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Message from Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans

Eve Wiggins

Listen to an audio version of Message from Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans (7.5 MB)

As we reflect on another transformative year at Wheel-Trans, I am pleased to say the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy is coming ever closer to completion. The expansion of Family of Services and Travel Training programs, updating of policies and the improvements to scheduling options have vastly changed Wheel-Trans’ services and the ways in which it operates. Building upon the foundation of the transformation allows us to look to
the future, ensuring Wheel-Trans service remains a reliable option for our customers across the city.

This year has seen the roll-out of the Travel Training pilot and approval of Family of Services as a permanent feature of Wheel-Trans service. The new phone system, now with a call-back feature and greater queueing options was recently rolled out. While we performed many tests in advance of the roll-out, we have found that the product isn’t serving our customers as we had hoped. We apologize for the difficulties customers have experienced in reaching us and long wait times for us to call you back. We will continue to work on the bugs in phone system to ensure that it serves our customers’ needs. In the meantime the RideLine phone system and our current online booking system are open for efficient trip-booking from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week.

Building on this momentum, 2019 will see the expansion of Family of Services to include a number of new bus routes and the first Family of Services streetcar route on 512 St Clair. Our new Reservation, Scheduling and Dispatch system will allow Family of Services trips to be booked online, which means faster bookings at any time of day and better accommodation of same-day trips. A new smartphone app is also in the works, to ensure our customers can book and monitor their trips in ways most convenient to them.

Thanks to the efforts and dedication of the many employees across Wheel-Trans and the Wheel-Trans Transformation Program, we continue to be on track to deliver upgraded services to all of our customers.

From all of us at Wheel-Trans, we wish you a Happy Hanukkah, Blessed Yule, Merry Christmas and a peaceful holiday season.

Transformation Project

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Reservations, Scheduling and Dispatch System

Phase 1 of 4 has begun on improving the Reservations, Scheduling & Dispatch system. Phase 1, which takes place from November 2018 to February 2019, offers many improvements for our customers:

  • The self-booking website is simple to use and allows customers to make reservations quickly.
  • Customers can now book Family of Services (FOS) trips online, and the new map function helps customers visualize their trips. Customers can now book, review, update or cancel both regular and FOS trips at any time of day or night.
  • Customers will receive notifications of delays more quickly.
  • Customers can now change their passwords, view 18 months of trip history and update portions of the customer profile.

Phone system upgrade

Our new phone system has negatively impacted our customers and our employees. We apologize for the problems you have faced in trying to phone Wheel-Trans or receive a call-back. We thank all of you for your patience and look forward to building new services with the help of your constructive feedback.

For customers who would like alternative ways to book trips, our booking website and RideLine touchtone telephone system are available from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Wheel-Trans customers using RideLine must have their favourite addresses list set-up; to set up your favourites, please contact Customer Service at 416-393-4111 or by email at wtcs@ttc.ca.

Trip Tips: Since January 1, 2018, over 385,000 trips were lost due to same-day cancellations. To assist Wheel-Trans in providing the maximum number of trips to our customers, please cancel unwanted trips as soon as possible the day before service.

Screenshot of booking screen

Family of Services Updates

Listen to an audio version of Family of Services Updates (7.5 MB)

New routes and transfer stops are being added to the Family of Services (FOS) accessible network. These routes will expand to include streetcar lines, to make connections more convenient for customers.

  • Did you know almost 13,000 Wheel-Trans customers are classified as having “conditional eligibility” and these customers can use door-to-door Wheel-Trans services when their conditions are present and the conventional TTC when they are not?
  • Conditional eligibility customers are encouraged to book FOS trips when they are able and will be offered FOS trip options when booking. Same-day FOS trips are guaranteed as long as they were booked at least four hours in advance.
  • The new booking website will allow customers to easily schedule FOS trips at any time of day or night.
  • FOS trips will still be able to be booked using the dedicated FOS phone line at 416-397-5852, available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Access Hubs

Access Hubs are large, well-lit and heated shelters able to accommodate customers using mobility devices so that they can wait comfortably during their FOS trips.

  • The TTC's first Access Hub at Meadowvale and Sheppard is open to the public
  • Construction for the second Access Hub, located at Humber College's north campus, will begin in late 2018 or early 2019.

“We are thrilled to have the TTC's  second Access Hub near Humber College's north campus. This important modernizing effort provides improved comfort, choice and access for our students and the community.”

Meg Houghton,
Associate Dean Student
Equity and Inclusion.

