TransLink improves accessibility

Routes and stops have become more wheelchair-friendly in recent years, but work is continuing, says TransLink.

TransLink has made more of its routes and stops accessible to sheelchairs

It can be difficult to get around with a disability.

Citing the recent (Dec. 3) International Day for Persons with Disabilities, TransLink is looking at the accessibility at bus stops throughout the region.

To make a bus stop accessible, the stop must be able to accommodate wheelchairs, power chairs and walkers, with a proper ramp and landing pad. For a bus route to be deemed accessible, 25 per cent of the stops on that route must be wheelchair-friendly, as well as the corresponding stop in the return direction.

Under those criteria, all of TransLink’s routes are now accessible, but work is continuing, said TransLink public information officer Drew Snider.

Municipalities are responsible for identifying stops that need to be upgraded and TransLink and the municipality split the cost.

Snider noted that since the Access Transit Secretariat was established in 2008, large strides have been made in increasing the number of accessible stops.

For example, Surrey’s TransLink routes were only 62.4 per cent accessible in December 2008, compared to 71.9 per cent now. Delta went from being 32.7 per cent accessible at the end of 2008 to 48 per cent accessible last month.

Surrey and Vancouver are tied for having the greatest number of accessible bus stops (72 per cent).