May 26 – June 1 is National AccessAbility Week – a week dedicated to changing the way we think, talk and act about accessibility and inclusion. TransLink is proud to offer a fully accessible fleet to people with different types of mobility, enabling everyone to travel by bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express. Our fleet of vehicles has low floors with ramps and high floors with lifts, and all SkyTrain stations have elevators. It’s all part of our commitment to making transit accessible for as many people as possible.
As part of this important week, we’re showcasing some of the initiatives that TransLink undertakes to enhance accessibility for all of our customers.
Having the right information is key to independent travel. In partnership with community groups throughout the region, TransLink provides large-group informational workshops for seniors and people with disabilities. We also offer Train the Trainer workshops for staff and volunteers who support seniors and people with disabilities.
For more information, to request a workshop or find a workshop nearest you, please call 604.953.3636.
Mobility Device Practice Training Sessions
Do you or someone you know travel with a mobility device? Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC) provides practice training sessions at the Vancouver Transit Centre teaching how to board and exit a bus using a mobility device. To contact an instructor and book a training appointment, call 604.264.5420. For more information on bus travel training, plus information about the accessibility of all our transit services, please visit the Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids page on the TransLink website.
Universal Fare Gate Access Program
The Universal Fare Gate Access Program provides fare gate access for customers with a disability who are physically not able to tap their Compass Card at SkyTrain Stations and SeaBus terminals.
Eligible customers receive a radio-frequency identification (RFID) enabled card that will automatically open accessible fare gates when they move within close range. For more information on the program, visit the Universal Fare Gate Access page on the TransLink website.
Station Assistance Program
Customers requiring extra assistance at SkyTrain stations, such as those with sight loss or unable to tap their Compass Card, can call 604.520.5518 on the day of their trip, at least 10 minutes before arriving at a station and a SkyTrain Attendant will provide assistance navigating the station and boarding/exiting SkyTrain.
HandyDART is a door-to-door, shared ride service for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use conventional public transit without assistance. The driver will come to your home, help you board on the vehicle, and get you to the door of your destination safely. More information can be found on the HandyDART section of the TransLink website.
We know that accessibility spans both on and off our transit system, which is why the TransLink website conforms to the Web Accessibility Initiative’s Priority Level AA. Disabled persons using text-only browsers or other assistive technology will be able to read the content on the page, including text descriptions for all images. Most pages on the TransLink website meet the Priority Level AA standard, with some conforming to the highest standard of AAA.
Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee
The Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee (UAC) was formed as a response to customer comments received during the Access Transit Strategy review. The UAC provides ongoing advice regarding TransLink plans, programs, and initiatives, making sure that accessibility issues are always considered.
The UAC meets regularly throughout the year, UAC members promote accessibility awareness and help TransLink make the transit system more accessible for everyone through creative, open-minded, and inclusive thinking.
HandyDART Users Advisory Committee
The HandyDART Users’ Advisory Committee was formed as part of a commitment to establish additional ways for HandyDART customers to provide input on the service. The inaugural meeting with take place in fall of this 2019.
The HandyDART Users’ Advisory Committee allows TransLink to hear directly from customers and stakeholders and ensure that this service meets their needs, particularly as we deliver an ambitious workplan that includes a number of significant policy changes from recommendations arising out of the 2017 Custom Transit Service Delivery Review.
Looking for more information? Head on over to the Accessible Transit page on our website.
Author: Sarah Kertcher