July 26, 2017 4:23 pm

Via Rail seeks to limit scope of wheelchair and mobility aid policy


TORONTO – Via Rail is trying to limit the scope of a policy to make its trains more accessible to travellers using wheelchairs and mobility aids.

The national rail provider had revised its policy in May in compliance with an order from the Canadian Transportation Agency, which directed Via to double the number of mobility devices that could be tied down on trains from one to two.

The ruling was prompted by a complaint to the CTA from a married couple who asserted the old rules barred them from travelling together.

Via’s revised policy was subject to approval from the CTA, which wrote the company in June to confirm that the new rules would be applied to “all Via trains operating across Canada.”

But Via Rail has now explicitly stated it only plans to implement the revised policy for travel between Quebec City and Windsor, Ont.

It also says it can currently only apply the policy on one of the three classes of train travelling that route, leaving the couple whose complaint sparked the change concerned that Via has no genuine commitment to broader accessibility.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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