TransLink Launches Universal Gate Access Program for People with Disabilities
It was announced this week that TransLink will be implementing a new hands-free access program for users who aren\’t physically able to tap a Compass Card at SkyTrain fare gates. This new program will soon be available and individuals will be able to gain access by using a radio-frequency identification card.
The $9 million Universal Fare Gate Access Program, funded by the federal and provincial governments and TransLink, provides eligible customers a radio-frequency identification enabled card (RFID) to automatically open accessible fare gates when they move within range. The card is read by an antenna above the gate and automatically opens without the need to tap a card.
Disability and seniors advocates have been waiting for a permanent solution since the Compass Card was introduced in January 2016. When first introduced, the new tap system was found to prove impossible for use by some passengers. In March 2016 the authority said it had come up with a system where an attendant would be made available to help — or a gate would be left open for those who needed it. Advocates for people with disabilities said gates would be regularly closed with no available attendant, and that sometimes a gate would be open at one end of a station but not the other.
More than 40% of SkyTrain stations with the tap fare gates have been outfitted with the RF readers. By the end of the year, all SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be equipped with the systems.
Community Ventures Society (CVS) is happy to hear that this has been implemented and will finally be available. Individuals in our community utilize public transit often and having this system will help many individuals out significantly.
The program is now open for applications, please visit translink.ca/opengates for more information or to register.