ACAT Meeting - April 25, 2013

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, April 25, 2013
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:264
  • 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.


  • Angela Marley, Chair
  • Susan Davidson, Vice-Chair
  • Howard Wax, Vice-Chair
  • Bill Castor
  • Brayan Bratanov
  • Fay Fuerst
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Lori March
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Craig Nicol
  • Tim Rose
  • Sam Savona
  • Valdo Tammark
  • Adam Cohoon

Pool Members

  • Sarah Adams
  • Judy Berger
  • Robert Muzzy


  • Penny Lamy

TTC Representatives

  • Kirsten Watson
  • Ross Visconti
  • Bill Dawson
  • Matt Hagg
  • Jacqueline Darwood
  • Orest Kobylansky


  • Andy Byford
  • Chris Upfold
  • Orest Kobylansky
  • Sameh Ghaly
  • Vince Rodo
  • Mitch Stambler
  • Jim Teeple
  • TTC Board Members

1. Call to Order / Attendance

The Chair called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. Attendance was taken.

2. TTC Organization Update

Orest Kobylansky, Head of Bus Transportation, provided a brief overview of TTC reorganization over the past two years, namely that Surface services have been divided into "front" (anything to do with customer contact) and "back" (anything behind the scenes, such as Maintenance). Orest announced that Wheel-Trans has a new Senior Manager, Ms. Kirsten Watson.

Orest covered this information in greater detail with the ACAT Executives and will continue to be the liaison with ACAT until further notice.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest


4. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Susan Davidson, ACAT reviewed and approved the agenda.

5. Review and Approval of March 28, 2013 Minutes

On motion by Craig Nicol and seconded by Bill Castor, ACAT reviewed and approved the Minutes.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

Regarding the September 26, 2012 Outstanding Item about blue seating, the Action column states that this item is ongoing with the Design Review Subcommittee. The Subcommittee finished this item, gave its approval, and it is now back with staff for implementation.

Orest Kobylansky explained that this item has gone to Bus Maintenance, who will report back and communicate a timeline and concept of operation. This will be reported on at the next ACAT meeting.

Sam Savona asked for an update on the Fair Fares report. Bill Dawson spoke to this. The report, which will include the request from ACAT along with others, will be submitted to the Board.

7. Deputation: Alan Yule

In his presentation entitled “Moving All Passengers Quickly”, Mr. Alan Yule expressed his opinion that there is an issue of dangerous boarding circumstances on the new streetcar, where passengers need to cross a lane of active traffic to board. This would be especially dangerous in the winter months, when the busiest hours of traffic are in the dark. Where buses have lights on the doors to indicate that the doors will open, the new streetcar does not. Instead, the new streetcar has reflective weather stripping that is only visible when the door is opened. This is particularly ineffective when a passenger is required to enter the street to press the button to have the accessible ramp lowered, before the door will even open.

Mr. Yule proposed the use of LED lights, similar to the lights used on emergency vehicles for safety. These lights could be installed on the bottom corners of the doors, to light up 25m of the road when the streetcar is servicing a stop. The accessible door would have a blue light and the other doors would have yellow. When the Operator is servicing a stop, the lights would illuminate the road before the doors are opened. Also, he suggested changing the warning sign at the back of the streetcar to, "Stop Here. Doors may open suddenly." Mr. Yule provided a cost comparison of the lights and installation.

In addition to the slides, Mr. Yule pointed out that streetcars can move onto tracks of different routes without notification. The routes and direction should be announced every few stops, with even higher frequency of announcements for short turns.

Action: TTC Staff will pass these suggestions on to Vehicle Engineering as part of their vehicle assessment and report back to ACAT Design Review Subcommittee.

8. Wayfinding Standards – Presentation

Presented by Ian Dickson, TTC Wayfinding.

This presentation had already been viewed by the Communications Subcommittee and was presented before ACAT for additional feedback.

The purpose of the revised Wayfinding Standards was to enhance the existing TTC sign system by implementing simple number codes, emphasizing the existing colour-code system, and using consistent nomenclature. Signage will be designed to stand side-by-side with existing signs without conflict or confusion, allowing for a gradual roll-out.

