Carriage of Mobility Aids On Board Planes, Trains and Ferries

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Introduction

More and more Canadians are travelling with mobility aids on planes, trains and ferries.

To ensure that passengers receive the accommodation they require, everyone needs to be involved in planning and preparation, including travellers, travel agents and transportation service providers.

This resource tool can help. It provides information about:

  • how to plan travel with a mobility aid;
  • Canadian standards and regulations for accessible transportation;
  • Carriers' policies and procedures for small and large mobility aids; and
  • how mobility aids are loaded and transported.

Where applicable, information about mobility aids is divided into two categories:

small:
prostheses, canes, crutches, walkers, some foldable wheelchairs, etc.; and
large:
rigid-frame or foldable manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, scooters, etc.

However, in this resource tool we primarily focus on large mobility aids as they cause the most concern for persons with disabilities and transportation service providers.

Above all else, communication between travellers with mobility aids and carriers is essential to ensure that the requirements of both are understood and confirmed. Travellers should always consult their carrier before finalizing their reservation.

While we are committed to providing as up to date information as possible, please be aware that some information in this document is subject to change.

As well, nothing in this document relieves any entity from the current requirements of applicable accessibility, safety or security rules, regulations or standards.

About the Canadian Transportation Agency

The Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) is an independent administrative tribunal and economic regulator of the Government of Canada.

The Agency is responsible for ensuring that undue obstacles to the mobility of persons with disabilities are removed from federally-regulated transportation services and facilities, which includes air, rail, interprovincial bus and ferry transportation.

The Agency eliminates undue obstacles in three ways:

  1. developing and monitoring compliance with regulations, codes of practice and standards concerning the level of accessibility in modes of transportation under federal jurisdiction (see the section Obligations of transportation service providers);
  2. eliminating problems before they occur by responding to pre-travel inquiries and by educating persons with disabilities and service providers about their rights and responsibilities; and
  3. resolving complaints on a case-by-case basis using an approach that is consistent with the one used for identifying and remedying discrimination under human rights law (see the section Resolving problems).

Obligations of transportation service providers

Safe, efficient and consistent carriage of all types of mobility aids is important. Nowadays, more and more travellers are using mobility aids. This means that transportation providers are being asked more frequently to carry mobility aids on board planes, train and ferries.

Mobility aids can pose unique challenges for carriers, especially with the growing demand to carry larger mobility aids such as electric wheelchairs and scooters, and the limitations that increased sizes and weights can impose.

Note: The carriage of mobility aids on board scheduled intercity bus services is covered by the Intercity Bus Code of Practice administered by Transport Canada.

Carriers are guided by the Canadian Transportation Agency's accessibility standards (including regulations and codes of practice), which help ensure that Canada's federal transportation network is accessible to persons with disabilities.

One of these standards is the Personnel Training for the Assistance of Persons with Disabilities Regulations. It requires Canadian air, rail and ferry carriers and terminal operators to fully instruct their personnel in the carriage of mobility aids, including:

  • different types of mobility aids;
  • disassembling, packaging, securing, storing, carrying, unpacking, and re-assembling mobility aids; and
  • operating lifts, ramps and other level-change equipment.

In the sections on air, rail and ferry travel, you'll find an overview of carriers' common policies and procedures for handling small and large mobility aids, as well as descriptions of the relevant accessibility standards and how they relate to the carriage of mobility aids.

A complete list of Canadian accessibility standards can be found in Appendix A.

Carriers are encouraged to develop procedures in order to facilitate travel arrangements for frequent travellers by way of creating a permanent file to reflect a passenger's accommodation needs in respect of travel with mobility aids. Carriers may wish to retain a copy of the detailed reservation checklist for the carriage of mobility aids (Appendix E) on a permanent file for the passenger. The checklist includes a space where passengers can indicate their agreement for the carrier to retain this information on file.

Travelling with your mobility aid

Planning and preparation can go a long way to avoiding problems for any traveller. Travelling with a mobility aid, regardless of the type, makes this preparation even more critical to ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable trip.

Just as carriers and terminal operators have obligations to assist customers who are travelling with mobility aids, travellers also have responsibilities with respect to their trip.

The following section outlines some of these obligations, as well as details that are essential to communicate to the carrier when travelling with a mobility aid.

Preparing to travel

Even in the early stages of planning a trip, there's a lot you can do to prepare, such as gathering information and knowing what questions to ask.

Contacting the carrier with specific questions will help ensure that the carrier is fully aware of your needs and that all issues are properly addressed and understood before the day of travel.