Policy updates

  • Carry-on Items Policy: Outlines the rules and guidelines for all of a customer's personal carry-on items. All Wheel-Trans customers, or their Support Persons, are required to manage their own carry-on items. Environmental Sensitivity Policy: Outlines what an environmental sensitivity/ disability is and the use of scented products for customers travelling on Wheel-Trans.
  • Support Persons Policy: Outlines the    use of a Support Person Assistance Card, as administered by TTC Customer Service.
  • Companions Policy: Outlines the guidelines and rules surrounding persons accompanying Wheel-Trans customers on their trips who are not a designated Support Person.

Holiday service: Important changes to your regular service

Listen to an audio version of Holiday service: Important changes to your regular service (11.5 MB)

Regularly scheduled trips

Many facilities and programs close over the holiday season, so Wheel-Trans will be cancelling all regularly scheduled trips (trips that automatically reoccur every week) for the period of December 23, 2018 to January 5, 2018, on your behalf. Regular trips for dialysis will not be cancelled.

You can still make travel arrangements during this period, but you'll need to book the trips you require. If you know in advance that you will need your regularly scheduled trips during the above mentioned period, please let us know beginning December 10, or up to seven days prior to the date you are travelling by visiting mywheeltrans.ttc.ca or by calling the Reservations Office at 416-393-4222.

Service to transfer points

Wheel-Trans and GTA para transit services meet at Transfer Points. Some transfer points will have service changes over the holiday period, as local business hours change. For your safety, some of our service to transfer points will reflect the local reduced business hours, as listed below:

Central

Finch YRT/GO Terminal and Tim Horton’s at 3310 Steeles Avenue West will be used for all transfers after hours when other locations have closed
Shops on Steeles and 404, Food Basics, 2900 Steeles Avenue East:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 4 p.m.
  • December 25/26: Closed.
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off is at 4 p.m.
  • January 1: Closed.

Tim Horton’s, 2890 Steeles Avenue East:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop- off at 2 p.m.
  • December 25: Closed.
  • December 26: Opens at 6 a.m. 
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off at 2 p.m.
  • January 1: Opens at 8 a.m.

Tim Horton’s 5641 Steeles Avenue East:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 3:30 p.m.
  • December 25/26: Closed.  December 26: Opens at 6 a.m. 
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off is at 5:30 p.m.
  • January 1: Opens at 8 a.m.

Centre Point Mall, Pickle Barrel, 6464 Yonge Street - Entrance 6:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 5 p.m.
  • December 25: Closed.
  • December 26: Opens at 9:30 a.m. 
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off is at 5 p.m.
  • January 1: Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

East

No changes to service

West

Queensway (Trillium) Hospital, 150 Sherway Drive:

  • December 24-26, December 31 and January 1:
  • Last pick-up and drop-off is at 9 p.m.

Service to all other Regional Transfer Points will remain unchanged.

Service to major malls

In order to deal with congested parking lots at shopping malls, beginning Sunday December 2, we'll provide service to the following malls only to the entrances listed below:

  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre: Shoppers Drug Mart mall entrance.
  • Scarborough Town Centre: TD Bank mall entrance
  • Fairview Mall: Shoppers Drug Mart mall entrance
  • Cloverdale Mall: Dollarama mall entrance
  • Sherway Gardens: Shoppers Drug Mart mall entrance

Service to all other malls will remain unchanged. Please remember you are responsible for carrying your parcels, bags and boxes. Be safe and have a happy holiday season!

Winter Safety Tips: Clear your ice and snow

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For your safety and the safety of Wheel-Trans drivers, please make sure all ramps, driveways, and sidewalks are clear of ice and snow. If you require assistance with snow removal from your private property, phone 311 and the City will direct you to a local agency that may provide this service.

Tips to help keep you safe this winter:

  • Ice grippers for extra traction on slippery surfaces can be added to the rubber tips on the end of canes. Shoes and boots with deep treads will help provide extra traction.  Service will likely be delayed when it snows or is unusually cold, so be sure to dress accordingly.
  • Make sure your mobility device is in good repair: tires have lots of tread and are properly inflated.
  • If a TTC stop or other public space has not been cleared of ice and snow, contact 311 and the City of Toronto's services will address the situation.

Wheel-Trans service during inclement weather

If by 3 p.m. the day before you are booked for Wheel-Trans service, the weather forecast calls for a snowfall of eight cm or more, we encourage customers to cancel non-essential rides. If it snows on the day of service, go to mywheel-trans.ttc.ca or call the RideLine at 416-397-8000 for further updates and instructions. Rides cancelled during a snow advisory will not be included in the Late Cancellation/No-Show Policy.

Due to the possibility of busy roads and inclement weather, please allow an additional 30 minutes travel time when booking your rides.