In summary, the new signage will be simpler. In subway stations, the subway pictogram will be removed and replaced by a colour circle with the number of the subway line (ex. Yellow circle, black number "1" for the Yonge Line), the word "line" will be used to refer to the subway, replacing "trains" and "subway" which are in use now. 
This bright circle is more visible from afar than the current pictogram. This number and colour-code system will support future system expansion. For a line such as the number 1 Yonge Line, which has segments under Spadina, Yonge, and University, each section can be named on the signage, while still retaining designation as the number 1 line (i.e. 1 University Line, 1 Yonge Line, 1 Spadina Line, etc.).

For directive signage in the subway stations, extraneous elements will be removed whenever possible, such as the word "to" when there is already an arrow pointing the way, and the word "trains" when there is already the colour-coded number indicating a subway line. They will introduce the use of structured typography to present message hierarchy, using a larger text size for information that is more important in a certain situation, so that it is easily visible on the sign.

The presentation provided in situ examples of the new signage system implemented in the subway system. These included signs at platform level, signs from concourse to platforms, subway maps, and signage at station street-level entrances. 
The proposed station map on platforms is a simplified diagram showing only the stations included in the rider’s journey forward.  The main system map is removed due to its size being too small to read. This provides a more prominent ‘You Are Here’ marker, and has a ‘Heads-up’ orientation (depending on which direction a traveler is facing when looking at it, the map is rotated so that the 'You Are Here' marker is on the bottom of the list of stations). The proposed street-level signage will include the station name, the lines that it serves, and payment type information. If this is not an accessible entrance, signage will be posted at this entrance giving directions to an accessible entrance.
Feedback from ACAT members:

Craig Nicol commented that the proposed naming of the subway lines may increase confusion, as visitors and newcomers will need to learn two navigation systems, the subway lines and the streets above them.

ACAT members expressed concern about adequate colour contrast between the numbers and the coloured circles they are inside, and the differentiation between the colours themselves. Ian Dickson explained that they will use dark lettering in lighter colours and light lettering within the dark, with a 70% light reflective contrast as the standard. For the line colours, 1 through 4 are already in use, but the next line colours are still to be decided, and the issue of colour likeness is an important consideration. They will ensure that, especially at intersections, the lines will have a high contrast. Note that colour will not be the primary line identifier, rather it is secondary to the line number.

At stations where there are modal changes, especially where streetcars go underground, it should be ensured that there is adequate clarification between streetcar and train. Although the subway lines will be designated by the circle symbol, they may retain the nomenclature of "train" in this situation for added clarity.

Bill Castor raised the suggestion to have the signage say "west" instead of "westbound." After discussion, consensus was to remain with "westbound" as "west" can be construed as a destination rather than a direction of movement.

In the in situ example set in Bloor Station, on the Bloor platform, there is a sign described as, from the left, Left Arrow, 1 in Yellow Circle, “Yonge Line” in large type, “Northbound” in smaller type. From the right, Right Arrow, 1 in Yellow Circle, “Yonge Line” in large type, “Southbound” in smaller type. ACAT members suggest that this sign would be confusing as it seems to be pointing in the directions that the train is going, not the directions that the passengers should walk to get to the Yonge trains. The sign may need to retain the stairway pictogram to indicate that passengers will need to go up another level. Mr. Dickson will take this back.

ACAT members discussed the use of a new pictogram in the in situ example showing a barrier free access route. In this example, the elevator and International Access Symbol pictograms have been combined into one, a blue and white elevator with a standing person and a person in a wheelchair. Members expressed concern that this symbol might be confusing to some, whereas it may also be redundant, as a barrier-free access pathway will, of a necessity, have an elevator. However, members also discussed that this pictogram, by placing the accessibility symbol within the elevator, is giving priority to use for accessibility. Some members found this symbol very clear. Members suggested that having the word "Elevator" as well as the pictogram may be redundant. Mr. Dickson explained that this is for people who may prefer words to images.

ACAT members discussed the proposed signage on the Bloor Station Yonge platform, which indicates the accessible routes. Because these accessible routes are the same, at this point, as the non-accessible, members recommended removing the international symbol of accessibility. However, after discussion, it was decided to retain these symbols because passengers disembarking from the trains need to know if the station is accessible. The symbol, which is not inside an elevator, caused some additional debate as it is inconsistent with the previously discussed symbol. Mr. Dickson explained that the elevator symbol is used to indicate when the elevator is nearby and the accessibility symbol denotes general accessibility.

For the platform level subway system map, ACAT members recommended removing the "north" indication and other map characteristics, as this is more of a listing of stations. Accessibility information will be added.

