January 27, 2011
7th Floor Boardroom
1900 Yonge Street
Susan Davidson (Chair)
Carol Anne Monet
ACAT Pool Members
Zoe Cormack Jones
Deputy General Manager - Bus
- Call to Order
- Introduction of new ACAT Members
- Conflict of Interest - Explanation
- Declaration of Conflict of Interest
- Approval of Agenda
- Review and Approval of December 16, 2010 Minutes
- Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items
- Deputations: None
- Subcommittee Reports and Updates
- Report on Commission Meeting and Accessibility Matters
- Procedures for ACAT Elections / Call for Nominations
- Other / New Business
1. Call to Order
Susan Davidson, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m.
2. Introduction of New ACAT Members
The Chair welcomed the new members. The new members - Brayan Bratanov, Valdo Tammark, Howard Wax, and Dorothy Creaser - introduced themselves. Lori March was also introduced after she arrived at the meeting.
Attendance was taken.
4. Conflict of Interest - Explanation
The Chair advised that the explanation for a conflict of interest was in the package and examples were given. Glenn Johnston noted that he had previously recommended the Legal Department be consulted if there were any questions. He suggested that if he was a member he would declare a conflict of interest if ACAT was advising on the purchase of accessible buses from a company with which he had a financial interest, or declare a conflict of interest on advice or support of a budget involving training if a member of his family was a trainer and might therefore benefit from continued employment as a result of the budget.
Dorothy Creaser used the example of an occupational therapist having a conflict of interest if, instead of providing the unbiased advice a person with disabilities requests, the therapist recommends the purchase of certain devices in order to receive a financial benefit from the retailer. Similarly, ACAT members are to provide unbiased advice and must declare a conflict if they or family members can potentially benefit from advice provided.
5. Declaration of Conflict of Interest - Nil
6. Approval of Agenda
On motion of Howard Wax and seconded by Dorothy Creaser, ACAT approved the agenda.
7. Review and Approval of December 16, 2010 Minutes (Attached)
The ACAT Committee reviewed the minutes and discussed the role of Vice Chairs. It was noted that the one and only role for the ACAT Vice Chairs specified in the Terms of Reference is to chair the ACAT General meetings when the Chair can not do so. It was mentioned that all members, including the Chair and Vice Chairs, can observe subcommittee meetings. It is easy to keep track of activities with monthly updates of only four subcommittees, and it is easy for the ACAT Chair and Subcommittee chairs to communicate at other times.
ACAT members must be present at the meeting in order to approve the minutes of that meeting.
On motion by Craig Nicol and seconded by Mazin Aribi, ACAT approved the minutes of December 16, 2010.
8. Business Arising from Minutes/Outstanding Items
Heather Green reported back to the Committee that the wording on the TTC website “Elderly and Disabled” was going to remain as is at present instead of “Elderly and Persons with Disability”. The Chair suggested they watch for the update from the Communication Subcommittee.
Action: Chair advises the Communication Subcommittee to watch for changes from the OAD.
The Committee requested a copy of the Request for Proposal (RFP) per station pages on the website. Heather Green responded that they were still waiting.
9. Deputations - None
10. Report on Commission Meeting and Accessibility Matters
Bill Frost reported the budgets have been approved; however, a Special Commission Meeting was held to discuss a budget shortfall of $2 billion dollars in funding over 10 years to keep the existing transit system in good repair. Certain projects are being forestalled. The initial documents advised a 10-cent fare hike but that did not happen so there will be reductions in service on routes that have low ridership. Public meetings have been held and the Commission will meet next Wednesday to make its decision.
The budget has been approved. The Commission needs an extra $8.3 million dollars in funding that is being funded by offset savings on the TTC side. It was discussed whether Wheel-Trans should use more taxis in the future; however, the Commission must find out the liability of the Friendly Bus contracts to decide who will be operating in the future.
The good news is that, in 2010, Wheel-Trans had a 19% increase in ridership. It was pointed out that the customer only pays 5% of the cost.
The Committee discussed ambulatory users on Wheel-Trans who do not fit the criteria, e.g. dialysis patients. There is an agreement in the past that Wheel-Trans would carry all dialysis patients.
Dorothy Creaser moved, and seconded by Angela Marley, to re-evaluate the eligibility for ambulatory dialysis patients for Wheel-Trans. motion was carried. Craig Nicol opposed.
A member spoke about Mayor Rob Ford reportedly speaking about the Province taking over the TTC. Bill Frost responded he was not aware of that.
Craig Nicol asked why there is a delay with the development of the Travel Training program. Bill Frost responded that the Wheel-Trans registration criteria would be reviewed before training would be pursued. ACAT members agreed that the sooner the review of the Wheel-Trans registration criteria takes place, the better.
