New Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations now in force
June 25, 2020 – Gatineau, QC – Canadian Transportation Agency
Starting today, persons with disabilities have new protections under the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR).
The ATPDR require transportation service providers to:
- ensure that aircraft, trains, ferries, buses and terminals (such as airports) are accessible by complying with specific technical requirements;
- meet communication needs of travellers with disabilities;
- provide accessible services; and
- make border and security screening more accessible.
The ATPDR establish new, legally binding and enforceable requirements for accessible transportation, building on two older regulations and six codes, as well as best practices in Canada and around the world.
More information on the requirements is available on our website. The CTA has also developed extensive guidance materials, available in accessible formats. This guidance explains, in plain language, the requirements of the ATPDR. It also takes into account questions raised by stakeholders during consultations.
The final regulations reflect input received by the CTA from persons with disabilities and industry, including members of the CTA's Accessibility Advisory Committee, as well as the general public during several rounds of consultation between 2016 and 2019.
The ATPDR are part of the CTA's Regulatory Modernization Initiative (RMI), a review of all the regulations and guidelines the CTA administers.
"Persons with disabilities have a fundamental right to travel that is as free of barriers as possible. The groundbreaking Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations will help protect this right – and advance our vision of making Canada's national transportation system the most accessible in the world. The CTA will continue working with disability rights organizations and industry to translate this goal into reality."
Most provisions of the ATPDR – over 200 – are now in force. Due to the severe disruptions to the transportation sector caused by COVID-19, a handful of more technically or operationally complex provisions are being delayed to January 1, 2021. Finally, as planned, some more complex provisions are being phased-in over two years until 2022.
Another regulatory initiative related to accessible transportation is also underway. It would require transportation service providers to develop accessibility plans and reports based on the Accessible Canada Act (ACA). As well, further discussions will take place in the fall before developing requirements pertaining to small transportation service providers.
About the Agency
The Canadian Transportation Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and regulator that has, with respect to all matters necessary for the exercise of its jurisdiction, all the powers of a superior court. The CTA has three core mandates: helping to keep the national transportation system running efficiently and smoothly, protecting the fundamental right of persons with disabilities to accessible transportation services, and providing consumer protection for air passengers. To help advance these mandates, the CTA makes and enforces ground rules that establish the rights and responsibilities of transportation service providers and users and level the playing field among competitors, resolves disputes using a range of tools from facilitation and mediation to arbitration and adjudication, and ensures that transportation providers and users are aware of their rights and responsibilities and how the CTA can help them.