Come January, bus riders in Regina will hear some new sounds on their routes.
Regina Transit is implementing audible stop announcements, where a voice announces the stop and cross street in the bus.
A GPS system tracks the bus on its route, and a pleasant, woman’s voice announces the stop coming up. This change is part of a push to make transit more accessible for people with disabilities.
Amber-Joy Boyd is excited about the change. She’s visually impaired and says it’s an ordeal taking public transit now, involving planning, memorization, and letting the bus driver know where she’s going.
She said the announcements will give her more independence.
“We don’t have to tell anyone where we’re going or why we’re going there,” Boyd said. “We can just get on the bus, like everybody else, and get off at the stop we want to get off on, and we don’t have to ask the driver to let us off. We don’t have to sit there and count the stops to make sure we’re going to get the right one.”
She’s also happy with the accessible bus stops transit is piloting downtown. The new stops have large, yellow signs, with more visible listings. There are also Braille signs, and the cement has been smoothed out.
These are the last two recommendations from a list of complaints about transit the city was given by the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission.
Andy Livingston is with the commission, he said they’re thrilled to see the announcements are in place.
“Transport is a huge part of participation in the community and participating in activities. If you’re not able to get somewhere and you’re not able to participate in activities and it plays a huge role in increasing citizenship, and also interaction in the community.”
Livingston said there has been an increase in ridership and positive comments about using transit from people since some of the recommendations were implemented.