Anna Noviss pointed out that the Wheel-Trans budget summary says the practices for integration are to be assessed in 2010 – 2011 and shared her opinion that the promotion of service integration did not have to wait for the registration review or for Wheel-Trans service improvements in 2014. Bill Frost confirmed there were no impediments.
Elaine Prescod asked why so many bus routes are being discontinued. Bill Frost responded that the routes in question did not meet the standards required.
Glenn Johnston indicated that members had been sent a note on the public meetings on bus service reallocations and that there would be one more public meeting at the Elmbank Community Centre at 7 p.m. He had already asked for the matter to be on the upcoming agendas of appropriate subcommittees.
Howard Wax pointed out that there was no mention of the bus service improvements in the media blitz. The TTC media campaign was negative and the TTC should be accountable for the communications. The Committee discussed the negative press and Heather Green explained the criteria for the cancelled bus routes, passengers per hour of service.
Howard Wax voiced a concern that neither ACAT nor the Service Planning Subcommittee were included in the discussion for the cancellation of bus routes before now. Glenn Johnston responded that in fact ACAT members attending the last Commission meeting had heard the Commission decision to hold public meetings; an e-mail had been sent to ACAT members informing them of the opportunity to attend any or all four public meetings. The e-mail was sent within minutes of Glenn Johnston learning of the finalized arrangements for the public meetings. There had been no Service Planning meetings subsequent to the Commission decision at which this could be discussed and, as this was the very first ACAT General Meeting since the Commission meeting, this was the first opportunity for all ACAT members to discuss the matter.
Some members who had attended the meetings briefly commented and Heather Green offered extra comment cards to members to fill out by Tuesday.
ACAT members spoke about the need for the Commission to be aware of the implications of TTC service changes on seniors and people with disabilities, and identified concerns with possible reductions in evening and weekend bus services. ACAT Chair Susan Davidson was asked to provide a letter to the Commission reiterating the comments and concerns.
Glenn Johnston reported that the Service Planning Department is compiling all the comments from the public meetings for the consideration of the Commission.
11. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS)
Anna Noviss (Chair) reported that the Subcommittee had one meeting in January. The Subcommittee members have been asked to keep Wednesday afternoons available for meetings when necessary.
The December 8, 2010 minutes notes were approved and forwarded to Wheel-Trans. It was noted that, to date, approved minutes have not been sent to the ACAT members.
The first edition of the Subcommittee’s Paper on Customer Service, which related to the Subcommittee’s assessment of the TTC public forums and distributed to ACAT in December, was discussed further. It will be revised once the outstanding input from the Communications Subcommittee is received.
As the Service Planning Subcommittee is responsible for providing advice on public forums, the Subcommittee asked for a reassessment of venues, especially those in closer proximity of accessible stations. Anna Noviss noted that Glenn Johnston had forwarded the Subcommittee’s request to Wheel-Trans on January 14.
The tasks which the Subcommittee identified for assessment at future meetings included continuing to provide advice on training of front-line staff, measures which can be taken now to move towards the integration of conventional and specialized services and encourage registrants to use the accessible conventional services, assessment of Provincial Accessibility Standards when they are released, and the assessment of Variety Village and the implications for service to other facilities.
Design Review Subcommittee (DRS)
Craig Nicol (Chair) reported that DRS had two meetings in January. The Subcommittee provided feedback on designs for the Easier Access Phase III upgrades of Coxwell, Woodbine, and Runnymede stations. There was also a proposal to bring forward Sherbourne Station's Easier Access III upgrade. This was not approved as it would affect the agreed Easier Access Phase III program priority, pushing back other station upgrades.
In preparation for new accessible service on Legacy streetcar routes, the upgrade of Spadina streetcar platforms was discussed.
DRS has requested that Bus Operations report back in a month with a solution concerning the occasional failure of bus ramp deployment. Mazin Aribi asked if it was possible for mechanics to check the ramp deployment each night and grease it if necessary. The response from DRS was that there is not one particular issue that causes the ramp to fail, it is many small things. DRS has also requested the statistical record of ramp failures.
Craig discussed accessible bus stop designations and the TTC request for the City to make changes to allow more stops to be designated accessible. The City has changed the process and now Stops Administration needs to deal with only one person at the City and is getting a better response to their requests.
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS)
Angela Marley (Chair) reported that the Subcommittee has not met since the last ACAT meeting.
