Friday, March 23, 2007 at 11:16 am

VIA Rail Loses Disabled-Access Case, Must Fix Renaissance Cars

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VIA Rail logo VIA Rail lost its case at the Supreme Court today, and as a result must spend as much as $48 million to make its Renaissance coaches more wheelchair-accessible — the cars only cost VIA $139 million to buy in 2000.

VIA appealed a 2003 ruling by the Canadian Transportation Agency that the cars presented undue obstacles for disabled passengers; it won before the Federal Court of Appeal, but that ruling was appealed to the Supreme Court, where VIA has now lost. (It’s worth noting that VIA’s track record on disability issues has been poor in the past.)

Renaissance cars are used in the Windsor-Quebec corridor on some routes and on VIA’s Gaspé and Ocean services.

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