Before your trip, you should:

  1. Consult prospective carriers' Web sites, with particular attention to sections on accessibility, to see what services are available and what information may be needed when contacting the carrier.
  2. Inform the carrier in advance (typically at least 48 hours prior to departure) of your plan to travel and discuss the services you require. Adequate advance notice is necessary to ensure the carrier has enough time to make the necessary arrangements to carry your mobility aid. However, your carrier will make a reasonable effort to accommodate people with disabilities who provide less than 48 hours of notice.
  3. Ask what services are available for assistance in boarding and disembarking, to get to departure gates, through the terminal or station and when making connections.
  4. Confirm how far in advance of departure you should arrive at the terminal/station to allow sufficient time for check in, boarding, and transfer and disassembly of your mobility aid, if required.
  5. Confirm storage arrangements for the mobility aid (if applicable) and that it will be carried as priority baggage free of charge.
  6. Consult the carrier's Web site, where possible, for physical dimensions (e.g. measurements for aisles, doors, etc.) and any weight restrictions to determine if your particular mobility aid can be accommodated, whether in cargo or on board. If you want to provide protective crating for your mobility aid, you should first ensure that the crate can be accommodated.
  7. Get detailed measurements (e.g. length, width, weight) and specifications (e.g. type of battery) for your mobility aid. Some carriers have guides on their Web site to help determine the type of battery. Having this information available to provide to the carrier will facilitate the carriage of your mobility aid.
  8. Take a picture of your mobility aid. Lifting points, brake release and/or other specific instructions should be marked on the picture to help carriers ensure that your mobility aid is handled properly. Alternatively, you may wish to provide the carrier with a copy of the written instructions for your mobility aid. Some carriers may ask that you complete a mobility aid information sheet, which can be found on their Web site, and to which you can attach the photo and/or instructions.
  9. If your aid cannot be accommodated due to size or weight restrictions, ask the carrier what alternate arrangements, if any, can be made.
  10. Ask what happens if the mobility aid is lost or damaged while under the carrier's care in transit and confirm the carrier will arrange and pay for repairs or replacement.
  11. Research and keep a list of companies that can fix your mobility aid at your destination should anything happen during your trip.

For a detailed checklist of information regarding your mobility aid that should be offered to the carrier, see Appendix E.

On the day of travel

On the day of travel, you should:

  1. Check-in with sufficient time for boarding and, where necessary, to allow for transfer and disassembly of the mobility aid. Note: advance check-in time varies by carrier.
  2. Bring any special tools that may be required for assembly and disassembly of the mobility aid.
  3. If possible, be prepared to provide the manufacturer's specification sheet for your mobility aid, as well as any instructions that may assist in the disassembly and reassembly, if applicable.
  4. Have a list of all removable parts for your aid as they may need to be removed to accommodate on board storage.
  5. Ask about the handling of any removable parts, such as the head rest, handles, footrests etc., as you may be required to take these on board as carry-on items or they may need to be packaged with your mobility aid while in transit.
  6. Ask about when and where you will be receiving your mobility aid at your destination.
  7. At your destination, inspect the mobility aid. If it has been damaged, complete a claim form for damages with the carrier, preferably before leaving the terminal or station.

Air travel

Canadian standards and regulations

Air Transportation Regulations, Part VII – Terms and Conditions of Carriage of Persons with Disabilities (ATR)

Scope:
Aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats operated by Canadian carriers within Canada.

The ATR require carriers to:

  • allow passengers to remain in their mobility aid up to the boarding gate, the aircraft door, or their seat on board the aircraft, where possible and where facilities permit;
  • carry mobility aids at no extra charge in addition to the regular baggage allowance, as priority checked baggage when stored in the cargo hold, and in the aircraft cabin or at the passenger's seat where space permits;
  • assemble and disassemble mobility aids as required;
  • return mobility aids to passengers promptly upon arrival in the same condition as when they checked in; and
  • repair, replace or refund damaged, delayed or lost mobility aids. 

Air carriers are not required to transport larger mobility aids where space does not permit. In these cases, carriers shall advise passengers of alternative methods of transporting their mobility aids.

Code of Practice: Aircraft Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (Air Code)

Scope:
Aircraft with 30 or more passenger seats operated by Canadian carriers.

The Air Code sets out that if the configuration of an aircraft with 100 or more passenger seats permits it, the aircraft should have on board storage space to accommodate a manually operated folding or collapsible wheelchair. If not, the passenger should have prompt access to their wheelchair upon arrival at destination and the carrier should make every reasonable effort to provide it at connecting stops where all passengers are permitted to deplane.

Accessibility Guidelines for Small Aircraft (Small Aircraft Code)

Scope:
Aircraft with 29 and fewer passenger seats operated by Canadian carriers.

The Small Aircraft Code reflects the expectation that carriers:

  • carry mobility aids as priority baggage, in the passenger cabin and ideally at the passenger's seat where possible;
  • disassemble, package and reassemble the aid as required;
  • return mobility aids to passengers promptly upon arrival in the same condition as when they checked in;
  • repair, replace or refund damaged, delayed or lost mobility aids; and
  • ensure personnel and contractors are trained to provide physical assistance and to handle mobility aids and specialized equipment.

