The provincial government is putting its foot down on next month’s full fare gate closure, the final phase of the Compass Card implementation project.
Peter Fassbender, the minister responsible for TransLink, says TransLink should postpone its plan to close all SkyTrain and SeaBus fare gates until the accessibility issue for people with disabilities is fixed. A minuscule number of disabled transit riders do not have the use of their arms and would have an issue with tapping their Compass Card on the fare gate card readers.
The comments from Fassbender come just one day after TransLink made the closure announcement.
“We clearly have sent a message to TransLink that our expectation is that they will ensure that every person who wants access to transit will be able to do that,” Fassbender told CKNW in a radio interview.
“Before any gates are closed they will be working with the various people within that community to make sure they have a solution.”
TransLink’s interim solution, until a permanent fix is implemented, was to have disabled people call an attendant for help with going through the fare gates. Some other cities with fare gate systems have overcome this obstacle by providing disabled people who cannot reach the card readers with highly sensitive smart cards, so that the individual does not have to reach out and tap the card.
It is unclear whether the full fare gate closure will go on as scheduled. Vancity Buzz has reached out to TransLink for comment.
Currently, TransLink provides disabled transit riders with a number of disabled transportation services, including Handy Dart and taxi services through the TaxiSaver slip program.