Letter Decision No. LET-AT-R-358-2002

December 10, 2002

Application by the Council of Canadians with Disabilities against VIA Rail Canada Inc. - Inspection Report

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By Decision No. LET-AT-R-300-2002 dated October 11, 2002, the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency) provided the Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD) and VIA Rail Canada Inc. (VIA) with a copy of a report prepared by the Agency's engineer, André Paquette, P. Eng., entitled Draft Report: Canadian Transportation Agency Second Inspection Report of VIA Rail Canada Inc's Renaissance Cars and CCD and VIA were given the opportunity to provide comments on the accuracy of the information contained in the draft inspection report and attachments.

In Decision No. LET-AT-R-339-2002 dated November 22, 2002, the Agency advised CCD and VIA that Mr. Paquette would view the Renaissance Cars for the purpose of re-measuring certain of its features. Mr. Paquette's review was conducted on November 26, 2002 in the presence of the Agency's engineer, Paul Lacoste, P.Eng., and VIA's engineer, Garry Herman, P.Eng., of VIA, who confirmed the new measurements as they were taken.

Attached is a copy of the final inspection report, Final Report: Canadian Transportation Agency Second Inspection - VIA Rail Canada Inc.'s Renaissance Cars, which reflects the measurements taken at the inspection on September 16, 2002 as well as those confirmed during the above-noted review by Mr. Paquette.

Exterior door

The Agency notes that, in its submission dated October 30, 2002, CCD submits that the level boarding platforms being designed by VIA need to permit persons using wheelchairs to approach the exterior door to the service car at the end closest to the "accessible suite" in a manner that permits access through a "wheelchair accessible door". The Agency further notes that, given the "usable width" of this door, CCD submits that it must be approached on a slight angle in order to maximize accessibility and meet the criteria for a "wheelchair accessible door". With respect to these submissions, the Agency notes that the clear width of the exterior door, which has been remeasured by Mr. Paquette and reflected in the attached inspection report, is 80 cm. This measurement reflects the width of the area that is between the footplate and the interior wall of the vestibule.

In light of the foregoing, CCD is requested to advise whether it continues to have a concern regarding the width of the exterior door to the service car at the end closest to the "accessible suite".

CCD is requested to file its submission with the Agency, with a copy provided to VIA, by no later than December 12, 2002.

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