ACAT Meeting - May 26, 2022

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, May 26, 2022
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location:Virtual Meeting
Meeting No:380
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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  1. Call to Order / Attendance
  2. Land Acknowledgement
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Review and Approval of April 28, 2022 Minutes
  6. Remarks from ACAT Chair
  7. Remarks from TTC Executive
  8. Outstanding Items – ACAT Honoraria, Identification for ACAT members without a transit pass, Review of ACAT meeting times, DRS motion – Davisville Platform Width
  9. Deputation: Nil
  10. Review of Correspondence: Nil
  11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman
  12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    Design Review
    Service Planning
    Wheel-Trans Operations
  13. New Business
  14. Next Meeting – June 30, 2022
  15. Adjournment

Meeting Date:

Thursday, May 26, 2022 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Virtual meeting via WebEx


Jonathan Marriot, ACAT Chair
Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Co-Vice Chair
Anita Dressler, ACAT Co-Vice Chair
Craig Nicol, DRS Chair
Carmen Galvan, SPS Chair
Angela Marley, CS Chair
Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair
Bobbi Moore
Erica Tanny
Gwyneth Dalzell
Howard Wax
Janice Shachter
Lauren Foote
Sean Hollingsworth
Wangari Muriuki

Pool Members:

Lorraine Le Camp
Robert Hampson

TTC Representatives:

Michael Atlas, General Counsel
Cameron Penman, Acting Head of Wheel-Trans
Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans
Mohammed Shaikh, Divisional Manager of Operations, Wheel-Trans
Lodon Hassan, Acting Manager of Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
David LoPresti, Manager, Contracted Services, Wheel-Trans
Matt Hagg, Acting Manager of Customer Experience & Fare Policy, Strategy and Foresight
Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience, Customer Communications
Chris Hong, Customer Experience Analyst, Strategy & Foresight
John Boucher, Garage Manager Lakeshore, Wheel-Trans
Sher Khan, Divisional Assistant Manager, Wheel-Trans
Samantha Peters, Human Rights Consultant, Human Rights & Investigations
Victoria Kolakowski, Travel Specialist, Wheel-Trans
Waseem Aslam, Divisional Assistant Manager, Wheel-Trans
Paolo Nicolas, Administrative Assistant, Wheel-Trans

Items discussed

  1. Call to Order / Attendance
  2. Land Acknowledgement
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Review and Approval of April 28, 2022 Minutes
  6. Remarks from ACAT Chair
  7. Remarks from TTC Executive
  8. Outstanding Items – ACAT Honoraria, Identification for ACAT members without a transit pass
  9. Deputations
  10. Review of Correspondence
  11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update
  12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
  13. New Business
  14. Next Meeting – June 30, 2022
  15. Adjournment

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Jonathan Marriott, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:06 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Land Acknowledgement

The land acknowledgement was read by the ACAT Chair.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

No conflicts of interest were declared. 

4. Approval of Agenda 

On a motion by Anita Dressler and seconded by Craig Nicol, the agenda was approved.

5. Review and Approval of April 28, 2022 Minutes

Debbie Gillespie moved to approve the April 28, 2022 minutes and seconded by Lauri Sue Robertson. All members were in favour. 

6. Remarks from ACAT Chair

Jonathan Marriot, ACAT Chair, opened with a message of celebration remarking ACAT’s 30th anniversary with the Toronto Transit Commission. Jonathan recounted 12 major milestones of ACAT’s accomplishments over the 30 years. Jonathan reiterated that accessibility is a benefit to all communities not just those who have disabilities. He then went on to share what he presented at the TTC Board meeting in April. Jonathan finished the ACAT Chair remarks by reminding all attendees that discussion in ACAT meetings are generally for ACAT members and only those invited to speak should participate. It was clarified that members of the public may submit deputations and email correspondence as a means to voice any concerns regarding accessibility.  

7. Remarks from TTC Executive

Michael Atlas, General Counsel, TTC introduced himself and his background. He explained that he oversees the entire Legal Department in the TTC. The Legal Department is comprised of three sections: Claims, Legal and Commission Services. It addresses a wide spectrum of legal matters and claims on behalf of the TTC. He thanked ACAT for the invitation and opened the forum to questions they may have for him. 

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Angela Marley stated that the ACAT is struggling to get information from Metrolinx, especially regarding Line 5. She stated that the information, though not security related, is nevertheless crucial to prepare station descriptions for customers who will eventually use these transit services. She asked if there is any role that the Legal Department has in expediting this process, perhaps through any legal mandates, so that Metrolinx would provide this information to the TTC and subsequently to ACAT. 

Michael Atlas stated that he is not sure what role the Legal Department can specifically play in order to expedite information from Metrolinx. 

