1 - Introduction

Wendy on Camera

Hi my name is Wendy Murphy and you may know me better as a television reporter, actress or community leader. Like everyone watching this video today, I am a person who has had to overcome a great deal of challenges in life, and I continue to do so every day.

When I was 18, I was involved in a car accident that resulted in my paralysis and having to use a wheelchair for my mobility needs. I decided a long time ago that my life’s work was going to be spent breaking down barriers, and not being limited by society’s categories and labels. We are important and vibrant members of the community, and whenever possible, we should not let physical mobility limitations exclude us from participating in life.

When the Toronto Transit Commission asked me to participate in the production of the Easier Access video that you are about to watch, I was honoured. The goal to make public transportation in Toronto accessible for everyone whether you use a cane, walker, wheelchair or scooter, is something that I certainly believe in. I realize that for some it will take courage to board their first wheelchair accessible bus, or subway, but once you do, the opportunities available will seem limitless.

Thank you

Voice Over

For getting around Toronto, the better way is becoming the easier way for seniors and persons with disabilities. The Toronto Transit Commission has made huge strides to make public transit more accessible for everyone, whether you rely on a wheelchair, scooter, walker, cane or simply travel with your child in a stroller or shop with a bundle buggy.

Our transit system works for everyone; offering choices, and allowing for spontaneity and flexibility. Imagine getting up in the morning and deciding that you want to go to the museum, go shopping or enjoy a day in the park with your friends and family. No need to book a ride, you can leave when you want, spend as much time as you want doing what you love, and come back home when you are ready.

2 – Planning Your Trip and Taking the Bus

Information on accessible bus routes and schedules is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by visiting the TTC’s website, at   www.ttc.ca , or by calling the automated touch-tone information line at 416-393-INFO, or 4636, or by obtaining a copy of the T.T.C.’s    Easier Access Guide  or  Ride Guide.

You can also speak with a Customer Information Representative to get detailed trip planning instructions.

(Customer Information Representative) "TTC customer information, Della speaking"
(Customer) "Hello, I need to know an accessible route to take to get from my home to the Air Canada Centre... I live on the corner of Bathurst and St. Clair"
(Customer Information Representative) "Take the Bathurst 7B bus south to Bathurst accessible subway station, there take the elevator down one level to the  mezzanine level..."

Customer Information Representatives are available 7 days a week from 
8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

(Customer Information Representative) "There take the subway south to Union Station, take the elevator up one level to the mezzanine level, and follow the signs for the Air Canada Centre."
(Customer) "Thanks very much.  I appreciate your help."
(Customer Information Representative) "You're welcome, bye."
(Customer) "Goodbye."    

You can recognize an accessible bus stop by the blue international wheelchair symbol of accessibility located on the pole. Please be aware that not all bus stops on an accessible route are accessible.

"I felt like going to the movies this afternoon.  Taking the bus is fast and convenient, and the best part is I can go home whenever I feel like it."

Riders can travel across the city of Toronto on one of the many accessible bus routes. For a complete list of all accessible routes, please go to www.ttc.ca or call 416-393-INFO, or 4636.

Accessible buses with a lift or ramp and kneeling feature can be identified by the blue international wheelchair symbol of accessibility on the front door-side corner of the vehicle, and by the blue lights on either side of the route destination sign above the windshield. You can request access to a ramp or lift by asking the driver to activate the feature, or as the bus is slowing down, show your blue Accessible Flashcard which can be obtained by calling Customer Service at 416-393-4111.
At a crowded bus stop, drivers will make every attempt to board customers in wheelchairs or scooters first, and when disembarking, those customers are requested to exit the bus last.

(TTC driver) "Folks, can you move aside while I board this customer."
(TTC driver) "Hello, do you need to be secured?"
(Customer) "Yes please."
(TTC driver) "We'll put your lap belt on.
(TTC driver) "Are you comfortable?"
(Customer) "Yes"
(TTC driver) "What stop would you like to get off at?"
(Customer) "Coxwell""
(TTC driver) "OK, you can also use the stop request right there to let me know too."

The TTC bus fleet also uses front and rear door lift –equipped buses on some of its routes.

The TTC is recognized for creating and building a barrier-free subway/rt system. Some of the Easier Access features providing accessibility to riders who are Blind, visually impaired, hard of hearing, Deaf and Deaf-blind include:

Brightly coloured stair-nosing’s, way finding paths on platform floors, subway platform edge tiles, and Braille and raised lettering at Designated Waiting Areas, or DWAs.

