ACAT Meeting - February 26, 2016

Meeting Info

Date:Friday, February 26, 2016
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:301
  • 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
  • Margaret Hageman 
  • Joan Jordan
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Marian McDonell
  • Valdo Tammark
  • Howard Wax

Pool Members

  • Sarah Adams
  • Lauri Sue Robertson


  • Jaspreet Dhaliwal
  • Bobbi Moore

TTC Representatives

  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner - System Accessibility
  • Mark Cousins, Head of Transit Enforcement
  • Michelle Jones, Co-ordinator-Analysis & Procedures
  • Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel Trans
  • Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer


  • Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
  • Richard Leary, Chief Service Officer
  • Chris Upfold, Deputy CEO and 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

1. Call to Order / Attendance

The meeting was called to order at 1:05 p.m. and attendance taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest


3. Approval of Agenda

An agenda item was added, “Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Award”. On a motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Angela Marley, the agenda was approved.

4. Review and Approval of January 29, 2016 Minutes

On a motion by Angela Marley and seconded by Howard Wax, the Minutes of January 29, 2016 were approved with amendments.

  • Page 3, Call to Order/Attendance - Angela Rebeiro & Debbie Gillespie should be listed as Co-Vice-Chairs.
  • Page 5, Item #7, last paragraph, was changed to: 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 join the PED Advisory Committee.
  • Page 8, Item #18, the entire section was replaced by: ACAT discussed this item in camera. Lynn McCormick was elected and congratulated by all.

5. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

Subcommittee reports will address some of the outstanding items.

6. Presentation From Transit Enforcement Department

Mark Cousins, Head of Transit Enforcement, gave a comprehensive overview of his department and of the new Pilot Project underway to focus on the following:

  • Stations Management Model – support and management programs, by-law enforcement, etc.
  • The Transit Enforcement department’s mission is to improve its customer-friendly image through modifying uniforms to be less military looking; mental health training to all Fare Inspectors; continue search for third party to undertake oversight for Fare Inspectors (currently undertaken by HR); and other initiatives. Examples of the modified uniforms were shown. The aim is to provide exceptional customer service while focusing on fare compliance and by-law enforcement.
  • The Training Curriculum for the Pilot Deployment was explained, which excludes the use of force.
  • Key performance indicators are being reviewed – number of tickets issued, number of inspectors deployed, number of complaints – on completion will report to the Board.
  • Mental Health Training Goals – ensure both the medical model and the Mental Health Survivor Perspective are provided; collaboration with experts and stakeholders for holistic approach.
  • Many experts were consulted with to prepare the five-day Training Program – which was detailed.
  • Recruitment – the interview panel make-up was changed to ensure diversity. After recent recruitment, there are 36 new officers – 30 male, 6 female and includes 23 visible minorities.
  • Highway Traffic Act (HTA)/Parking – opportunities were reviewed such as allowing enforcement officers to clear accident scenes that are blocking streetcars.
  • Conclusion: Department focus, which is in transition, going from policing to security.

Questions and Comments from the Committee:

  • Is sensitivity training included? Mark Cousins confirmed that AODA training is included. He asked that he be informed if ACAT has any further ideas for improvement.
  • How long is the Pilot Project? Technically it will last for one year and it is currently one month in. It will be reviewed after six months and fully implemented if found to be working well; it can be stopped at any time if it is seen to be not working.
  • Visually impaired customers – it was observed that the CNIB could provide extra training if required.
  • Is opposition from Toronto Police anticipated? The department is moving very slowly to get the training and protocols right.
  • HTA currently requires traffic to stop 2m before open streetcar doors. It will still be a Police matter to ticket infringements.
  • If there is a subway service suspension and customers are transported to another station, what happens if that station is
  • not accessible? Along with buses, Wheel Trans is also made available and will take customers to the closest accessible station. Enforcement officers assist with crowd control as required.
  • In a crowd of people situation where Constables are in attendance, it was asked if they could make themselves known to a vision impaired person who may be there. Mark Cousins noted that point.
  • It was also noted that, in some situations, a mix of officers will attend – Special Constables with limited police powers; Enforcement Officers; Fare Inspectors.
  • It was noted that some people with disabilities had been observed getting on vehicles without paying. Fare Inspectors are now only on streetcars until POP is installed on buses.
  • What communication devices do Enforcement Officers have? All have radios connected to Transit Control and cell phones.
  • How do you communicate with customers who don’t speak English? We have a data base of Officers who speak other languages. The POP Education Program was provided on cards in several different languages. We can also ask the Police for help. Electronic translators on Smart Phones could be used. We have people available for communicating with the deaf. The Training Program includes the identification of other cultures, such as those who may have a fear of people in uniforms.

