ACAT Meeting - November 24, 2016

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, November 24, 2016
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:310
  • 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
  • Debbie Gillespie, Co-Vice Chair
  • Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
  • Louise Bark
  • Raymond Dell’Aera
  • Jaspreet Dhaliwal
  • Joan Jordan
  • Margaret Hageman
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Valdo Tammark
  • Howard Wax

Pool Members

  • Sarah Adams
  • Anita Dressler
  • Lauri Sue Robertson


  • Karma Burkhar

TTC Representatives

  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans
  • Aislin O’Hara, Project Lead – W-T Customer Service 
  • Yuval Grinspun, Program Manager-WT Transformation Program
  • Thamina Jaferi, Human Rights Consultant


  • Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
  • Richard Leary, Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
  • Chris Upfold, Deputy CEO & Chief Customer Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Deputy Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
  • Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
  • Vince Rodo, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
  • Brad Ross, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
  • Mike Palmer, (Acting) Chief Operating Officer
  • Jacqueline Darwood, (Acting) Head of Strategy & Service Planning
  • Cheryn Thoun, Head of Customer Communications
  • TTC Board Members

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Mazin Aribi, ACAT Chair, called the meeting and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest


3. Approval of Agenda

On a motion by Howard Wax, seconded by Debbie Gillespie, the agenda was approved.

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair, Mazin Aribi   

Mazin Aribi reported that he participated in the process for the 2017 ACAT new member recruitment along with TTC staff Matt Hagg from Service Planning, Almerinda Amaral from Diversity and Human Rights Department, and Digal Haio from the City of Toronto Equity, Diversity and Human Rights department. The appointment and announcement of the new members will be made by the TTC Board at their December 20, 2016 meeting.

Mazin informed the Committee that on November 3, 2016, he and Louise Bark went to Brampton to experience their accessible buses. Mazin stated that they were hoping to see the new Q-Pod mobility device securement design that was discussed at the November 1 Design Review Subcommittee meeting at Hillcrest. Mazin and Louise viewed 2 kinds of buses.

Mazin advised that there have been questions raised as to why ACAT meetings are held during working hours and not after 5:00 p.m. The explanation is that many ACAT members will have scheduled attendant care services, who might not be available late evening after evening meetings. Also, TTC staff time would be involved - Security desk and staff currently attending the meetings. If meetings are held later than 5:00 p.m., members would be going home and coming out for a meeting that might begin at 6:00 p.m. or later.

Mazin mentioned that the group working on the Talking Points for Operator and Collector recertification sessions are done and would like to add this as an item at the next Service Planning Subcommittee meeting for approval. Hopefully, it will come back to ACAT in December for final approval.

Mazin stated that the TTC held a community meeting on the evening of Wednesday, November 16, 2016, to discuss noise concerns related to 514 Cherry Street streetcars operating across the King and Sumach intersection. Louise Bark attended that meeting and she reported that the Summary report will be posted on the TTC website at:

5. Review and Approval of October 28, 2016 Minutes   

On a motion by Howard Wax, seconded by Marian McDonell, the minutes were approved.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items   

ACAT members reviewed the Outstanding Items of October, 2016 and noted the following:

  • Item: Accessibility at Bus Bays – Staff looked at alternate materials, but paint is the only option at this time.
  • Item: Accessibility at Transit Stops – Regarding the streetcar education video, ACAT to coordinate with Streetcar Operations.
  • Item: Gap Between Subway Trains and Platforms – ACAT to monitor the progress.
  • Item: Legends on Maps over TR Train Doors – Customer Communications is waiting to make the updates until the new year when Downsview Station will be renamed.
  • Item: Tracking of Reduced Fares – Refer to item #15 below.
  • Item: Travel Assistance Card – On hold until the Wheel Trans 10-Year Strategy becomes operative.
  • Item: Amendments to the ACAT Terms of Reference – A Report has been submitted to the November 30, 2016 TTC Board meeting for approval.

7. Deputation

8. Announcement of 2018 Subcommittee Membership

Mazin Aribi will resend the invitation to TTC Chair Josh Colle for the December ACAT Holiday luncheon.

9. Updates on Bike Lanes Affecting Wheel-Trans Service   

Eve Wiggins provided an update related to the perception that Wheel-Trans vehicles cannot stop in bike lanes. Wheel-Trans sought clarification from the City of Toronto and the response was that Wheel-Trans vehicles can stop in bike lanes and the City will communicate this to cyclists. Wheel-Trans will add stickers to buses and accessible taxis to indicate that they can stop in bike lanes.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Members pointed out several places in the City where bike lanes and Wheel-Trans stops compete for access; for example, at Queens Quay.

Joan Jordan expressed a concern that the safety of people with disabilities needs to be addressed.

Howard Wax noted that sedan taxis are having difficulty picking up and dropping off passengers and asked if this is being addressed. Eve Wiggins advised that Wheel-Trans is bringing this forward to the City and encouraged ACAT to reach out to them as well, as this is a City-led initiative to install more bike lanes.

