Making Travel Accessible For All Canadians
On June 25, 2020 new regulations regarding universal accessibility came into effect across Canada. Thanks, in part, to the 18 projects VIA Rail had underway, we were one of the few transportation companies who were able to comply with the Accessible Transportation for Persons with Disabilities Regulations, which was no small feat!
The varied projects were designed to help make train travel accessible to all Canadians. Today we unveil our most recent project: a video on our website demonstrating how persons in wheelchairs board, disembark and move about our accessible train cars. This informative video was created to help alleviate some of the anxieties that may come from the unknowns of travel when one has reduced mobility.
In addition, this year we published our Universal Accessibility Policy to improve the customer experience for all our passengers as part of a barrier-free Canada. And, on top of the many accessibility programs already in place, as of this year travellers will now benefit from:
In our stations:
- Animal relief areas in 80 stations, so that people with service animals can make sure their pets’ needs are met before boarding the train
- Curbside-to-platform assistance service in our 10 main stations
- Audio announcements in stations where there was previously only video; and visual announcements in stations where there was previously only audio
On our trains:
- Menus and safety cards now available in braille and large print
- All onboard audio announcements available in a visual format upon request
Reservations and Online:
- Our universally accessible website
- Specific service requests that can be made by phone 24/7 (previously only available during business hours)
As well, 1,200 frontline employees and managers (including the President and Chiefs) have received additional training on accessibility.
We are putting the travel needs of all Canadians front and centre and will continue to do so as we strive to be Canada’s most accessible national and intercity mode of transportation.