Heather Green (Chair) advised that the Subcommittee met on January 13, 2011 and is working on a motion for elevator signage pertaining to service interruptions. The Subcommittee would like more permanent “Out of Service” signs. Craig Nicol stated that this is a DRS issue. Heather Green responded that she would refer it to the DRS.
The Subcommittee reviewed the idea of a Late Cancellation/No Show flyer for passengers with a high number of cancellations. We also reviewed the Snow/Ice Contingency Plan. Evelyn Gartner noted that it was up to the customers to cancel their rides.
The “Welcome to Wheel-Trans” brochure was sent to ACAT members. It is in a pilot form and the Subcommittee is asking for an official publication date. Anna Noviss asked when the deadline is for submitting the comments for this brochure. Tom McPherson responded they would like the comments by the end of February.
12. Procedures for ACAT Elections / Call for Nominations
Susan Davidson advised that the 2006 procedure for ACAT elections, which had been recently distributed to the members by the Wheel-Trans office, needs to be updated. However, members refuted this and pointed out that ACAT had approved another process in 2009. Wheel-Trans staff could not locate a copy of the correct document, but will do so. Dorothy Creaser pointed out that they can choose the nominees even if the procedure is outdated. Tom McPherson read the election rules.
Tom McPherson responded that he would get a copy of the proper procedures out to the ACAT members before the next meeting.
Sam Savona asked if a seconder is required for the nominations for Chair. Tom McPherson responded that it was not necessary because the decision will occur when there is a vote for the nominee.
Susan Davidson advised that if someone is elected to the position Chair or Vice Chair of ACAT, they cannot run for Chair of a Subcommittee. She added that, to run for a Chair, you must have been a member of ACAT for a year. A request for nominations for the position of Chair then commenced.
Nominations for Chair of ACAT
As a result of the nomination process for the position of ACAT Chair, Sam Savona and Heather Green will run for election as Chair.
Nominations for Vice Chair of ACAT
As a result of the nomination process for the two positions of ACAT Vice Chair, Howard Wax, Valdo Tammark, and Dorothy Creaser will run for election as Vice Chairs.
Susan Davidson requested that members express their interest in Subcommittees by February 4, 2011.
After discussions, it was agreed that the selection of Subcommittee Chairs would be undertaken by the Subcommittees at meetings after the election of the Chair and Vice Chairs.
Tom McPherson clarified that ACAT members should give their three (3) choices for Subcommittee Chairs to Evelyn Gartner and she will compile a list.
ACAT members decided that the nominees to the positions of Chair and Vice Chair will speak about their experience relevant to ACAT at the next General meeting.
13. Other / New Business
Tom McPherson suggested that ACAT form an Ad-hoc subcommittee to work with Wheel Trans on the next Public Forum. Glenn Johnston and Anna Noviss indicated that the Service Planning Subcommittee was already responsible to provide advice on forums, and had addressed the public’s comments on possible customer service improvements for conventional and Wheel-Trans services. The Subcommittee had also provided advice on the 2011 Forum and, as Anna had reported in the Subcommittee’s update, had requested Wheel-Trans to undertake an assessment of alternative venues in the vicinity of accessible stations and asked for a report on them.
Brayan Bratanov offered to accumulate highlights from the last 20 years of ACAT’s achievements because, in January 2012, ACAT will celebrate its 20-year anniversary. ACAT members agreed that this is a good idea and good public relations. Howard Wax advised that Sam Savona, Mazin Aribi, and Scott McArthur are a great source of information due to their long history with ACAT.
Sam Savona requested that a motion to cancel Wheel-Trans rides for ACAT General and Subcommittee meetings during bad weather. Valdo Tammark pointed out that the ACAT meetings need a quorum and many who would attend the meeting would make a useless trip. Tom McPherson added that ACAT General meetings are publicly advertised and the meetings themselves would be difficult to cancel. However it was pointed out that Subcommittee meetings are different and it can be a challenge to attend, and advised to leave it up to the Subcommittees to decide.
Susan Davidson recommended the Subcommittees discuss this and bring the results to the next ACAT meeting. Sam Savona asked if this topic can be placed on next month’s agenda. ACAT members decided to discuss this at the next ACAT meeting.
Robert Muzzy asked if there will be issues now that the RideLine and the Internet Trip Booking are open at 5:00 a.m. The concern is that rides will be wait listed early in the day. Tom McPherson responded that the policy is 2% are unaccommodated no matter what time of the day it is. He offers to attend a Wheel-Trans Subcommittee meeting to discuss this.
Mazin Aribi suggested reporting 98% accommodated instead of 2% unaccommodated because it sounds more positive.
On a motion by Mazin Aribi, the meeting was adjourned at 3:02 p.m.