Transit Priority Seating Review

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Introduction

The City of Winnipeg is reviewing the accessibility of our transit system. One aspect of this review may involve establishing designated priority seating areas on conventional buses.

We want to better understand the needs of transit users and develop processes that recognize the needs of transit users with disabilities. Your feedback, along with a jurisdictional scan and Winnipeg Transit data will be used to make recommendations for the future of priority space on Transit buses.

Background

On May 19, 2020, the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works asked the public service to review the issues of

Introduction

The City of Winnipeg is reviewing the accessibility of our transit system. One aspect of this review may involve establishing designated priority seating areas on conventional buses.

We want to better understand the needs of transit users and develop processes that recognize the needs of transit users with disabilities. Your feedback, along with a jurisdictional scan and Winnipeg Transit data will be used to make recommendations for the future of priority space on Transit buses.

Background

On May 19, 2020, the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works asked the public service to review the issues of accessibility for Transit customers related to policies for strollers, priority and courtesy seating and operator assistance.

This review builds on the February 2019 discussion paper outlining the Accessible Transportation Standard Terms of Reference, as part of the Accessibility for Manitobans Act (AMA). The provincial Accessibility Advisory Council (AAC) has drafted a Transportation Accessibility Standard in accordance with the AMA, part of which outlines new standards for priority seating and mobility aid spaces for transportation service providers, including Winnipeg Transit.

Current Issues:

  • Winnipeg Transit experiences high volumes of transit riders at different points in the day and this leads to crowded buses and ‘pass-ups’ (when riders waiting are passed because the bus is too full to accommodate them).
  • There are challenges with pass-ups for all transit riders and that is why the City is working on a Transit Master Plan that proposes a high frequency network.
  • Accessible spaces (seats at the front of the bus where the benches flip up) on transit buses are limited and there is currently a ‘first come, first served’ approach.An image of the accessible seating area as it is currently located on Winnipeg Transit buses
  • A first-come, first-served approach to priority space is not aligned with the Accessibility For Manitobans Act transportation standard.An image of current accessibility signage on Winnipeg Transit buses

The City of Winnipeg is seeking public feedback on the priority seating area and the possible impacts to the development of Transit policies related to barriers experienced by customers using wheelchairs and strollers, as well as barriers experienced by other transit users which may or may not be visible.

You may also read the summary of similar policies from other cities.

Discussions: All (3) Open (0)
  • Discussion 1:

    2 months ago
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    What are the main barriers you face when using conventional transit, as it is currently configured?

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  • Discussion 2:

    2 months ago
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    Consider the following scenario:

    Two caregivers with strollers are occupying the priority seating area at the front of a transit bus. At the next stop, a transit user in a wheelchair is waiting to board. There is no room left on the otherwise full bus for the strollers to move to accommodate the user in a wheelchair.

    What should happen, and what should the transit user in a wheelchair be able to expect?

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  • Discussion 3:

    2 months ago
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    Should the City of Winnipeg implement both a Priority Seating area and a Courtesy Seating area on all Transit buses? Why or why not?

    Please consider:

    Priority Seating is for the use of passengers with a disability. These seats are located close to the front of the vehicle. Customers are expected to respect and obey the purpose of the designated seating area, which means that if you are sitting in one of these designated seats, you MUST vacate the seat for a passenger with a disability.

    Courtesy Seating is intended to provide additional seating for people who will benefit from having a seat near the front of the vehicle including:

    • seniors
    • expectant mothers
    • adults traveling with infants or small children
    • any other passenger who may benefit from a seat

    If you are sitting in one of these designated seats, it is requested that you give up your seat to those who need it.

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