TransLink introduces world-leading new program for customers with disabilities

TRANSIT customers who are not able to tap a Compass Card at fare gates due to a disability will now have greater access to the SkyTrain system with the launch of the Universal Fare Gate Access Program.

TransLink will be the first transit authority in the world to offer fully-automated, touchless access to a gated transit system. It is part of TransLink’s commitment to ensure all customers

Photos: TransLink

can access the transit system independently. The cost of the program is $9 million, which is a part of the $740 million Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF). PTIF is funded by the Government of Canada at 50%, the Province of British Columbia at 33% and TransLink at 17%.

Program participants will be provided with radio-frequency identification (RFID) cards that will automatically send a signal to RFID readers located above designated accessible fare gates. The fare gate will open when the card comes within range and close once the customer passes through.

More than 40 per cent of stations with fare gates have now been outfitted with radio-frequency identification (RFID) readers. By the end of the year, all SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be equipped with this technology.

This industry-leading technology was designed by TransLink and implemented in partnership with Vancouver-based Hyperlight Systems.

Eligible customers can now apply for the program at translink.ca/opengates. Applicants will meet with an occupational therapist to determine if an RFID card is the right assistive device for them.

TransLink says that it’s important to thems that this customer group have the same travel experience as their other customers. This unique, locally-developed solution allows those enrolled in this program to use the same fare gates as everyone else to independently travel the system as they please.

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