Innovative Practices 2014 on Accessibility

Visual and acoustic information on public buses in Madrid

To enable the use of the public bus transportation for persons with visual or hearing impairments, in a safe and independent way, designed to assist also persons with all physical, mental or sensory conditions. A new information technology has been developed and mobile applications introduced.

“Universal accessibility and real-time information for all passengers  – using buses in Madrid is easy thanks to a new technology ensuring equal access”.

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:ICT to make public bus more accessible
Organisation:Empresa municipal de transportes de Madrid (EMT)
of origin
Beneficiaries targeted Persons with visual or hearing impairments
Approach/ model/ solution:Visual and acoustic information systems, mobile applications


  • involved in 10 research and development projects
  • 2.000 vehicles of EMT provide visual and audio information
  • 364 information panels at bus stops
  • applications developed receive 9 million visits / month


Public transportation is not easily accessible for persons with visual and hearing impairments who would like to navigate the city in a safe and independent way. The use and further development of ICT and Augmented Reality-applications help to make public transportation more accessible. The aim of the practice is to make the use of the public bus transportation easier for everyone, regardless of the physical, mental or sensory conditions.


A series of actions that introduced the concepts of ICT have been implemented: visual and acoustic information systems installed inside and outside the bus and at bus stops; systems based on mobile phones, with voice recognition and synthesis; innovative mobile applications, such as a voice guidance system to use the bus, including Augmented Reality.


In order to facilitate the use of bus service for persons with visual impairments visual and acoustic information is provided – both inside and outside the vehicle. It indicates the position of the bus, the line number, the direction and information about the route once the bus arrives at the bus stop. The information panels at the bus stop include vocal information that can be activated through a simple button or by activating Bluetooth on the mobile phone to receive audio information. A telephone service has been setup providing automatic information about estimated time of arrival at each stop. Also the website has been created in an accessible way, implementing the INCLUSITE tool, which includes features like handling by voice, noise or gesture.

13_EN_acceso-al-autobús_EMT-FotoAugmented Reality: View superimposed information over the real image captured by the phone camera to improve the user guidance.

Empresa Municipal de Transportes de Madrid
C/ Cerro de la Plata, 4 | 28007 Madrid, Spain
+34-91 40 68 849


voted   top ‘liked’ by All voters.

Nominated by: Mr. Francisco Javier Rubio DE URQUÍA, Ayuntamiento de Madrid. Área de Movilidad