People with disabilities lodge complaints over lack of access to city's water taxi
Max Harrold , CTV Montreal
Published Wednesday, August 14, 2019 8:02PM EDT
Advocates for people with disabilities have gone to the Quebec Human Rights Commission over a popular new transit service.
There is no wheelchair access for the water taxi, ferrying people from the east end to Old Montreal.
A group of accessibility and inclusion activists with RAPLIQ say they're frustrated that a pilot project could be granted for the second year in a row and overlook or dismiss the needs of people with mobility issues.
The group made six separate complaints about the lack of access onto the water taxi and the lack of space on the vessel to safely secure passengers in wheelchairs.
They say the water taxi is a typical example of simply forgetting to include them in the planning for the pilot project.
"When you look at other jurisdictions, like in Vancouver, where all their water taxis are accessible. It's not technically complicated, and when you look at other water taxis that we have, I think the one that goes to Longueuil is accessible. So when you look at things that are not that difficult to do, and they're not even able to do it, your level of frustration goes even higher," said Sylvain Plourde with RAPLIQ.
A spokesperson for the Societe des traversiers du Quebec, which oversees 14 public and semi-public ferries, says the water taxi only provides partial access, when a wheelchair can be lifted on to the boat.
RAPLIQ said it wants and deserves full access and better planning from officials using taxpayer money.