ACAT Meeting - June 28, 2012

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, June 28, 2012
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:254
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.

Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.

Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.

Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.


  • Valdo Tammark, Chair
  • Brayan Bratanov, Co-Vice Chair
  • Scott McArthur, Co-Vice Chair
  • Mazin Aribi
  • William Castor
  • Penny Lamy
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Carol Anne Monet
  • Howard Wax


  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Lori March

TTC Representatives

  • Tom McPherson 
  • Bill Frost
  • Janet O’Sullivan
  • Bill Dawson
  • Ross Visconti
  • Vic Truant


  • Andy Byford
  • David Dixon
  • Bill Frost
  • Sameh Ghaly
  • Vince Rodo 
  • Mitch Stambler 
  • Jim Teeple 
  • Chris Upfold
  • TTC Commissioners 

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Valdo Tammark, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:08 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest


3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Brayan Bratanov, ACAT reviewed and approved the agenda.

4. Review and Approval of May 31, 2012 Minutes 

On motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Penny Lamy, ACAT approved the May 31, 2012 minutes with the following amendments:

  • Pg 4,Item 7, DRS Summary Report: 3rd bullet should say “street scape” instead of “station bus platform”
  • Pg 4, Item 7, DRS Summary Report: 4th bullet should be “30%” not “10%”

5. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items 

William Castor complimented the Chair on the letter that was sent out to the TTC Engineering group regarding the Toronto Rocket chime issue.

6. Deputations - Darrell Villa

Mr. Villa, a member of Ontario Deaf Barrier-Free, stood and presented the following issues that the blind and deaf community face when taking TTC, specifically on the subway:

  • Signs inside the subway advise passengers to listen to the announcements whenever there is a problem. No visible announcements are provided.
  • Some passengers are light-sensitive and cannot see the next stop due to glare.
  • If there is an emergency, deaf passengers cannot use the enunciator button.
  • Late at night, there are often no people around to tell deaf passengers if a train is not coming, if there are only audible announcements.
  • If blind passengers ride the TTC for free, perhaps deaf passengers should as well.

Mr. Villa stated that he would apply to join ACAT in October. Before then, he has requested the opportunity to be a deaf advocate for future ACAT meetings.

Penny Lamy thanked Mr. Villa for bringing these issues forward. They will be referred to the appropriate Subcommittees. Though one current member has hearing impairments, ACAT is always looking for members to fully reflect the community more than the committee represents, so Mr. Villa was encouraged to apply and to return to more meetings in order to raise more issues as they come up.

Howard Wax thanked Mr. Villa for bringing these problems forward. Howard requested that Mr. Villa expand on these issues, particularly if any of them apply to buses as well as the subway, and submit them in written form to ACAT by emailing

Mazin Aribi thanked Mr. Villa for his submission and suggested if he could also submit suggestions for possible solutions along with the issues. Also, Mazin requested that if there is any “best practice” that Mr. Villa has observed to accommodate the deaf community, to bring it forward to ACAT as well.

Valdo Tammark thanked Mr. Villa and assured him that ACAT will follow up on these issues.

7. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Dorothy Creaser, Chair

The Subcommittee met on June 20, 2012. Bill Dawson presented the summary report to the members. This summary does not replace the approved minutes.

The items addressed included the following:

  1. Toronto Rocket subway door chimes and other TR-related issues.
  2. St. Andrew Station access facilities – now in service providing a southeast connection to the PATH system.
  3. Revised accessibility decals on TTC stop poles served by both bus and streetcar routes
  4. Review and update of DRS Outstanding Items

A copy of the Outstanding Items list will be attached to the minutes and distributed with future ACAT Agenda package.

Any questions regarding this report or the Outstanding Items list can be addressed to DRS staff before the next DRS meeting.

Mr. Dawson provided additional details on the Toronto Rocket Door Chime Issue.

Stephen Lam, Chief Vehicle Engineer, brought a proposal to build into the current contract: an external speaker on one door per car, every 4th door, associated with blue light showing where the multi-purpose area is. This was discussed in detail.

After discussion, the Subcommittee made it clear that one door per car is not acceptable. The Subcommittee advised to have a chime at every door on the train. Mr. Lam has confirmed that this is a bigger change than the proposal, requiring a large change in the train’s wiring. Most Rockets are already manufactured so this would mean intensive retrofitting. Mr. Lam is going back to discuss this with Bombardier, what would go into this kind of retrofitting, which will then be discussed with TTC Senior Management. Mr. Lam will have a more substantial update for the July ACAT meeting.

ACAT requested further elaboration on why these chimes were omitted from the final design, when there had been ACAT members offering advice when the Rocket Trains were initially being designed in 2006. Mr. Dawson explained that the Engineering staff are certain that they received approval for the design. There may have been a fragmentation of advice at the time. In the future, TTC staff may ask for a more formal method of communicating this advice to ensure that this does not happen again.

