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Passengers Taken Off Flight Due to Guide Dogs Allege Discrimination

by Adrian Ghobrial and News Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 2018 at 7:56 am EST

Two visually-impaired Toronto women will have their complaint investigated by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal more than three years after they were removed from a flight at Pearson airport because of their service dogs.

Friends Amal Haddad and Nayla Farah and Farahs daughter had booked a round trip to Stockholm on Jet Airways, departing July 1, 2015, with a stopover in Brussels on the way over.

Farah, who has been travelling the world with a seeing-eye dog for years, said she and Haddad made sure they had all their papers in order before arriving at the airport.

Sydney Woman With Disabilities Said She Was Carried on Air Canada Jet

Sharon Montgomery-Dupe (sharon.montgomery@cbpost.com)
Published: Oct 18 at 10:22 p.m.

A Sydney woman said she recently took the jet as a start to an exciting vacation but because they had no proper means of boarding a passenger with disabilities she was carried aboard, which was humiliating and dangerous.

Air travel is under federal jurisdiction

SYDNEY, N.S. It was a dream vacation that began with a nightmare.

Marcie Shwery-Stanley recently boarded an Air Canada jet by being carried up a steep set of stairs by three men.

“I was not only frightened to death, it was very demeaning,” said the Sydney woman who needs a wheelchair to get around. “It was a terrible experience and I’m looking into making a formal complaint.

The New York City Subway’s Accessibility Problem

Broken elevators, muffled announcements, a lack of Braille the transit system can be commuting chaos for riders with disabilities Oct 21, 2018
By Brit McCandless Farmer

With 472 stations in total, the New York City subway is one of the largest rapid transit systems in the world. It’s also one of the least accessible: Only 25 percent of the stations are designated wheelchair accessible, the lowest rate of wheelchair accessibility for any heavy rail system in the U.S.

Bike-Lane Bus Stops Dangerous for Blind: Suit

Bill Cleverley / Times Colonist
July 6, 2018

The City of Victoria and B.C. Transit have put the lives of blind pedestrians at risk by moving bus stops away from the curb to accommodate bike lanes, claims the Canadian Federation of the Blind.

“It’s a Russian Roulette game,” said Oriano Belusic, 56, who is named in the complaint that the federation is making with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal against the city and transit, claiming discrimination against the visually impaired.

He cited a close call he had in a bike lane in March.

‘Disappointing and Frustrating’: Air Travel Accessibility Highlighted at Winnipeg Passenger Rights Meeting

CBC News · Posted: Jun 25, 2018

Jesse Turner, who uses a wheelchair, says she loves to travel but hasn’t flown for months because of concern following severe damage to her chair during a flight last summer.

A national forum on air travel passenger rights in Canada heard from Winnipeggers on Monday, including a presentation from one woman who said she hasn’t flown for months following serious damage to her wheelchair on a flight last summer.

Jesse Turner, who works as an accessibility advisor in Winnipeg, told the Canadian Transportation Agency that even before the incident 10 months ago, her wheelchair has been damaged regularly during loading and unloading for air travel.

Mobility Devices and Air Travel Forum

The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) will host an international forum on June 12-13, 2018, in Toronto, in order to address issues related to the storage and transportation of mobility aids on aircraft.

The CTA is Canada’s longest-standing independent, expert tribunal and regulator. One of its core mandates is to ensure that transportation services are accessible to persons with disabilities.

Over the last 18 months, we’ve undertaken a major initiative to modernize all the regulations, codes and guidelines we administer, starting with those in the area of accessible transportation. In the course of the consultations and analysis related to this initiative, it became clear that these issues are becoming more serious as mobility devices grow in size and complexity.

Travel With Ease: How Singapore Is Catering to Visitors with Special Accessibility Needs

SINGAPORE, MALAYSIA: With an aging population, Singapore has been tackling accessibility needs head-on with a series of changes to the city’s infrastructure. Today, it’s one of the most travel-friendly cities in the world for those with accessibility needs, so if you’re looking for delicious Asian food and a cultural adventure, Singapore makes a great vacation destination. New York travel company AllTheRooms has the lowdown on how Singapore has become a top, accessible vacation destination.

