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Wheelchairs and Mobility Aids

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Call today for bus travel training! 604.264.5420

TransLink is proud to be a leader in providing an array of accessible travel options to passengers. Buses, community shuttle minibuses, SkyTrain, SeaBus, and West Coast Express vehicles are all fully accessible. (Note: the WCE TrainBus is not wheelchair accessible.)  

Getting around by transit is also a lot easier when you already know how to board, where the elevators are, and other handy tips. All the detailed information you need on the accessibility of TransLink's services is listed below.

 

 

Customers with Disabilities who are Unable to Tap

TransLink is currently working toward the installation of new proximity-sensor entrances to allow hands-free, fare gate access for customers with a disability that prevents them from tapping a Compass Card. We estimate the new entrances will be in place by the end of 2017.

Until the entrances are installed, TransLink currently offers a number of options for customers unable to tap a Compass Card:

  • Station Assistance: Please call 604.520.5518 on the day of your trip, at least 10 minutes before arriving at a station, to have an attendant assist you at the fare gates. If you are able to do so, you may also call this number when you are at the station for remote gate opening.
  • Assistive Devices Program: Please call 778.375.6864 to speak with TransLink’s Access Transit Planning group to discuss the possibility of receiving an assistive device to allow you to tap at fare gates. The option and type of assistive device depends on the individual’s needs and abilities.
  • HandyCard Program: Eligible customers can apply to receive a HandyCard, which provides free travel for your attendant.

 

Travelling with an Attendant

Currently, if you travel with an attendant, please ensure you have your HandyCard with you. Your HandyCard provides free travel for your attendant. This applies to both Compass Card users and people who use traditional fare media. In the future, Access Transit Compass Cards will replace HandyCards, but for now, people who travel with an attendant must tap their Compass Card (or use their traditional fare media) and show their HandyCard to bus operators when boarding.

 

Bus

Every bus on our fleet is accessible and can carry two wheelchairs or mobility aids. Not all bus stops are accessible though, so you may want to use the Trip Planner tool or call Customer Information (604.953.3333) to find the nearest accessible bus stop to your starting point or destination.

To board the bus with your wheelchair or mobility aid, the outside dimensions we recommend for a mobility aid are:*

  • Length: 122 cm (48 in.)
  • Width: 61 cm (24 in.)
  • Weight: 273 kg (600 lbs.)
    (combined weight including the transit rider and mobility aid.)

* These dimensions include all add-ons such as bumpers, wheelbars and baskets. Three wheel scooters (in these dimensions) may fit but some four-wheel scooters cannot because of their wider turning radius.

 

Boarding the Bus

If you're boarding a bus with a mobility aid, you have the option of boarding frontward or backwards. Some of the buses in our fleet have accessible positions that face forwards. When boarding frontwards on these buses, you may need to make a U-turn in the aisle.

On all our trolley buses, as well as on some of the new diesel buses, the accessible position behind the driver is rear-facing and doesn't require the attachment of the securement belts. This position is easier if you have a larger four-wheel scooter due to the difficulty of having to make a U-turn in the aisle. We ask you to board forwards and then reverse into the accessible area behind the driver.

Remember:

  • You should have the ability to maneuver your wheelchair or scooter safely and effectively.
  • Mobility aids must be safe and in good repair with an effective braking system.
  • An attendant must accompany people who need assistance to board or exit the bus.

 

Community Shuttle

We recommend the following outside dimensions when boarding one of our community shuttle minibuses with your mobility aid or scooter:

  • Length: 122 cm (48 in.)
  • Width: 61 cm (24 in.)
  • Weight: 363 kg (800 lbs.)

These dimensions are similar to that of a low-floor bus, except the maximum weight for community shuttles is higher.

 

Boarding a Community Shuttle

On our community shuttles, the lift is located near the rear of the bus on the same side as the sidewalk. In order for the lift to be operated safely, you must board with your back facing the vehicle. Once onboard, the operator will attach securement belts to prevent your device from moving during travel. These securements must be in place before the vehicle starts moving. The accessible seating area on community shuttles is forward facing only.

 

Travel Training

Want to practice getting on the bus with your wheelchair? Unsure if your mobility aid will fit?

Coast Mountain Bus Company offers training sessions for using your mobility aid. Call the training department at 604.264.5420 to make an appointment.

 

SeaBus

To access Waterfront Station, you'll find an elevator located at the north end of the skywalk. This takes you to the "boarding level" and into the pedestrian flow towards the Fare Paid Zone. As you start to board the SeaBus, note that as the tide changes, the ramp grade will change too.

Both SeaBus terminals have double-wide doors through which you should be able to pass easily in a wheelchair or scooter. You can position your wheelchair or scooter just inside the doors on either side of the SeaBus, in the aisle or in front of a vacant seat. Don't forget to lock your brakes.

  • If you need help, SeaBus attendants are available at the terminals and on the ferry to assist you.
  • A personal attendant must accompany those who need special assistance to negotiate the terminal ramps, entries or exits, or to board SeaBus itself.

 

SkyTrain

SkyTrain stations and trains have special features designed to make the system safe and convenient for passengers with physical disabilities. All stations, with the temporary exception of Columbia, have elevators for people using wheelchairs. Please don't use wheelchairs on escalators under any circumstances.

 

Boarding the SkyTrain

  • Always enter the train through the door with the wheelchair symbol marked on the exterior (usually on the second or fourth car in the direction of travel).
  • When inside, position yourself in the wheelchair space provided.
  • Some cars have a flip-up seat that can be raised to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter.
  • SkyTrain attendants are trained to respond to requests for assistance.

 

West Coast Express

West Coast Express commuter rail service between Mission and Vancouver is fully accessible to people with wheelchairs or other mobility aids. The WCE TrainBus service is not wheelchair accessible.

Please board the train from the special raised section of the platform where the conductor can assist passengers boarding with wheelchairs or scooters. Once aboard, you'll find most train cars equipped with two wheelchair spaces and an accessible washroom.

HandyPASS and HandyCARD holders are entitled to concession fares on West Coast Express.

If you'd like more details, or need accessibility information for a specific station, call WCE Customer Service at 604.488.8906

Access Transit Plan

TransLink has developed the Access Transit Plan to make sure our transit system is accessible for as many people as possible.

Learn more...

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