Transit Accessibility Moves Forward in Nova Scotia

first_img More details will be provided by Metro Transit as improvements are introduced. Public transit improvements will soon benefit riders with disabilities in Halifax Regional Municipality. Late this fall, Metro Transit will launch major policy and operational changes to improve accessibility on all of its routes. Metro Transit worked with the Human Rights Commission and passengers Tammy Robertson and Michael Craig to help create many of these changes. Ms. Robertson and Mr. Craig, who both use wheelchairs, could not use most of the routes on the transit system despite most of the bus fleet being accessible. Their experience reflected widespread frustration among people in the disabled community. They took their concerns to the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission which brought both sides together to improve service. “This initiative has allowed the largest transit system in the Maritimes to provide leadership on our commitments under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,” said Gerald Hashey, the commission’s manager of dispute resolution. “Public transit is key to independence and participating fully in life for people with disabilities.” The convention, signed last year by Canada, mandates governments to create, “…effective measures to ensure personal mobility with the greatest possible independence.” Upcoming changes include: passengers using wheelchairs will be able to use low-floor buses serving any route, providing the ramp can be lowered so they can board the bus. Now, low-floor buses only pick up passengers if the route is designated fully accessible. passengers, with proper identification, who require attendants will have their attendant’s fare included in their own. snow clearing at the Mumford and Dartmouth terminals will be improved and increased to a 24-hour priority. the Request a Stop program, which provides for disembarking between stops for safety at night, will extend to disabled passengers at any time of day if it becomes reasonably necessary to accommodate them. This would occur in situations of adverse weather or for safety reasons.last_img

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