Carriers' policies and procedures

The following is an overview of carriers' common policies and procedures for handling small and large mobility aids. It does not necessarily reflect the specific policies or procedures of any particular carrier.

Small mobility aids

  • Subject to space availability, small mobility aids such as canes and crutches, including some types of folding wheelchairs, are usually permitted as carry-on items on board the aircraft.
  • These items must be stowed in a secure location such as in the overhead compartment, under the seat or in an alternate location in the cabin, as directed by on board crew.
  • These items do not count toward the carry-on or checked baggage allowances. 
  • Individuals travelling with small mobility aids are generally asked to pre-board the aircraft.
  • Aircraft are usually equipped with an on board wheelchair and have a washroom able to accommodate a person in an on board wheelchair.

Large mobility aids

  • Wheelchairs that, due to size restrictions, cannot be stored in the passenger cabin will be stored in the baggage compartment of the aircraft.
  • Carriers may ask that a traveller complete a Mobility Aid Information Form which includes information for the safe transport of the aid, such as:
    • the customer's contact information;
    • specifications for the mobility aid, including weight, height, width and length;
    • any special tools required for disassembly/reassembly, if available;
    • the battery type and disconnection instructions;
    • the location of the brake release;
    • a list of removable parts; and
    • a photo of the mobility aid or description indicating where to lift.
  • Disassembly of a mobility aid or storage on its side may be necessary to fit the aid into the cargo hold of an aircraft. (Mobility aids should only be stored on their sides as a last resort).
  • Due to size or capacity limitations of aircraft, carriers may limit the size and number of mobility aids that are carried.
  • Where an aircraft configuration prevents a certain size of mobility aid from being carried or the maximum number of mobility aids is already being carried, a carrier should work with the traveller to explore alternatives.
  • There are restrictions with respect to the carriage of certain types of batteries. For more information, see the section on Transportation of batteries.

Loading mobility aids

Passengers travelling with mobility aids should always contact the carrier before finalizing their reservation.

Large aircraft

Unlike some trains and ferries, passenger aircraft cabins cannot accommodate large mobility aids. However, a two-aisle aircraft can generally accommodate most large mobility aids in the cargo hold.

Cargo hold door dimensions are typically large enough to load mobility aids and specialized baggage boarding equipment, such as hydraulic baggage lifts or mobile baggage conveyors, may be used. This is not a guarantee that all large aircraft will be able to accommodate all mobility aids. However, challenges in stowing mobility aids on board these aircraft are less common. 

Small aircraft

Smaller aircraft may pose difficulties for some travellers with mobility aids.  The carriage of certain large mobility aids on board small aircraft may not always be possible due to several factors, including:

  • small cargo door dimensions and/or small cargo holds;
  • weight and balance limitations or restrictions;
  • the lack of ramps, lifts or personnel; or
  • health and safety restrictions imposed on employees (e.g. maximum lift weights).

Appendix C sets out the cargo hold door dimensions of several aircraft types to help establish whether a particular mobility aid may fit in the cargo hold.

Transportation of batteries

Knowing what type of battery is used to power an electric wheelchair or scooter is extremely important when making arrangements for carriage.

Air carriers must strictly adhere to directives issued by Transport Canada and the International Civil Aviation Organization on the carriage of batteries. Many are classified as dangerous goods, and, as such, require special handling.

It is therefore essential that the traveller and the carrier discuss in advance the exact type of battery used in the mobility aid being transported. Some carriers have guides available on their Web site to assist people in determining the battery type used to power their mobility aid.

Travelling with battery-powered mobility aids may require passengers to check-in earlier than normally required so that the carrier has sufficient time to pack the mobility aid and that federal requirements for the handling of dangerous goods are met. Travellers should consult with the carrier to determine how much additional time may be required.

The policies and guidelines for carrying batteries may differ by carrier. It is therefore important for travellers to be familiar with the rules of the carrier that they are travelling with. The following are general guidelines relative to carriage of batteries by air and reflect the responsibilities of carriers to ensure that regulatory requirements are met. More detailed information may be found on the individual carriers' Web sites or by contacting them directly.

Mobility aids with non-spillable batteries

Dry-cell or non-spill batteries (labeled with terms such as AGM, Non-Spillable, Dry, Dry Cell, Gel Cell etc.) are not subject to Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations and are generally accepted, provided they are not leaking and are in good condition.

With the carrier's approval, a passenger may bring battery-powered mobility aids with non-spillable batteries as checked baggage as long as the battery terminals are disconnected and properly insulated from short circuits and the battery is securely attached to the mobility aid.

