Decision No. 610-AT-MV-2007
November 30, 2007
IN THE MATTER OF Decision No. 200-AT-MV-2007 dated April 25, 2007 -Terrance J. Green vs OC Transpo.
File No. U3570/06-41
 In its Decision No. 200-AT-MV-2007 dated April 25, 2007 (hereinafter the Decision), the Canadian Transportation Agency (hereinafter the Agency) made a determination with respect to an application filed by Terrance J. Green regarding whether OC Transpo operators failed to apply OC Transpo's policies and procedures concerning the calling out of major or requested stops.
 The Agency found that OC Transpo operators failed to apply OC Transpo's policies and procedures concerning calling out major stops or any other stop requested by a passenger, including those requested by Mr. Green on November 16 and 23, 2006, and that this constituted an undue obstacle to Mr. Green's mobility as well as an undue obstacle to the mobility of other persons who require that a stop be called because of their disability.
 The Agency provided OC Transpo with the opportunity, by way of a direction to show cause, to provide reasons why OC Transpo should not be required to implement the following corrective measures within ninety (90) days from the date of any final decision by the Agency:
To ensure the consistent application of its policy:
- Modify its Transit Operation Handbook to clearly state that major and requested stops must always be called out.
- Incorporate into its training program the situation that developed with respect to the difficulties experienced by Mr. Green, without naming him. In particular, the training should emphasize that for passengers with a visual impairment, major stops and those requested must be called out.
- Monitor compliance with OC Transpo's policy of operators calling out major stops and those requested by passengers with visual impairments through the use of inspectors or other persons on board OC Transpo buses and follow-up on reports of infractions with the operators.
To ensure that announcements are clearly heard:
- Modify its policy to require that its operators consistently use, where available, a public address system to announce major and/or requested stops.
- Ensure that its Global Positioning System (GPS) is always activated once installed on OC Transpo buses and that it correctly announces major stops, in combination with operator or GPS announcements of requested stops.
- Modify its policy to specifically set out the alternative means to ensure that operator announcements are clearly heard by the person in cases where a public address system (PA system) or GPS is not used.
 The Agency also advised that upon receipt of the required information pursuant to the above-noted direction, the Agency would assess the information and finalize its corrective measures.
 OC Transpo filed its responses on July 25, September 13, 18 and 27, 2007.
RESPONSE TO THE SHOW CAUSE
OC Transpo's submission of July 25, 2007
Directives from the City of Ottawa Council
 OC Transpo advises in its July 25, 2007 submission that the City of Ottawa Council issued the following directives to OC Transpo on July 11, 2007 in response to the Decision. OC Transpo submits that these directives in large part mirror or exceed the proposed corrective measures of the Decision:
- Implement interim measures in the nature of training, improved low-tech solutions (e.g. headsets), communications and monitoring to achieve a high level of compliance in calling out major or requested stops.
- Improve compliance with procedures to recover from any errors that occur in providing information to persons with disabilities on a specific stop.
- Review and improve customer relations centre training requirements in communicating with all customers, particularly customers with disabilities.
- Amend staff training to clarify that:
- policies regarding location announcements, specifically requested and otherwise, are a serious matter as well as a matter of public safety;
- disciplinary action can be expected if the policy is not followed.
OC Transpo's proposed measures
 OC Transpo also submits that in response to the above-noted directives, and in accordance with the proposed corrective measures in the Decision:
- OC Transpo will immediately undertake a communication program with operations staff to ensure that it is clearly understood that customers who ask to be advised when they reach their stop must always be accommodated and, in the event of an error, the rules and procedures that must be followed to ensure the safety of the customer. OC Transpo's Accessibility Specialist will work with the Accessible Advisory Committee and representatives of the disabled community to ensure that they are aware of these procedures.
- OC Transpo will move rapidly to ensure that the compliance with the ongoing bus stop announcement policy is significantly improved. This will be done through training, ensuring that the ergonomics of the public address system are improved, an internal communications program and the implementation of a monitoring program.