Angela Marley suggested that one of the Subcommittees could study the issue and forward the concerns to the TTC Board. ACAT could also do a deputation at the next meeting of the City’s Disability Issues Committee.

There was a request that this issue be placed on the agenda for the WTOS meeting on December 15, 2016.

Mazin Aribi stated that there is no consistency in the design of bike lanes. A thorough report needs to made and further action will be considered. Mazin stated that he can bring this issue to the November 30, 2016 TTC Board Meeting. He added that ACAT would contact Karma Burkhar as well as the Chair of the City Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee.

10. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update

Yuval Grinspun reported that the new Wheel-Trans application form is almost ready to print. Staff training is underway. Also in progress is the review of the Community Bus service and creating a pilot for the Family of Services to run in 2017. Staff will reach out for volunteers to participate in this pilot. Yuval stated that staff knows that the pilot is a complex challenge and to make sure that they do it right, they need volunteers to give that feedback.

The new application form will be available online to fill out and print then take to the healthcare professional to complete and then submit it altogether. The application forms can also be mailed. Yuval advised that the new procedure starts January 1, 2017.

A new applicant will be required to fill out an application and have their healthcare provider fill out a section on the application. Approximately 80% will have a decision made based on the application and not an in-person meeting. For approximately 20% who require further information, they will need to be sent for a functional assessment. If it is decided that the new applicant is ineligible for W-T services, there is a process to appeal before a panel.

11. Subcommittee Reports and Updates   

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Valdo Tammark, Chair

A SPS meeting was held on November 9, 2016.

Andrea Austen, Project Lead for the City of Toronto Seniors Strategy project, presented on the development of the next version of the Seniors Strategy version 2.0.

The first version 1.0 of the Toronto Seniors Strategy was adopted by City Council in 2013. The Strategy included 91 recommended actions. A progress report went to City Council in late 2015. At that time, 86 of the 91 recommended actions were fully or partially implemented. City Council also directed City Staff to start on the next version of the Seniors Strategy, version 2.0.

The strategy is organized using the World Health Organization’s framework for age-friendliness. Transportation is one of the 8 subject areas in the framework. The City of Toronto became a member of the World Health Organization age friendly cities in March 2016.

Staff are now in the process of community engagement to consult on issues and priorities for Version 2.0 which will include indicators of age-friendliness to help track how the goals are being achieved. Version 1.0 included 15 recommendations in the “Transportation” section. 

For Version 2.0, the TTC suggested that indicators include the number and proportion of accessible TTC stations, accessible streetcars, and bus stops. The Strategy will also recommend translating more TTC services and to develop a fare equity for seniors.

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

A DRS meeting was held on November 9, 2016.

Project Managers for the Scarborough Subway Extension presented two design options under consideration for the new Scarborough Centre Station bus terminal as part of the Line 2 Scarborough Subway Extension. The first option consisted of one large bus terminal with 30 bays, similar to Finch Station. The second option consisted of a two-level bus terminal, the lower of which is a twenty bay island bus terminal, while the upper level of the bus terminal consists of fourteen on-street bus bays.

DRS members emphasized the importance of an accessible passenger pick-up and drop-off (PPUDO) area close to the station entrance. DRS raised concerns about long wait times for elevators for customers who require the accessible route, given the extreme size of the bus terminal and consequently, the large numbers of passengers who will be using it. It was recommended that at least two elevators be provided between each level. DRS members also recommended that Wheel-Trans staff be involved in planning for the bus terminal, given the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy will mean many more inter-modal trips. DRS will continue to be updated as the design process continues.

On November 1, 2016, DRS members attended a site visit at Hillcrest Garage regarding Nova Bus mobility device seating areas. Staff committed to facilitate a meeting between interested members of ACAT, Nova Bus Engineering, and suppliers of Personal Mobility Device (PMD) tie-down equipment. The following summarizes that meeting:

  • A modified anti-rotational bracket has been developed and is awaiting approval. This will allow the securements to swing backwards out of the way at the front and rear of each space, increasing the available maneuvering room.
  • Adjusting the mounting brackets of the closed side fixed perimeter seats at the front of the bus was discussed. There is the potential to gain up to 2 inches of aisle space by mounting these closer to the wall.
  • It was previously suggested that there should be stop request push buttons on all stanchions, to make them easier to locate. This is under investigation.
  • The current stop request button in the securement area can be hard to press as the customer’s mobility device may be obstructing it. ACAT members suggested installing a second button under the first seat.
  • Promotional material on the Q’Pod 3-point restraint system was handed out and discussion ensued. This system is for forward facing securement areas and eliminates floor-mounted securement devices, providing additional maneuvering room and minimizing tripping hazards. It is, however, more costly than traditional securement devices and still requires Operator assistance to use.
  • The Q’Straint Quantum arm system was demonstrated using a video. This system requires a rear facing securement area, but is more advanced and does not require Operator assistance. It was said that this system has a significant cost premium to a traditional securement system.
  • It was suggested that one TTC bus could be outfitted with the Quantum arm and Q’Pod systems for testing and demonstration purposes.

