Vancouver’s TransLink is moving ahead with plans to implement a program benefiting customers who are blind or partially sighted. Beginning in 2020, tactile and braille signage will be installed at every bus stop, and tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI) at stations and bus exchanges — making TransLink one of the first transit authorities in North America to provide this level of information across the bus network.
“We are committed to making our transit system accessible for as many people as possible,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond. “We know that a lot of our customers with vision loss rely on transit to get around the region and this is another example of the work we are doing for a very important community.”
The tactile and braille signage will be installed at approximately 8,500 bus stops with:
- The unique five-digit bus stop ID number
- The words “STOP” or “BAY #” to identify the bus stop
- Route numbers
- The customer service telephone number
TransLink will also be looking at developing a wayfinding technology pilot that will help customers better navigate the system using data sent directly to a phone or tablet.
The work to test Universally Accessible Bus Stops first started in 2012 and included the installation of TWSI, tactile, and braille at various bus stops as part of a pilot project. Throughout the process, TransLink has consulted with representatives from the community through a wide-reaching survey and direct engagement with key stakeholders.