Some carriers require that these batteries be secured and stored in an approved battery container.

Mobility aids with spillable batteries

Spillable batteries are subject to the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.

However, with the carrier's approval, a passenger may bring battery-powered mobility aids with spillable batteries as checked baggage, provided that the mobility aid can always be loaded, stowed, secured and unloaded in an upright position. The battery must be disconnected, the battery terminals protected from short circuits and the battery secured to the mobility aid.

If the mobility aid must be tilted while loading or stowing due to the size of the aircraft or if the battery is not secured to the mobility aid, the battery may need to be removed and packed separately, in an approved battery box, properly labelled and stored as follows:

  1. the packaging must be leak-tight, impervious to battery fluid and be protected against upset by appropriately securing it to a pallet or in a cargo compartment (other than by bracing with freight or baggage) such as by using restraining straps, brackets or holders;
  2. batteries must be protected against short circuits, secured upright in the packaging and surrounded by compatible absorbent material sufficient to absorb their total liquid contents; and
  3. the packaging must be marked 'Battery, wet, with wheelchair' or 'Battery, wet with mobility aid' and labeled with a 'Corrosive' label and with a package orientation label.

In addition:

  • the pilot-in-command must be informed of the location of mobility aids with installed batteries and the location of packed batteries;
  • where possible, spillable batteries should be fitted with spill-resistant vent caps; and
  • travellers may be asked to provide tools and instructions for the disassembly/reassembly of their mobility aid. 

Mobility aids with Lithium batteries

With the carrier's approval, a passenger may bring their battery-powered mobility aids with certain types of lithium batteries as checked baggage.

Lithium batteries are divided in two groups: lithium metal batteries and lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries, including lithium-polymer, are accepted by operators, although they are classified as dangerous goods and require special handling.

Lithium metal batteries, including lithium alloy, are currently forbidden for transport on passenger aircraft.

Rail travel

Canadian standards and regulations

Code of Practice: Passenger Rail Car Accessibility and the Terms and Conditions of Carriage by Rail of Persons with Disabilities (Rail Code)

Scope:
Most rail carriers operating across a provincial border.

The Rail Code sets out that:

  • passenger trains should have at least one wheelchair tie-down in a passenger car with an accessible washroom; and
  • passenger trains should have, on trains with only one wheelchair tie-down, priority storage space for one other personal wheelchair.

Rail carriers are required to:

  • accept mobility aids without charge and in addition to the normal baggage allowance;
  • permit passengers to remain in their mobility aids, where possible, until they get to the train, passenger seat or wheelchair tie-down;
  • store the mobility aid in the same train, passenger car, or at the passenger's seat where possible; and
  • repair, replace or refund damaged, delayed or lost mobility aids; and
  • return mobility aids to passengers promptly upon arrival in the same condition as when they checked in.

Where larger mobility aids cannot be carried on the same train due to space/configuration limitations, carriers are to advise passengers of alternatives to transport their mobility aids.

Carriers' policies and procedures

The following is an overview of rail carriers' common policies and procedures for handling small and large mobility aids. It does not necessarily reflect the specific policies or procedures of any particular carrier.

Small mobility aids

  • Small mobility aids (e.g. canes, crutches, etc.) are generally permitted to be retained by the passenger when travelling on board trains.
  • Depending on the size of the aid, access to certain sections of the train may be limited due to space limitations.
  • Each train is equipped with an on board wheelchair for use by individuals as needed.

Large mobility aids

  • Each train should have at least one wheelchair tie-down area to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter as well as a location for storage of a collapsible wheelchair.
  • If the traveller is able, with or without assistance, to transfer to a seat they may be asked to do so; travellers who are unable to do so are allowed to remain in their wheelchair or scooter when occupying the wheelchair tie-down area.
  • Due to varying equipment types, configurations and door widths (typically ranging from 62.23cm/24.5in to 73.66cm//29in), carriage of mobility aids must be discussed at the time of reservations.
  • Mobility aids that cannot be carried in a passenger rail car due to physical limitations or space restrictions may be stored and carried free of charge in a baggage car when there is one.
  • All travellers who must remain in their wheelchairs must get on or off the train at stations equipped with high level platforms or mechanical lifts.
  • The combined weight of the wheelchair and traveller must not be over 600 lbs.
  • When a wheelchair or scooter occupies the wheelchair tie-down location, it must be anchored to the floor (this applies whether the mobility aid is occupied or unoccupied).
  • In cases where a scooter is collapsible and meets the requirements for storage in a designated baggage area, the traveller may be asked to provide guidance for its proper dismantling.
  • The carrier-supplied on board wheelchair may only be used to transport a traveller from the entrance of the train to their room, seat, or washroom and is not to be used between cars, such as between the dining car and the passenger car.

