ACAT Meeting - January 29, 2016

Meeting Info

Date:Friday, January 29, 2016
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:300
  • 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.


  • Mazin Aribi, Chair
  • Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
  • Debbie Gillespie, Co-Vice Chair
  • Louise Bark
  • Karma Burkhar
  • Raymond Dell’Aera
  • Joan Jordan
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Valdo Tammark
  • Howard Wax

Pool Members

  • Sarah Adams
  • Anita Dressler
  • Lauri Sue Robertson


  • Jaspreet Dhaliwal
  • Margaret Hageman

TTC Representatives

  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • John O’Grady, Chief Safety Officer
  • Christine Triggs, EHS Analyst, Safety and Environment
  • Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel Trans


  • Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
  • Richard Leary, Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
  • Chris Upfold, Deputy CEO & Chief Customer Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Head of Bus Transportation
  • Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
  • Vince Rodo, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
  • Brad Ross, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
  • Gary Shortt, Chief Operating Officer
  • Mitch Stambler, Head of Strategy & Service Planning
  • TTC Board Members

In this section

1. Call to Order / Attendance

The meeting was called to order at 1:03 p.m. and attendance taken.

Mazin Aribi, ACAT Chair, thanked everyone for attending this, the first ACAT General Meeting of 2016.  He introduced the 2016 ACAT Executive, as voted by members earlier in the month:

Mazin Aribi, Chair
Angela Rebeiro & Debbie Gillespie, Co-Vice Chairs

The following members were elected to represent ACAT on various Committees:

Angela Marley - Customer Liaison Panel
Marian McDonell and Raymond Dell’Aera - Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown
Valdo Tammark - Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services

He then thanked the outgoing ACAT members who retired December 31, 2015: Craig Nicol, Tim Rose, Sam Savona, Judy Berger, Raymond Dell’Aera (March 2015-December 2015), and Pool Member, James Bartlett.

He welcomed the new ACAT Members (January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2018): Angela Marley, Lynn McCormick, Debbie Gillespie, Raymond Dell’Aera, and Louise Bark, as well as the new Pool Members: Sarah Adams, Lauri Sue Robertson, and Anita Dressler.

Mazin Aribi noted that all upcoming ACAT Meetings are now listed under the “Upcoming Meetings” box on the right hand side of the TTC website Home page.

Mazin Aribi reminded the Committee regarding accommodation of members by stating that “The City of Toronto and all its Boards are committed to the AODA and the Ontario Human Rights Code and Legislation dealing with the rights and accommodations for all persons, without discrimination, who have a disability and who shall be accommodated and given full access to all goods and services”.  ACAT wholeheartedly endorsed these principles.”

Mazin Aribi also reviewed a list of Housekeeping items.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The definition of Conflict of Interest was read and members were asked if they had any conflict of interest with today’s Agenda. None was declared.

3. Approval of Agenda

On a motion by Bobbi Moore and seconded by Marian McDonnell, the agenda was approved as presented.

4. Review and Approval of December 17, 2015 Minutes

On a motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Bobbi Moore, the Minutes of December 17, 2015 were approved with amendments. The Chair requested that, in future, the title of all TTC personnel who attend the meeting be added to the Minutes.

5. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

There were no changes to the Outstanding Items list.

6. Deputation:  Emily Daigle

Emily Daigle briefly summarized her detailed letter to ACAT concerning issues with both the conventional system and Wheel-Trans. These included by-passing and denial of access to board buses on many occasions. She reported that drivers are being abused by some mobility device users, making them reluctant to allow her to board the bus. She referred to difficulties with bus ramps; being dropped by Wheel-Trans at taxi stands instead of Wheel-Trans bays; difficulties with changing Wheel-Trans bookings; elevator information dissemination. More use could be made of online means of communicating. She thanked ACAT for giving her the opportunity to speak and did confirm that the matter of accessible washrooms at 1900 Yonge Street was clarified.

Mazin Aribi thanked Emily Daigle for voicing her concerns and confirmed that the various points will be referred to the appropriate ACAT Subcommittee or TTC department.

