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TransLink to spend $7M to upgrade transit system for the visually impaired

TransLink began piloting its accessibility upgrades for the visually impaired at Joyce-Collingwood Station in 2012.
TransLink began piloting its accessibility upgrades for the visually impaired at Joyce-Collingwood Station in 2012. TransLink

TransLink has approved $7 million in funding to upgrade the transit system for the visually impaired.

The transit agency calls the program “industry-leading,” and says it will significantly improve the transit experience for blind and partially-sighted passengers.

READ MORE: TransLink investigating after a disabled man says he was bullied by a bus driver

Tactile and braille signage will be added to an estimated 8,500 bus stops in the system starting in 2020, while tactile walking surface indicators will be installed at stations and bus exchanges.

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TransLink says the braille signage will include the five-digit bus stop ID number, the words The words “STOP” or “BAY #” to identify the bus stop, route numbers and the customer service telephone number.

READ MORE: Disabled man ‘in tears’ after kicked off TransLink bus for passenger with a stroller

The agency says it is also working on developing a wayfinding technology pilot that would work with visually impaired passengers’ tablets or smartphones.

TransLink says it has been doing testing on accessible bus stops since 2012, when it piloted the braille and tactile walking surface indicators at the Joyce-Collingwood bus exchange.