A plain language summary of the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations

Table of contents

Introduction

  • The CTA protects the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services. Transportation providers include companies that operate planes, ferries, trains and buses that travel long distances.
  • Transportation providers also include terminals, like airports, ferry terminals, train stations, and bus stations, as well as ports where cruise ships dock.

We have new rules for transportation providers. The rules are called the “Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations”. In this document, we call them the Accessibility Regulations.

You can read about the Accessibility Regulations in this document.

What do the Accessibility Regulations say?

Here are some things the Accessibility Regulations tell transportation providers.

  • How to communicate with travellers with disabilities.
  • How to train transportation workers to help travellers with disabilities.
  • What help to give travellers with disabilities.
  • How to make terminal buildings accessible.
  • How to make planes, ferries, trains, and buses accessible.

Communicating with Travellers with Disabilities

The Accessibility Regulations tell transportation providers to give travellers with disabilities information and to make information accessible. 

Here are some things transportation providers have to do.

  • Terminals have to give information about how the terminal is accessible and the help that they give to travellers with disabilities.
  • Carriers (airplane, train, ferry, and bus companies) have to say what sizes of mobility aids (for example, wheelchairs) they can carry and what help they give to travellers with disabilities.
  • Carriers have to keep information about the traveller's accessibility needs for as long as three years, if the traveller asks them to.  
  • Carriers have to make accessible: their websites, apps, reservation systems, and kiosks used for things like checking-in and obtaining boarding passes.

Training Transportation Workers

The Accessibility Regulations tell transportation providers to train their workers to help travellers with disabilities. This includes airport workers and people who work on airplanes, ferries, trains, and long-distance buses.

Here are some things the regulations say about training.

  • Workers have to be trained to help travellers with disabilities get through the terminal building and get on and off the plane, train, ferry or bus.
  • Workers have to be trained to provide help during the traveller's trip on the plane, train, ferry or bus.
  • Workers have to be trained to help travellers with disabilities use check-in kiosks and onboard entertainment systems for watching movies and listening to music.
  • Transportation providers must ask people with disabilities for their ideas when they create training for their workers.

Help for Travellers with Disabilities (Services)

The Accessibility Regulations tell transportation providers what kind of helpful services to give travellers with disabilities.       

Here are some things transportation providers have to do.

  • Carriers (airplane, train, ferry, and bus companies) have to let people travel with their service dog if it is properly trained.
  • Carriers have to let people with severe allergies sit away from things they are allergic to.
  • Carriers have to give people extra seats at no extra cost while they travel in Canada, if they need them for their disability. For example, someone might need a seat for their support person.
  • Terminals have to help people arriving at the terminal get from the curb outside to the check-in area inside. They also have to help people leaving the terminal get from the terminal to the curb.

Help for Travellers with Disabilities (Security)

The Accessibility Regulations also tell the security officials who work at terminals to help travellers with disabilities.

Security screening officials ask travellers to go through metal detectors and put luggage through x-ray machines before they get on a plane. Different workers, who are called border officials, ask travellers to show their identification documents and make a declaration about their travel after they finish a trip outside of Canada. Border officials are also security officials.

Here are some things security officials have to do.

  • Help a traveller with a disability if the traveller asks.
  • Let a traveller with a disability use a faster line-up if waiting in line is hard for the traveller because of their disability.
  • Keep travellers and their disability aids together, if possible. If a security official has to take a disability aid away, for example to x-ray it, the official must bring it back to the traveller right away.

Making buildings, planes, trains, ferries, and buses accessible

The Accessibility Regulations tell transportation providers how to make new buildings accessible. They also tell providers how to make new planes, trains, ferries, and long-distance buses accessible.

Here are some things providers have to do.

  • Terminals have to have relief areas for service dogs.
  • Terminals have to fix problems that block accessibility as soon as possible.
  • Carriers (airplane, train, ferry, and bus companies) have to make the onboard entertainment system for movies and music accessible.

How will the regulations be enforced?

We will enforce all the rules in the Accessibility Regulations.

  • We could make a transportation provider who breaks the rules pay the government up to $250,000.
  • We could also award a person with compensation if they experienced physical or psychological pain and suffering because a transportation service provider contravened the regulations.

Are the regulations for every transportation provider?

The Accessibility Regulations are mainly for big transportation providers. This means some transportation providers do not have to follow the regulations. 

  • For example, small carriers that operate planes, trains, ferries or long-distance buses and very small terminals would not have to follow the Accessibility Regulations.   

We will start work on regulations for small transportation providers in fall 2019.  We will consult people with disabilities for their ideas then.

In the meantime, people with disabilities can still complain to us if they have problems with small carriers and terminals. We offer different services to help solve these problems.

 
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