Another step in the roll out of the Compass Card program.
TransLink has announced by Friday, April 8th, all fare gates at SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be closed.
So what if you’re disabled and can’t work the system?
The answer may surprise you.
Translink’s Jennifer Morland says customers with disabilities who can’t tap to get through the gates will have to either call from the station, or before their trip, to arrange for a SkyTrain attendent to meet them.But, what if you can’t use your hands to use a phone?
“We’re continuing to work with our customers with disabilities. We appreciate that there’s a broad range of needs for customers and that’s why there is the option as well where customers can call in advance before their trip begins to have help at the stations.”
Morland says TransLink will continue to work on improving the service to the disabled.
Will Transit Police be enforcing the rules?
When the fare gates close along the transit system, will Transit Police be writing tickets for those who find a way to ride the system for free?
Morland says up until now, Transit Police have mostly been ‘educating’ commuters about the new system…
“we’ve had transit police and transit security out there enforcing proof of payment but our focus really has been on education recognizing that this has been a big adjustment for customers but they’ll continue to be out there making sure we’ve got people with proof of payment.”
Morland says “in some instances” tickets have been written.
“It is a requirement that customers have proof of payment when travelling within fare gate zones that applies today and that will continue to apply once fare gates are closed. You’re not answering my question, when will police start writing tickets? “police have been enforcing transit uh, they’ve been enforcing fare evasion up to this point just like they have before our focus has really been on education though.”
Disability Alliance calls it disappointing.
The “Disability Alliance of B-C” calls Translink’s plan to help the disabled navigate their way through the new Fare Gates “disappointing.”
“Customers with disabilities unable to tap will be able to use the station assistance program whereby they will call in advance to have someone help them a station attendent help them either at the beginning of their trip or end of their trip to get through the gate.”
Executive director Jane Dyson of the Disability Alliance says ‘not good enough’….
“When discussions were going on last year about this issue TransLink had committed to keep the gates open while they worked on the solution and so we were encouraged by that and had hoped that a solution would be reached before the gates were closed.”
TransLink does say this isn’t the end of the discussion and other options may be considered like wrist bands that can hold a Compass Card.