Loading mobility aids

Even if it is possible to accommodate a mobility aid in a passenger rail car on board a train, the height difference between the ground and the entrance of a passenger rail car or baggage car can still pose a challenge.

The ability to load large mobility aids depends on the availability of high-level platforms or a mechanical lift. Not all stations have this equipment. In particular, smaller stations and “whistle stops” (that serve mostly smaller stations and rural areas) may be unstaffed and have no lift equipment available.

The mechanical lifts may also have weight and dimension limitations. For example, some lifts used by rail carriers have weight restrictions of 600 lbs and can only accommodate mobility aids that fit within their space dimensions of 152cm x 83cm or 59.84in x 32.68in.

The train car door must also be wide enough to accommodate the mobility aid. Door widths can vary; some specific measurements may be available on a carrier's Web site, however, travellers are encouraged to speak to a reservation agent to verify the exact dimensions.

Appendix D sets out the door dimensions of VIA Rail's passenger rail cars  to help establish whether a particular mobility aid may fit in the passenger rail car (note that the dimensions can be subject to change). For rail car dimensions from carriers other than VIA Rail, please contact the carrier or consult their Web site.

Passengers travelling with mobility aids should always contact the rail carrier prior to finalizing their reservation.

On board accommodation of wheelchairs and scooters

For travellers with large mobility aids, accommodation in a passenger rail car will vary depending on whether they remain in their mobility aid or transfer to a seat.

The following is a brief description of the specific processes and services for both circumstances:

Traveller remaining in personal mobility aid

  • Following boarding, the traveller, with the assistance of staff, will be guided to the wheelchair tie-down area.
  • For safety reasons, any wheelchair or scooter that is placed in the tie-down area must be anchored to the car floor. This is performed by on board staff prior to departure.
  • If the passenger is travelling with an attendant, the attendant will be seated as close as possible to the tie-down location.
  • If the passenger requires the use of the washroom facilities during travel, an on board crew member will, as necessary, release the mobility aid from the tie-down mechanism and provide assistance as appropriate in moving to the washroom.
  • Following arrival at final destination, on board staff will, as necessary, release the mobility aid from the tie-down mechanism and assist in the detraining of the traveller and mobility aid by way of either a mechanical lift or high-level platform, should one be present.

Traveller transferring to a regular on board seat

  • Following boarding, the traveller, in their mobility aid, will be guided to the seating location with the assistance of staff.
  • Depending on the size of the mobility aid and the door and aisle dimensions of the rail car, the traveller may be asked to transfer to a smaller on board wheelchair (e.g. Washington chair) for movement to the seating area. At least one of these smaller on board chairs is located on each train.
  • Staff are trained to assist an individual in the transfer from a mobility aid to a regular seat. Travellers are encouraged to inform the crew member of any personal preferences or suggestions concerning the transfer procedure.
  • Following transfer to an on board seat, the mobility aid will be stored on board.
  • If the mobility aid can be collapsed or disassembled, it will be placed in a baggage area of a coach car. If it is too large for the baggage area, it may be stored in the wheelchair tie-down area, if it is available.
  • If the mobility aid cannot be stored in the rail car that the passenger is travelling in, then the aid may be stored and secured in the baggage car, subject to availability. However, some baggage cars may have restrictions (e.g. 81.28cm/32in door width).
  • Carriers will make every reasonable effort to ensure that the passenger will travel on the same train as their mobility aid and may ask them to take a train at a different time to ensure that this is possible.
  • If the traveller wishes to visit the washroom at any time during the trip, a crew member will provide the on board wheelchair and provide assistance reaching the washroom.
  • Upon arrival at destination, on board staff will assist with the transfer to the on board wheelchair or the traveller's mobility aid and provide assistance in getting off the train.
  • Mobility aids stored in the tie-down area, baggage compartment or baggage car will be offloaded and made available to the traveller as soon as possible upon arrival.

Ferry travel

Canadian standards and regulations

Code of Practice: Ferry Accessibility for Persons with Disabilities (Ferry Code)

Scope:
Most major ferry carriers operating across a provincial border.

The Ferry Code sets out that:

  • ferries with more than one level should be equipped with an accessible elevator that provides access to all passenger decks;
  • the elevator should be easily accessible from the vehicle deck; and
  • doorways should be wide enough to allow a passenger using a mobility aid to pass through them.

Operators' policies and procedures

The following is an overview of ferry operators' common policies and procedures for handling small and large mobility aids. It does not necessarily reflect the specific policies or procedures of any particular ferry operator.

Due to the open layout and size of the majority of ferries, there are currently no documented limitations with respect to the size of mobility aids that can be accommodated. Therefore the policies and procedures apply to both small and large mobility aids.

