Pub­lic wash­rooms com­ing to tran­sit

The Province - - NEWS - JEN­NIFER SALT­MAN jen­salt­[email protected]­ twit­­salt­man

TransLink cus­tomers look­ing for pub­lic re­strooms on Metro Van­cou­ver’s tran­sit sys­tem could soon find re­lief.

The tran­sit au­thor­ity’s board of di­rec­tors on Thurs­day ap­proved a rec­om­men­da­tion from man­age­ment to in­crease the num­ber of wash­rooms avail­able for pub­lic use.

“This is a very big change from where we’ve been in the past, and I’m re­ally pleased to see us mov­ing in this di­rec­tion,” said board mem­ber Larry Beasley.

Pub­lic wash­rooms have been a hot-but­ton topic over the years, and TransLink did not pre­vi­ously have a pol­icy. The new one was de­vel­oped in 2018. In the past, TransLink has cited the high cost of main­te­nance, and pas­sen­ger safety and se­cu­rity as rea­sons to avoid ad­ding wash­rooms on tran­sit.

Cur­rently, the only pub­lic wash­rooms are found at both SeaBus ter­mi­nals and on West Coast Ex­press trains, and they are re­quired by fed­eral trans­porta­tion reg­u­la­tions.

A sur­vey con­ducted as part of the re­view asked more than 2,000 peo­ple about wash­room avail­abil­ity, and 72 per cent said that more wash­rooms would im­prove their tran­sit ex­pe­ri­ence. About 25 per cent said they would use tran­sit more of­ten if there were more wash­rooms.

“We do see this as an im­por­tant rid­er­ship growth, rid­er­ship devel­op­ment ob­jec­tive,” said An­drew McCur­ran, TransLink’s di­rec­tor of strate­gic plan­ning and pol­icy.

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