For the example shown of an automated inaccessible station entrance at street level, the directions given to the accessible doors at the main entrance are too small to see from afar. ACAT members request a larger indication that this entrance is inaccessible, possibly with a pictogram indicating automated entrance.

At platform level, when an elevator comes out on a centre platform, there is no indication of which train is going in which direction. This is a problem when the trains are in the station and covering the signage on the far walls. ACAT members recommend either a sign within the elevator or just outside, possibly hanging from the ceiling, and an assurance that this will be replaced during construction.

Mr. Dickson will take ACAT's feedback to the working group.

9. Update – Union Station

Deferred to the next ACAT meeting.

10. Update – TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit Services

Bill Dawson spoke to this.

Arrangements are in place for the May 9, 2013 Public Forum on Accessible Transit. The full communications plan has already begun going out, including the Wheel-Trans newsletter and announcements, hangers on buses and vehicles, and signage at booths. Three advertisements will be placed in the Metro newspaper starting May 1. The full transportation plan is in place with shuttle buses from Bathurst Station and the Dufferin bus. There will be attendants, ASL, captioning, and voice recordings of the event. These recordings may be posted to the TTC website following the Forum. There will be an independent facilitator from Argyle Communications to manage the meeting. They will use four microphones in four quadrants of the audience and go around in order. Bright blue paper will be distributed to be used to flag down the person with the microphone, and can be used to write a question for an attendant or person with microphone to read out. Staff will be situated on the platform to listen and summarize what they have heard.

The usual agenda will be followed, with welcoming words from the TTC Chair, a brief Activities and Achievements Summary, words from the ACAT Chair, and then the Questions and Answers period. Boards will be up for an hour in advance of the Forum and a half hour afterward, with TTC staff available for one-on-one questions and answers. A Twitter feed, #TTCAccess, will be monitored by Argyle staff and reported on during the Forum.

This year, a live feed is not possible due to location restrictions, but is something that TTC Staff will work toward in later years.

Angela Marley added that ACAT will have a table and requests volunteer members to sit on it. As well, members are requested to submit tips for using conventional service, to be compiled and distributed at the Forum.

11. People in Motion

ACAT will have a booth at the People in Motion Show on May 31 and June 1, 2013 at CNE. Members will be contacted by email regarding volunteer sign up.

There will be a Wheel-Trans staff person at the show as well.

12. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) - Bill Castor, Chair

Deferred to next ACAT meeting.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) - Craig Nicol, Chair

Deferred to next ACAT meeting.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) - Debbie Gillespie, Chair

Deferred to next ACAT meeting.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) - Lynn McCormick, Chair

Deferred to next ACAT meeting.

13. Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) Report – Tim Rose

Presented by Angela Marley, Chair, who attended in place of Tim Rose.

The Customer Liaison Panel Meeting was held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, chaired by Bob Hughes, Customer Communications.

Members gave their observation from their transit use including: lack of wayfinding signage to TTC from Toronto Convention Centre and positive comments about the recent Pape Station web survey asking customers for their preference in dealing with the construction.

Collie Greenwood, Manager of Station Operations/Collectors, presented the Group Station Managers, their role and plan for subway station management. Five of the six managers were present and gave a brief summary of their background. Angela Marley recommended that ACAT request this presentation for a meeting in the near future.

Staff gave an update on the design of the new TTC uniforms. Sketches of the uniform were displayed and the members provided feedback.

The Customer Charter Quarterly Report was displayed and members gave positive feedback to TTC for meeting the 3rd Quarter goals and being transparent with information. A suggestion was made to create Twitter accounts to keep customers informed of the Charter accomplishments and upcoming targets.

The Panel viewed “The Personal Car – April Fools” video featuring Chris Upfold, Chief Service Officer, and Brad Ross, Executive Director - Corporate Communications. The video uses humour to discourage undesirable behaviour on TTC vehicles, such as eating and nail clipping. The feedback from the public has been positive so other topics may be considered. Members provided feedback including suggestions for other items such as the personal elevator.

Angela Marley invited the CLP members to the 2013 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit Service, circulating written invitations from Mitch Stambler.

14. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Deferred to next ACAT meeting.

15. Review of Correspondence


16. Other / New Business

Howard Wax will send out an email to ACAT members regarding the June 9, 2013 Roadeo/TTC Family Day, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

17. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2013, in the 7th Floor Boardroom, 1900 Yonge Street.

18. Adjournment

On motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Tim Rose, the meeting was adjourned at 3:21 p.m

Janet Wright
Recording Secretary

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