TransLink says it’s moving ahead with plans to implement a program to help transit users who are blind or partially sighted.
Beginning in 2020, tactile walking surface indicators (TWSI) and braillle signage will be installed at every bus stop, station and exchange. It’s a move TransLink claims will make it the first transit authority in North America to provide such accessibility aids.
“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,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.
The signage will provide information about each stop, terminal, bay, route and a telephone number for customer service.
TransLink began testing universally accessible bus stops as part of a pilot project in 2012, which included the installation of TWSI, tactile and braille at bus stops around the Joyce-Collingwood station.
The transit authority will also be looking at developing a wayfinding technology it hopes will help customers navigate the system using data sent directly to a phone or tablet.
“It is important to understand that changing an environment actually lessens the effect of the disability,” said Rob Sleath, a member of the Access Transit Users’ Advisory Committee.
“Today marks a special milestone for our community.”