Decision No. 46-AT-MV-2004
January 29, 2004
File No. U 3570/00-34
In its Decision No. 627-AT-MV-2000 dated October 10, 2000, the Canadian Transportation Agency (hereinafter the Agency) made a determination with respect to an application filed by Steven Fletcher on May 22, 2000, regarding the level of service he received when attempting to secure accessible ground transportation from the Fredericton Airport, in Lincoln, New Brunswick.
The Agency determined that based on the contract for the provision of accessible ground transportation services at Fredericton Airport, as executed between the owner and operator of the airport, namely Transport Canada Airports (hereinafter TCA), and the sole contracted ground transportation provider at the airport, namely Checker Cab Inc. (hereinafter Checker Cab), the lack of procedures and policies in place to effectively provide the services contemplated in the contract, including the delivery of accessible transportation services, constituted an undue obstacle to Mr. Fletcher's mobility.
Pursuant to Decision No. 627-AT-MV-2000, the Agency required TCA to take the following measures within thirty (30) days from the date of that Decision:
- Provide a report to the Agency on what contingency plans have been developed or other specific measures taken by TCA to prevent a recurrence of the situation experienced by Mr. Fletcher; and
- Instruct Checker Cab to issue a bulletin to its employees and those of its subcontractors summarizing the incident experienced by Mr. Fletcher and reminding them of the importance of ensuring that all unusual requests for accessible ground transportation at Fredericton Airport be brought to the attention of the Airport Manager and its contracted ground service provider who may ensure that all options are pursued in finding accessible ground transportation at Fredericton Airport, and provide the Agency with a copy of that bulletin.
On November 10, 2000, TCA requested an extension until December 1, 2000, to comply with the requirements set out in Decision No. 627-AT-MV-2000. The Agency, by Decision No. LET-AT-MV-346-2000 dated November 21, 2000, granted the requested extension.
On November 24, 2000, TCA filed its response to Decision No. 627-AT-MV-2000. Further clarifications were subsequently sought and obtained by Agency staff.
The issue to be addressed is whether the information submitted and the measures taken satisfy the requirements of Decision No. 627-AT-MV-2000.
In its response, TCA explains that in its consideration of the availability of transportation services for persons with disabilities in the Fredericton area, it has attempted to assess every possible situation that could occur for these persons when deplaning at the Fredericton Airport. TCA also provided copies of the following four documents as part of its response:
- A letter sent by TCA to Checker Cab, including specific procedures to follow regarding accessible transportation from the Fredericton Airport; a bulletin which the owner of Checker Cab was required to give to all drivers; and a letter TCA sent to various groups and agencies that may receive requests regarding accessible transportation from the Fredericton Airport.
- The Procedures Regarding Accessible Ground Transportation of Disabled Persons from Fredericton Airport(hereinafter the Procedures) which TCA developed in cooperation with Checker Cab since the incident experienced by Mr. Fletcher. The procedures specify the following steps that are to be followed when receiving a request for ground transportation services for persons with disabilities from the Fredericton Airport:
- When a request is received by the Airport Manager's Office, all pertinent information is to be noted and the ground transportation licensee is to be provided with the information;
- All associations dealing with persons with disabilities will be requested to refrain from providing information regarding availability of ground transportation services from the Fredericton Airport. They will be asked to obtain the pertinent information and to contact the airport's ground transportation licensee or the Airport Manager to make arrangements;
- The licensee will then make the appropriate arrangements to provide accessible ground transportation for the person with a disability deplaning at the Fredericton Airport.
The Procedures note that arrangements can not be confirmed more than 24 hours in advance. They also identify alternate agencies that offer such ground transportation services from the airport as well as the specific services offered by each agency; how customers are to be billed for transportation services received; and contingency plans that account for potential lapses in service.
- A bulletin informing drivers of the incident experienced by Mr. Fletcher and the fact that the specific Procedures have been established to address persons with disabilities' requests for accessible ground transportation from the Fredericton Airport. Finally, the bulletin informs drivers that if they ever receive a verbal or telephone request to provide accessible ground transportation for a person with a disability from the Fredericton Airport, the driver is to direct the inquiry to the owner of Checker Cab.
- A letter sent by TCA to various interested groups and agencies informing them that TCA's ground transportation licensee has specific procedures regarding arrangements to provide accessible ground transportation from the Fredericton Airport. TCA requests that in the future, if any interested group or association receives a call from a person with a disability requesting ground transportation from the Fredericton Airport, it shall obtain the pertinent information from the individual and forward the information to the licensee (Checker Cab) or to the Airport Manager to ensure that the established procedures are followed.
The Agency was subsequently informed that the operation of the Fredericton Airport was transferred from TCA to the Greater Fredericton Airport Authority Inc. effective May 1, 2001.
Since March 1, 2003, the licensee providing ground services at the Fredericton Airport is 608198 N.B. Inc. carrying on business as Trius Taxi (hereinafter Trius Taxi).
Finally, the airport operator confirms that the Procedures established by the previous licensee have been adopted by Trius Taxi.
ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
In making its findings, the Agency has considered all of the information and material submitted with respect to this matter.
The Agency notes that the airport is operated by the Greater Fredericton Airport Authority Inc. and that Trius Taxi is now the licensee providing ground transportation services from the Fredericton Airport. Further, the Agency notes that Trius Taxi has adopted the procedures established by the previous licensee (Checker Cab).
The Agency is of the opinion that the measures undertaken should improve the level of accessible ground transportation services available to persons with disabilities from the Fredericton Airport and should help to prevent the recurrence of situations similar to that experienced by Mr. Fletcher.
Based on the above findings, the Agency is satisfied that the requirements set out in Decision No. 627-AT-MV-2000 dated October 10, 2000, have been met. Accordingly, the Agency does not contemplate any further action in this matter.