FAQ: Accessible Transportation
- Do transportation service providers know about the service needs of travellers with disabilities?
- What specific services will be provided for air travellers with disabilities?
- What accessibility features are available on some aircraft that would interest and benefit customers with disabilities?
- How does the Agency review accessibility problems?
Q1. Do transportation service providers know about the service needs of travellers with disabilities?
Rail, marine and air carriers and terminal operators (with the exception of small air carriers and terminal operators), are required to ensure that their employees and contractors are properly trained to provide different types of transportation related services to persons with disabilities as per the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations.
Q2. What specific services will be provided for air travellers with disabilities?
In most cases, air carriers operating domestic services with an aircraft of 30 seats or more must provide services to persons with disabilities when they make the request at least 48 hours before departure. The air carriers have to make a reasonable effort to accommodate requests not made within this time limit.
Assistance that air carriers are required to provide include:
- registration at the check-in counter;
- proceeding to the boarding area;
- boarding and deplaning;
- stowing and retrieving baggage;
- moving to and from an aircraft washroom; and
- proceeding to the general public area or, in some cases, to a representative of another air carrier.
Q3. What accessibility features are available on some aircraft that would interest and benefit customers with disabilities?
The Code of Practice: Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities is a voluntary code developed by the Agency in consultation with airlines and consumers. It details the aircraft equipment accessibility criteria, which air carriers and aircraft are covered, and when and how carriers should follow the Code. The Agency monitors air carriers' compliance with the Code.
Q4. How does the Agency review accessibility problems?
The Agency has responsibilities for ensuring that all travellers (including those with disabilities) can use Canada's federally-regulated passenger air, rail, and extra-provincial ferry and bus transportation systems.
The Agency ensures accessibility through various mechanisms. Through the complaint mechanism, a person with a disability brings a problem that they experienced within the federal transportation network before the Agency. The Agency assesses whether the person has a disability for the purpose of the Canada Transportation Act, then proceeds with obstacle and undue obstacle determinations which include a consideration of undue hardship. Afterwards, the Agency renders a decision and may order corrective measures to eliminate undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities.
If passengers have had difficulty travelling because of a disability, they can file a complaint with the Agency. Complaints can relate to the company that operates the transportation service or the terminal. For more information on how to make a complaint, visit the section Disability-Related Complaints.