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SkyTrain Introduces VIP Assistance Line

Posted in News Bytes

Since the inception of SkyTrain service, passengers who are blind or sight-impaired have been permitted to request the assistance of a SkyTrain attendant using either:

  • the vehicle intercom panel located on-board all SkyTrain vehicles; or
  • the intercom located inside elevators at SkyTrain stations; or
  • using the emergency telephones located in the designated waiting area on the platform level of any station.

All three methods have resulted in prompt responses over the years. However, these communication tools  are effective only when the person needing assistance is in close proximity to them or knows where they are located.

At the suggestion of ASIC and with and endorsement by ComPACT (Committee to Promote Accessible Conventional Transit) , SkyTrain has responded positively with the introduction of a VIP Assistance line. Passengers who are blind or sight-impaired and have access to a cell phone or pay phone may call this dedicated telephone number  (effective immediately) to “Request VIP assistance” at a particular station. Your call will be answered by an operator within SkyTrain’s Control Centre who will dispatch a SkyTrain attendant to your location. Under normal operating conditions,  SkyTrain attendants are either in very close proximity to each station or just a few minutes away and will respond very quickly. Passengers who are blind or sight-impaired may call this number while on a SkyTrain vehicle if you cannot locate the on-board intercom, from anywhere inside or around the station or even from your HandyDART or public transit coach as you approach the station. Simply identify yourself as needing “visually impaired assistance” and tell the operator where the SkyTrain attendant can find you. You may call for any of the following:

  • sighted guide assistance to enter a station or upon arrival at a station
  • directions
  • emergencies or
  • access to the locked washrooms

The telephone number is 604 520-5518. Large-print business cards with Braille transcriptions are available at the reception desk of CNIB (on Joyce Street), from the CNIB O&M instructors in the Vancouver area and from Betty Nobel at Vancouver Community College – King Edward Campus. SkyTrain attendants will also be approaching passengers who are easily identified as having a vision loss (ie. those using a mobility cane, an ID cane or a guide dog) to offer you one of these cards. You need not possess the card to utilize the number. It is for informational purposes only.

PLEASE NOTE: Under normal operating conditions,  SkyTrain attendants will respond as quickly as possible to your request for assistance. The only exception may be when they are tending to an emergency on one of the lines. This may result in a delay in answering your call or a possible delay in their response time. You will be advised of any anticipated delays and the reason for the delay should such a situation occur.

We wish to thank SkyTrain for this additional service and trust you will find it enhances your SkyTrain experience.