7. ACAT Representation on Platform Edge Door (PED) Advisory Committee

John O’Grady, Chief Safety Officer, reviewed the background of the PED Advisory Committee with ACAT members. The Committee is being formed at the request of City Council, to advise TTC leadership on improvements to passenger safety and suicide prevention by including PEDs in the design of new lines or extensions and retrofitting existing stations to include PEDs.

John O’Grady gave a detailed presentation of how the system would work and the addressed the question of how the PEDs would always line up with the train doors. City Council has made previous requests of the same nature but funding has so far not been available. The PED Advisory Committee will advocate for implementation of Council’s motion, facilitate budgetary approvals, and provide continuity due to the long term nature of the project. He asked for a volunteer from ACAT to join this Committee as a community member to advise on platform edge door issues affecting accessibility for a term of at least one year for as long as the PED Advisory Committee exists. Expectations of the participant and frequency of meetings was explained.

Questions and Comments from the Committee
Members commented that not having to deal with the gap when it is known where the doors will open will make boarding simpler. It might be an opportunity to only fill those parts of the platform where the doors open.

  • Knowing where the doors will open will make boarding easier and may allow for solutions for the platform gap issue.
  • Will yellow tactile edge markers remain?
  • Will train times be slower as a result of the added doors?
  • What contribution could ACAT make to the committee?

John O’Grady responded that the entire platform edge would be re-designed and that markers would be kept as a wayfinding tool. ACAT’s concern will be to advise on accessibility for all customers, including those with mental health issues, and to provide continuity going into the future, which will be essential to the Committee’s success.  The first meeting will be held in February.

Mazin Aribi thanked John O’Grady for including ACAT at the very beginning of the project. Members decided to hold an in-camera session at the end of this meeting to elect an ACAT representative to the PED Advisory Committee.

8. Presentation – Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Plan

Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans, presented the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Plan which will be presented to the TTC Board on February 25, 2016. The presentation included Wheel-Trans history, past trends, management approach, demand outlook to 2018, “the way forward”, and budgets for differing percentage increase in usage. She gave analyses of change of age demographics, trip length and other cost measures and added that a surge in usage began in 2014 and continued into 2015, which showed 20% growth over 2014.  She explained management’s approach to managing the budget in current circumstances. A new eligibility category has been added to AODA’s requirement – “conditional”. Wheel-Trans forecast increased usage 2016-2018 and are projecting 15%, 20% and 25% increase scenarios to cover all contingencies. 

The 10-Year Plan can be summed up as a “Family of Services” made up of specialized buses, Community Buses, subways, streetcars, and buses. The Auditor-General’s 2012 Report recommended integration of Wheel-Trans customers into the regular system. Eve gave examples of how this might be accomplished. TTC is working towards 100% of stations being fully accessible by 2025. The move to the Family of Services model will require training of both customers and staff. Benefits will be improved customer service with sustainable, efficient, and cost effective accessible transit for everybody. Wheel-Trans anticipates 10 million trips by 2025, of which 5 million will include buses, accessible taxis, etc. i.e. Family of Services. It is expected that expanded service and piloting Family of Services will begin in 2017.

The 10-year financial impact was reviewed, along with additional considerations such as “Uber” type calling to give customers more flexibility; new scheduling system – more use of smart phones for scheduling and disseminating information; and BRIDJ – the MIT software similar to Uber or Dial-a-Ride; etc.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

  • The problem of snow clearing at transit stops – suggested working closer with the City and let them know key areas for snow clearing. This has already begun with the conventional bus system.
  • What about travelling in winter? Conditional rides could include seasonal, day, night, etc.
  • The problem of last mile from subway to actual destination – this is usually a short distance but could be handled better i.e. with use of smart phone/other technology.
  • Elevator outages not reported immediately - this too could be handled by technology and staff handling it immediately.
  • How Family of Services would work during rush hour?  This is still being discussed.
  • The reference to ‘comfortable place” – can it be changed to “Safe place to wait”?
  • Not enough emphasis on station descriptions – i.e. W-T transfer points. Wheel-Trans is looking at systems from many other parts of the world and will incorporate the best bits.

