Accessible public transportation has been identified as one of the key advocacy issues for people who are blind or partially sighted from communities across Canada.
People living with sight loss who are not legally eligible for a driver’s license require access to public transit systems to fully participate in their communities. Without accessible public transit, people who are blind or partially sighted may experience reduced independence, higher rates of unemployment, limited recreational opportunities, and increased social isolation. People living in rural communities across the country often face higher barriers to participation, employment, and independence because public transit or para transit is unavailable. Taxis or rideshares can be cost prohibitive – if they’re available at all.
Specific accessibility barriers can vary from region to region but could include an absence of stop announcements on buses and trains, on-demand transit replacing conventional transit, or even no public transit system at all, which leaves people without a way to travel in their local area independently.
This spring, advocacy leads and volunteers across the country worked together to raise awareness about the importance of accessible public transit, leading up to our accessible public transit week of action from June 20-24, 2022.
As part of our accessible public transit campaign, CNIB connected with over 90 participants at accessible transit regional town halls to learn more about their concerns and barriers to accessing public transportation. Advocacy staff and volunteers submitted letters to the editor and participated in media interviews to raise awareness about the need for accessibility improvements for public transportation. Our media campaign reached more than 2.6 million people.
Recently, we saw success coming out of Moncton, New Brunswick, with Codiac Transpo announcing the introduction of audible bus stop announcements, that will begin to roll out over the next year.
Advocate with us
Thank you to everyone who helped make our first accessible public transit week of action happen! Although the campaign has concluded, CNIB staff and volunteers continue to advocate for more accessible public transit. We’ll continue to meet with decision-makers and transit authorities across the country to share our concerns and discuss solutions.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Ontario East: Kate.Riccomini@cnib.ca
Ontario North: Tanis.Boardman@cnib.ca
Ontario West: Bernard.Akuoko@cnib.ca
Moncton to increase bus accessibility with new stop announcement system
CBC New Brunswick, July 20, 2022
Letter: Accessible transportation is essential for those with sight loss
Saltwire, June 28, 2022
People living with loss of sight need access to reliable transportation
Toronto Star, June 23, 2022
Accessibility training would help
Ottawa Citizen, June 23, 2022
Buses must cater to sight impaired
Regina Leader-Post, June 23, 2022
Brantford Transit must prioritize accessibility
Brantford Expositor, June 22, 2022
Transit has become less accessible
The Peterborough Examiner, June 22, 2022
Letter: Public transit should be accessible for all
Saltwire, June 21, 2022
North Bay still waiting for Parabus improvements
North Bay Nugget, June 21, 2022
Must be accessible
Calgary Sun, June 19, 2022
Accessibility should be a priority for Green Line LRT
Calgary Herald, June 18, 2022
Transports publics: un meilleur accès souhaité pour les gens aveugles
Journal de Quebec, Journal de Montreal, June 16, 2022