People with disabilities represent a major and growing part of our population. Disabilities affect key areas of daily living. About 1.8 million or 15.5 percent of Ontarians have a disability. According to the St. Catharines-Niagara Census, 90,500 persons live with disabilities (28.9 per cent).
All of Niagara Region Transit's conventional buses are accessible, low-floor buses. The operator can lower the front of the bus to a "kneeling" position so passengers who have difficulty stepping up can board the bus more easily. All buses are equipped with ramps, so passengers with mobility devices like canes, walkers, wheelchairs or small scooters can board the bus on a gentle incline. If you are unable to use conventional public transit due to a disability, you may be eligible for one or more of Niagara Region Transit's specialized services.
Priority seating is available on all buses for passengers with a disability. These seats are close to the entrance door of the vehicle, and are marked with the blue Priority Seating decal. Niagara Region Transit recognizes there are other customers who would also benefit from having a seat near the front of the bus. A courtesy seating area has been designated for seniors, expectant mothers, adults travelling with infants/small children or any other customer who may benefit from a seat near the front of the bus.
The wheelchair seating area is equipped with a stabilizer belt to keep passengers in wheelchairs secure while the bus is moving.
- Position the wheelchair facing the back of the bus with the back against the padded post. Lock the wheelchair in place.
- Pull out the stabilizer belt (located beside the flipped-up seats).
- Pass the belt through the front of the wheelchair frame on the side closet to the seats.
- Buckle the belt and make sure it is tight.
Buses are equipped with interior audio announcements. Audio announcements help people who are visually impaired and passengers who are travelling an unfamiliar route. When you are riding the bus, the bus will play an announcement as it approaches each stop, naming the bus stop and street location.
In the event of an emergency evacuation on the bus, bus operators will identify customers with a disability and provide the appropriate help to evacuate them from the vehicle to a safe location. This information is available in an accessible format, upon request.
Bus operators will, upon request:
- Deploy ramps
- Provide enough time to persons with disabilities to safely board, be secured and exit transportation vehicles. Help may be provided, upon request. Help secure mobility assistive devices used by persons with disabilities
- Allow a person with a disability to travel with a medical aid
Specialized transit vehicles
Specialized transit vehicles are designed especially for persons with disabilities who have been pre-approved for use. They are safe, comfortable and accessible.
Specialized transit buses are equipped with one wheelchair/scooter lift and can accommodate multiple wheelchair/scooter passengers at the same time. Specialized transit vans include forward-facing wheelchair positions with Q-Straint tie downs to secure mobility aids while providing seatbelts for the passenger.
Trained vehicle operators can assist passengers to secure and store mobility aids as well as board and de-board the vehicle. Certified guide dogs and service animals are welcome aboard.
Universal support person pass
This pass is provided to those riders who require an attendant while riding on conventional or specialized transportation. It will be accepted in every municipality in Niagara as well as on Niagara Region Transit.
Applicants must apply for the pass and have a medical professional confirm the requirement for a support person. The support person rides for free and there is no charge for the pass.