LISTEN: Drex on TransLink’s accessible fare gate problem
Another step in the roll out of the Compass Card program. But I think I’m gonna call this an ignorant miss-step…
TransLink today has announced that by Friday, April 8th, all fare gates at SkyTrain and SeaBus stations will be closed.
That’s great news, it will hopefully cut down blatant fair evasion, one of the reasons they wanted the Compass Card system to begin with… so we won’t even know until April 8th of next year if the system is even working right.
But one group of transit users have basically been left to fend for themselves.
The disabled in our community, who may not be able to tap in and out.
Call it in
Translink’s Jennifer Morland told CKNW this morning that 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 attendant to meet them.
So think about the logic behind that. If you likely can’t tap in or out, you may also have some difficulty reaching for a phone. Just a hunch.
I know some disabled people have fancy tech to help them do things, but once again a government organization is basically saying that if you’re disabled, there are some hoops for you to jump though – more like barriers.
So, what if you can’t use your hands to use a phone?
Morland says TransLink will continue to work on improving the service to the disabled.
Improving? You need to start with a plan before trying to improve on it TransLink. This is not a solution, this wasn’t even thought out.
Did Translink even bother consulting with disabled groups to make sure their needs would be met at the stations?
I hear they did… but were they listening?
It’s bad enough this taxpayer funded sinkhole that is TransLink can’t get elevators at numerous stations to work, nor escalators, the two main tools disabled people need access to at our stations.
Now they need to pre-arrange a SkyTrain ride so an attendant will meet them there to let them through a gate?
I see that being another screw up.
Look, put it this way, if I see a disabled person at a SkyTrain trying to tap in or out, I’m naturally going to help them as I am sure most of us would. Basic human kindness is free to give away at your leisure. Helping is fun…
Help a transit authority out…
Speaking of help, it’s something the team, at TransLink need right now.
Their communications department needs some sensitivity training to start with. Your messaging this morning about disabled people was off side and not well planned.
When they activated the Compass Cards, they hadn’t trained any of the transit cops how to use the equipment, nor did it hold the charge for any longer than 4 hours.
And now they have another issue when they didn’t come up with a suitable plan to help disabled people use the system.
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.
Maybe considered? Why wasn’t this considered earlier, you’ve had close to three years to figure it out, and you still haven’t.
Executive director Jane Dyson of the Disability Alliance says ‘not good enough…’
No where near good enough. But then again when has TransLink really ever really been good enough?