LTC ‘Courtesy’ Seating

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From this week’s CAPS agenda, in a letter to the committee from LTC: “Courtesy seating for the elderly, persons with disabilities, those using mobility devices and strollers is on a volunteer basis. While operators request passengers give their seats to such passengers, the decision to do so rests with the individual. The number and location of such seating provides a balance between the needs of all customers as well as structure issues associated with the bus itself: noting the bus design is largely based on a North American standard.01

To begin with, that’s a lie. LTC operators do order certain users to surrender courtesy seats sometimes. Although it’s been my experience that they don’t do so when they should, and sometimes do so when they shouldn’t.

Should LTC be permitted to opt out of it’s responsibility to the disabled, or should there be a clear policy that is equitably and consistently enforced?

From: Gregory Fowler
To: Larry Ducharme
Sent: Saturday, September 6, 2008 5:13:24 PM
Subject: Inquiry re: Courtesy Seating

Chair and Members
London Transportation Commission

September 5, 2008

Please accept this inquiry with respect to courtesy seating aboard LTC buses.

Recently, I was required by one of your operators to vacate my position on one of the front-door bench seats which are advertised as being for elderly and disabled passengers. Be advised that I qualify under both categories.

The reason for my displacement was so that the bench seat could be raised in order to accomodate a large child buggy.

There is no good reason for the use of large non-collapsable buggies during summer months. In this particular case, it was apparent to me that it was being employed as much as a carrier for groceries as for it’s single infant occupant.

Does the LTC have an official policy with respect to child carriers (ie. size, type, etc)?

Does the LTC have an official policy which clearly identifies a hierarchy of need with respect to the use of courtesy seats?

According to Staff Report #6 of the 2008/09/03 LTC Agenda, an operator’s request that a passenger vacate a courtesy seat is not enforceable. That being the case, kindly explain to me why I was forced to vacate my seat? Is an operator deemed to have some kind of discretionary power over use of courtesy seats, or not? Kindly also indicate to me what procedure ought to be followed by a passenger when confronted by an operator in this situation?

Respectfully,

Mr. Gregory T. Fowler
962 Eagle Crescent
London, Ont; N5Z 3H7

I’ll let you know if I get a response from them this time.

Sources:
01. 2008/09/08 – City London: CAPS Agenda item #2

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One Response to “LTC ‘Courtesy’ Seating”

  1. KVL Says:

    I strongly believe that the discretion that the drivers often utilize is way beyond the reach of their position and that there should be a blanket policy that is enforceable. I know there are currently policies, however, they are not adhered to and the drivers themselves (most of them) are the worse culprit of this. How does the LTC expect the public to know the rules/policy and abide by them if the transit officers dont.

    I have had many similar experiences with this before. I am currently re-editing a previous post of mine to publish again, it is very much related to this but with a different swing on things.

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