Commission supports Canadian Transportation Agency decision for accessible busesMay 4, 2021
The Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission commends the Canadian Transportation Agency’s recent decision that requires Rider Express to accommodate people with disabilities who use wheelchairs. When requested, Rider Express must now provide service, either through its existing (accessible) buses or through alternate transportation means, for all of its routes.
The decision stems from an incident that occurred on October 30, 2018, when Theresa Sleeva attempted to purchase a Rider Express bus ticket from Regina to Saskatoon.
Sleeva, who uses a wheelchair, was informed that the bus was not wheelchair accessible, but that the company had plans to make their buses accessible at an unspecified date in the future. As a result, she had to cancel her trip.
Sleeva filed a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. Because the company provides inter-provincial transportation, which is a matter of federal jurisdiction, the Commission referred the complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC). The CHRC accepted the complaint then, in turn, referred it to the Canadian Transportation Agency.
The CTA rendered its decision on April 14, 2021, noting that “transportation service providers, including the respondent, have a duty to accommodate persons with disabilities up to the point of undue hardship.”
Publicly available transportation services in Saskatchewan must be accessible, inclusive, and equitable. Removing barriers to transportation, as well as in all other areas of society, enables access to services and opportunities for everyone, and ensures that no one is left behind.
David M. Arnot, Chief Commissioner
Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission