Those interested in hearing more can email: Andyb@briometrix.com

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