What the members are saying

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“CUTA’s Introduction to Specialized Transit course is a very helpful introduction to an often-overlooked aspect of transit operations. I was impressed that the first modules of the course focused specifically on the disability community, including different types of disabilities that can impact an individual’s barriers to transit and the legal context of accessibility and human rights legislation. As transit professionals, it can be easy to immediately focus on the operational aspects of specialized transit, but the ordering of the course material emphasized the importance of thinking about passengers and their needs first.

Considering the wide variety of organizational and operational structures for specialized transit across the county, the course was effective in explaining the core components of what is needed to provide the service, and how different aspects can be carried out by internal staff and contracted agencies.

The use of videos to supplement the course content was valuable in hearing directly from a variety of individuals who are involved in specialized transit, both passengers and staff. Hearing from passengers directly was particularly impactful, as their perspectives are not always heard, yet their needs are what drive the existence of the service in the first place. It highlighted for me the inherently human element of specialized transit that staff and operators should not lose sight of, when planning and providing the service.”

  • Monika Blat, Integrated Mobility Planner, Dillon Consulting Limited

“As I am relatively new to the industry, I took this course because I have had numerous specialized transit questions with relation to small system operations. This course was straight-forward as it’s sectioned into easy-to-understand modules about everything from eligibility to booking trips and typical organization structure for this type of service. My overall knowledge of paratransit service has improved drastically, and I look forward to applying the lessons learned, such as the different guide animals that may be used for support services, into my current role. Thank you CUTA!”

  • Billie-Jo Arnott, Contract Performance Specialist, City of Airdrie

“The Introduction to Specialized Transit program not only effectively reinforced and built upon our current methods, but also clearly illuminated paths to improvement. I believe it would be instrumental in familiarizing staff with best practices and I’ve already begun sharing concepts from the program with the rest of my team. Thank you CUTA!”

  • Andrea Labriola, Eligibility Coordinator, Durham Region Transit

“I wish this training had been available when I first entered the world of specialized transit.  It took me quite a while when I first started to learn the proper terminology and to just get a basic understanding.  This training has all that information and more!  The entire program is interactive and simple to navigate through.  The videos from service providers and clients are very informative.  This training will be good for anyone entering a specialized transit career and for people in the transit industry in general to learn the differences between conventional and specialized transit as the differences are substantial.  I will be highly encouraging many co-workers and new employees to take advantage of this Introduction to Specialized Transit course.”

  • Barbara Tough, Coordinator, Specialized Transit, Mobility Bus, Strathcona County Transit

“Introduction to Specialized Transit is a comprehensive course that enables the student to learn at their own pace, as well as excellent reference materials that can be used to build upon what was learned. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who works in specialized transit. Each module offers a wealth of information that is useful for staff at every level. I will be utilizing key concepts from modules 3,5, and 6 as we implement new processes at Oakville Transit. This is a much-needed course for the specialized transit industry. Well done CUTA!”

  • Lisa Vallis, Manager, On Demand Transit, Oakville Transit

“CUTA’s Introduction to Specialized Transit is easily among the most valuable training courses I’ve taken since joining the industry. The information presented in the modules is concise yet very well-articulated. While the modules that examine the history, present, and future of specialized transit provide an excellent foundation for anyone in the field, I found that the sections about barriers and compassion for our ridership resonated with me the most. This enhanced understanding and empathy will be an asset to the continual improvement of my direct communication with riders and staff coaching sessions. I’d recommend adding this course to the new-hire training process across all specialized transit agencies and for it to be reviewed by veteran staff annually.”

  • Edward Simon, Acting Team Lead, YRT Mobility On-Request, York Region Transit

“The Introduction to Specialized Transit course by CUTA provides a great starting point for learning about what specialized transit service is and why it is needed across Canada.  The self-directed course provides a platform that is easy to navigate and allows the user to work through the content at one’s own pace. I would have greatly appreciated having this type of course when I first began working in a specialized transit role. This course will also be helpful for decision makers in transit agencies reviewing policies and procedures to ensure specialized transit is reviewed on an ongoing basis and as accessible as possible for those who rely on the service. Participants can take away valuable learning and a greater understanding of common disabilities and types of specialized transit service supports to help Canadians with their mobility needs. CUTA’s efforts to help agencies work together and bridge common terminology, best practices, and future innovations within specialized transit can be seen throughout the course material. This course will help transit agencies be better equipped to provide more consistent, accessible, and inclusive services for those transit aims to serve.”

  • Adam Kinney, Supervisor of Paratransit Planning and Service Development (DATS), Edmonton Transit Service