Passenger Assistance Prototype App

Passenger Assistance Prototype App

We are developing and testing a Passenger Assistance App prototype that will allow individuals to pre-book assistance and manage their journeys. We are exploring whether an app such as this has the potential to make a significant improvement to the way individuals with mobility and vision impairments access our services. As this is a prototype, we are currently only testing it on the DART line but would ultimately like to extend it to our full service if successful.

We are currently looking for mobility and vision regular impaired DART users to become part of a research panel which will include live testing of a prototype app.

To take part participants need:

  • To be 18 years or older
  • To have your own iPhone (iPhone 5s/6 or later)
  • Be comfortable making regular trips on the DART
  • Agree to the terms of the testing phase

Scope of the testing phase

Out of the research panel we will select a group of passengers who are regular DART users, to take the DART as they regularly would over an 8 week period, but use the Passenger Assistance prototype app to book assistance for their journeys. We would also ask passengers to then submit feedback on each journey taken which has been booked through the application.

If you would like to be part of this project or if you know someone who would, contact us through one of the following options below and a member of our team will get back to you.

Apply for trial

Alternatively you can email us your name and contact details directly to or call us on (01) 703 4837

How do I access and use the app?

We will introduce you to the application and how to use it through an introduction workshop. We will also send you an App help sheet.

Why is this prototype app only for DART users?

The overall ambition is to roll this Passenger Assistance App across all rail services if successful. The DART system was chosen for the pilot project as it has only 2 directional lines (North & South), is within a contained geographical area, has short distances between stations, and has high numbers of accessibility journeys undertaken every day.

What’s involved during the app trial?

  • You’ll need to first register your interest in the trial to then automatically become part of a user panel.
  • A member of the project team will contact you with further details.
  • Some members of the user panel will then be selected to test the prototype app, it will be then requested you attend one introduction workshop that will ensure you understand how the app works and what is required.
  • You’ll be asked to complete regular journeys on the DART as you usually do, using the application to book assistance.
  • You’ll be asked to rate the experience on the app at the end of each journey and report any feedback.
  • You may be asked to engage in further development workshops with the project team across the testing period. (this will be indicated to you prior to beginning the trial period).

What qualifies as a journey during the trial?

Any journey between two DART stations according to your usual usage patterns, using the application to book assistance.

During the trial, should I book assistance over the phone as well through the app?

No. We want to test the app’s ability to request assistance and record journeys. Your assistance request will be confirmed through the app.

How are station operatives processing these requests?

Operatives at all the DART stations will also be testing a Passenger Assistance App that is specific to managing requests that come in.

Will I still be able to use the current assistance booking system in place if absolutely necessary?

Yes. Some passengers who require assistance will not be engaged in this trial and therefore bookings will available through phoning a hub station within a zone.

I sometimes do not book assistance prior to arriving at a station, will I still be able to do this?

If an individual needs assistance at a station without a booking, an operative will assist them as usual if possible. However to ensure availability, we always recommend booking ahead to ensure availability.

When using the app during the trial, how much notice should I give for assistance required?

Currently it is recommended individuals book assistance 4hours ahead of their journey. Throughout the development of this prototype, our aim is to reduce this notice. A final notice time will be made clear ahead of trial commencement to the user group.

What skills or equipment do I need to have?

  • You will need use of your own iPhone. (iPhone 5s/6 or later)
  • You will need to be comfortable using an app to receive information and book your assistance required on your journeys.
  • You should have regular experience travelling by DART.

How will you process my data?

By agreeing to take part, you understand and agree that we (Iarnród Éireann and our creative partner Publicis Dublin)  may store and process your data as follows:


Your name, address, email, phone number, journey information (including date, time and journey stations) and journey progress (in the form of GPS updates), how you use the app, and any feedback you may supply on individual journeys and your experience as a whole.


In order to coordinate the trial, communicate with you during the trial, ensure we are aware of passenger locations throughout the trial, check we are testing all DART stations in the trial, check levels of service at all times of the day/week, provide you with a travel credit (if required) and notify you of further testing/trial opportunities for this app.

How long?

For up to a year after the end of the initial trial.


On secure servers in Ireland. The system will use the latest encryption standards and the entire project will be GDPR compliant. The data will not be shared with third parties.

Iarnród Éireann and Publicis Dublin will need to store and process your data in order to facilitate your access to the app for the trial, and to determine the outcomes of the project. We will ask you to confirm your agreement to all terms of the trial (including how your data will be processed) before you gain access to the app.


In order to take part in the trial you confirm that you will not allow anyone else to use the app or give anyone else your login details (we need to know how an individual uses the app, not groups of individuals). You also confirm that you will not share your views, experiences or any information you receive by taking part with anyone else. This includes the media, other train operating companies and social media.

What are Publicis Dublin’s involvement in this prototype app?

Publicis Dublin are Iarnród Éireann’s creative partner. We work with them across a range of projects. They are working with us to help develop this Passenger Assistance prototype app.

Will I be paid?


If I don’t have a travel pass, will my journeys be covered?

Yes, if you don’t have a Free Travel Public Service card, we will provide you with a Leap card and travel credit on DART for the trial period.

What happens if my train is delayed?

If your train is delayed, any assistance booked will still be available unless otherwise communicated. Through the app, you will be able to cancel your own attendance as well as receive notification regarding changes to service.

A Master Hub will be notified of any disruptions that occur that may mean a break in service for an individual requiring assistance (prior to boarding or during journey). An operative from this Master Hub will then contact you directly to come to the best resolution.

What if something goes wrong with the app?

If something goes wrong with the app itself you will have access to an email you can deliver feedback to the development team.

The phone numbers of the hub stations will also be available, so you will still be able to book assistance manually or contact an operative. You will additionally have access to a specific contact number in case of an emergency.