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How to build the confidence to ride transit

How to build the confidence to ride transit

Transit rider Lucas Gates

Trip plan, doing it and just repetition until you’re comfortable.

That’s the advice from Lucas Gates, a relatively new transit commuter. He regularly takes the Canada Line and 1 or 2 buses, depending on the time of day, to get to work at the Pacific Autism Family Network.

Lucas loved the SkyTrain growing up and has fond memories riding it with his grandfather, but admits not having the same excitement for the bus… until recently.

Changes in life put him into high gear to learn how to use the full breadth of the transit system.

“It was like snap,” declares Lucas. “There’s a lot of resources on the website, the Trip Planner is an especially amazing resource. It’s a must-look for anyone that’s taking transit for the first time, then it’s all about memorization.”

Now, there’s even more tools in the toolbox for prospective transit riders: an interactive 360-degree virtual tour of a TransLink bus and educational videos about how to use transit throughout Metro Vancouver.

The virtual bus tour, created in partnership with AutismBC and Beckett 3D Studio, provides a detailed visual layout of everything that you would encounter when boarding a bus. This is a boon for people who are on the autism spectrum, many whom are visual learners and thinkers.

“It’s not just for autism,” adds Lucas, “but anyone who needs it because there’s a lot of people out there who are little bit anxious or nervous about taking transit. It can be daunting.”

Learning how to take transit is an essential skill that ensures everyone can access their communities.

Lucas is particularly excited for her younger sister who uses HandyDART, but not the bus, SkyTrain, SeaBus or West Coast Express.

“After this came out, my sister said she wanted to give it a shot,” says Lucas, who works as a front desk representative at the Pacific Autism Family Network.

There he’s the first point of contact for families and people seeking information. Needless to say, Lucas will be sharing the new tools with them and advocating for them to give transit a go.

“You won’t beat your fears, if you don’t try.”