November 24, 2011
1:00 - 3:30 p.m.
7th Floor Boardroom
1900 Yonge Street
7th Floor Boardroom
1900 Yonge Street
Sam Savona, Chair
Carol Anne Monet
Valdo Tammark (Vice Chair)
Howard Wax (Vice Chair)
Susan Davidson (Ex-Officio)
- Call to Order / Attendance
- Declaration of Conflict of Interest
- Approval of Agenda
- Review and Approval of October 27, 2011 Minutes
- Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items
- Deputations: Nil
- Subcommittee Reports and Updates
- Report on Accessible LRT
- Report on Commission Meeting and Accessibility Matters
- Wheel-Trans Service Improvements
- Review of Correspondence: Nil
- ACAT Terms of Reference for Commission Approval
- Other / New Business
- Next Meeting – December 15, 2011
Call to Order and Attendance
Sam Savona, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:00 pm and attendance was taken.
1. Declaration of Conflict of Interest – Nil
2. Approval Of Agenda
On motion of Howard Wax and seconded by Dorothy Creaser, ACAT reviewed and approved the agenda
4. Review and Approval of October 27, 2011 Minutes
On motion of Howard Wax and seconded by Mazin Aribi, ACAT approved the minutes of October 27, 2011, with amendments.
5. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items
Minutes from the PRESTO Meeting were distributed to the Members for information only. It was noted that the letter that resulted from that meeting would stand as the official minutes and, since that letter had already been sent, no approval was necessary.
6. Deputations – Nil
7. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS)
WTOS held a meeting on November 15, 2011, and Dorothy Creaser, Chair, provided an update.
Dorothy reviewed with the Committee the statistics that had been reported regarding the Dialysis Report. TTC is working with the Ministry of Health and the Toronto Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) to determine the options available for those individuals who require dialysis but do not fit within the criteria to be able to receive transportation from Wheel Trans. They have identified 660 individuals who fall within that situation and it is expected to rise to 800 by this time next year. This represents approximately 250,000 trips per year at a cost of approximately $5 million for 2012. Wheel-Trans is the right organization to provide the service but can only do so if they receive funding.
Toronto Ride, which is a partnership of not-for-profit neighbourhood-based community support service agencies, has a number of vehicles that are underutilized due to lack of drivers. Tom McPherson noted that the lack of volunteer drivers is a growing problem. The total cost for Wheel-Trans to meet the need of the dialysis program is approximately $8 to 9 million.
Review of Proposed Changes to Late Cancellation/No-Show Policy
Dean Milton presented a review of the proposed changes to the LC/NS Policy that will be implemented in January 2012. The intent behind the changes is to cut down on the number of rides being cancelled or lost and the associated cost accompanying this occurrence. This would be the 3rd change to the policy since its inception.
Rates of LC/NS have increased to over 20% in the first half of 2011. It is speculated that it might be a result of the fact that individuals have figured out how to abuse the system. The cost of the transportation is already paid for even if the individual does not use it due to late cancellation or no show. As a result, Wheel-Trans estimate that there are 225,000 wasted trips at a cost of $6.75 million.
Wheel-Trans already accepts a 20% late cancellation or no-show occurrence per month by an individual without penalty. It is estimated that only 1% of Wheel-Trans users are responsible for this situation. By reducing the LC/NS occurrence, it is estimated that Wheel-Trans can provide an additional 27,000 rides per year at a cost of $800,000.
Wheel-Trans does not have the budget or the manpower to respond with an administratively heavy policy process. The policy needs to be more effective. Each individual situation will still be taken into consideration. This policy is not intended to punish the majority but is intended to affect the minority that are causing the problem.
The Committee discussed various challenges with Wheel-Trans and suggested the following issues be addressed:
- Customer Service access by phone needs to be improved.
- Customer Service Staff need to be reminded that they are not to engage in disputes on the phone.
- A new policy needs to be properly communicated to the users and the appropriate services need to be in place before it is implemented.
Proposed New Policy:
- Trigger points will remain the same
- 1st Occurrence – Advisory letter
- 2nd Occurrence – 7 day Service Suspension
- 3rd Occurrence – 14 day Service Suspension
- 4th Occurrence – 30 day Service Suspension
- 5th Occurrence – 60 day Service Suspension
- 6 consecutive months of adhering to the policy will result in a clear record.
- Please note there will no longer be the in-person education sessions.
- Customers will be advised by mail when an infraction is noted and a suspension is in order.