Although the TTC and ACAT have maintained a great relationship over the years, upcoming and ongoing new transit expansion programs, including the subway program, Metrolinx has complete oversight. Because of this, TTC will need to bridge the gap to ensure that ACAT can continue to have its voice heard on accessibility issues relating to the design and construction of the expansion lines. Michael offered to seek out any specific information from Metrolinx that ACAT was requesting, but reiterated that he can only ensure the request is made and can’t guarantee that the information from Metrolinx will be provided.

Jonathan thanked Michael for attending and addressing all the questions that ACAT had. 

8. Outstanding Items 

  • Recommendation for Honorarium – No update
  • Identification for ACAT members without a transit pass – No update
  • Review of ACAT meeting times – No update 
  • DRS motion – Davisville Platform Width – Currently with TTC Staff

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Janice Shachter expressed frustration with the lack of updates on the ACAT honoraria, they asked for an explanation to the delay, as this was passed in December of 2021. 

Cameron Penman, Acting Head of Wheel-Trans, apologized for the delay and explained that there are various avenues that Wheel-Trans has to go through to process and put this motion into effect. He stated that he is actively looking into it and will bring back an update in the next meeting. 

Lauri Sue Robertson asked about ID’s to be provided for ACAT members who opted not to have the transit pass. She stated that without ID’s that ACAT members would have difficulty getting access to TTC facilities for meetings and site visits. 

Cameron replied that he is working with the security team to come up with a solution that is more streamlined and he will have an update at the next meeting.

Debbie Gillespie responded, stating this doesn’t need to be as difficult as everyone is making it; building security just needs to be informed that ACAT will be coming on site. She did not see it to be a huge problem as long as there is good communication between security and the staff arranging the visit. She agreed with Cameron that this can be done in a simpler way.

Anita added that her concern was primarily at Commissioners where no one seems to question your presence at the facility, after the guardhouse is passed, even without an ID which could be a security breach. She added that any ID will be sufficient just to show that they have permission to visit the premises. 

9. Deputation


10. Review of Correspondence


11. Wheel -Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update 

Cameron announced that Dwayne Geddes had left the TTC to pursue another opportunity, and that all staff at the TTC wish him the best. Cameron Penman was appointed as the interim Head of Wheel-Trans, as the search for the new Head commences. As such, Cameron will be providing the Wheel-Trans Transformation and COVID-19 updates in the ACAT General Meetings up until further notice in ACAT General Meetings. He proceeded to congratulate ACAT on their 30th anniversary and shared sentiments regarding the continued partnership of the TTC with ACAT. The Wheel-Trans updates that Cameron shared were: 

  • Wheel-Trans accepted the delivery of the 17th ProMaster Plus vehicle and the TTC is on track to receive 85 vehicles by the end of the year.
  • The Travel Training program has completed 40 training sessions so far this year with 22 more scheduled and 187 customers interested in participating. 
  • Wheel-Trans has now operationalized 400 of the FOS vehicle transfer stops. 

In regards to COVID-19 and revenue service; Cameron informed the committee that share-riding will be re-introduced to accessible taxis starting June 5. The accessible taxis will be opened up to two customers, instead of just one. The front passenger seat will not be available. All previous COVID-19 protocols will still be followed during booking and transport.  The next step would be to bring back shared-riding in sedans. 

Questions and Comments from the Subcommittee

Debbie requested clarification on when the share-riding would come into effect and suggested that this information be made known to all Wheel-Trans customers via the self-booking website. 
Janice posed a question regarding the size of the signage for the operationalized stops for Family of Services. She found the size of the stops to be too small, and wondered if they can get be enlarged for better visualization. Afterwards, Janice expressed concerns with the lack of enforcement of the mask mandate on the TTC. She has witnessed customers and operators alike who seem to neglect wearing their masks while operating or riding in the TTC vehicles. Cameron explained that customers and operators may have medical exemptions that prevent the TTC from enforcing them wearing a mask. However for employees, if there was an outright disregard for the mask mandate, he encouraged for customers to report it when possible so that Wheel-Trans can follow up. 

Erica Tanny inquired as to whether or not the TTC had a protocol to verify if medical exemptions are legitimate. She followed up with a question regarding share-rides and if Wheel-Trans is creating an exemption for those who are booking medical trips and are therefore especially vulnerable. Cameron responded that there are processes in place that allow tracking and recording of those who claim medical exemption from masks, and that Wheel-Trans is able to follow up and verify. He continued to state that Wheel-Trans is looking into navigating share-rides with customers who can wear masks and those who are medically exempt. 

12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates

Communications Subcommittee  - Angela Marley, CS Chair

There were no Communications Subcommittee meetings in the month of May. Angela highlighted a couple of relevant items for the month however: Doors Open Toronto was occurring on the weekend of May 28, with TTC opening Lower Bay subway station for tours. She encouraged ACAT members to attend. She remarked that the ACAT 30th Anniversary presentations and communications among several platforms were exemplary. Angela added that although much of it was appreciated, she wished that more news articles were published regarding the milestone, Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience, Customer Communications, noted that a news release was sent to the media. The next meeting will be held on June 2, 2022.