Lyft Sued for Discriminating Against Wheelchair-Users

Berkeley, CA (March 13, 2018)

Today, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) filed a major class action lawsuit against Lyft, challenging the popular ride-sharing service’s failure to make wheelchair-accessible vehicles available in the Bay Area through its rideshare service.

The suit, brought by a coalition of a disability rights group and individuals in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the first legal challenge to Lyft’s wheelchair-inaccessibility on its home turf. The plaintiffsIndependent Living Resource Center of San Francisco and two individuals who use wheelchairs brought this action to end Lyft’s discriminatory practices and policies.

Lyft does not provide wheelchair-accessible transportation in the Bay Area. The case challenges Lyft’s failure to provide wheelchair-accessible service as a violation of California anti-discrimination laws.

Are Autonomous Vehicles Ready to Help the Blind?

April 16, 2018

New research conducted outside of the auto industry aims to develop data and software to ensure that the needs of the blind are met when autonomous cars become commonplace.

In 2012, Steve Mahan, who is blind, climbed into the driver’s seat of a self-driving car and rolled up to the drive-thru of a Taco Bell in a video viewed more than 8 million times.

Produced by Google, the video captured the potential of autonomous-car technology to change the lives of the visually impaired.

“It was my first time behind the steering wheel in seven years and was absolutely amazing,” Mr. Mahan said.

Bill C-49 Empowers Goliath and Takes Away David’s Sling Shot

March 15, 2018 For Immediate Release

Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act, will make some aspects of Canadas federally regulated transportation system more inaccessible than it already is for people with disabilities.

Travelers with disabilities routinely encounter accessibility barriers, such as damaged or delayed mobility equipment, kiosks without audio output to make them accessible to blind travelers.

If passed without amendment, Bill C-49 while adding new barriers will also make it harder for organizations like the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, a national organization that has been working for more than 40 years in support of an accessible and inclusive transportation system, to take complaints in the public interest to the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA).

U.S. Sues New York City Subway Operator Over Disabled Access

March 13, 2018
By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Tuesday sued the agencies that run New York City’s subway, claiming they failed to make a Bronx station accessible to disabled people despite an expensive renovation.

By intervening in a 2016 lawsuit brought by disability rights advocates against the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), the U.S. Department of Justice added firepower to a case that could help spur broader changes to the aging subway.

The agencies were accused of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by spending more than $27 million in 2013 and 2014 to renovate the Middletown Road station on the No. 6 line in the Pelham Bay neighborhood, without installing an elevator so disabled people could use it.

Uber Sued By Disability Rights Groups For Illegal Discrimination Against Wheelchair Users

Berkeley, CA (February 27, 2018)

Today, Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) filed a major class action lawsuit against Uber challenging the popular ride-sharing service’s lack of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. The suit, brought by a coalition of individuals and disability rights groups in the San Francisco Bay Area, is the first legal challenge to Uber’s wheelchair-inaccessibility on its home turf.

The plaintiffs Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco, Community Resources for Independent Living, and three individuals who use wheelchairs brought this action to end Uber’s discriminatory practices and policies.

Transport Boards Must Include People With ‘Experience of Disability’

Updated / Wednesday, 7 Feb 2018 18:31

Last week Iarnród Éireann launched a pilot scheme on DART services to improve accessibility for wheelchair users

Minister for Transport Shane Ross has announced that the boards of public transport bodies must include at least one person with “raw, personal, experience of disability.”

Mr Ross’ spokeswoman said his announcement means that individuals with experiences of disability will be appointed directors of organisations such as the National Transport Authority, Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann, Iarnród Éireann and CIÉ.

In an address to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, the Independent Alliance minister said that in recent years, access to public transport had been improved but that progress had been unacceptably slow.