Howard Wax and Lynn McCormick recommended finding and reviewing the minutes from the time period.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Anna Noviss, Chair

No meeting.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Penny Lamy, Chair

Penny Lamy distributed the WTOS Notes from the June 14, 2012 meeting and presented the following:

Questions, comments and suggestions:

  1. By January 2014, attendants with Wheel-Trans customers will not be charged. TTC staff will develop the policy on how this will roll out i.e. qualifications, etc.
  2. Some customers fear that using TTC conventional services will remove their qualification for Wheel-Trans. This will be addressed during the process.
  3. There will be customers who can never move over – WT will not disappear. People who can and want to move to conventional service can have greater options. For some customers, there will be variables – like weather, pain levels, etc.
  4. There are signs posted on WT already to provide training for this service. Only a small number of people have accessed.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Howard Wax, Chair

No meeting.

Howard Wax commented, though, that part of the Communications Subcommittee sits on the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee. They sat with Janet O’Sullivan on the WTO Subcommittee to get materials together for the Family Day. Howard thanked Bill Frost, Janet O’Sullivan, and Sandy Curcio for showing up and making it such a worthwhile day for the Operators and families. As an information and customer service perspective, it was well done.

8. Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) Update - Mazin Airibi

The first CLP meeting was held on June 20, 2012 at the TTC Head Office from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Each member gave a brief personal history. Chris Upfold, Chief Customer Officer, gave a presentation. At the end, Mazin spoke on the importance of keeping accessibility in mind at every step, that the accessibility concerns should be a part of the big picture and not just an add-on. Most members were in agreement and may attend ACAT meetings.

Mazin could not share the presentation with ACAT as it describes future plans that have not yet been signed off by TTC executives.

One slide that Mazin could share outlined the following customer service priorities:\

  • Make customers proud of the TTC
  • Service improvement
  • Engage customers
  • Two-way communication with customers
  • Understand customers
  • Road map
  • Remove barriers to travel for excluded groups
  • Proactively manage brand
  • Make employees proud of the TTC
  • Give employees training and learning
  • Two-way communications with employees
  • Delivery of tools for customer self-service

Mazin asked that, if needed, he be able to request assistance from other ACAT members in preparing reports. Several Committee members offered their assistance.

The next CLP meeting is on July 18, 2012. Currently, the public is not invited to attend. Should this change, Mr. Upfold will announce the invitation.

Mazin raised another matter, regarding the June 9th, 2012 Third Annual TTC Town Hall meeting. Here, Mr. Byford and Mr. Upfold listened to public concerns and suggestions. Mazin, Brayan Bratanov, and Angela Marley attended. Mazin voiced concerns for better communication between the TTC and the public regarding disabilities. He encouraged more ACAT members to attend these meetings. The next Town Hall meeting is on September 15, 2012 (details provided on the TTC website).

Angela Marley spoke on the Town Hall. First, that the report provided on the TTC website that highlighted and summarized the issues raised at the Town Hall meeting, as well as giving the response (answer, recognition, follow up) is something that could be done for the Public Forum, because it provides feedback to the people who bring up these issues. Secondly, at the Town Hall, they had two people facilitating, both a chair and someone tweeting to the general public. The atmosphere was created by the chairperson, the hired facilitator, and she did a number of things to encourage both compliments and concerns and emphasized her neutrality. There was a mix of commendations and concerns and people had suggestions for improvement. Angela could tell from TTC responses that these were things that they would legitimately investigate.

Penny Lamy interjected that she recently saw some amazing customer service provided by a conventional Operator. She suggested that reporting phenomenal customer service be encouraged in the public, to acknowledge and encourage more of this good service. Angela Marley added her agreement that this form of encouragement would go a long way.

9. Report on Commission Meeting and Accessibility Matters

The next Commission meeting is June 29, 2012.

10. Review of Correspondence - Debbie Duncan

This will be passed on to DRS as it refers to platforms and floor plans. Valdo sent a letter to tell Ms. Duncan that her concerns would be addressed.

11. Other / New Business

Brayan Bratanov visited the Seniors Forum and noted a question which was raised. He will distribute it by email to the Committee members for review. It concerns accessibility for seniors.

Brayan also became aware recently that the TTC has been publishing a quarterly magazine called The Coupler since 1921. It is only available today in e-form. Whoever is interested in receiving this, Brayan will collect their names.

12. Next Meeting - July 26, 2012

The next ACAT General Meeting will be held on Thursday, July 26, 2012, in the 7th Floor Boardroom, 1900 Yonge Street.

13. Adjournment 

On motion by Angela Marley and seconded by Brayan Bratanov, the meeting was adjourned at 2:25 p.m.

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