The Accessible Transportation Standard Regulation addresses aspects to accessible public transportation, including access to transportation required for going to work or school, shopping and other aspects of daily life.
This standard is the fourth standard to be enacted under The Accessibility for Manitobans Act. The objective of the standard is to help operators of conventional and paratransit providers, schools, vehicles-for-hire and municipalities create a system of transportation that is more inclusive for all Manitobans, regardless of abilities.
The Accessible Transportation Standard includes measures related to training, policy development, equipment, vehicle design and operating matters such as fares, hours of service and routes.
Under the Accessible Transportation Standard, the following organizations will be required to adhere to basic accessibility standards with respect to transportation:
- conventional transportation providers
- paratransit providers
Requirements for Conventional and Paratransit Service Providers
Conventional and Paratransit service providers are required to:
- Create accessible measures, policies and practices on accessible transportation and make these documents publicly available, and available in an accessible format.
- Provide training to staff on the safe use of accessibility equipment, emergency preparedness and response procedures, among other instructions.
- Take reasonable steps to ensure that accessibility equipment (e.g. ramp, kneeling entrance, etc.) is working, and make repairs as soon as possible.
- Communicate publicly on buses in circulation that have accessibility equipment that is not working or out of service.
- Hold at least one public meeting every year to review measures, policies and practices, and allow members of the public to provide feedback.
- Offer fare parity for similar transportation services. Conventional, paratransit and alternative services provides must offer eligible riders the same fee.
- Clear transit stops of obstacles including snow. If a stop is not accessible, a person must be allowed to deboard the vehicle at a more accessible location.
- Municipalities must develop a policy or bylaw for accessible transit stops.
- Publicly communicate which transit stops are not accessible.
- Meet technical design requirements provided for accessible lifting devices, priority seats, mobility aid spaces, steps, grab bars and handrails, floor surfaces, lighting, and route signage.
Additional Requirements for Conventional Service Providers
In addition, Conventional Service Providers are required to:
- Not charge people with disabilities a higher fare than people without disabilities, and not charge for storing mobility aids or mobility assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers.
- Provide on-board audible and visual stop announcements.
- Provide clearly marked priority seating for people with disabilities (one or more).
- Develop a public communication strategy to inform the riders about priority seating and mobility aid spaces policies.
- Consult with persons with disabilities or organizations of persons with disabilities in developing a communication strategy.
- If there is a service disruption, to either the route or schedule, offer an alternative accessible arrangement and provide accessible communication about the disruption.
Paratransit Service Providers Requirements
- Develop a process and assessment criteria to determine whether an applicant is eligible for paratransit services.
- Document the assessment criteria and make it publicly available in accessible formats.
- Providers must review paratransit applications within 14-days of submission. If they cannot meet this deadline, the service provider must offer a temporary pass.
- Not charge for storing mobility aids or mobility assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or walkers.
- Make services available to eligible non-Manitoba residences when they visit the province.
- Not restrict the number of trips that a person with a disability can request.
- Not prioritize trips based on destination or purpose.
- Allow for same-day reservations, when possible. If same-day reservations are not possible, accept reservations up to three hours before the end of the service period on the day before the intended travel day.
- Offer comparable hours and days of service to conventional service providers within the same municipality.
- Inform riders if there is a delay through their preferred contact method, if the service is delayed 30 minutes or more.
- Allow passengers to travel with a companion, child or support person.
Requirements for Manitoba School Boards and Independent Schools
Manitoba school boards are required to provide integrated accessible school transportation services. If this is not possible, the board would have to arrange alternative accessible transportation.
Independent schools are required to provide integrated accessible school transportation. School buses run by independent schools have to meet minimum accessible design requirements.
Requirements for Vehicles-for-hire
Vehicles-for-hire that operate in a municipality with a vehicle for-hire bylaw are required to:
- Not charge a higher fare or charge a fee for the storage or transportation of a mobility aid or a medical device.
- Not refuse or deny service because a person is disabled by a barrier or requires reasonable assistance.
- Not refuse or deny service to a person using a service animal.
Obligations of Municipalities
Municipalities that have a vehicle-for-hire-bylaw are required to:
- Consult with the public at least once every two years to identify the number of accessible vehicles-for-hire that are required in the municipality.
- Inform operators of vehicle-for-hires of the requirements set out in Standards for Mobility Aid Securement Devices and Occupant Restraint Systems and the Related Exemptions Regulation.
Municipalities are required to have accessibility plans in place. These plans should include the following information:
- State the number of accessible vehicles for hire required in the municipality.
- State the number of accessible vehicles for hire that operate in the municipality.
- Address a plan to fulfil the service deficit, if applicable.
If a municipality offers conventional transportation services, the municipality must develop a policy or bylaw on accessible transit stops.
Obligated organizations have until January 1, 2027, to comply with accessibility requirements, except for conventional transit operators who have until January 1, 2042 to upgrade existing buses to meet physical accessibility requirements. Any new buses purchased after January 1, 2027, are required to meet accessible design requirements.
Transportation Standard Resources