British Columbia

Braille signage, tactile walking surfaces to be added to 8,400 Metro Vancouver bus stops

TransLink says it is taking a major step toward making its service more accessible by equipping thousands of Metro Vancouver bus stops with braille signage.

Installation begins Dec. 16 and should be finished by the end of 2022, the transit authority says

TransLink's users' advisory committee member Rob Sleath uses braille signage on Thursday, Dec.16, 2021, which will be installed on every bus stop in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

TransLink says it is taking a major step toward making its service more accessible by equipping thousands of Metro Vancouver bus stops with braille signage.

In a statement Thursday, the transit authority said 8,400 bus stops will be equipped with the tactile bus schedule information for people who are blind or partially sighted. It also plans to install tactile walking surface indicators at every bus stop on property that TransLink owns or leases.

Tactile walking surface indicators are intended to be detectable underfoot when walking or while using a long white cane. The surfaces are used to alert people with low or no vision of potential hazards, such as moving vehicular traffic.

It says the additions should make it easier for those customers to navigate the transit system by providing 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, as well as TransLink's customer information phone number.

"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," said Access Transit's users' advisory committee member Rob Sleath.

The transit authority says 8,400 bus stops will be equipped with tactile bus schedule information for people who are blind or partially sighted. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

Once installed, TransLink said it will be the first public transit system in Canada to use braille signage across its entire bus system.

Installation began Dec. 16 and is projected to be completed by the end of 2022.

"This will be a major contributor to our ability to travel with confidence anywhere throughout the entire Metro Vancouver area," Sleath said.

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