For immediate publication
Toronto - A settlement has been reached between two Complainants with disabilities, the Ministry of Transportation, the City of Hamilton, and the Disabled and Aged Regional Transit System(“DARTS”), a transit service for persons with disabilities provided by the City of Hamilton.
The complaints arose out of differences between conventional transit service provided by the City of Hamilton and the specialized DARTS transit services for persons with disabilities provided by the City of Hamilton. These differences included an annual $15 registration fee for those who are eligible for and registered with DARTS.
As part of the resolution of the Complaints, the City of Hamilton will cease charging the $15 registration fee. It also agreed to certain goals to minimize unaccommodated trip requests on the DARTS system and late arrivals when picking up DARTS passengers. The City has also agreed to establish a revised policy regarding registrants with DARTS who are “no shows” after having booked a trip, or who cancel a scheduled trip too late. These situations are a concern to all parties because “no shows” and “late cancellations” mean that trips on DARTS may be unnecessarily denied to others who want them. The City has agreed to implement a confirmation and cancellation booking number system. The City has further agreed to work in consultation with the City's Advisory Committee for Persons with Disabilities in designing a complaints process regarding transportation services for persons with disabilities.
Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, every citizen of Ontario has a right to equal treatment in receiving services.
Chief Commissioner Keith Norton stated that the OHRC is pleased with the progress represented by this agreement.
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Senior Policy Analyst
Policy Education, Monitoring and Outreach Branch (PEMO)
Ontario Human Rights Commission