The Accessibility Institute (formerly READ Initiative), was engaged by Transport Canada to investigate the current state of accessible vehicles in taxi and rideshare services in Canada. The objective of the study was to create a quantitative picture of the number of accessible taxis and ride-sharing vehicles, as well as a contextual qualitative understanding of the demand for and availability of accessible vehicles, in the Atlantic provinces.
The findings of this initiative have revealed the significance of these services in the lives of individuals with disabilities; establishing that when access to these services is limited or hindered intermittently or systematically, it reduces people’s autonomy and excludes them from participating fully in society.
The report concludes collective perception of accessible taxis and ridesharing needs to be reconceptualized, shifting the focus from demand to the actual needs of individuals. Researchers hope the recommendations generated by the study will encourage knowledge exchange between the provinces and territories of any successes in programs and policies to remove barriers and promote increased accessibility in transportation. Prioritizing the needs of people with disabilities and developing a comprehensive understanding of how multi-modal transportation systems operate can initiate a nationwide conversation on accessible transportation.