Vancouver’s TransLink is taking a major step forward in assisting customers who are blind or partially sighted by installing braille signage at every bus stop throughout the region. To make it easier to find bus stops, TransLink will also install tactile walking surface indicators at every bus stop on property that TransLink owns or leases.
The improvements will help customers who are blind or partially sighted better navigate the transit system by letting them know which stop they are at and which buses they are waiting for. Once installed, TransLink will be the first transit system in Canada to install braille signage across its entire bus system. Installation begins today and is projected to complete by the end of 2022.
The braille bus stop signs will contain:
- Information written in both Unified English Braille and raised tactile letters
- Bus stop ID numbers
- Bus routes serving that bus stop
- Bay or bus stop indicators
- Customer Information phone number
“These braille signs and walking surface indicators will help so many people in the community more independently navigate our transit system,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn. “Accessibility is imperative to a quality transit system, and I am very proud of this major step forward for our customers who are blind or partially sighted.”
In addition to the braille signage, tactile walking surface indicators will be installed at every bus stop on property that TransLink owns. These raised surface indicators will be mounted on the ground to help customers who are blind or partially sighted know they are near a bus stop while helping direct them to the front door of the bus.
“The installation of these signs providing transit information in both braille and tactile letter formats is demonstrative of TransLink and Coast Mountain Bus Company’s commitment to providing accessible transit in Metro Vancouver,” said Rob Sleath, a member of Access Transit’s User’s Advisory Committee. “Tactile signage affixed to a bus stop ID pole will allow those of us with sight loss to accurately distinguish an ID pole from a municipal parking regulation pole and will provide us with the transit information that is readily available to sighted transit users. This will be a major contributor to our ability to travel with confidence anywhere throughout the entire Metro Vancouver area.”
The changes are the result of robust engagement with TransLink’s User’s Advisory Committee, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and many other regional stakeholders.
TransLink has also been expanding real-time text-to-audio next bus technology at bus stops. Since 2020, TransLink has installed real-time text-to-audio information at every RapidBus stop throughout the region and at every stop at UBC Exchange.