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Richmond seniors bursting for public transit washroom access

TransLink staff have to assess urgency

The basic need to use a washroom is being pursued by a Richmond seniors group after one of their own was denied at a Canada Line station.

The Richmond Seniors Advisory Committee (RSAC) has asked city council to back it up on demanding TransLink provide washrooms at stations on the rapid transit line.

RSACs hand was forced after one of their members was denied access to a staff washroom at a Canada Line station.

TransLink responded to the citys requests earlier this year by saying staff washrooms would only be made available to the public if the need was urgent, adding that a staff member would determine the degree of urgency.

Currently, no Canada Line station, including the main exchange hub at Bridgeport, has a public washroom, something that concerns RSAC, whose many members occasionally experience the aforementioned urgency.

RSAC has now asked the city to endorse a pilot project where seniors, people with disabilities and families with young children have access to the staff washroom at Brighouse station between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for the next 12 months.

Although recognizing the move may incur increased costs, the citys transportation planner, Joan Caravan, noted such a project would improve accessibility to the public transit system for many people.

Caravan also highlighted a more permanent need to provide public washrooms at transit hubs, suggesting the city should request TransLink incorporate such facilities at its new bus mall on Buswell Street, which will be close to Brighouse.