7. Deputation


8. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) - Raymond Dell’Aera, Chair

Raymond Dell’Aera, newly elected DRS Chair, reported on the February 10, 2016 meeting. 2015 DRS Chair, Craig Nicol, was invited to attend all 2016 meetings as his knowledge and advice are highly valued.

Main Street Station will be the first to test the new PRESTO Fare Gates. DRS was asked to let TTC know what we wanted to test and an extensive list was provided. The test date will be in March.

The 2015 Public Forum Q&A was discussed in detail and some changes were suggested. The final version will be ready for website posting shortly. It was suggested that a FAQ sheet be produced for next year’s event as many of the same questions raised each year are repetitious. This might be posted online and/or in the weekly newspaper. The question of who would prepare the sheet was not discussed.

The centre platform wayfinding tile standards were discussed. TTC Engineering prepared a schematic to illustrate where the different sized tiles are used; however, the proposed path width differs from international standards. DRS had asked that Engineering staff attend the next meeting to discuss the tile arrangement and recommended the new wayfinding tiles be tested prior to implementation.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 16, 2016.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair

Marian McDonell reported on their February 11, 2016 meeting.

CS Outstanding items included:

  • The video focusing on safe use of ramps will be revisited in April pending delivery of more new streetcars
  • The observation that the washroom icons on the newly-designed subway maps be white to avoid confusion with the blue International Symbol of Access.
  • Safety program is complete – posters are on display at TTC stations and onboard vehicles.
  • TTC staff to attend next meeting to discuss real-time announcements.
  • Wheel-Trans subway transfer point information being consolidated by Wheel-Trans and will provide an update when completed.

The 2015 Public Forum Communications-related comments were discussed.

The Streetcar/Bus Accessibility Features Video Update, which is in the process of being completed, will be discussed in April.

Subway maps updates are not available.

Travel Assistance Card – Mostafa Omran was invited to attend the next CS meeting to discuss. Travel Assistance Cards will be available for download
Flash Card - Matt Hagg advised that Flash Cards are available on request from TTC Customer Service and Wheel-Trans, and are primarily intended for ramp deployment.

New Business:

  • It was suggested that tips/information be provided in the Metro newspaper through a blue box to help educate the public about accessibility.
  • The Style Guide is close to completion. CS has requested that the TTC Communications Department make a presentation to ACAT when ready.
  • Target date for full implementation of the PRESTO Project is at the end of 2016 and CS stressed the need for educating the public for its use.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS)

Mazin Aribi reported that the SPS met on February 10, 2016 and postponed the election of a new SPS Chair until more members could be present.

Staff reviewed the 2016 Accessibility Plan Status Report with SPS, which they presented to the TTC Board on February 25, 2016 and which was approved. The report is an update of the 2014-18 TTC Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. So far, 23 of the 41 objectives have been completed, including 5 in 2015.

The planned elevator overhauls were not completed on schedule as the scope of work expanded dramatically. Several new initiatives were added in 2015 including platform edge improvements at Eglinton Station and Customer Education on Accessibility. An upcoming item relates to making more bus stops accessible and SPS recommended that Valdo Tammark bring the issue of adding street furniture at these stops to the new City of Toronto Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services. SPS also recommended that Staff add an appendix to the report listing all multi-year plan achievements to date and that this be updated annually, which has been done.

