Feeling one’s way through the Metro system

In light of all the ‘drama drama’ that is surrounding the STM these days, here’s something interesting that they are doing. An announcement was quietly made last October that they would be teaming up with L’Institut Nazareth & Louis-Braille to create an item that would aid the blind while using the metro.

The INLB, using the process of thermoinflation (?), has created tactile cards that have representations of a station’s layout. Using braille and relief designs, these cards include landmarks such as ticket booths, halls, stairs and boarding points. At the moment, these cards are available for 14 of the city’s busier stations, with more being planned in the coming months. As the blind rely predominantly on public transportation, this could prove to be quite helpful for many.


  1. I’m guessing these cards are distributed to the seeing-impaired via the INLB? Not bad, once you have them.

    I find the approaches that different cities take interesting. In Brussels there are series of raised metal plates, the size of tin can lids, that clack when you hit them with your foot – or your cane. The seeing-impaired can follow these plates to a stairwell, which will also have included on its wall a tactile map of the station and its exits. All entrances to the station have similar maps. There is also a tactile change in the flooring material to warn the seeing-impaired of the edge of the platform. Example here: http://www.djpg.net/petillon_quai_pierre_guevar.JPG (the station map is the yellow box seen on the right-hand side, if I’m not mistaken).

    In Montreal we began putting tactile and visual warnings on the platform edges (bright yellow rubber studded pads), as part of a trial in Longueuil-UdS station (near the INLB offices). The seeing impaired thought it was great but I’m told the STM didn’t roll it out because the cleaners found it too difficult to maintain. That being said, they seem to have found their way to the new Laval platforms.

  2. Wake Up STM! the TTC in Toronto has been using the yellow sudded edges on thier subway platforms for close to 30 years, the early 1980’s I believe
    The metro needs them the sooner the better.
    The Blind have rights too.

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