The Role of a Volunteer Advocacy Committee in the Development of an Urban Transportation System for the Physically Disabled in Ottawa-Carleton

This paper describes how the lifestyle of disabled persons living in the Ottawa-Carleton Region has dramatically changed over the past years. This is because of the establishment of an accessible door-to-door public transportation system called “Para Transpo.” The name “Para” is short for “parallel” and signifies a service parallel to the regular public transportation service (OC Transpo) in Ottawa-Carleton. The paper describes how there was a growing awareness in the early 1970’s of the need for a public transportation service for physically disabled persons who could not use the regular urban bus system. Volunteer drivers, taxis and a charter bus company with lift equipped vans were supplying transport. Employment, post secondary education, recreation, and social programs were limited because of the lack of adequate low cost accessible transportation. Accordingly, five members of the Ottawa Handicapped Association met in September 1972 to assess what could be done about the situation. Realizing the need for a broad base of support in the community in order to achieve its ends, the group sought help from the Social Planning Council of Ottawa Carleton, a United Way Funded organization which supplied resources and staff support. The group set out to establish a committee made up of representatives from the Provincial and Region social services departments, medical centers, organizations of disabled people as well as interested citizens. Thus, the Committee for Urban Transportation for the Disabled (CUTD) was founded with 12 members that were composed of disabled and non-disabled persons with the purpose of working together for the establishment of a door-to-door accessible public transportation system.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 612-620
  • Monograph Title: Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference, Vancouver, Canada, July 21-23, 1986

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01051475
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2007 4:45PM