The Ontario Human Rights Code (the “Code”) guarantees the rights of persons with disabilities to be free from discrimination in all social areas, including services, goods and facilities. This means that persons with disabilities have the right to access adequate transportation services in the same way as anybody else, with dignity and without impediment. Public transit is central to the ability of many people to take part fully in their communities. This includes getting to work, school, social events, and public and social services. Yet, there are still many barriers to accessibility in transit.
In October 2007, in response to recent developments and ongoing concerns in the area of transit accessibility, the Commission began an inquiry into whether transit providers across the province announce transit stops. Through this initiative, the Commission hoped to improve awareness in the transit sector of the importance of announcing all stops for the purposes of inclusion and accessibility, and to secure commitments toward quickly developing and implementing stop announcement plans.
Transit providers have taken a range of important steps in recent years in order to become more accessible, despite conflicting demands and financial pressures. On the whole, their commitment to accessibility was further shown over the course of this initiative, with a significant majority of transit providers agreeing to announce all stops by mid-2008.
This report is intended to:
- provide information about both the progress and ongoing concerns that led to this initiative
- recognize the efforts and commitments of transit providers toward increasing the accessibility of their services through introducing or enhancing stop announcement practices
- provide clarification about ongoing responsibilities and concerns moving forward.