Mazin Aribi thanked everyone for their input and thanked Eve Wiggins for working with ACAT.

9. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

No reports.

10. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

A TTC Board Meeting was held January 21, 2016. 

New express bus routes were approved and will begin service in March. All of these routes will be accessible.

TTC staff will begin to study micro-transit. The report is expected to be out during Q2. ACAT requested it be given a copy at that time.

The next TTC Board Meeting is scheduled for February 25, 2016. If anyone is unable to attend, it can be watched live on the TTC YouTube Channel.

11. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) – Angela Marley, ACAT Representative 

Tim Rose submitted his final report as ACAT’s 2015 CLP Representative and it was read by Angela Marley, incoming 2016 CLP Representative.

A CLP meeting was held January 13, 2016, chaired by Mostafa Omran of the Customer Development Department.

Mark Cousins, Head of TTC Transit Enforcement, gave an overview of policies and upcoming changes to the department. A discussion followed, including the level of AODA training given to officers. Tim suggested a copy of the presentation be delivered to ACAT.

Mostafa Omran and Scott Sams then presented a review of the wording for the 2016 Customer Charter Commitments. Some changes were made. Given the short timeline, it was not possible to bring the changes to ACAT, but Tim recommends this for next year.

The next CLP meeting is scheduled for February 10, 2016.

Tim Rose thanked ACAT for their support during his tenure.

12. Report on Transit Fare Equity (TFE) Committee – Sam Savona

Sam Savona submitted his report on the December 18, 2015 TFE Committee meeting.

There was a general update on the progress in developing a transit fare equity policy in Toronto.

The Committee then considered how to engage the public as to how they perceive fare equity. A preliminary survey had been prepared and the Committee reviewed it. They discussed ideas on how to implement it. It was also suggested to staff that they have the City’s Accessibility Branch give their input on best practices in reaching people with disabilities. It was also suggested that disability organizations be contacted to help deliver the survey.

The next meeting date has not yet been set.

13. Report from Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services – Valdo Tammark

Valdo Tammark reported that the first meeting of this Panel took place on January 20, 2016.  The panel is made up of members from many advocate organizations. The Panel will be co-chaired by a Transportation Services staff member and a member from the Panel, who will be elected at the next meeting.

The Panel first reviewed Pedestrian Crossovers (PXO’s). Toronto is the only city in Canada still using this form of crossing. Toronto’s Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee and the Executive Committee asked staff for recommendations on how to make them more accessible and safe to blind and low vision individuals.  They reviewed proposed criteria to retrofit existing PXO’s to pedestrian actuated traffic signals.  It is not clear how many visually impaired persons use these crosswalks. The City does not oppose converting PXO’s but funds are limited and requests can only be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Regarding sidewalks, they were informed that when utilities break up a section of sidewalk, they must patch with asphalt before leaving the site. These patches are never inspected and may remain for up to 18 months. The Panel felt that the City should shorten the time to completely repair the sidewalk.

The City has also adopted a new standard for sidewalks. They will now have expansion joints the thickness of the concrete every 3 metres and saw cuts 2.5cm deep every meter with no trowelling marks anywhere.  Some Panel members who use mobility devices have used these new sidewalks and appreciated how smooth the ride was.

The next meeting will be in April.

14. ACAT Terms of Reference – Amendment Discussion

Staff have identified that there is a need to amend/update the ACAT Terms of Reference. The Chair asked that all ACAT members review the current Terms of Reference and send their suggestions for changes to him by the end of February. The Executive and Staff will assemble suggestions into a proposal and distribute to ACAT members for discussion.

15. Review of Correspondence

16. Other/New Business

17. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Friday, February 26, 2016, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

18. In Camera - Election of ACAT Representative to PED Advisory Committee

ACAT discussed this item in camera. Lynn McCormick was elected and congratulated by all.

19. Adjournment    

On a motion by Angela Marley, the meeting adjourned at 3.30 p.m.

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