Review of Outstanding Items
There are only two ongoing outstanding items and they had been completed. Dorothy handed out the results of the Public Forum and requested that the secretary add the observations to the outstanding items list.
WTOS will periodically update the Service Planning Subcommittee and ACAT on the progress being made on the various action items to be pursued to improve specialized service in Toronto.
Design Review Subcommittee (DRS)
The DRS did not meet in November. Craig Nicol, however, updated ACAT on some small items. He noted that three members of the Subcommittee looked at the new streetcar prototype and provided feedback to the Engineering team. It was confirmed by Kevin Seto that there would be a design review at the next meeting on November 30, 2011.
Communications Subcommittee (CS)
Angela Rebeiro provided an update on the Communications Subcommittee.
At the last meeting, the CS members reviewed the Wheel-Trans Winter newsletter. It was also noted that the Forum was not being mentioned in the newsletter. The Subcommittee was also provided with two new decals, one for priority seating and on for courtesy seating that are being vetted through the TTC Marketing Department. The decals still need to be approved by the Legal Department.
Sam Savona also noted that the retirement of Freda Stanois was announced at yesterday’s Commission meeting. He informed the members that, at the next ACAT meeting, a card will be available for their signature which will be presented to Freda at the meeting.
8. Report on Accessible LRT
Kevin Seto provided an update on the public response to the mock-up review done over a week ago on the Accessible LRT. The mock-up was open to the public for four days and over 4,000 people attended. They are still tabulating the comments made by the public.
The most prominent areas raised by the public:
- The new model is drastically different from streetcars, buses, and subway cars currently in service.
- People were impressed by the look of the vehicle.
- They were supportive of the project and eager to see it put into service.
- Many wanted the deployment schedule as soon as possible.
- There were a lot of questions about the proof of payment question.
- They were interested in the aspects of vehicle design, seating configuration, and boarding.
- There is a lot of concern regarding fare evasion.
The design will be reviewed with the Design Review Subcommittee next week. Comments from ACAT’s review of the mock-up are also being reviewed.
Angela Rebeiro noted that the gap where the vehicle rotates is problematic for people with canes. Kevin noted that the comment was raised.
9. Report on Commission Meeting and Accessibility Matters
Valdo Tammark provided an update on the Commission Meeting that was held on November 23, 2011. There was the discussion regarding the issue of the naming of the new subway stations on the Spadina Extension. A resolution was made that the Vaughan Corporate Centre be changed to the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. Staff still need to do some more work on getting public input on the Steeles West and Downsview station names.
Sam Savona provided a deputation to the Commission regarding the concerns regarding naming of stations for people with disabilities.
Regarding the PRESTO card, Commissioners are not making decisions on a number of items in the report pending a further report from staff.
Sam’s letter regarding PRESTO was acknowledged and accepted by the Commission. ACAT will be involved with the procurement of equipment for implementation of the PRESTO program.
10. Wheel-Trans Service Improvements
Bill Frost provided an update to the Committee.
Bill wanted to provide assurance to the Committee that the new system has been proving effective in addressing problems that are raised by customers. As a result of the new system, Zone Service customers are no longer given a half-hour window and every indication is that this is working well and has already improved on no-shows.
Wheel-Trans has had ongoing issues with some customers (only 24/25 out of 10,000) waiting very long time periods for service every day. The system has allowed them to better understand why that is occurring and steps are being taken to ensure that it does not happen again.
11. Review of Correspondence - Nil
12. ACAT Terms of Reference for Commission Approval
Bill Frost provided an update to the Committee. A Commission Report is ready to go forward to the December 14, 2011 Commission meeting. A formal ratification is required at this meeting.
On a motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Carol Anne Monet, ACAT ratified the terms of reference as circulated.
One member noted that ACAT received what was supposed to be a cleaned up copy of the Terms of Reference but there were still correction notes in it even though the title of the document noted that it was supposed to be a cleaned up copy.
Resend ACAT Members a true cleaned up copy of the Terms of Reference. Also ensure that when something has been approved by ACAT and by the Commission that the date for each approval appears on the document so that Members know they have the final document.
13. Other / New Business
Bill Frost introduced TTC Vice-Chair Peter Milczyn, who informed the members that he and the Chair are committed to attend as many ACAT meetings as possible. They are there to be open to any comments and questions ACAT members may have.
The appointments for new 2012 ACAT members will go to the Commission meeting on December 14, 2011 for approval.
14. Next Meeting – December 15, 2011
On motion by Howard Wax the meeting was adjourned at 2:11 pm.