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).
Bill C-49 Empowers Goliath and Takes Away David’s Sling Shot full article
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.
U.S. Sues New York City Subway Operator Over Disabled Access full article
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.
Uber Sued By Disability Rights Groups For Illegal Discrimination Against Wheelchair Users full article
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.
Transport Boards Must Include People With ‘Experience of Disability’ full article
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.
CNIB Calls for Senate of Canada to Include Strengthened Requirements to Accommodate Canadians With Sight Loss full article
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.
This Self-Driving Shuttle Puts Accessibility First full article
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.
Supreme Court Orders Second Look at Complaint About Airline Bumping Obese Passengers full article
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.
Transit Accessibility for All Remains a Dream Unfulfilled Across Canada full article
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.
All VIA Rail Trains to Allow Two Mobility Aid Scooters on Board full article
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.”
Lyft Is Making The App More Accessible For Visually Impaired Riders & Heres Why Its Important full article
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.
Canada’s Aging Population Signals Need for More Inclusive, Accessible Transportation System: New Expert Panel Report full article
By Peter GoffinThe Canadian Press
Mon., Nov. 20, 2017
The company’s policy says any drivers refusing rides to customers because of service animals will be dismissed, but it leaves room for exemptions.
Advocates say exemptions in Uber Canada’s service-animal policy could still lead to discrimination.
Uber Canada has launched a new policy on how its drivers deal with customers who have service animals, but some disability rights advocates say exemptions built into the rules could still lead to discrimination.
The company’s policy says drivers who refuse to give rides to customers with service animals will be dismissed.
Uber Canada’s Service-Animal Policy Doesn’t Go Far Enough, Critics Say full article
Srikanth Saripalli, Texas A&M University
SFGate, October 5, 2017
Self-driving cars could revolutionize how disabled people get around their communities and even travel far from home. People who can’t see well or with physical or mental difficulties that prevent them from driving safely often rely on others or local government or nonprofit agencies to help them get around.
Autonomous vehicle technology on its own is not enough to help these people become more independent, but simultaneous advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence can enable these vehicles to understand spoken instructions, observe nearby surroundings and communicate with people. Together, these technologies can provide independent mobility with practical assistance that is specialized for each user’s abilities and needs.
Are Self-Driving Cars the Future of Mobility for Disabled People? full article
WINNIPEG, Sept. 25, 2017 /CNW
The governments of Canada and Manitoba recognize that strategic investments in public transit and active transportation infrastructure play a key role in developing dynamic communities, encouraging healthy lifestyles and ensuring everyone can get around their communities easily and efficiently.
Today, the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, and the Honourable Jeff Wharton, Minister of Municipal Relations, announced the details of five transportation projects in rural communities. The work is being funded through the province’s Small Communities Transportation Fund, which is supported federally using a portion of Manitoba’s annual federal Gas Tax Fund allocation.
Canada and Manitoba Invest in Rural Transit Projects Across the Province full article
Sept 12, 2017
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has awarded six application development research contracts, totaling $6.185 million* for a period of performance through FY 2019, under its Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative (ATTRI) to improve mobility options for all travelers, particularly those with disabilities.
ATTRI is a multimodal departmental effort that has been at the leading edge of identifying and developing transformative transportation applications for all disabilities. “ATTRI’s success depends on working cooperatively with other agencies as well as the private sector,” said Michael F. Trentacoste, Associate Administrator for Research, Development and Technology; Director, Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center. “We recognize the interdisciplinary nature of accessible transportation research and actively seek opportunities to leverage resources, accomplishments, and knowledge advances both within the USDOT and across federal agencies. We can’t do this alone.”
U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Accessible Transportation Technologies Research Initiative Application Development Awards full article
Originally posted Sept. 6, 2017
MetroAccess customers will have a new, more flexible option for travel within Maryland with the launch of the Abilities-Ride program on Monday, September 18.
The new program offers an alternative to MetroAccess service by allowing eligible customers to use on-demand taxi services–without sharing a ride–at a discounted rate.
The Abilities-Ride program offers subsidized rides in partnership with Regency Taxi and Silver Cab. Eligible MetroAccess customers can request transportation through these providers for any trip that begins and ends within the MetroAccess service area in Maryland. Riders can request their trip in advance by calling the taxi company directly, or through their respective websites or smartphone apps.
Metro to Launch Abilities-Ride Program to Encourage Accessible Taxi Use as Alternative to MetroAccess in Maryland full article
By WINNIE HU
New York Times, July 19, 2017
All around Valerie Joseph, there is a fleet of Uber cars rolling by on New York City streets.
But though she could really use the ride-hailing app, Ms. Joseph said she does not bother because Uber has so few wheelchair-accessible cars to dispatch. “It’s plain unfair,” said Ms. Joseph, 41, who relies on a wheelchair.
Now, Ms. Joseph is part of a class-action lawsuit accusing Uber of discriminating against New York City riders with disabilities by providing scant access to wheelchair-accessible cars at a time when ride-hailing apps are becoming a common alternative to public transit in the city. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in State Supreme Court in Manhattan by Disability Rights Advocates, a nonprofit organization.
Uber Discriminates Against Riders With Disabilities, Class-Action Suit Says full article
GATINEAU, QC, June 1, 2017
As part of the Regulatory Modernization Initiative, the Canadian Transportation Agency has issued a What We Heard Summary Report for its first phase of consultations on accessible transportation. The report highlights the key points that have emerged so far, such as the need for a clear, relevant and comprehensive set of rules for all modes of transport, and for those rules to be expressed in mandatory regulations rather than voluntary codes.
The accessibility needs of Canadians are varied and are increasing as the population ages and the percentage of Canadians with disabilities continues to grow. In a recent Government of Canada consultation on creating new national accessibility legislation, participants ranked transportation as third among key areas of focus for the Government of Canada.
Canadian Transportation Agency issues What We Heard Summary Report on accessible transportation full article
Order means railway must expand mobility device spaces or prove doing so causes ‘undue hardship’ By Shanifa Nasser
CBC News Posted: Apr 30, 2017
Martin Anderson and Marie Murphy say they have long been working to get additional tie-down spaces for scooters and wheelchairs on VIA trains and are tired of waiting for the railway to act.
The Federal Court has dismissed an appeal by VIA Rail of a decision that would make it possible for a Toronto couple who rely on wheelchairs and scooters to travel together on a single train.
Federal Court Dismisses VIA Rail Appeal on Couples With Mobility Scooters Travelling Together full article
Lyft and the National Federation of the Blind today announced a collaborative effort to ensure reliable and equal service to individuals who are blind and use service animals.
Lyft’s affirmative and proactive efforts will help ensure its convenient and affordable transportation services are available to riders who are blind and use service animals across the United States.
As part of that effort, Lyft today kicked off the company’s first Service Animal Month, which is part of a multi-pronged initiative to ensure that all individuals with disabilities who travel with service animals on the Lyft platform can fully enjoy the benefits of connecting with drivers through the Lyft app.
Lyft and the National Federation of the Blind Announce Comprehensive Accessibility Improvements for Lyft Riders Who Travel with Service Animals full article