Accessible Transportation Procedure

Purpose statement

This procedure addresses the Accessible Transportation Standards requirements of Ontario Regulation 191/11 for the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA).

Scope

This procedure applies to  municipal goods, services and facilities, including conventional, specialized transit services and taxicabs, to members of the public provided by Town Council and town employees as well as by volunteers, agents, contractors (personnel) or any individual representing or performing any function on behalf of the town.

The requirements set out in this procedure are being implemented by the town in accordance with the standards and timelines established in the AODA.

Procedure

Accessibility plans, conventional and specialized transit services

In addition to its corporate accessibility plan, the town shall develop a plan for its conventional and specialized transit services. The plan shall outline measures to identify, remove and prevent barriers to persons with disabilities and be reviewed through an annual public meeting including persons with disabilities. The plan will also describe the process for:

  1. Managing, evaluating and taking action on customer feedback
  2. Estimating the demand for specialized transportation services
  3. Reducing wait times for specialized transportation services
  4. Dealing with accessibility equipment failures

Accessibility training

Transportation-specific accessibility training will be provided to employees and volunteers and include:

  • The safe use of accessibility equipment and features
  • Acceptable modifications to procedures in situations where temporary barriers exist or accessibility equipment on a vehicle fails
  • Emergency preparedness and response procedures that provide for the safety of persons with disabilities

 The town shall keep a record of the training in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.

Emergency preparedness and response policies

The town shall:

  • Establish, implement, maintain and document emergency preparedness and response policies that provide for the safety of persons with disabilities
  • Make the policies available to the public
  • Provide the policies in an accessible format upon request

Availability of information on accessibility equipment

The town shall provide current information on the accessibility features of its conventional and specialized vehicles, routes and services, and shall make this information available in an accessible format, upon request.

Non-functioning accessibility equipment

Reasonable steps shall be taken to accommodate persons with disabilities if the accessibility equipment on a vehicle is not functioning and an equivalent service cannot be provided.  The equipment shall be repaired as soon as practicable.

Fares

Persons with disabilities using conventional transit services shall not pay a higher fare than persons without disabilities. The town will ensure the same pay structure and payment options will be available for both conventional and specialized transit services.

There shall be no charge for a support person accompanying a person with a disability.

Accessible bus stops and shelters

The town shall:

  • Consult with the public, persons with disabilities and the Oakville Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) in the development of accessible design criteria for bus stops and shelters
  • Ensure that persons with disabilities can board and de-board its conventional transit vehicles in a safe location, other than the designated transit stop if the stop is deemed to be inaccessible
  • Take into consideration the preference of persons with disabilities when identifying a safe location to board and de-board
  • Develop a process for promptly reporting to Oakville Transit when a transit stop is temporarily inaccessible or when a temporary barrier exists

Conventional transportation

General responsibilities

The following services shall be offered and information related to these services shall be available in an accessible format, upon request:

  • Deploy lifting devices and ramps upon request
  • Allow adequate time to board, and deboard vehicles, secure mobility aids, and staff to provide assistance for these activities when requested
  • Allow a person with a disability to travel with a medical aid

Storage of mobility aids

Mobility aids and mobility assistive devices shall be safely stored within reach of the person with the disability. No fees shall be charged for the storage of an aid or device.

Priority seating

Clearly marked priority seating for persons with disabilities shall be provided in close proximity to the front entrance and be clearly marked as intended for people with disabilities.

Service disruptions

Where a route or service is temporarily changed and the change is known in advance, alternative arrangements for accessible transportation will be made. Information on alternative arrangements shall be communicated in a manner that takes into account the person’s disability.

Pre-boarding announcements

Electronic pre-boarding announcements of routes, direction, destination or next stop shall be provided.  Upon request, verbal pre-boarding announcements shall be available.

On-board announcements

Electronic announcements of all destination points or available route stops on which the vehicle is being operated shall be provided.  All destination points shall be legibly and visually displayed through electronic means.

Technical requirements

All town transportation vehicles shall meet the technical requirements for features such as grab bars, safe, non slip surfaces and steps, storage for mobility aids, stop-requests and emergency response controls, suitable lighting and signage, indicators and alarms for mobility aids such as lifts, etc. as prescribed by the regulation.

Specialized transportation

Persons with disabilities must register with Oakville Transit to be provided specialized transportation service.  In addition, the following requirements for specialized transportation shall be met:

Eligibility

There will be three (3) categories of eligibility for specialized services:

Unconditional - A person with a disability that prevents them from using conventional transportation services shall be categorized as having unconditional eligibility

Temporary - A person with a temporary disability that prevents them from using conventional transportation services shall be categorized as having temporary eligibility

Conditional - A person with a disability where environmental or physical barriers limit their ability to consistently use conventional transportation services shall be categorized as having conditional eligibility

Eligibility may be granted for emergency uses or on compassionate grounds. A process will be established for use of specialized services by visitors.  Personal information collected for the purposes of determining eligibility in this section shall be collected under the authority of the Municipal Act.

