York-Region Transit Mobility Plus Problems

  • February 10, 2016
  • Kimberly Srivastava

Our client, Ms. Angela Schinas, has multiple serious and intersecting disabilities. She is unable to use public transit, and so requires door-to-door transportation provided by Mobility Plus in York Region Transit (“YRT”).

Despite having multiple doctors’ notes which indicate that she requires door-to-door transportation, YRT has refused to provide her with the door-to-door service she requires for all of her trips. Instead, Ms. Schinas is required to take the Viva Bus to important destinations, including to doctors’ appointments and to her Temple.

Ms. Schinas has been placed on YRT’s “family of services” program. This program combines door-to-door services with traditional public transit systems. Bakerlaw is aware that more and more people with disabilities are being given this designation, and that many of these people are unable to use public transportation.

Because she is unable to use public transportation, Ms. Schinas has become more isolated. This increased isolation has had a negative impact on her health and well-being.

In September 2014, Ms. Schinas provided YRT with additional medical notes which specifically requested that she be removed from the family of services program as she is unable to use traditional public transit because of disability-related reasons. Ms. Schinas’ request to switch was denied.

When Ms. Schinas was finally able to get a hold of someone at YRT to complain, she was instructed to take part in “travel training”. YRT advertises this training as a way to familiarize individuals with traditional transportation systems. Ms. Schinas found it confusing and humiliating to be told that she needed to “learn” how to use public transportation. Ms. Schinas understands how to use public transit, however, her disabilities prevent her from doing so. Having to participate in this travel training was not only incredibly painful, which required her to seek out emergency medical care, but also humiliating.

We have worked with Ms. Schinas and initiated a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario application in the fall of 2015. We recently attended mediation and her matter is now moving forward to a hearing.

If you have faced a similar problem with YRT or other local transit authorities, we would be happy to speak to you about your situation and discuss your legal options. Please contact sbaker@bakerlaw.ca

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