Small and large mobility aids

  • Travellers may reserve an adapted cabin in advance.
  • Generally, terminals and vessels are equipped with manual wheelchairs that are available upon request.
  • Travellers can retain and use their mobility aid during the voyage where facilities permit.
  • Shuttle buses used to transport individuals between terminals and vessels may be equipped with integrated wheelchair lifts.
  • Vessels are generally equipped with accessible passenger elevators facilitating movement between all lower decks including vehicle decks. However, usage may be restricted for safety reasons during severe weather conditions.
  • Passenger vessels may have a limited number of adapted cabins designed and available to meet the accessibility requirements of travellers using a large mobility aid.

Loading mobility aids

As mentioned above, there are no documented limitations that would prevent the carriage of a mobility aid.

However, some ferries may not be equipped with elevators between the vehicle decks and the main decks. In such cases, passengers who cannot use the stairs between the vehicle and the main decks may be boarded via the gangway. Regardless, passengers travelling with mobility aids should always contact the ferry operator before finalizing their reservation.

Resolving problems

Sometimes even the best-planned trip can go wrong. If a problem arises or you have a concern related to your trip, let the transportation company know. Often, a discussion is all that's required to fix the problem or address the concern.

Keep your receipts and documents, and a record of who you talked with and when. It's a good idea to write a description of what happened as soon as you can, while the details are still fresh in your mind.

If you have tried to discuss your concern with the company and aren't satisfied with the result, you can contact the Canadian Transportation Agency. Our staff can facilitate a conversation with the transportation company, which can often lead to a satisfactory resolution.

In the event that an informal discussion doesn't produce results, mediation is another option. If you and the transportation service provider agree to mediation, you discuss the matter with the assistance of an Agency-appointed mediator. The mediator will work with you and the transportation service provider to produce a solution that both sides can accept.

If these processes are unsuccessful, a complaint can be addressed through the Agency's formal adjudicative process. You and the transportation service provider will need to file statements and evidence. Agency decisions are binding decisions.

Depending on the outcome, an Agency decision could include corrective measures, including a refund of expenses you incurred because of the problem. The Agency cannot order compensation for pain, suffering, or loss of enjoyment of a trip.

The formal adjudicative process will produce a clear resolution of the issue, but it is possible that the results may not fully satisfy either you or the transportation service provider. Parties are encouraged to first try to resolve their issues through informal discussion or mediation, as these processes often provide quicker resolution than a formal complaint.

How to contact us

Canadian Transportation Agency
Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0N9

Telephone:
1-888-222-2592
TTY:
1-800-669-5575
Facsimile:
819-997-6727
E-mail:
info@otc-cta.gc.ca
Web site:
www.cta.gc.ca

Appendix A: Reference information

Canadian standards for accessible transportation

General

Air

Rail

Ferry

Additional information

Take Charge of your Travel: A Guide for Persons with Disabilities

Reservation Checklist for Persons with Disabilities

Appendix B: Mobility aid resources

The following is a list of links to the Web sites of the major mobility aid manufacturers. Most manufacturers' Web sites contain owner's manuals, specifications and assembly/disassembly information. The carrier will need to know the key measurements, battery type and instructions to disconnect it (if applicable), as well as instructions on how to assemble/disassemble the mobility aid.

Manufacturer Web sites

Assistance with disassembly and transportation

To help travellers when they travel with their mobility aids, a local distributor/sales provider may offer a service to disassemble, professionally crate and arrange for transportation of an individual's mobility aid. This helps to address any concerns that the user may have with respect to possible damage during travel.

These suppliers may also offer rental mobility aids (where suitable) for transport or at destination for individuals who may wish not to travel with their larger wheelchair or scooter and who are able to use another mobility aid during their travel. Contact your supplier for services available and additional information.

Protective crating for transport of wheelchairs and scooters

Concerns have been raised by travellers and carriers about damages incurred to mobility aids when travelling. A possible measure to reduce these damages, and resulting expenses and frustrations, is the use of protective packaging/crating for the mobility aid. Travellers and carriers alike may find such packaging/crating to be beneficial.

Examples of protective crating:

Key measurements

Wheelchairs

Figure 1 - Front view of wheelchair, text version available below.Figure 2 - Side view of wheelchair, text version available below.

When determining a wheelchair's dimensions, the width (A) is measured from the outside of one handrail to the other; the height (B) is measured from the ground to the top of the handlebars; and the length (C) is measured from the back of the rear wheels to the front tip of the footrest.

Scooters

Figure 3 - Front view of scooter, text version available below.Figure 4 - Side view of scooter, text version available below.

