(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive Summary

Issues: Persons with disabilities face barriers that affect their ability to fully participate in activities of everyday living, including travel. The accessibility of travel in Canada varies across the transportation system, creating uncertainty for persons with disabilities and an uneven regulatory playing field for industry. Canada lags behind other countries that have comprehensive and enforceable regulations in this area. In addition, there are emerging areas where “ground rules” are needed to ensure the full accessibility of persons with disabilities when they are travelling, including those with severe food allergies and those needing additional seating on board for reasons such as a personal attendant or service dog — the “one person, one fare” (1p1f) concept.

Description: The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) proposes to create a single comprehensive set of accessible transportation regulations, the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations (ATPDR or the proposed Regulations), pursuant to subsection 170(1) of the Canada Transportation Act (the Act).

The proposed Regulations would apply to large carriers, as defined, that provide transportation services in the air, rail, marine and intercity bus modes, as well as the terminals that serve them; they would also apply to the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The proposed Regulations would require these entities (collectively referred to herein as “transportation service providers”) to take steps to meet certain standards to make travel more accessible and consistent for persons with disabilities.

Specifically, the proposed Regulations would codify relevant provisions of the CTA’s six voluntary codes of practice; build on relevant provisions of Part VII of the existing Air Transportation Regulations (ATR) and the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations (PTR); include new requirements concerning accessible services, transportation equipment and technology, and communications in respect of operations by carriers and terminals in all modes of transportation, as well as operations by the CATSA and the CBSA; and ensure requirements are enforceable through administrative monetary penalties (AMPS).

Rationale: Subsection 170(1) of the Act allows the CTA to make regulations for the purpose of eliminating undue obstacles in the transportation system under the legislative authority of Parliament to the mobility of persons with disabilities. However, current accessibility provisions for the national transportation system are generally voluntary (i.e. not legally binding), and have not kept pace with developments since the early 2000s. For example, accessible technology and equipment have changed; modern accessibility expectations for security and border screening, including accessible communications, have evolved; and issues such as severe food allergies have emerged. Codifying voluntary provisions into binding and enforceable regulations — and further refining these provisions to reflect key developments and modern expectations for accessible transportation — will support the CTA’s mandate to ensure the human right of persons with disabilities to an accessible transportation system. More broadly, the proposed Regulations are complementary to measures set out in Bill C-81, the Accessible Canada Act, and would thereby help achieve the Government’s commitment of a “truly inclusive and accessible Canada,” and advance the objective of positioning Canada as a world leader in accessible transportation. The proposed Regulations would also help fulfill the Government of Canada’s priority, as stated by the Prime Minister on December 3, 2018 (the International Day of Persons with Disabilities), “to promote the rights of Canadians with disabilities and build a fairer, more accessible country for all.” Finally, by establishing, for the first time, a binding and enforceable set of accessibility requirements across all modes of transportation, the proposed Regulations would help meet Canada’s commitments as a State Party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

Full Story: Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 153, Number 10: Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations

Backgrounder – Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations


On March 9, 2019, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) published proposed accessible transportation regulations in Part I of the Canada Gazette, for a 30-day public comment period. The CTA is creating these regulations under the Canada Transportation Act.

The proposed regulations reflect input from the CTA’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, the transportation industry, disability rights organizations, and other interested parties, provided during extensive consultations held from 2016 to 2018.

The proposed regulations are not yet in force. You have until April 8, 2019 to send comments to us at:

We will consider all input in developing the final regulations, with the goal of having them published by summer 2019.

Full Story: Backgrounder – Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations

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