The auto-hailing app Namma Yatri on Thursday launched the ‘Purple Rides’ initiative to make mobility disability friendly by enabling drivers to understand and customise their assistance for users with visual, hearing, or physical impairments.
The initiative was launched with EnAble India, an NGO dedicated to empowering persons with disabilities (PwD). “With over 3,500 customers and 1,300+ drivers completing 6,000+ Purple Rides (the feature was available on an experimental basis), the initiative for inclusive mobility is gaining momentum. Today, most ride-hailing apps overlook disability friendliness. What began as a feedback session for improving accessibility within the Namma Yatri app evolved into a deep collaboration with EnAble India. Both teams worked closely to solve the problem from the ground up,” a press release stated.
The features include allowing users to disclose disabilities on their profiles and personalising assistance from drivers. The app adapts based on the disclosed disabilities, such as disabling phone calls from drivers for hearing-impaired users. It also features an interface for those with visual impairments and is compatible with talkback features.
Magizhan Selvan, chief product officer at Juspay Technologies which built the app, said, “Namma Yatri’s primary goal is to improve empathy and customer-centricity of our drivers, and ‘Purple Rides’ aligns perfectly with our vision. We are grateful to EnAble India for making this initiative a reality. This partnership begins a deeper collaboration to drive further innovation and scale.”
The Namma Yatri app is a product of Bengaluru’s Auto Rickshaw Drivers’ Union (ARDU). Backed by the Beckn Foundation (by Infosys cofounder Nandan Nilekani), it was launched in November 2022 in partnership with the city’s auto drivers. It is an open-source app and does not take any commission from drivers. It is also available in the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC). The ONDC is a technology platform backed by the Union government to facilitate direct seller-to-customer transactions, cutting out middlemen.
At present, the service is available in Bengaluru and Mysuru.