TransLink, Metro Vancouver’s public transit authority, is seeking ideas for improving health, safety and public trust while welcoming customers back in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

With this year’s edition of TransLink’s annual Open Call for Innovation, the organization wants to hear about ideas on how innovative technologies, solutions, processes, business models, and partnerships can help welcome customers back to public transit, such as:

  • Further reducing physical touch points and enhancing sanitization and ventilation on the system;
  • Supporting physical distancing while efficiently managing customer flow in transit facilities and vehicles;
  • Modifications or additions to the physical space, hardware, and amenities at transit facilities or on vehicles that would directly or indirectly reduce the risk of viral transmission and help make transit riders feel more comfortable;
  • Improving TransLink’s ability to gauge and anticipate evolving travel preferences and patterns (e.g. analytics capabilities);
  • Improving TransLink’s ability to help shape those travel preferences and patterns (e.g. rewards, incentives, providing information to customers, demand management including shifting demand to walking or cycling) in order to make the most effective use of our now limited transit system capacity;
  • Ensuring good and equitable transit access for residents of all ages and abilities – especially to essential services such as health care and groceries;
  • Reducing the cost and enhancing the effectiveness of the measures announced in TransLink’s Safe Operating Action Plan; and
  • Generally making transit as attractive and competitive a travel choice as possible.

Ideas will be accepted from anyone, but in order to stimulate grass-roots innovation in the new mobility field, TransLink particularly wishes to encourage technology start-ups, students in higher education, and enterprising non-profits to submit. You do not need to be a resident or citizen of British Columbia or Canada to apply. However, all submissions must be in English.

If a submission is accepted, TransLink offers co-funding and other support to help further develop the idea, including access to its own assets for testing and demonstration purposes and even the opportunity to pilot an idea on a larger scale through a partnership arrangement.

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The deadline for submissions is October 22, 2020. For further information, click here.

To view a video about the call for innovation, click here:


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