[Tall-Corn] [DSM-Iowa] Issues with DART's app on the iPhone

Michael Barber m.barber817 at gmail.com
Sat May 4 17:57:18 UTC 2019

Wes:  This was a very nicely done letter to DART, for not only did you identify the problem, you then provided some possible solutions.  I hope they respond to you and fix this problem.

Thanks again.

Michael Barber

Michael D. Barber

> On May 4, 2019, at 12:10 PM, Wesley Majerus via DSM-Iowa <dsm-iowa at nfbnet.org> wrote:
> Greetings, Iowa Federationists:
> I'm posting this both to Tall-Corn and DSM-Iowa. This is mostly
> because I know that DSM-Iowa is a fledgling list. DART recently
> updated their iPhone app and it is now inaccessible from a ticketing
> standpoint. Essentially, if you select a pass and then want to
> activate it, this is not possible nonvisually. The bar near the bottom
> of the screen you use cannot be activated while VO is on. If you have
> an active pass, i.e. you got a pass before this update came down, it
> is still usable. It is when you need to activate a new one that you
> will have difficulty. This seems to be the only part of the app they
> broke.
> Below is an email I sent to DART. It provides possible solutions and
> offers my help to them. I am writing the main customer service address
> and a guy named Catlin Curry who I spoke to last year to look at the
> new fareboxes. I will share any updates I learn. It should be noted
> that a live conversation with someone at the DART customer service
> windows yielded nothing, and neither did my phone conversation with a
> guy named Richard. I am hopeful that this email yields something
> because I am kind of liking not having to carry cash or to be hassled
> by DART customer service (that's really about the only place you can
> buy passes anymore) for wanting to pay full fare on the buses.
> Again, I will keep you all posted and this email may serve as a guide
> if you too decide you want to contribute to this effort.
> *****
> Greetings:
> I am Wes Majerus, a frequent rider of DART buses who happens to be
> blind. I have competently and confidently used all aspects of the My
> DART app since its unveiling in October of 2017, including the mobile
> ticketing features. I was excited when, on Easter Sunday, I received
> an update to your application that boasted an integrated trip planner
> and Next Bus feature that did not rely on web views and is usable
> inside the application. This part of the application works well.
> My excitement about the inline trip planner and bus tracker was
> equaled with dismay regarding mobile ticketing. From the standpoint of
> the application, this feature has worked well since October of 2017.
> Unfortunately, blind riders can no longer access their unused tickets
> using the iPhone without performing tasks that involve unpredictable
> results.
> The iPhone comes with a built-in functionality called VoiceOver. This
> is a screen reading software that uses spoken output or Braile from a
> connected refreshable Braille display to communicate what is on the
> screen of the device. Commands are available to control what is read
> and how. Before the Easter Sunday update, one could locate a ticket in
> their wallet, double-tap on it (this is the standard gesture VoiceOver
> uses to select an item), and then double-tap on the bar that says "Tap
> to Activate Ticket". One can no longer activate this bar when
> VoiceOver is on. I am totally blind and cannot use my phone without
> VoiceOver. I am not sure what changed on the ticketing screen in this
> update, but, as previously stated, the process for activating tickets
> was working well. If you cannot see the screen of your phone at all,
> you can get your finger where you think the bar is without VoiceOver
> running. Unfortunately, it then becomes a game of chance whether your
> finger will correctly activate the button and start the activation
> process. Each time an activation attempt is made, the process involves
> turning VO off, tapping the screen where you think the activation bar
> is, then turning VO on to check. The only way you know this was
> successful is if the modal dialog that confirms you are about to
> activate the ticket appears.
> Here are the current issues I see with the MyDart app as of the
> current version. I am running an Apple iPhone 7 Space Gray 256 GB with
> all publicly-available Apple and My Dart updates applied.
> Unable to reliably activate tickets nonvisually.
> Unpredictable behavior of the "Tap to open scannable code" button on
> active tickets. This causes undue delay when trying to scan at the
> terminal. Since all buses have barcode terminals, is there a reason
> why we cannot have the barcode maximized at all times?
> Is there a way the phone can detect that it is near one of your fare
> terminals and automatically open the barcode for scanning? Could the
> barcodes be eliminated altogether with the use of NFC or bluetooth?
> Sluggish behavior and app crashes when network connectivity is not
> optimal. For example, if you are on DART's Wi-Fi, but have not gotten
> past the captive page, the app will crash. I ran into this a few days
> ago and could not use my app. This is a sneaky bug because you can
> prepare while at home or elsewhere, but opening the ticket at the
> station or near a bus whose wifi you've accessed before causes issues.
> I am willing to discuss these issues with you further and to help you
> troubleshoot them. You may feel free to contact me via phone or email;
> be advised that I do work full-time and am available for phone calls
> sporadicly.
> Thank you,
> Wes Majerus
> Phone number redacted from copy
> ***
> There are also some physical and philosophical issues regarding DART
> that I am concerned about, but they would probably best be left to
> separate cover as they are related to other aspects of the transit
> process.
> Thank you,
> Wes Majerus
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