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ATRACAN is Accessible Transportation Canada — a project of the Canadian Disability Foundation. ATRACAN is committed to removing barriers and facilitating positive developments in the public and private transportation sectors. Its goals are aimed at filling the gaps that exist by bringing together people, organizations, and other institutions, creating solutions that have real impact.
In 2018, the Province of Ontario published its legally-mandated review of Accessibility Transportation Standards, including recommendations for changes, performed by the Transportation Standards Development Committee. The review demonstrates that while progress has been made since the introduction of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, there are many issues that need to be addressed in order for the province to become fully-accessible by the target date of 2025.
In 2021, ATRACAN released a report, titled 2021 Outlook on Accessible Transportation in Ontario, that sought to clarify the main thematic challenges facing accessible transportation in Ontario and the initiatives that should meet them. Those challenges are summarized as the following:
- Cross-municipal and regional borders as barriers to travel
- Varying municipal practices, rules, and regulations
- Accessible taxicab supply restrictions
- Private sector driver training and license requirement inconsistency
- Disruption of transportation industry from new entrants
- Underutilization of emerging technologies
Read the full report here.
Both the province’s review and ATRACAN’s analysis reveal a lengthy assortment of issues that speak to the complexity and scope of delivering accessible transportation. Achieving full accessibility by 2025 will require a combination of bold action, new approaches, and a renewed sense of leadership from government.
Therefore, ATRACAN recommends the Province of Ontario seriously consider directing its efforts towards the following initiatives:
- Greatly increasing standardization across municipalities and regions for on-demand transportation with respect to licensing, regulations, training, technology, and customer & driver rights
- Broadening travel borders for both public and private accessible transportation providers
- Supporting development and implementation of technologies that are public- and industry-facing
- Creating incentives to make on-demand taxicabs more economically viable
- Developing measures of success tied to industry success and user experience
ATRACAN seeks to play a pivotal role by ensuring the province is drawing from leaders in the accessible transportation industry and other disability-related fields. Through our collaborative efforts, we will be able to advance the solutions that create a strong and sustainable ecosystem of transportation services for disabled Ontarians.
Page header photo by Marco Tjokro on Unsplash.