A Message from ACAT

ACAT Chair Rayond Dell'Aera

Listen to an audio version of A Message from ACAT (7 MB)

As 2018 is coming to a close, the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) is continuing to work on initiatives that improve the convenience of booking rides on Wheel-Trans. The most notable is the new booking website which has undergone a redesign to add useful features and make the booking process more streamlined. The new-look website will undergo multiple phases of improvements over the next year, and ACAT will continue to be highly involved to make sure the site works for everyone. We also understand that many prefer to book their rides by phone, and have been working with Wheel-Trans staff to make the experience when calling in better and reduce wait times.

I also want to mention the TTC's Annual Public Forum on Accessible Transit, happening on December 13 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Since this year's public forum is occurring later in the year than usual, please consider watching the event live online if weather is a factor. You can even submit questions and comments online. As always, we value your feedback.

Lastly, I'd like to say thank you to my fellow retiring members of ACAT for all the work they've put in over the past three years, often going far beyond the call of duty for the betterment of all.

I wish everybody all the best during the holidays and into the New Year.

Sincerely,
Raymond Dell'Aera - ACAT Chair

Customer Testimonial

My experience with Travel Training was absolutely amazing, and it was much better than my expectations. I decided to apply for the training for more flexibility and freedom. Also I was not familiar with using conventional transit for commuting.

I was very glad to receive a prompt response from the trainer. I felt comfortable because she offered to accompany me from my door to the destination. She gave me a detailed explanation of how public transit works, and I learned how to plan the trip and find all the information ahead of time or, when needed, at the time of my ride. I learned about all the important options for people with disabilities on the bus and subway. 

At the same time, I became aware of the limitations of my mobility device (manual wheelchair) and how to work around them. I very much appreciate the opportunity to experience this training in small steps, as my comfort increases. Having the opportunity to have multiple training sessions and Desrianne as a trainer is invaluable.

- Dragana

PRESTO

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TTC Metropasses will be discontinued December 31, 2018

December marks the last month you will be able to use a TTC Metropass to pay your fare. As of December 31, 2018 the Metropass program will end, however there are several TTC monthly pass options available for you to purchase on PRESTO.

If you purchase a regular Metropass from a collector booth, or from one of the TTC's third-party fare retailers, the TTC Monthly Pass on PRESTO is the option for you. It costs the same as a regular Metropass ($146.25 for adults and $116.75 for seniors/youths) and provides the same unlimited travel per month as a regular Metropass.

If you were a Metropass Discount Plan (MDP) subscriber the 12-Month Pass on PRESTO is the option for you. It costs the same as the MDP pass ($134 for adults and $107 for seniors/youths), requires the same 12-month commitment and provides the same unlimited travel per month.

Post-secondary students can purchase a Post-Secondary Monthly Pass on PRESTO. It costs the same as the Post-Secondary Metropass ($116.75) and provides the same unlimited travel per month. Post-secondary students must have valid TTC Post-Secondary Student photo identification to set a post-secondary fare type on PRESTO and carry it while travelling on the TTC using youth fares.

If you are a senior or youth, you must set a senior or youth fare type on your PRESTO card before you can purchase a TTC Monthly Pass or 12 Month Pass. You can do this by visiting a Shoppers Drug Mart location with valid government issued identification.

Youths between the ages of 16 and 19 years old, must carry a high school photo ID card or government issued photo ID such as a driver's licence or Ontario Photo Card, when travelling on the TTC.

The TTC continues to work with PRESTO on having a solution available for Wheel-Trans customers to pay their fare using PRESTO on sedan taxis. A temporary solution will be in place by the new-year and more information will be provided when it's available. For now you should continue to pay by cash, ticket, token or with your December Metropass when travelling on a sedan taxi.

To learn more about PRESTO visit ttc.ca/presto.

2018 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit

Listen to an audio version of 2018 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit (8 MB)

The Public Forum on Accessible Transit is just a few weeks away. This year's forum will update customers about TTC accessibility initiatives, including Family of Services, Travel Training, the Community Bus pilot and the Easier Access Project. We will also be gathering feedback from customers about possible improvements to the TTC's conventional and specialized transit services.

  • Date: Thursday, December 13
  • Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
    255 Front Street West, North Building Rooms 205/206 (Main floor)

Can't attend in person?

Join our webcast and participate from the comfort of your home. Please be reminded that you MUST REGISTER to attend this event, by going to
http://www.meetview.com/ttc20181213 and following the instructions for registration. The webcast gives you the ability to send your questions and comments directly to us at the forum. You don't have to attend in person to be heard.

How to get there:

The closest subway stations to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre are Union and St Andrew stations (both accessible).

For assistance in planning your trip using the conventional TTC, call 416-393-4636. Wheel-Trans customers can book their trips beginning one week prior to the event online at mywheel-trans.ttc.ca, by calling Wheel-Trans, 416-393-4222 or the Family of Services line, 416-397-5852.

Due to the high volume of customers attending this event, please note that all return trips will be organized after the event finishes at 9:00 p.m. and will not be scheduled in advance.