The deputation from the January 29, 2016 ACAT meeting was discussed. The points in the letter were referred to the various TTC departments for comment. SPS agreed to send the deputant a letter thanking her for taking time to attend the ACAT monthly meeting and for giving her deputation. SPS will also ask, if she encounters a problem in the future, that she include more information i.e. route number, direction, time of day, and bus number – perhaps using her smart phone to take pictures.

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS)

No WTOS meetings were held since the last ACAT meeting.

9. Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons Award

Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer, joined the meeting and reported that yesterday’s TTC Board Meeting went well and he anticipates very high participation from the TTC Board Members at the 2016 Public Forum on Accessible Transit.
He then went to advise the ACAT members that the TTC had been honoured, for the first time, by the Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons at its annual gala, with an award for its work in making the TTC accessible. He added that he acknowledged in his acceptance speech the TTC partnership with ACAT and ACAT’s contribution in making the TTC fully accessible by 2025. He invited ACAT Chair Mazin Aribi to the gala and together they accepted the award.

10. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters 

Mazin Aribi attended the February 25, 2016 TTC Board Meeting and reported as follows:

The TTC Head of Customer Development presented the 2015 Customer Satisfaction Survey Results (including Wheel-Trans). Eve Wiggins presented the Wheel-Trans 10 Year Strategy.

Mazin Aribi was called on by the Chair Josh Colle to respond:

  • Essentially, ACAT agreed with the report given the importance of sustaining the Wheel-Trans program and the AODA new mandates. Challenges ahead were recognized but ACAT has been assured that it will be part of all discussions when addressing the new guidelines for those who may/may not be eligible for WT in the future.
  • Two motions were made during the meeting (1) that staff be requested to report to the Board on the feasibility of advancing the Easier Access Program, and (2) that the TTC not conduct any pilot projects with unlicensed drivers or unlicensed vehicles.
  • Chair Josh Cole thanked ACAT for its past and future work and encouraged all TTC Board Members to attend the 2016 Public Forum on Accessible Transit.

The Board asked Mazin Aribi to give highlights of the recent ACAT meeting prior to their receiving of the December 2015 ACAT Minutes. Mazin Aribi gave a brief review and invited the TTC Board Members to attend the February 26, 2016 ACAT meeting.

The Board also approved the 2016 Accessibility Plan Status Report.

To provide clarification to the second motion made by Councillor DeBaeremaker that the TTC not conduct any pilot projects with unlicensed drivers or unlicensed vehicles to strengthen TTC not getting involved with unlicensed operators like Uber, staff confirmed that all Wheel-Trans Operators complete a sensitivity training, police check, and training in providing customer service for people with disabilities; and that the City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards (MLS) license covers both vehicles and service providers.

11. Report on ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with CEO & Chair

The ACAT Executive Quarterly meeting was held on February 11, 2016 and was attended by TTC Chair Josh Colle, TTC Vice-Chair Alan Heisey, CEO Andy Byford, and the ACAT Executive members Mazin Aribi, Debbie Gillespie, and Angela Rebeiro.

The following outstanding issues were discussed:

  • Alan Heisey had proposed that the ACAT Chair or designate sit on the TTC Board with voice only to give advice on accessibility issues. When looked into, it was found that even though ACAT would have no vote, the proposal would have to go to City Council, which could be difficult. In addition, it would open the door for other groups to apply for representation. Instead, it was suggested that highlights from ACAT Minutes be attached to the full Minutes. In addition, the ACAT representative would be called on to highlight two issues which they deem to be of particular importance.
  • AODA training for all civic Board Members. It was agreed that training would be added to orientation of new TTC Board Members. It was also proposed that a Board meeting be held at the same time as the next Public Forum, ensuring the attendance of all TTC Board members.
  • ACAT advised it is a drafting a letter to the Civic Appointments Committee, to be co-signed by the Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, recommending that future appointment of civic members include a person with a disability.
  • It was made clear that ACAT’s request for a fare discussion is not about accessibility but about income. The question is whether discounts are driven by age, income or other needs and how such discounts are to be paid for. It was suggested that ACAT play a more active role in lobbying for reduced fares, particularly ODSP clients. ACAT should be ready to respond when the Fares Report is released. It was also pointed out that if ACAT is interested in lobbying for reduced fares for ODSP clients, then that becomes a bigger issue i.e. Provincial. Perhaps consideration should be given to working with a coalition of like-minded provincial groups and, if so, it should be soon.
  • Debbie Gillespie requested reinforcement of the policy for Operators to advise visually impaired customers of obstructions in their path on de-boarding and also when a stop location changes. Eve Wiggins agreed to reinforce this message with TTC staff.
  • New Business: Mazin Aribi brought the group’s attention to the new curb cut area at streetcar stops and the snow clearing issue. Mr. Byford agreed to look into this matter with appropriate staff and the City.
  • Mazin Aribi informed the meeting of the new ACAT Executive members and listed the non-ACAT committees that various ACAT members sit on.

