TransLink installs RFID antennas at fare gates to help riders with disabilities

Riders with disabilities faced issues tapping Compass card at fare gates

Translink fare gates accessible
TransLink is making it easier for those with mobility challenges to open fare gates at SkyTrain and SeaBus stations. Credit: TransLink

TransLink is making it easier for those with disabilities to operate the fare gates at SkyTrain and SeaBus stations.

The transit authority has begun issuing RFID cards to eligible riders who are physically unable to tap a Compass card.

The Compass card system was criticized before it even launched by disability advocates who complained that riders who were unable to tap a card would be shut out of the transit system.

As a result, TransLink left one accessible fare gate open at each station, but some riders without a disability were taking advantage, so the gates were eventually closed. Riders with disabilities were forced to call an attendant to open the gates, or use an assistive device such as an arm band.

Now, RFID-sensing antennas have been installed at most SkyTrain stations along the Expo and Millennium Lines, with the TransLink planning to complete the roll out this year.

The card is read by an antenna above the accessible fare gate as the RFID card comes within range. The gate then automatically opens without the need to tap.

Map of SkyTrain stations with operational RFID sensors

TransLink says the RFID antennas will be rolled out to SeaBus terminals in the near future. A roll out plan for the Canada Line was not specified.

To obtain an RFID card, contact TransLink at 604.953.3698 or email opengates@translink.ca