CNIB Calls for Senate of Canada to Include Strengthened Requirements to Accommodate Canadians With Sight Loss

OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2018 /CNW

CNIB is calling on the Senate of Canada to make amendments to strengthen requirements to accommodate Canadians with sight loss. As the Senate resumes sitting at the end of January, they will continue their study of Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act. CNIB supports the passage of this important piece of legislation, specifically the creation of an airline Passenger Bill of Rights.

Canadians with sight loss have difficulties travelling in Canada independently, especially when travelling on an airplane. Problems exists in all facets of airline travel: from booking tickets, to navigating airports, and providing sufficient space for passengers with sight loss and their guide dogs.

This Self-Driving Shuttle Puts Accessibility First

Accessible Olli was designed from the ground up to help people with disabilities get where they need to go. by Ben Fox Rubin
January 26, 2018

Jay Rogers stood a few feet from his company’s futuristic-looking shuttle bus, called the Accessible Olli.

The all-electric, partially 3D-printed, autonomous vehicle, sitting in the middle of the bustling Las Vegas Convention Center during the CES tech show, packs features to help people with disabilities and the elderly get around.

There’s a retractable wheelchair ramp, software that can process sign language, and displays inside offering simplified information and reminders for people with cognitive disabilities like memory loss.

Supreme Court Orders Second Look at Complaint About Airline Bumping Obese Passengers

Canadian Transportation Agency had refused to investigate 2014 Gabor Lukacs’s complaint because he isn’t obese CBC News
Posted: Jan 19, 2018

Gabor Lukacs complained to the Canadian Transportation Agency in 2014 that Delta Air Lines was in the habit of bumping larger passengers from full flights.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ordered the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) to take another look at a complaint about how Delta Air Lines deals with obese passengers.

The complaint was filed by Halifax-based passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs.

In 2014, Lukacs complained to the agency that Delta was in the habit of bumping larger passengers from full flights in the hopes they would buy a second seat.

Transit Accessibility for All Remains a Dream Unfulfilled Across Canada

Oliver Moore
The Globe and Mail, December 29, 2017

MONTREAL – There’s a pair of elevators to nowhere at one of the busiest subway stations in Montreal.

Get off the train at Place Bonaventure and it’s 36 stairs up to the next level. The elevators are there for riders who can’t do that walk, but they go only from the train platform to the ticket-booth area, one level up. It’s a long walk and many more stairs from there to the street.

The station has been like this for eight years, a jarring reminder of how much of the system is off-limits to those unable to walk.

All VIA Rail Trains to Allow Two Mobility Aid Scooters on Board

PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire
MONTRÉAL, Dec. 20, 2017 /CNW

Telbec/ – VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) announced today that, following an order by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA), its accessibility policy was revised on December 18, 2017 and will take effect on January 3, 2018. The Corporation will offer space for two passengers travelling together on the same train with qualified 3-wheel scooters either by having two tie-down spaces per train or by securing two unoccupied scooters in one tie-down.

Lyft Is Making The App More Accessible For Visually Impaired Riders & Heres Why Its Important

Source:Courtesy of Lyft
ByJames Loke Hale
December 20, 2017

Lyft has made accessibility a priority in 2017. First, in April, it announced its partnership with the National Association of the Deaf, along with changes to the app that would make it more accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing riders and drivers. Now Lyft is embracing its visually impaired riders by announcing its new partnership with Aira, which will make Lyft more accessible for visually impaired riders.

Aira “develops transformative remote assistive technology that connects the blind with a network of certified agents via wearable smart glasses and an augmented reality dashboard that allows agents to see what the blind person sees in real time.”

Canada’s Aging Population Signals Need for More Inclusive, Accessible Transportation System: New Expert Panel Report

PRESS RELEASE GlobeNewswire
Dec. 14, 2017

As the number of Canadians aged 65 and older continues to grow faster than any other age group, so too does the need for a more inclusive and accessible transportation system, underscores a group of experts in a new report released today by the Council of Canadian Academies.

Older Canadians on the Move addresses key obstacles faced by today’s older travellers and explores innovative and technological solutions for adapting Canada’s transportation system to meet future needs.

Older Canadians on the Move. The Expert Panel report on the transportation needs of an aging population.