Make the Oxford Bus Company's Pick Me Up Service Accessible
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This year Oxford Bus Company launched a new service: Pick Me Up; an on-demand, ride-sharing minibus service. This service could be a great asset to Oxford but it is currently not accessible to many people because you need to sign in online and give electronic bank details.
For many people with Learning Disabilities, as well as older people and teenagers without access to their own bank accounts, the fact that you need to sign in online and give electronic bank details stops them from being able to use the Pick Me Up service.
There are many possible solutions to this problem such as:
- creating an oyster card type system where users can top up a card with cash to use on the app, or,
- allowing people with a concessionary bus pass to use these details to login to the app rather than bank card details.
We contacted Oxford Bus Company with these suggestions but they were unwilling to incorporate any such system, insisting that people should use PayPal or be reliant on a third party or friend or family member to book their travel for them. This solution undermines the independence of users and treats them as second-class citizens unable to control their own lives.
Under the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, as a provider of public services Oxford Bus Company should make sure such a digital web-based platform is as inclusive as possible, but they are not doing so. Because of this, many people with learning disabilities and other people without access to a bank card are unable to use a service that could be really good for enabling them to travel independently and join in the Oxford community as equal citizens.
As such we are asking you to sign our petition today to ask Oxford Bus Company to make their new service accessible to all, regardless of whether they have a bank card!
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