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TransLink launches new online tools to increase transit accessibility

Interactive 360-degree virtual tour of a TransLink bus and educational videos part aim to help people who may not be comfortable independently using transit
A photo from TransLink's virtual bus tour, part of a new series of online tools designed to help make transit more comfortable and accessible for people of diverse abilities. Photo courtesy TransLink

TransLink is launching a series of online tools designed to help make transit accessible for people of all abilities.

The transit authority says the tools are designed to help all people confidently and independently utilize Metro Vancouver’s transit system. The tools include an interactive 360-degree virtual tour of a TransLink bus and eight educational videos about how to use transit throughout Metro Vancouver.

The tools are designed to be used by people who may not be comfortable independently boarding transit. This could include those with a cognitive disability or people who are uncomfortable asking for transit help in English.

“TransLink is committed to making transit as accessible as possible for everyone to use,” says TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a press release. “We want everyone to feel confident in their ability to use transit, including those on the autism spectrum. We’re always looking at creative ways to help our customers seamlessly travel throughout the region.”

Users of the virtual bus tool will be able to practise boarding a bus through virtual reality, on a desktop computer or on a mobile device. Designed by Beckett 3D Studio, in partnership with AutismBC, the tour contains information about each aspect of a TransLink bus with explanations, photos and links to useful resources built in.The virtual bus tool can be accessed here.

“This bus tool provides a detailed visual layout of everything that you would encounter when you board a bus,” says AutismBC program ambassador Jake Anthony. “We believe this tool will be helpful for individuals on the autism spectrum who might get anxious not knowing what a new experience will be like. Going over this tool before a bus trip should help individuals of all diverse abilities throughout Metro Vancouver feel more secure, confident and safe. “

In conjunction with the virtual bus tour, TransLink is releasing eight educational videos detailing how to:

  • use Compass cards
  • plan a transit trip
  • request assistance while on transit
  • travel on different modes TransLink offers

Made with support from the Wavefront Centre and social service agency S.U.C.C.E.S.S, the videos are offered in English with American Sign Language, Cantonese, French, Mandarin, Punjabi, or in English with described video. The videos can be viewed here.

These tools are part of a suite of resources offered by the Travel Training Program with Access Transit.  The program works in partnership with seniors and disability stakeholder groups in the community to support customers with all abilities to travel on the transit system.

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