Two Compliance Reports Show Positive Results for Access to the National Transportation System for Persons with Disabilities

Americas, June 7 2013

OTTAWA: The Canadian Transportation Agency released its Air Carrier Compliance Report: Domestic Carriers and its Rail Code Compliance Report: VIA Rail Canada, demonstrating positive results for accessibility of the national transportation system for persons with disabilities.

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The Agency assessed the compliance of domestic air carriers operating aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats against provisions in the Air Transportation Regulationsand the Code of Practice: Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities.

The Agency also assessed the compliance of VIA Rail Canada (VIA) with provisions in the Code of Practice: Passenger Rail Car Accessibility and Terms and Conditions of Carriage by Rail of Persons with Disabilities and the Code of Practice: Removing Communication Barriers for Travellers with Disabilities.

As part of these monitoring exercises to determine the level of compliance, VIA and the air carriers used a self-assessment tool. The Agency examined the results of these self-assessments against intelligence gathered through discussions with the service providers and the review of the carriers’ published policies, procedures and websites.

As indicated in the reports:

  • Major air carriers, who carry over 90 percent of the scheduled passenger traffic in Canada, are fully compliant with the accessibility standards assessed.
  • Smaller air carriers showed positive results overall. While some smaller air carriers are fully compliant with the standards assessed, others need to improve in some specific areas to be fully compliant. The Agency will continue to work with domestic carriers on areas of non-compliance.
  • VIA is also fully compliant with the accessibility standards assessed, with the exception of the Rail Code provision regarding tactile seat markers on its older equipment. The Agency is working with VIA to explore ways to also have tactile row markers installed or otherwise facilitate independent access for persons with visual impairments.

“The Agency works at ensuring Canada’s national transportation system is accessible to all persons, particularly those with disabilities,” said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency. “We will continue our education and monitoring efforts to ensure that persons with disabilities can travel without encountering undue obstacles to their mobility and have equal access to national transportation services.”

The Agency has the mandate to ensure the accessibility of Canada’s national transportation system, including air, rail and extra-provincial ferry and bus transportation. It seeks to remove undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities through a number of mechanisms, which includes monitoring industry compliance with regulations and codes of practice.

Codes of practice contain accessibility standards developed to achieve a minimum level of accessibility for persons with disabilities and sets out what the Agency expects of carriers and terminal operators when they are serving persons with disabilities.

Updated reports are provided on the Agency website as additional monitoring and compliance initiatives are undertaken. For more information on Agency regulation and codes of practice, consult the Agency’s website at http://otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/accessible-transportation/industry

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