Applications for specialized services shall be:

  • Processed within 14 calendar days after receiving the fully completed application
  • Provided with no charge/fee for processing
  • Processed sooner than within the 14 calendar days based on emergency grounds
  • Re-assessed, as required.

An independent appeal process shall be available; appeals are to be made within 30 calendar days of the decision, in accordance with the appeal process. All decisions on appeals will be made within 30 calendar days after receiving the completed appeal applications. All information relating to an eligibility application, including the decisions, will be provided in an accessible format, upon request.

Personal information collected for the purposes of determining eligibility in this section shall be collected under the authority of the Municipal Act.

Origin to destination services

Origin to destination services shall be provided within the town’s service area and will take the abilities of the customer into consideration.

Coordination

The town will facilitate coordination of services with neighbouring municipalities/specialized providers.

Hours of service

The town shall ensure specialized transit service operates for the same hours and days as the conventional transit service.

Bookings – general requirements

The town shall:

  • Allow companions and dependents to ride if space available
  • Not restrict the number of rides
  • Provide same day booking service to the extent that is available; or when not available, accept booking requests up to three hours before end of service period each business day

Service disruptions and delays

Disruptions and delays shall be communicated with the customer, prior to trip, using the contact method provided by the user.

Taxicabs

Duties of Municipalities: Taxicabs

By licensing taxicabs, the town shall ensure that owners and operators of taxicabs are:

  • Not charging a higher fare or additional fee to people with disabilities than the fee charged to people without disabilities for the same trip or distance
  • Not charging a fee for the storage of mobility aids or mobility assistive devices.

In addition, the town shall ensure that owners and operators of taxicabs place vehicle registration and identification information on the rear bumper of the taxicab, and that this information be made available, in an accessible format, to persons with disabilities who are passengers.

The town will consult with the public, people with disabilities and the Oakville Accessibility Advisory Committee on the appropriate proportion of on-demand accessible taxicabs, and report on the progress in its multi-year accessibility plan and annual status updates.

Definitions

Assistive device: a piece of equipment or aid a person with a disability uses to help them with daily living (e.g. a wheelchair, screen reader, hearing aid, cane or walker, an oxygen tank). An assistive device may be provided by the individual or may be provided by the town.

Bus: a motor vehicle designed for carrying 10 or more passengers, and used for the transportation of persons.

Conventional transportation service provider: a designated public sector transportation organization that provides conventional transportation services solely within the Province of Ontario.

Conventional transportation services: any public passenger transportation services on transit buses, motor coaches or rail-based transportation that operate solely within the Province of Ontario and that are provided by a designated public sector transportation organization.

Mobility aid: a device used to facilitate the transport, in a seated posture, of a person with a disability.

Mobility assistive device: a cane, walker, or similar aid.

Specialized transportation service provider: a designated public sector transportation organization that provides specialized transportation services that operate solely within the Province of Ontario.

Specialized transportation services: are public passenger transportation services that:

  1. operate solely within the Province of Ontario
  2. are provided by a designated public sector transportation organization and are designed to transport persons with disabilities.

Support person:  in relation to a person with a disability, another person who accompanies him or her in order to help with communication, mobility, personal care or medical needs or with access to goods, services or facilities.

Taxicab: a motor vehicle as defined in the Highway Traffic Act, other than a car pool vehicle, having a seating capacity of not more than six persons, exclusive of the driver, hired for one specific trip for the transportation exclusively of one person or group of persons, one fare or charge only being collected or made for the trip and that is licensed as a taxicab by a municipality.

Responsibilities

Oakville Transit is responsible for:

  • Administration of and ensuring compliance with the transit sections of this procedure.

Licensing Commissioner or designate is responsible for:

  • Administration of the taxicab section of this procedure.

Persons with disabilities are responsible for:

  • Providing relevant information to assist service providers (Oakville Transit, taxi owners and operators) by providing the required accessibility needs.
  • Proof of requirement for a support person, if applicable.

Procedure details

Procedure Number: MS-ACC-001-005
Parent Policy: MS-ACC-001
Section: Municipal Services
Sub-Section: Accessibility
Author: Oakville Transit and Municipal Enforcement Services
Authority: CAO
Effective Date: 2012 Oct 29
Review by Date: 2021
Last Modified: 2016 Dec 12