Other features that provide accessibility to Blind, visually impaired, hard of hearing, Deaf and Deaf-blind riders include: public address announcements in the subway system,

(Announcement) "Please help make the TTC the kinder way. Be prepared to offer your seat to an elderly or disabled person or to anyone needing assistance."

Subway door chimes and flashing lights, and subway station stop announcements.
(Announcement) "The next station is Bayview,  Bayview station.

Buses and Streetcars are now equipped with an Automated Next Stop Announcement system to verbally and visually display the upcoming vehicle stop.

(Announcement) "Next stop: Keele Street."

You will never have to worry that you will miss your stop!

3 – Using the Subway

Elevators are available at many of the TTC’s subway and Scarborough RT stations. These elevators are specially designed for people in wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, and other mobility devices, as well as for persons with non-visible disabilities, or for parents pushing baby strollers. For a complete list of all accessible subway stations, please go to www.ttc.ca or call 416-393-info, or 4636.

The elevator service status line is 416 539-LIFT, or 5438. 

(Recording) "As of 10:10am today, Thursday October 2nd, the following elevators were out of service..."

Updates on the operating status of TTC elevators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To get an update on the operational status of escalators, as well as elevators, you can also call the 24 hour TTC information line at 416-393-INFO, or 4636, and follow the prompts, or call the
TTY at 416-481-2523.

You can identify where the elevators are with the following signs.

Elevators are equipped with a two-way voice intercom and instructions in raised print and in Braille on the inside panel and on the outside entrance panel. Two-way intercoms allow you to speak directly to a station collector if you need assistance.

To use the intercom, press the button and release, to contact the station collector who will get the help you need.

(TTC Collector) "Hello, how can I help you?
(Customer) "Hi, I'm not sure, where do I go for the street level?"
(TTC Collector) "OK, you go on the first floor where it says buses..."

Elevators are also equipped with a video camera so the station collector can observe the customer at all times.
“Accessible Alternative" signs are posted at each elevator in that station, in the event that the elevator is out of service when you arrive.

"If you ever need to return to your original accessible station, exit your train at the next station with either a centre platform, or an elevator.  Cross over to the opposite side of the platform and board the next available train running in the opposite direction."

TTC’s accessible stations are equipped with either automatic doors, or button operated accessible doors.

The signage identifies accessible features for the station, the location of bus
bays served by accessible conventional buses and Wheel-Trans services, and other
information meant to help people with disabilities locate the features and services
they need. Where possible, the signage will use symbols and graphics to depict
services, as the symbols can be easier to see and to interpret.
Accessible fare gates are found at the main entrances of TTC stations, and can either be staffed or unstaffed. These gates are wide enough to allow the passage of those in wheelchairs or scooters, and they are also used by other TTC riders. Depending on the station some fare gates are automated, and others require an employee to push a button to release; however all models make use of a power assisted swinging gate. After the customer pays their fare, the gate will open, and the customer passes through.

Unstaffed fare gates only accept tokens or metro passes as a form of payment. If you only have a cash fare or require assistance with swiping or depositing, you can contact the collector inside the station by pushing the intercom button on the gate.
There are Designated Waiting Areas, or DWAs, on every platform in the subway/rt system. You can recognize the safety area by its prominent lighting and bold DWA sign

Each DWA is equipped with a two-way voice intercom to speak with the collector on duty, 
(Customer) "Hi there, the elevator doesn't seem to be working here.  Can you give me an alternative route to get to St. Clair subway station please?"
a closed circuit TV camera for the collector to see who is using the intercom,
 and a public phone.
There is a DWA located on every subway platform close to where the guard on the train stops.
TTC riders using wheelchairs or scooters and other mobility devices can travel on all subway and RT Trains. The fully accessible subway car has the blue international wheelchair symbol displayed on the outside of the car and a wheelchair or scooter position inside the car.
The Toronto Rocket is the TTC’s new, fully accessible subway train. The new trains will be a “six-car-fixed” configuration with open gangways, which will enable riders to move freely from one end to the other. The new cars will include; closed-circuit cameras, a two way voice communication system for customers, fully automated visual and audible stop announcement systems and electronic subway maps.
Here are a few pointers to follow:

When boarding and exiting trains, always watch for the gap on the floor between the platform edge and the subway car.

Always allow train passengers to leave the car first before you board.

Never rush towards the doors of a subway car, especially when the door chimes are sounding and the orange light in the doorway is flashing, as this indicates that the doors are closing.
Priority seating on all subway cars is located at one end of the car. The row of seats is marked with a special priority seating decal.