TransLink seeking ideas to improve cleanliness and health safety on transit

Jun 18 2020, 11:23 am

There will be a focus on improving health safety on Metro Vancouver’s public transit system for TransLink’s 2020 Open Call For Innovation.

This year’s Open Call seeks ideas from the public, and especially businesses, entrepreneurs, organizations, and academics, on ideas to reduce physical touchpoints, enhance sanitation and ventilation, and ensure “equitable access for all ages.”

All of this, of course, is within the context of COVID-19, under TransLink’s Safe Operating Action Plan, which has implemented a series measures to enhance cleanliness and sanitization, support physical distancing, and encourage the wearing of face masks or fcoverings.

The first measures were launched at the start of the pandemic, and they were further reinforced last month to meet the expected ridership demand increase as a result of the provincial government’s restart of the economy.

The deadline for Open Call submissions is October 22, but TransLink says it will fast-track the review process by evaluating the proposals as they come in so that the implementation of successful ideas can be accelerated. The winners may be offered with support to help develop their idea, access to public transit authority assets to test or demonstrate their idea, and an opportunity to trial the idea on a larger scale in partnership with TransLink.

“As we welcome back more customers onto transit, we want to collaborate with local businesses, likeminded partners, and innovators of all sorts to help with our recovery efforts,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a statement.

“The goal is to produce creative solutions and have them implemented on our system as soon as possible.”

This is TransLink’s third Open Call, ever since the program launched in 2018 under TransLink Tomorrow.

Previous winners include PigeonBox, which has just installed its secure smart lockers at select SkyTrain stations for customers to use for convenient pick-up delivery while on public transit.

As a result of past Open Calls, Evo, Modo, and Mobi have created a shared mobility service that bundles services with public transit, and Poparide has engaged in a carpooling partnership with TransLink. Each Open Call carries a unique theme to highlight and help address.