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

A WTOS meeting was held on November 15, 2016 at Leslie Barns. WTOS met with Michelle Martin who is a specialist with assessments for specialized transit. WTOS looked at the Functional Assessment of Cognitive Transit Skills (FACTS) assessment and did a mock assessment. The assessment was quite extensive.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair

There was no CS meeting held since the last ACAT Meeting.

12. ACAT Meeting Highlights for the TTC Board Meeting   


  • Reviewed two design options considered for the bus terminal of the new Scarborough Centre Station bus terminal on the Line 2 Scarborough Subway Extension
  • Attended site visit at Hillcrest Garage with Nova Bus and TTC staff to consider improvements to the accessible seating area and Personal Mobility Device (PMD) tie-down equipment


  • City of Toronto Seniors Strategy 2.0


  • Wheel-Trans Application – Functional Assessment

13. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters – Mazin Aribi   

The TTC Board held a Special Meeting on November 21, 2016, 10:00 a.m. at City Hall. Items that were discussed included:

  • 2017 TTC and Wheel-Trans Operating Budgets
  • 2017-2026 TTC Capital Budget
  • Federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF)

There were reports and presentations from TTC staff on these items. There were also deputations made from the public including Louise Bark (as a private citizen) and Mazin Aribi, ACAT Chair, voicing concerns over the proposed TTC fare hike.

The Board Members passed motions approving the budgets and the list of projects funded by the Federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF). More information is available at the TTC website.

The next TTC Board Meeting will be held on November 30, 2016 at City Hall.

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

The CLP meeting was held November 9, 2016. Arthur Borkwood, Head of TTC Customer Development, introduced Safiya Bulbulia, the new Customer Experience Analyst, who will be responsible for all CLP administration.

CLP members provided feedback on the information screens in subway stations, using the information chart to record observations. Staff chaired this discussion focusing on content and placement of the screens in the station. Vehicle destination signage was discussed. Angela Marley relayed ACAT’s advice that these signs only contain route and destination information.                                                                                                     

Members provided observations regarding the unreliability of the transit apps to inform customers when vehicles are arriving, changes in bus schedules without notification, removal of schedules from bus stop poles, and problems with PRESTO. PRESTO difficulties included obtaining a refund for double fare payment, for example when the customer was close to the PRESTO reader on a crowded bus and had a fare deducted but was using a Metropass so did not need to use PRESTO.

Customer Development staff will forward this feedback to applicable TTC departments.

15. Report on Transit Fare Equity (TFE) Committee - Margaret Hageman, ACAT Representative   

Margaret Hageman reported that the high-level recommendation of the City on the Transit Fare Equity Report is part of their Poverty Reduction Strategy to provide relief on TTC fares. The City is proposing a progressive implementation strategy of discounts for people on ODSP and Ontario Works by 33% on a single fare for adults and 21% on adult monthly pass. By March 2019, discount would be extended to those with housing supports using a means test, low income measure plus 15% eligibility threshold. Phase 3 will be in March 2020.

Margaret and Mazin will prepare the ACAT feedback on the Transit Fare Equity Report and requested members to send their input to them prior to November 30, 2016. 

16. Report on Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services – Valdo Tammark, ACAT Representative   

No meetings were held since the last ACAT meeting.

17. Other / New Business   

Mazin informed ACAT that TTC CEO Andy Byford indicated that he would attend the next ACAT meeting in December.

The bus stop pole item has been added for discussion:

  • ACAT members reported seeing the new design of the bus stop poles at some bus stops and raised a concern that this design did not come to ACAT for advice. At the May 2013 ACAT meeting, Customer Communications staff presented the bus stop and shelter maps pilot project being implemented on the Wellesley 94 Bus route. Members gave feedback that the International Symbol of Access was small. In the current design, the symbol is smaller.
  • Members also expressed concerns regarding the removal of bus schedule information at bus stops, stating that many seniors and people with disabilities rely on these postings as they do not have cell phones to access schedule information. Removal of the bus schedules from stop poles was also an issue identified by the Customer Liaison Panel.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

It was pointed out that ACAT assumed that the Customer Communications would come back multiple times, whereas Customer Communications thought it was a one-time consultation. In future, the process and expectations needs to be clearer. ACAT members expect that, when changes are made to an accessibility-related design, staff will bring it back to ACAT for consultation. This item was referred to the Communications Subcommittee.

Angela Marley noted that the Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown LRT Project Update meeting including ACAT DRS members and ACAT delegates is on December 13, 2016 at Metrolinx office, 20 Bay Street at 1:00 p.m.

Mazin reminded ACAT members that the TTC Board Meeting will be held on November 30, 2016. There is another TTC Board Meeting on December 20, 2016.

18. Next Meeting   

The next ACAT meeting will be held on Thursday, December 22, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

19. Adjournment   

On a motion by Jaspreet Dhaliwal, the meeting was adjourned.

Aislin O’Hara
Recording Secretary
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