The Commission made significant strides in its Ontario-wide campaign to have all transit stops announced. By October 2008, all 38 of Ontario’s public transit providers had made a commitment to announce all stops by the end of 2008.
This request for action, which began in October 2007, reflected the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario decision in Lepofsky v. TTC, in which the transit provider was given 30 days to begin announcing all stops on all transit routes.
Since then, Ontario’s transit services and their respective municipalities have taken a range of actions to support this initiative. For example, they have developed policies, training and guides for drivers; purchased and installed public announcement equipment for manual announcements; made alterations to vehicles; and, in some cases, found funding and sourcing for automated stop announcement systems, and started or completed their installation. Many have worked with each other, and with unions, accessibility advisory committees, government agencies, community members or advocacy groups to address concerns and develop appropriate training, procedures and monitoring systems.
While good progress has been made, some transit providers have not yet met their commitments. The Commission will continue to monitor and work with these providers and their communities to overcome concerns, and, if needed, take the appropriate legal steps to make sure all transit providers provide fully accessible service.
This is excellent news for Ontarians with visual impairment, and means that, wherever they travel in the province, they will find consistent, more accessible public transit that they can use with dignity and confidence. This service will also benefit many other transit users, such as tourists, newcomers, and riders who can’t see their location due to inclement weather or crowding.