- A new operator handbook is close to completion and will include clear direction on the requirement to call out major stops and the consequences of not following this policy. It is [OC Transpo's] intention to run a training program in the Fall [sic] to introduce the new handbook, to receive formal acknowledgement by bus operators of its content and to ensure that bus operators fully understand the importance of calling out stops. This training program will be supported by an internal communications program (posters, etc.) and a monitoring and compliance program.
 OC Transpo states that it will also be incorporating an automated stop announcement system in the 2008 Capital Budget for City of Ottawa Council approval.
 OC Transpo explains that it already has a GPS on its fleet, as well as clear policies that require GPS equipment to be on and activated.
Additional OC Transpo's submissions of September 13, 18 and 27, 2007
 On September 13, 2007, OC Transpo filed its "Stop Announcements - Plan Overview" which sets out:
- To ensure passengers are alerted to arrival at requested stops, and to clarify recovery procedures should mistakes arise, whether on-board or abandoned on-street; and,
- To significantly improve the consistency of mandatory calling of major stops by all Operators.
- Immediate steps:
- To ensure that Operators provide passengers with information and confirm specifically requested stops
- Clarify recovery procedures in case of mistakes on-board and at stops
- PA System and microphones:
- Work with Fleet to ensure that the PA systems are functioning thoroughly and as well as possible
- Through Tech Services to find alternate/optional means for operators who have ergonomic or personal challenges using the existing microphones (e.g. head-sets or clip on microphones).
- Operations Handbook: The text on stop announcements needs to be clear and emphatic that stop announcements are mandatory. Direction for recovery procedures to be included.
- Training Program: To be developed in conjunction with the release of the Operations Handbook, which is planned for September. Schedule Operator training in October/November.
- Monitoring and compliance: A plan for systematic compliance monitoring has been developed. The information obtained through this, along with feedback from regular users through Customer Relations, will be used within a centralized reporting system which will quantify compliance. Progressive discipline will be applied as failures are detected. Discussions with CUPE 5500 & ATU 279 executive(s) will be made for these plans.
- Route Descriptions: will be reviewed and the stops to be announced are plainly displayed at the top of the document. The new format will be available for the September booking. Consider stickers for the dockets to draw attention to the new format.
- Communications plan: will be developed when the operational plan is more concrete. Bulletin will be posted immediately to signal the start of the program.
 OC Transpo confirms in its September 18, 2007 submission that OC Transpo's training program will be amended to describe the difficulties experienced by Mr. Green, without naming him, and emphasize that for passengers with a visual impairment, major stops and those requested must be called out. OC Transpo also confirms that the requirement for the calling of stops on OC Transpo buses will always include major and requested stops.
 Further, OC Transpo points out in a September 27, 2007 filing that all OC Transpo buses are equipped with a PA system and operators are required to call out stops through the PA system or through the use of a loud voice when the system is not functional. OC Transpo states that it is also considering as an extension of the PA system, the use of headsets or clip-on microphones as a means of accommodating those operators who cannot utilize the current PA system for ergonomic or hygienic reasons (as set out in its "Stop Announcements - Plan Overview"). OC Transpo provides the following from its revised Operator Handbook concerning the calling out of stops:
Operators must make clear, audible announcements, using the on-board PA system, of stops identified in the docket. Should the PA system malfunction or is not in working order, the Operator is still obligated to call out stops. If your vehicle is not configured with an appropriately positioned microphone, the safe operation of your vehicle must be maintained while making announcements. Every effort should be made to make the announcements 15-20 seconds before arriving at the stop, thereby providing passengers time to prepare to exit.
ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS
 The Agency has carefully considered the information provided by OC Transpo in response to the direction to show cause. The Agency notes that OC Transpo did not object to implementing the proposed corrective measures.
 On the basis that OC Transpo will implement within a reasonable timeframe the plan developed for the monitoring and the compliance of calling out major and requested stops, the Agency is satisfied that OC Transpo has addressed the corrective measures to ensure the consistent application of its policy.
 The Agency is also satisfied that OC Transpo has adequately addressed the corrective measures to ensure that announcements of stops will be clearly heard.
 Accordingly, no further action is necessary.
- Raymon J. Kaduck
- John Scott