Accessible transportation guides - Introduction
Accessible transportation for persons with disabilities is a human right that reflects the fundamental principles of equality, inclusion and dignity.
A core mandate of the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) is to protect this right. Under Part V of the Canada Transportation Act, transportation service providers are required to ensure, up to the point of undue hardship, that barriers to persons with disabilities are removed, so those persons have equal access to the federal transportation network. The CTA’s roles are to make accessibility-related regulations and resolve accessibility-related disputes between travellers with disabilities and transportation service providers.
The Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR) provide a set of clear, consistent, specific and legally binding accessibility requirements for many transportation service providers.
The ATPDR apply to large carriers and terminals in modes of transport under federal jurisdiction – all air services, as well as most rail, bus, and ferry services that transport passengers across provincial/territorial or international borders – as well as the Canada Border Services Agency and the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority. Some ATPDR requirements apply to both Canadian and foreign transportation service providers. Some apply only to Canadian transportation service providers. A list of the types of carriers and terminal operators covered by the ATPDR – and what requirements apply to them – will be available in the Transportation service providers covered by the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations guide
The regulations cover many parts of the travel experience: services, equipment, facilities, communications, training, and security and border screening.
Most provisions of the ATPDR will come into force on June 25, 2020. Until then, existing regulations and codes of practice continue to apply.
The ATPDR are an important tool for making sure travel is accessible. However, transportation service providers not covered by the ATPDR are still required to provide accessible services, and can be the subject of complaints from persons with disabilities. The CTA is considering whether and how to extend ATPDR provisions to the smaller transportation service providers not currently covered. Consultations on this and other questions were launched on December 3, 2019.
Furthermore, depending on the circumstances, the CTA may determine, based on a complaint from a person with a disability, that a transportation service provider covered by the ATPDR must take steps in addition to those listed in the regulations to remove barriers to that person and travellers with similar disabilities.