Accessibility complaints about transportation services
Persons with disabilities have a right to equal access to federal transportation services.
We can help with complaints that are related to a person's disability and:
- airlines operating within, to, or from Canada;
- rail, ferry and bus carriers that operate between provinces or territories or between Canada and the United States;
- airports, rail stations and ferry terminals located in Canada; or
- services that are integral to the transportation services provided by a carrier or terminal located in Canada.
Transcript: Accessible transportation complaints process
The Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal with the mandate of administering the regulatory provisions affecting the modes of transportation under the authority of Parliament, as set out in the Canada Transportation Act (CTA) and other legislation.
Part V of the CTA provides the Agency with the human rights mandate to eliminate undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities in the federal transportation network and ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to transportation services. This includes accessible transportation complaints.
The Agency's responsibility to resolve accessible transportation problems is limited to situations where the problem was related to a person's disability and occurred in the federal transportation network.
When we refer to the federal transportation network, we are talking about the Agency's jurisdiction. The Agency's jurisdiction applies to:
- Airlines operating within Canada, or to or from Canada
- Airports within Canada;
- Passenger rail companies, ferry companies and bus companies that are providing services between provinces within Canada or between Canada and the United States. This would also include their stations or terminals in Canada.
- Finally, the Agency's jurisdiction also applies, in some circumstances, to services that are related to the transportation services provided by a carrier or terminal in Canada.
Our definition of disability
A disability is a health-related problem that limits someone's ability to travel or that causes difficulties while travelling. Disabilities can include permanent and temporary conditions.
This could include:
- Someone with a broken leg
- Someone with severe allergies
- A senior citizen with a health-related problem that makes it difficult for them to travel
After you submit a complaint
You will receive a confirmation email that includes a case number. You can check the status of your complaint at any time.
Our expert staff will review your complaint and ask you for more information, if necessary. You may need to complete a disability assessment form.
If you haven't contacted the transportation service provider about your complaint, that's the first thing we'll do. We will forward your complaint with a 30-day deadline for them to respond. Often the issue can be resolved directly with the transportation service provider.
If you're not satisfied with the response, we can try to resolve your complaint through facilitation or mediation – fast and easy informal dispute resolution processes. The vast majority of complaints are resolved this way.
Where less formal processes don't prove successful, the Agency also offers a court-like process called adjudication, where a panel will make a decision based on the evidence provided.
The adjudication process can also be used in more complex cases where a passenger feels that the transportation service provider's contract is unclear, unjust, unreasonable or discriminatory.