What is priority and courtesy seating?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) mandates that businesses and organizations must offer accessible services to individuals with disabilities, with the aim of achieving full accessibility across Ontario by 2025. Under the AODA, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR, 191-11) has been established.

This comprehensive regulation encompasses 80 accessibility standards pertaining to transportation, employment, and information and communications. Compliance deadlines outlined in the IASR range from July 2011 to January 2021.

In accordance with Section 49 of Regulation 191-11, public transit authorities in Ontario have implemented Priority seating specifically designated for passengers with disabilities. This ensures that those who require additional assistance are given priority access to these seats. Moreover, transit authorities acknowledge that there are other customers who would also benefit from having a seat near the front of the bus.

As a result, a Courtesy seating area has been designated for seniors, expectant mothers, adults traveling with infants or small children, or any other customer who may find it beneficial to have a seat in close proximity to the front of the bus.