Jul 26, 2007

Bus Drivers Must Call Out Stops After Lawsuit

Next stop for TTC bus drivers: calling out all the stops. Toronto lawyer David Lepofsky won an Ontario Human Rights Tribunal case against the TTC today, which forces all city bus drivers to call out every stop on their route. Leposky has long argued that failing to provide audio assistance for the blind is akin to not posting signs for people with hearing disabilities. In 2005, the lawyer won a case before the human right's commission that forced subway drivers to call out stops clearly and consistently. The TTC plans to install automated systems on all their vehicles by the end of the year, but until then drivers will have to call out all the stops.

My post of July 1 2007 that involved Ottawa Transit (OC Transpo) was a very similar case. The Ottawa ruling did not come from the Ontario Human Rights but rather the Canadian Transportation Agency. Originally OC Transpo were going to install a $8-million computerized system that would automatically call out bus stops. Since that time the city transit committee have decide to spare the expense and have drivers announce the stops the old fashion way. Read the full report here...

York Region Transit also are have their own problems with accommodating the visually impaired. Read the full report here...

What are Visual Impairments? It can mean a number of things. If you are visually impaired it doesn't necessarily mean you are blind, it could mean you are blind or have impaired vision. A person who is totally blind can not see light or anything else. Some people use different things to help with their visual impairments by using adaptions such as glasses, Braille, seeing eye dogs, canes, and adaptive computer technology.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Andy! Thanks for posting this, I'm Legally blind myself, (I have the National CNIB card and I use a white cane, though I do have SOME usable vision) I dont agree with how David Lepofsky went about this, there is NO need to SUE and Transit agency, This whole thing has created animosity between drivers and the blind community, I am of a scant few, that have grown up around Transit Drivers, (HSR in Hamilton) and count many drivers as good close friends. I live in the Queensway division territory here in Toronto, I moved here for many reasons but the magor one was the already accessible features of the TTC and the fact that at least here in Toronto there are ways to live independently.. I've studied how a driver is sopposed to call a stop, I feel that using the handset takes a hand off the wheel and concertration off both the road and the bus as well as the Drivers surroundings, I've spoken with the H&S rep for Queensway as well as numerous drivers and have achieved this opinion, The Automated System is in nearly all the buses now (January 7th 2008) and is VERY helpful, but still has it's flaws and missed stoop calls and too much volume changes on different buses, some stops are VERY loud and some you can barely hear. I miss the drivers quietly asking me when I'm getting on, "what stop would you like off at?"
I come from a city where NO stops are called and blind people are left up to our own devices usually. So to come to Toronto and find drivers asking me where I'd like off felt a bit strange at first, now it feels nice.

Sorry for the long comment Andy.

Emily Green