In the absence of ADA-style legislation, paratransit service provision in Canada is generally much less comprehensive than that provided in the United States. In particular, transit systems are hamstrung by the lack of guidance on how to determine paratransit eligibility. As a result, an oversized group of registrants is provided service that does not fully meet their mobility needs due to capacity constraints. The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) determined it was time to establish voluntary codes of practice that can help standardize approaches to eligibility screening and ensure that the services are limited to those who do not have fixed route transit as a viable alternative.
Nelson\Nygaard, working with the CUTA Accessibility committee, documented a range of paratransit eligibility practices across Canada and reviewed best practices in North America. We produced Canada’s first ever paratransit eligibility codes that can be adopted by Canadian transit systems, and provided guidance on implementation of these codes.