In this section, you will find information regarding the different types of vehicles used for assisted transportation services including the required standards, as well as information on vehicle inspections, safety fitness certificates, and operating authority certificates.
Types of Vehicles
Private Vehicles
Rides provided to seniors via a private vehicle can be done by paid or volunteer drivers. Assisted transportation service delivery using paid drivers consists of the driver using the organization's vehicle(s) to deliver the service with reimbursement done on a trip by trip basis for part-time drivers or a monthly salary for full-time drivers. For volunteer drivers, assisted transportation service delivery can take the form of volunteers using their own vehicles or the organization's vehicles. In terms of reimbursement, volunteer drivers are often reimbursed for the costs of providing rides (e.g., gas, parking fees, mileage). 

An organization using private vehicles to transport medically at-risk individuals should give consideration as to when certain people may not be able to use private vehicles. People with medical issues may have problems accessing private vehicles and may also encounter problems with objects such as oxygen tanks. And, if the person being transported cannot wear a seatbelt for medical reasons, then the driver of the private vehicle must carry the person's documentation authorizing them to not wear a seatbelt. 

A handibus must meet the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) D409-16 Standard. This Standard also covers vans and other multi-purpose passenger vehicles. It is recommended that anyone using these vehicles make their vehicle D409-16 compliant, but it is not required in Alberta. The D409-16 Standard does not apply to passenger cars as they cannot conform to the requirements.

The D409-16 Standard specifies:
   -  The design and manufacture of the vehicle, lifts, and ramps;
   -  The mobility aid location and securement;
   -  The required safety equipment. 

Detailed information on the D409-16 Standard is provided in the document CAN/CSA-D409-16 Motor Vehicles for the Transportation of Persons with Physical Disabilities

Minivans may also be used in the provision of ATS service. They are defined as multi-purpose passenger vehicles. Minivans can be modified to accomodate wheelchairs (see D409-16 Standard). Another option for getting vehicles that do not need to comply with the D409-16 Standard modified for use with wheelchairs is the National Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA)Their website has information on vehicle modification and can be used to find Alberta contacts. 

Local Accessible Vehicle Dealers

  • Silver Cross Automotive
  • 14568 116 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5M 3E9
  • Phone: 780-466-5894

  • Unit 60, 4216 54 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2C 2E3 
  • Phone: 403-243-6300

Spinal Cord Injury Alberta​ maintains a list of classifieds for used accessible vehicles and vehicle equipment.

Out of Province Accessible Vehicle Dealers
Vehicle Inspections
​​ For organizations utilizing volunteer drivers who use their own vehicles: ​​
Ensure the vehicle is fit to travel in. This may include a vehicle inspection to guarantee that the vehicle is safe and in good working order. A Request for Vehicle Inspection form can be found on Alberta Transportation's website.

Vehicle inspections in Alberta are provided by the private sector. For fees associated with vehicle inspections, you may wish to contact and receive quotes from one or more of the inspection facilities in your region. 

Verify that all required warranty and maintenance service have been completed, and retain a copy of all service records in a file.

For organizations using their own commercial vehicle (e.g., handibus):
There are set standards for maintenance, and inspection of commercial vehicles, as well as maintenance, distribution, and retention of reports (see Albert Traffic Safety Act).

Alberta Transportation has a comprehensive resource called Commercial Vehicle Safety Compliance in Alberta  which contains useful information on topics pertaining to operating and maintaining a commercial vehicle.

In Alberta, Carrier Services monitors, controls, and issues safety permits for commercial carriers. For information related to regulations for commercial carriers, contact Carrier Services at 403-340-5444 and ask to speak to an advisor who can guide you through the process associated with these regulations. To call toll free within Alberta, dial 310-0000 then 403-340-5444.
Safety Fitness Certificate
​​In Alberta, any vehicle operated by a registered community service group, designed for 11 or more passengers (including the driver), is first required to gain a Safety Fitness Certificate. This certificate ensures that any vehicle operated by the organization is compliant with the safety standards published by the National Safety Program. The National Safety Program is a program aimed at improving road safety throughout Canada. 

Other regulatory requirements that apply include:
  •   -  Implementing written safety and maintenance programs that meet regulatory requirements;
  •   -  Maintaining driver and vehicle records;
  •   -  Compliance to driver hours of service regulations;
  •   -  Compliance to vehicle inspection requirements (daily trip inspections and semi-annual inspections                  conducted at a government certified inspection facility);  
  •   -  Providing adequate driver training;
  •   -  Maintaining additional  Passenger Hazard insurance (6C Endorsement)

For more information about Safety Fitness Certificate requirements including application forms, visit Alberta Transportation.
Operating Authority Certificate
In Alberta, passenger transportation services may require an Operating Authority Certificate (OAC). Transportation services requiring an OAC may include charter, scheduled service, private, industrial, or non-profit bus operations. Note that a commercial vehicle does not require an OAC to transport passengers when designed by the manufacturer with a seating capacity of 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver, and operated as a taxi that provides on-demand service.

The type of service provides will determine what kind of certificate the person must obtain. For more information about OACs including application forms, visit Alberta Transportation.