The next meeting is scheduled for May 12, 2016.

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

Angela Marley reported on the February 10, 2016 CLP meeting, which was chaired by Staff, Customer Development and Customer Experience Group.

Viktoriya Artemyeva, TTC Customer Development, presented the research from the focus group survey regarding audio and visual announcements on the subway. CLP Members provided observations on transit use. Staff asked CLP members to visit Main Street Station any time before and after installation of the new PRESTO fare gates system. The next CLP meeting is on March 9, 2016.

13. Report on Transit Fare Equity Committee – Margaret Hageman, ACAT Representative   

Margaret Hageman read hers and Sam Savona’s report. She gave a detailed overview of the Transit Fare Equity Project. ACAT is on the Advisory Group, along with other organizations, to assist in developing a policy framework for the Toronto Council on Transit Fare Equity. This framework to be delivered by mid-2016.

Work to-date has included research on transit fares in other municipal and regional jurisdictions etc. ACAT’s priority as part of the Advisory Group is to respond to transit service and cost options and the importance of fare concessions to people with disabilities.

The current focus is surveys for community input and engagement for people with disabilities. Matt Hagg sent out the survey link and Margaret Hageman encouraged everyone to take the short survey and to forward the link to everyone in their personal network. It was noted that, when we look at low income, it is primarily those people on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Ontario Works (OW) – there also are persons who have moderate income but have to pay medical, dental, etc. and end up with much lower income.

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

Valdo Tammark had no report. The next meeting will be held in April 2016.

15. Review of Correspondence


16. Other / New Business

Louise Bark reported an incident on Wheel-Trans relating to ‘scent-free environment’ where she was disembarked from a vehicle because she suffered a severe reaction to another passenger’s perfume. The complaint was directed to Wheel-Trans Customer Service. Any similar situation concerning Wheel-Trans should be reported immediately.

A response was given by Andy Byford concerning access by diverting a bus route to serve the medical facilities on Kilgour Road. None of the options reviewed were considered viable. Customers who need access to these facilities can use Wheel-Trans.

Karma Burkhar reported on a presentation from the Licensing and MLS Committee directed by City Hall to look into taxis’ limits and Uber which was made in September 2015. The City’s report is expected in April 2016. Further input from ACAT was requested i.e. experiences and suggestions. Karma Burkhar will email a list to Mazin Aribi.

Howard Wax suggested that Wheel-Trans obtain permission to use the GO Bus reserved lanes to allow Wheel-Trans buses to have better use of the highway.

Howard Wax also said that many drivers suggest putting a yellow line down the middle of the Wheel-Trans Friendly buses to assist people using mobility devices to exit to the rear.

He also suggested that Wheel-Trans drivers be given permission to report anybody who they feel should be re-examined as being eligible for Wheel-Trans service.

The Committee referred the various Wheel-Trans items to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee for further discussion.

Mazin Aribi advised that yesterday’s TTC Board Meeting is available on YouTube and highly recommended that everyone take a look. He congratulated Sam Savona on his recent appointment to the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario’s Review of Standards Committee.

17. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, March 31, 2016, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

18. Adjournment

On a motion by Joan Jordan, the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m.

Avril Hylands
Recording Secretary
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