Durham Region Transit (DRT) has officially retired the last non-accessible bus in its fleet of more than 200 vehicles. Now, all routes in the DRT network are opened up to people who use mobility devices, providing them with new-found freedom to travel on public transit.
DRT has removed many of the barriers that once prevented people with mobility concerns from riding on conventional buses. The retirement of the last non-accessible bus makes way for more modern buses that have the best features for easy boarding. Accessible buses in the DRT fleet feature kneeling floors, ramps and equipment to properly secure mobility devices during the ride. Over the last 7 years, the average age of DRT buses has gone from 14 years to less than 7 years old.
Another initiative DRT has implemented to remove barriers for travel is an aggressive plan to hard-surface as many bus stops as possible. More than three-quarters of the hard surfacing projects have been completed to date, with more to follow.
And the future looks even brighter for accessibility on DRT. The new smart technology that is currently being installed on the entire fleet will help people with limited sight or hearing by providing audible and visual next-stop announcements. This GPS-based technology will also increase reliability and provide real-time information about bus arrivals. These features will roll-out later this year.
Riders with mobility concerns who would like to learn how to use the DRT system can request Travel Training. This program will help riders gain confidence when using conventional public transit.