For scooter measurements, the width (A) is measured from the two outermost points on the side of the scooter. In this figure the wheels are the outermost points; depending on your scooter, the armrests, handlebars or other features may be the outermost points for measuring width. Height (B or D depending on your mobility aid) is measured from the ground to the top of the highest point which, depending on your mobility aid, may be a seat back, head rest, handlebar or other feature. The length (C) is measured from the front-most point to the rear-most point.

Collapsible or dismantled scooters

Measures for collapsed or folded wheelchairs are also taken from the widest points, longest points and highest points. If the mobility aid is dismantled, you will require the greatest width, length and height measurements of any pieces, as well as the total number of pieces to be carried.

How to disconnect / remove a battery

This is simply one example of battery disconnection instructions; the user manual or instructions for your mobility aid should provide the type of battery and instructions on how to connect, disconnect and secure it.

  1. Remove covers
  2. Disconnect battery cable plug connections
  3. Release the battery holder strap
  4. Loosen the black cable battery clamp on the negative battery terminal, and remove the cable
  5. Loosen the red cable battery clamp on the positive battery terminal, and remove the cable

Appendix C: Summary of aircraft specifications

These measurements do not guarantee that a mobility aid will necessarily be accommodated on the corresponding aircraft. To ensure that their mobility aid can be accommodated, travellers should always contact the carrier before finalizing their reservation.

Note:

These dimensions are for information purposes only and include popular models used in the industry. This list may not accurately represent all aircraft, as dimensions can vary for the same model type.

Manufacturer and Type of AircraftSeating CapacityCargo door size (cm) (h x w)Cargo door size (inches) (h x w)
Airbus – A310 240 forward: 178 x 269
rear: 175 x 181
bulk: 95 x 95
forward: 70.1 x 105.9
rear: 68.8 x 71.3
bulk: 37.4 x 37.4
Airbus – A319 124 - 156 forward: 124 x 182
rear: 123 x 182
or
one door configuration:
117 x 142
forward: 49 x 72
rear: 48 x 72
or
one door configuration:
46 x 56
Airbus – A320 150 - 180 forward: 124 x 182
rear: 123 x 182
bulk: 77 x 95
or
one door configuration:
119 x 150
forward: 49 x 72
rear: 48 x 72
bulk: 30 x 37
or
one door configuration:
47 x 59
Airbus – A321 185 - 220 forward: 124 x 182
rear: 123 x 182
bulk: 77 x 95
forward: 49 x 72
rear: 48 x 72
bulk: 30 x 37
Airbus – A330 253 - 440 forward: 170 x 270
rear: 170 x 254
bulk: 107 x 95
forward: 66 x 106
rear: 66 x 100
bulk: 42 x 37
ATR 42 – 500 42 - 50 130 x 158 50.2 x 60.2
Beechcraft – Beech 1900 19 132 x 132 or
132 x 125
52 x 52 or
52 x 49.2
Boeing 727 149 - 189 106 x 139 42 x 55
Boeing 737 – 100/200 100:
85 - 124
200:
97 - 136
86 x 114 34 x 45
Boeing 737 –
600/700/800/900
600:
110 - 132
700:
126 - 149
800:
162 - 189
900:
177 - 189
forward: 89 x 122
rear: 84 x 122
forward: 35 x 48
rear: 33 x 48
Boeing 767 181 - 245 119 x 91 47 x 36
Boeing 777 – 200/300 200:
301 - 440
300:
365 - 550
90 x 114 (left) x 122 (right) (w x h) 35.7 x 45.3 (left) x 48.5 (right) (w x h)
Bombardier CS100 108 – 133 81.26 x 111.76 (forward)
81.26 x 111.76 (rear)
32 x 44 (forward)
32 x 44 (rear)
Bombardier CS300 130 – 160 81.26 x 111.76 (forward)
81.26 x 111.76 (rear)
32 x 44 (forward)
32 x 44 (rear)
Bombardier Q 400 68 - 80 forward:
145 x 71
rear:
140 x 150
forward:
57 x 28
rear:
55 x 71
Canadair –
CRJ 705
75 - 90 forward:
84 x 109
rear:
51 x 107
forward:
33 x 43
rear:
20 x 42
Canadair –
CRJ 100/200
50 109 x 84 43 x 33
De Havilland Canada –
DHC-7 (Dash 7)
50 102 x 84 or
178 x 231
40 x 33 or
70 x 91
De Havilland Canada –
DHC-8 100/200
(Dash 8)
37 - 39 152 x 127 60 x 50
De Havilland Canada –
DHC-8 300/400 (Dash 8)
300:
50 - 56
400:
68 - 80
Q300: 152 x 127
Q400: 
forward: 147 x 71
rear: 150 x 140
Q300: 60 x 50
Q400:
forward: 58 x 28
rear: 59 x 55
Douglas Aircraft –
DC-3 (Basler)
21 - 32 174 x 216 68 x 85
Embraer –
ERJ -170
70 - 80 forward: 100 x 90
rear: 99 X 78 x 87
forward: 39.6 x 35.4
rear: 38.9 X 30.7 x 34.3
Embraer –
ERJ -190
94 - 114 forward: 100 x 90
rear: 99 X 78 x 87
forward: 39.6 x 35.4
rear: 38.9 x 30.7 x 34.3
Hawker Siddeley – HS 748 40 - 58 117 x 135
with optional large cargo door:
262 x 170
forward: 137 x 122
rear: 158 x 79
46 x 53
with optional large cargo door:
103 x 67
forward: 53.9 x 48
rear: 62.2 x 31.1
Lockheed –
L 188 Electra
98 forward: 355 x 203
forward belly: 132 x 107
rear belly: 132 x 107
or
forward: 355 x 200
rear: 244 x 200
belly: 132 x 107
forward: 140 x 80
forward belly: 52 x 42
rear belly: 52 x 42
or
forward: 140 x 78.6
rear: 96 x 78.6
belly: 52 x 42
Saab – SF 340 37 130 x 135 51 x 53

