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Multiple Fares on Specialized Transit

The first review of the AODA’s Transportation Standards became public in 2018. In this review, the AODA Transportation Standards Development Committee recommends changes to the existing Transportation Standards. In addition, the Committee also recommends action from other sectors of the province, to remove accessibility barriers that impact transportation. This article will discuss the Committee’s recommendations for avoiding multiple fares on specialized transit.

Multiple Fares on Specialized Transit

The current Transportation Standards allow specialized transit providers to sub-contract some trips, to meet demand or expand services. For example, in a company with enough buses and drivers to meet demand, passengers can take each trip on one (1) specialized transit bus. Alternatively, a passenger dealing with a bus or driver shortage may take part of a trip on specialized transit. However, this passenger would need to take the rest of their trip on a conventional transit vehicle, such as a:

  • Bus
  • Streetcar
  • Subway or other train

In these situations, transit providers should only charge one (1) fare to the passenger. While the Transportation Standards do not directly require one (1) fare per trip, they do:

  • Mandate the same payment options for conventional and specialized transit
  • Prohibit charging a passenger with a disability more than a non-disabled passenger for the same trip

Therefore, conventional transit companies sub-contracted to support specialized transit should not charge multiple fares on specialized transit trips. However, the Committee reports that, due to errors, conventional and specialized transit companies sometimes charge multiple fares to passengers transferring between transit systems during a single trip. This error may occur through lack of communication between specialized and conventional transit companies. As a result, the Committee recommends a campaign to educate these companies about the need to avoid charging multiple fares on specialized transit trips. Staff at both types of companies could learn how these errors occur, and ways to prevent them.