Saint John Transit to charge full fare for passengers who are blind or partially sighted

6/26/2014

​Earlier this year, Saint John Transit Commission voted to eliminate the free transit fare program for passengers who are blind or partially sighted. Effective July 1, 2014, CNIB clients in Saint John will no longer be entitled to free bus rides using their client ID cards. It is our understanding that this policy change affects 38 individuals who use Saint John Transit on a regular basis.

CNIB is extremely disappointed in this decision, and has requested that Saint John Transit delay the discontinuation of free fare for riders who are legally blind until the transit system better meets the accessibility requirements of individuals living with vision loss. To date, this request has not been addressed by Saint John Transit or Saint John Common Council.

CNIB and the consumer group, We Are Passengers, are committed to working with riders who have vision loss and Saint John Transit to determine priority areas and develop an implementation plan that takes into account budgetary constraints.

It is the right of every Saint John citizen to have equal access to public transportation. Without announced stops, large print/braille signage, driver training and enforced accessibility policies, Saint John Transit is denying riders who are blind or partially sighted full access to public buses. Asking the same riders to pay full fare to use an inaccessible transit system shows a lack of commitment to inclusion of persons with vision loss and further limits their ability to travel safely and independently in their community.

Looking forward, CNIB hopes to work collaboratively with all stakeholders and the City of Saint John to ensure residents who are blind or partially sighted have full access to services available to their neighbours and have the opportunity to fully participate in life.

For updates on this ongoing issue or to get involved with any advocacy efforts, visit the We Are Passengers Facebook page or contact the CNIB Saint John Centre at (506) 634-7277.

For media inquires, please contact:
Nicole Lawrence
Communications Specialist, Atlantic Canada
(902) 453.1480, ext. 5721
nicole.lawrence@cnib.ca

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