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Transportation/Travel Information

Transportation/Travel Information









Dear Madam/Sir,

In accordance with the Canadian Transportation Agency's ruling dated January 10, 2008, Air Canada is pleased to communicate the amendments to its policies with regard to passengers with disabilities.

Beginning January 9, 2009, eligible customers with disabilities booking flights for domestic itineraries will qualify for extra seating for themselves or an attendant at no additional charge.  This service will be offered for flights on all Air Canada, Jazz and Tier 3 airlines that fly on Air Canada's behalf, although you should be aware the configuration of certain smaller aircraft may not allow this in all cases.

For flights to and from the United States, Air Canada will continue to offer a 50 per cent discount off certain fares for an extra comfort seat or for attendant travel.

People with disabilities, including by reason of obesity, are advised to make the airline aware of their special needs at the time of booking. Generally, Air Canada will require 48 hours' notice in advance of travel but in some situations may require 72 hours.  In cases where the airline receives less notice, Air Canada will make all reasonable efforts to fulfill the request.  Taxes, fees and charges will not apply to the free extra seats used by the disabled person.  However, for the attendant, fees and charges imposed by the Government and by the Airport authorities (with the exception of Gander Airport, Nfld.) Will have to be charged.  No advance seat selection is permitted when requesting extra seating.

In order to be eligible for extra seating at no charge, passengers will be required to submit a doctor's certificate of the individual's disability. Passengers will also require medical approval demonstrating fitness to travel.  For passengers requesting extra seating for reasons limited to obesity, the airline will retain the information on file and the authorization for extra seating will remain in effect for two years in order to facilitate future travel.

Eligible customers requiring additional space for their own use will be assigned a single reservation and ticket.  Their seats will be assigned in advance of their flight by the Air Canada medic al Services desk so that their disabilities can be best accommodated.   Additionally, such passengers should be aware that extra seating is not available on Beech aircraft and in Executive Class, and may be restricted on CRJ regional jet and Embraer aircraft.

For passengers requiring an attendant, Air Canada will also require the disabled passenger to obtain a medical certificate and medical approval to travel.  Customers who are non-ambulatory and non-self reliant and those who have vision, hearing or cognitive impairments that make them unable to receive safety related messages at critical stages of flight must be accompanied by an attendant.  In eligible cases, one free seat will be provided for an attendant.

For ease of reference, we attach a copy of our web pages and revised form.

For more information about this new service and the broad range of other services Air Canada offers people with disabilities, customers should go to and then look under "Information and Services", where they will find a section on "Customers with Special Needs" under the "Travel Information" heading.  Also, customers can contact Air Canada Reservations or their travel agent.

Thank you for choosing Air Canada.
Signed by Susan Welscheid



Coast Mountain Bus Company's Policy Regarding Getting a Paid Taxi for the Customers When the Ramp is Malfunctioning
Bulletin No. SYS-06-073 October 24, 2006
(Originally posted Feb. 23, 2003)


Coast Mountain Bus Company has made arrangements with various taxi companies to accommodate customers with wheelchairs or scooters that have been passed up due to:

1. Failure of the lift to operate, or;
2. A non-lift equipped coach is assigned to the run.

In the event of either of the above, operators are asked to call Transit Communications and advise them of:

• the name of the customer,
• their present location, and;
• their intended destination.

This procedure is not to be used when pass-ups are due to heavy loads, or when both wheelchair areas of the coach are already occupied.

(Original signed by)
Stan Sierpina
Vice President,
Customer Service

The one piece of information missing from the written policy is that if a taxi is called for a customer who was unable to use the bus then the taxi takes the customer to their final destination, even if the final destination is off the bus route. Coast Mountain Bus Company and ComPACT (Committee to Promote Accessible Conventional Transit) realize the inconvenience of a ramp that doesn't work and so hope to help the situation a bit by making the policy take the customer to the final destination.

Many people in Vancouver clip the policy out and keep it with them while using Transit so that if a bus driver says they haven't heard of the policy the customer can pull out the policy and show the driver. In response to CAN's e-mails about this policy Coast Mountain Bus Company posted the policy on a bulletin board late last year, for two months, and all bus drivers should be aware of the policy.

