Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Canadian Transportation Agency Launches New Resource Tools for Accessible Transportation Complaints

OTTAWA, November 22, 2012 /Canada NewsWire/ - The Canadian Transportation Agency launched today two new resource tools for travellers with disabilities and for transportation service providers to improve their access to and understanding of the Agency's process for resolving disputes within the federal transportation network.

These new client-centred resource tools explain the Agency's approaches in resolving accessible transportation complaints between persons with disabilities and service providers of the federal transportation network. More specifically, the tools:

...provide information on how to file a complaint regarding an "undue obstacle" experienced by a person with a disability;

...guide applicants and service providers through the process to resolve a dispute, from initial contact with the transportation service provider to informal and formal dispute resolution options with the Agency; and

...clarify the key questions addressed during formal adjudication and explain the approaches the Agency uses in resolving accessible transportation complaints.

"As noted in its 2011-2014 Strategic Plan, the Agency is committed to providing resource tools that relate to its accessibility mandate and making them readily available to all Canadians, including persons with disabilities." said Geoff Hare, Chair and CEO of the Canadian Transportation Agency. "Through enhanced understanding, these resource tools will help ensure full access to the recourses available to travellers with disabilities to resolve their disputes with transportation service providers."

The Accessible Transportation Complaints: A resource tool for persons with disabilities and the Accessible Transportation Complaints: A resource tool for transportation service providers can be accessed in multiple formats, including e-Reader, through the Canadian Transportation Agency's website. Other related resources currently available for those travelling with a disability include Carriage of Mobility Aids On Board Planes, Trains and Ferries and Take Charge of Your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities.

About the Agency

The Agency is an independent, quasi-judicial tribunal and economic regulator. It makes decisions and determinations on a wide range of matters within the federal transportation system under the authority of Parliament, as set out in the Canada Transportation Act and other legislation. The Agency's mandate includes:

...Economic regulation, to provide approvals, issue licences, permits and certificates of fitness, and make decisions on a wide range of matters involving federal air, rail and marine transportation.

...Dispute resolution, to resolve complaints about federal transportation services, rates, fees and charges.

...Accessibility, to ensure Canada's national transportation system is accessible to all persons, particularly those with disabilities.

The Canada Transportation Act provides the Agency with a human rights mandate to eliminate undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities in the federal transportation network to ensure that persons with disabilities have equal access to transportation services.

In exercising its mandate, the Agency applies the fundamental principle of equality and balances the right of persons with disabilities to be provided with services that meet their disability-related needs with the service provider's operational, commercial and regulatory responsibilities.

The Agency's jurisdiction applies to:

...air carriers operating within, to, or from Canada;
...airports located in Canada;
...passenger rail carriers, ferry operators, and bus operators providing services between provinces and/or between Canada and the United States, and their stations or terminals located in Canada; and
...services that are integral to the transportation services provided by a carrier or terminal located in Canada.

For more information on the process for resolving disputes for persons with disabilities, consult the Agency's Decision-making process for accessibility complaints.