Appendix D: Dimensions for VIA Rail trains

These measurements do not guarantee that a mobility aid will necessarily be accommodated on the corresponding rail car as VIA Rail may retrofit or change some rail cars. To ensure that their mobility aid can be accommodated, travellers should always contact the carrier before finalizing their reservation.

Note:

The following dimensions were provided by VIA Rail. VIA Rail carries the majority of rail passengers in Canada. For dimensions for other rail carriers' cars, please contact the carrier or consult their Web site.

Please be advised that the train configuration may be modified. Please check VIA Rail Canada's website for further information.

LRC3 Business Cars
No.DescriptionMetric (cm)Imperial (inches)
A Side door opening 91.5 35
B Clear turning diameter 127 50
C End door and platform opening 71.1 28
D Tie-down area length 177.8 70
E Tie-down area width 91.4 36
F Accessible washroom door opening 88.3 34.75
G Aisle width 53.3 21

Via Rail's LRC3 business car, description in the table above

HEP2 VIA1 + HEP2 Coach Cars (wheelchair)
No.DescriptionMetric (cm)Imperial (inches)
A Side door opening 83.8 33
B Clear turning diameter 127 50
C End door and platform opening 66 26
D Tie-down area length 172.7 68
E Tie-down area width 94 37
F Accessible washroom door opening 86.4 34
G Aisle width 47 18.5

Figure 6 - VIA Rail’s HEP2 VIA1 + HEP2 Coach Car, description in the table above

HEP1 Coach Cars
No.DescriptionMetric (cm)Imperial (inches)
A Side door opening 80 31.5
B Clear turning diameter 129.5 51
C End door and platform opening 63.5 25.5
D Tie-down area length 129.5 51
E Tie-down area width 91.5 36
F Accessible washroom door opening 66 26
G Aisle width 52 20.5

Figure 7 - VIA Rail’s HEP1 Coach Car, description in the table above

HEP1 Park Prestige Accessible Sleeper
No.DescriptionMetric (cm)Imperial (inches)
A Side door opening 83.8 33
B Clear turning diameter 134.6 53
C End door and platform opening 80.6 31.75
D Aisle width 89.9 35
E Accessibility room door opening 80.3 31.63

Renaissance Accessible Sleeper, description in the table above

Renaissance Coach Cars
No.DescriptionMetric (cm)Imperial (inches)
A Side door opening 75 29
B Clear turning diameter 147.3 58
C End door and platform opening 81.3 32
D Tie-down area length 106.7 42
E Tie-down area width 83.8 33
F Accessible washroom door opening 73.6 29
G Aisle width 63.5 25

Figure 8 - VIA Rail’s Renaissance Coach Car, description in the table above

Renaissance Accessible Sleeper
No.DescriptionMetric (cm)Imperial (inches)
A Side door opening 75 29
B Clear turning diameter 147.3 58
C End door and platform opening 81.3 32
D Accessible washroom door opening 73.6 29
E Accessible room door opening 81 31.88

Renaissance Accessible Sleeper, description in the table above

Panorama Coach Cars
No.DescriptionMetric (cm)Imperial (inches)
A Side door opening 74.3 29.25
B Clear turning diameter 130.8 51.5
C End door and platform opening 82.5 32.5
D Tie-down area length 198.7 78.25
E Tie-down area width 102.9 40.5
F Accessible washroom door opening 92 36.25
G Aisle width 58.4 23
H Galley width 76.2 30

Figure 9 - VIA Rail’s Panorama Coach Car, description in the table above

Appendix E: Reservation checklists for the carriage of mobility aids

Reservation checklists for travel by air, rail and ferry:

Photograph in Appendix B used by permission of Golden Technologies of Canada

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