“I can’t lift my arms at all so I have no way to tap the card.”
Luke Galvani relies on TransLink staff it promised to station at the faregates to help him through but yesterday at Burrard station.
“I was locked out and after ten of fifteen minutes one of these so called attendants came up the stairs and he didn’t even notice me and he walked away.”
Galvani says it isn’t just him others have told him they too are being discriminated against.
“People with disabilities are late for work, late for meetings, late for everything because they simply can’t access the transit system on their own.”
He says TransLink needs to bring the disabled community to the table and work out a long term faregate accessibility fix.
Is it really a short term fix?
Staffing faregates to help people physically unable to use the Compass Card is supposed to an interim solution ahead of a permanent fix.
Jane Dyson with Disability Alliance was asked if her group had heard from TransLink to get feedback on how to make faregates more accessible.
“No I haven’t and I would welcome hearing from them. This new system has been in place for just over a week now and I was quite clear for us this is a temporary solution. It will work well for a while but it doesn’t provide people with complete independence or dignity.”
Dyson says it is disappointing that TransLink is still dealing with faregate problems they were told would be an issue years ago.
Translink declined an interview but sent the following statement in response.
“Our operational plan is to have staff at all fare gates, and when we are unable to staff a set of fare gates, leave one gate open.
This is a transition period and also a learning period for us now that we are in full gate closure mode. We remain committed to ensuring our customers who cannot tap at the fare gates are able to travel through the system, and are monitoring staff levels and procedures to ensure we meet our customers’ travel needs.”