SkyTrain Fare Gates and Options for Assistance

July 29, 2016

Despite protests from advocacy groups, Translink is proceeding with their decision to close all fare gates effective Monday, July 25th, 2016.  Over the next 18 months they will be installing a more accessible system, but in the interim, they are offering a number of options for citizens who cannot tap a Compass Card on their own.  These options still reduce the accessibility of SkyTrain for some users and should be delayed until the new, fully accessible gates are installed.  

Here is Translink’s bulletin:  

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.

All fare gates will be closed as of Monday, July 25th.  While we will continue to strive to have attendants at the gates to assist customers, you may find fewer attendants than have been present during the initial Compass transition, and gates may at times be closed and unattended.

To ensure that our customers have gate access in these situations, TransLink is offering a number of options for customers unable to tap a Compass Card at the fare gates unassisted:

Station Assistance Program

  • 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, wherein attendants located at the gate control centre (using video monitoring) can open the accessible gate remotely.
  • While in-person assistance or remote gate opening are available for station arrival, assistance with exiting the gates at your destination station will always be provided by an in-person attendant, to provide the highest level of service possible.  In cases when an attendant cannot be available due to a system operating issue, remote gate opening will be provided.
  • In using the Station Assistance service, please wait as near to the accessible gate as you are safely and comfortably able to do.  This way you are visible to gate control staff if remote gate opening is requested or required.
  • While calls can be placed any time (during operating hours) on the day of your trip, we encourage customers to call if possible within two hours of station arrival, to best assist us with serving your needs.

    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 your Compass Card at the fare gates.
  • The type of assistive device depends on the individual customer’s needs and abilities, but may include items such as a wristband, retractable lanyard, etc.

    HandyCard Program
  • Eligible customers can apply to receive a HandyCard, which provides free travel for an attendant.

    The full accessibility of the transit system continues to be a top priority for TransLink, and we look forward to the upcoming installation of the new proximity-sensor entrances to provide hands-free gate access for customers with a disability that prevents them from tapping.

    If you have a disability that prevents you from tapping unassisted and you are interested in being involved in the design of this permanent solution, please contact Access Transit Planning at 778.375.6864 to learn more.

Let us know about your experiences with the new Compass Card and Fare Gates.  Add a comment below or email us at info@spectrumsociety.org.