A 17-year old from Nottingham has won a government competition challenging students to improve travel for disabled bus passengers.
The winner of the 'Dragon’s Den style contest' Daria Buszta, came up with a design for a low-cost adjustable vibrating wrist band to be given out by bus drivers. The band incorporates a Bluetooth device that links up with the driver’s ticket machine and vibrates when the passenger is close to their chosen stop.
Ms Buszta received a cheque for £1,000 from transport minister Baroness Kramer at the Big Bang Fair at Birmingham NEC.
She will now get the opportunity to develop a prototype with local businesses, using £100,000 from the Transport Systems Catapult, one of seven technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK.
Baroness Kramer, head judge for the All Aboard competition, said: 'Disabled people have the same rights as anyone else to access public transport, but there remain obstacles. This competition, driven by the lack of audio-visual for the deaf and blind, was a fantastic opportunity to make buses more user-friendly for all of the passengers who rely on them.
'Daria came up with a very simple answer to a complicated problem. Her design was discrete, cost effective and has huge potential. This isn’t just an idea that will stay on paper. It will get serious backing and will hopefully start changing people’s lives in the not too distant future.'
Daria Buszta, who is from West Bridgford in Nottingham, said: 'I wasn’t expecting to win, but I’m excited that my idea will be made into a real working product. I’m so glad it will help so many people feel comfortable and independent on public transport.'
The All Aboard competition is part of the government’s Accessible Britain Challenge which encourages communities to be inclusive and accessible. The competition was run by the government-funded Transport Systems Catapult.