In addition to Translink's Access Transit plan they have put together a committee of disabled transit users who will meet throughout the year to keep Translink aware of the issues and to help them implement positive change. The Executive Director of CAN, Heather McCain, was chosen to be one of the nineteen people on the committee. The meetings start in January and we will update you on this website and through our newsletters as to what is happening, what is being planned, and what is being discussed.

If you wish to have your voice heard please contact us at CAN regarding your experiences with the transit system. We will work our hardest to see that the services improve and that accessibility continues to remain a priority for Translink.

We at CAN take the Access Transit plan and the Access Transit Users' Advisory Committee to be signs that Translink understand the need for accessibility and that they are committed to making the system as accessible as possible.

TransLink Access Transit Stakeholder Update January 2008
Universally Accessible Transit in Metro Vancouver

TransLink, and its operating subsidiaries, Coast Mountain Bus Company (CMBC), SkyTrain and West Coast Express (WCE), have taken the lead role to provide “Universally Accessible Transit” for the Metro Vancouver region.

Over the past two years, TransLink went to the experts – transit users with physical, cognitive or other mobility challenges plus agency and community representatives to conduct an extensive review and pinpoint key issues and develop a framework for making transit more accessible. The result was a comprehensive action plan called “Access Transit” that is designed to remove both physical and logistical barriers that prevent people with disabilities from effectively using public transit.

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The following is a snapshot of proposed and existing accessible features that support universal accessibility:

Developing and/or Pilot Phase:

‘Universal Accessibility Guidelines’
Path-of-travel and tactile way-finding aids
Visual and auditory aids
Elevator and ramp characteristics

‘TMAC’ (Transit Management and Communications)
Audible and visual ‘Next Stop’ features provided for all stops; a pilot to be launched January 7, 2008 testing TMAC and these attributes on 4 new trolleys and 4 99-BLine buses. 316 buses have been equipped with the audio-visual next-stop feature and will go into service following the pilot.

Strategizing to equip all Metro Vancouver transit buses with the audible next-stop feature.
Global Positioning (GPS) feature provides real-time service adjustments and enhances emergency response.

‘Humanware Trekker’
Currently pilot-testing this hand-held GPS device that will provide the user with audible directions within 30 feet of a bus stop.

Current Applications:

‘Google Transit’
Web-based tool, compatible with VIP screen-reading applications, allows for easy trip planning.

SkyTrain & West Coast Express Stations, Bus Stops and Transfer locations SkyTrain and West Coast Express rail transit provide audible station and stop information. VIP Assistance Line for accessible transit users to access assistance on the SkyTrain system. Bus Operators call major stops and transfer points; all stops on limited-stop and/or express routes; and, all customer-requested stops.

We strive to meet your needs every time you access our transit system and should we fail, we urge you to contact TransLink Customer Relations at 604-953-3040. Whenever possible, providing bus or train number, date, time and any other specific details that will ensure our ability to act on your behalf.

Through continued consultation with our partners in the disabled community and input from individual citizens, we’ve been able to raise our level of awareness from a state of responding to the needs of people with disabilities to anticipating them. In the near term, the introduction of the Universal Accessibility Guidelines and a complete installation of TMAC and the enunciator system will continue to improve our performance in meeting the goal of a universally accessible transit system. Much more is planned in years to come as TransLink and its operating subsidiaries implement the complete Access Transit strategy.

‘Next Bus’ Info on Mobile Phones
Next Bus is a new TransLink information system for customers that delivers information specific to your bus stop, right to your mobile phone. If you can send a text message, you can find out when the next six buses are due at that particular stop. To use Next Bus, begin by looking at the bus stop sign. You’ll see a five-digit number – that bus stop’s unique identification. Next, activate your phone’s text messaging function. In the “Send To” field, enter “33333” (the same as the last five digits in TransLink’s Customer Information hotline), then, under “Message”, enter that five-digit bus stop code (make sure you’re in “Number” mode). Within seconds, you’ll receive a list of the next six buses scheduled to arrive at that stop.

Committee of HandyDART Users (CHU)
On December 11, 2007, Martin Lay and Peter Hill met with the Committee of HandyDART Users to update them on the status of the Access Transit Implementation Strategy. The BC Coalition of Persons with Disabilities hosted the meeting.

Questions or comments regarding the status of the Access Transit project can be emailed to:

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