2022 Doors Open Toronto, and the ACAT 30th anniversary communications. 

Design Review Subcommittee – Craig Nicol, DRS Chair

The Design Review Subcommittee held their meeting on May 4, 2022. The major items that were discussed were hostile vehicle threats at Union Station, and a third party entrance connection at York Mills Station. There was a presentation during the meeting for a plan by the City of Toronto to protect Union Station from hostile vehicle threats using various barriers. Conversations arose as to how these barriers would affect accessibility and what measures will be taken to ensure that existing infrastructures wouldn’t be affected. Following that was a presentation about a redevelopment of the TTC entrance at 4050 Yonge Street (York Mills Station). The integration of a new building will introduce a staircase and two flow-through elevators, which will replace the current stair and escalator entrance. This will connect street level with the concourse level. Recommendations were given towards this project for better accessibility and ease of transport. Other items in the meeting included recommendations for future bus procurements and contactless elevator control testing at Kipling and Union stations. The next meeting will be held on June 8, 2022. 


Barrier installation plan by the City of Toronto to protect Union Station from hostile vehicle threats, third party entrance connection at York Mills station, future bus procurement recommendations and contactless elevator control testing at Kipling and Union stations. 

Service & Planning Subcommittee – Carmen Galvan, SPS Chair

The Service and Planning Subcommittee had two meetings this month: May 4 and May 20. Carmen Galvan, SPS Chair, summarized the items discussed in the meeting on May 4. An update was presented on the 2022 Accessibility Plan Status report that will be presented to the TTC Board in June. The report outlines TTC’s progress in their objectives in the TTC Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, which aims to improve the accessibility of TTC services and facilities by 2023. Out of the 47 objectives, so far 25 have been completed. Some of the other items included in this discussion were the Tactile Wayfinding project at York Mills station, along with the Elevator Control project and testing which was previously mentioned in the DRS meetings. There were discussions as well regarding Line 5 bus route connections and coordination. 


2022 Accessibility Plan Status report, Tactile Wayfinding project at York Mills station and Line 5 bus route connections and coordination. 

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee, Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair

The WTOS Subcommittee held their meeting on May 18, 2022. Lauri Sue was unable to present the minutes for April’s meeting so she included those minutes in this presentation as well. On April 20, Marco Iorfida, Scheduling and Policy Specialist, gave an update on Wheel-Trans stops and landmarks; specifically, verifying entrances for hospitals. This will be entirely the hospitals’ directives however Wheel-Trans is ensuring that customers are aware of all pick-up and drop-off locations. Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, gave an update that an instructional and promotional video will be placed online to assist customers who will use the Family of Services. David LoPresti, Manager of Contracted Taxis, gave an update regarding ridership and further training for the contractors on customer service for passengers with disabilities. PRESTO will allow for open fare payment on contracted vehicles and changes to accessible vehicle units will be completed by the end of this year as per TTC Executives. The mobile app for vehicle tracking will also be operational by Q3. There were no changes in requirements for wearing masks and/or pre-screening as reported by Dwayne Geddes. Ross Visconti, Project Manager, Wheel-Trans reported on the completion of phase one for IT Assessment and the Transformation Program projects. A peer agency review was conducted to evaluate. 

On May 18, the departure of Dwayne Geddes from the TTC was announced. Victoria Kolakowski, Travel Training Specialist, gave an update that almost 400 customers who received training in the past four years. Training is customized to customer needs and ability. Dean gave further updates on the operationalization of FOS stops. FOS Trip testing will continue to ensure that these solutions are suitable for customers. A concern was brought up regarding the temperature in the Wheel-Trans vehicles; Cameron would be looking into and bringing back for updates. The next meeting will be held on June 15, 2022. 


Pick-up and drop-off planning at hospitals, Family of Services instructional video, Open fare payments in contracted vehicles, Dwayne Geddes’ departure from TTC, Family of Services Trip testing, Phase one completion of IT Assessment for the Transformation Program, and temperatures on Wheel-Trans vehicles. 

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Debbie thanked the Wheel-Trans staff for helping provide information regarding the pick-up and drop-off locations at North York General. She was unsure however if the thorough information she received was available online and asked that Wheel-Trans look into it for those who are using self-booking. Debbie also called into question when the subcommittees are meeting that the language being used i.e. stops and other transit infrastructure be consistent across the board. She recommended that subcommittee chairs communicate with each other to encourage universal terminology. Heather agreed with all the sentiments, and added that in the case of Line 5 for example, where the information regarding is still not available that it can be challenging to use terminologies consistently. She agrees that staff liaisons and the subcommittee chairs meet with Marco and Cameron, to be informed of what the stops and landmarks are going to be called, and therefore used in all Wheel-Trans communications. 

Both Anita and Craig disagreed with amalgamating the subcommittees for this discussion as they feel it would lose focus with too many participants. They both feel that it’s an issue mainly for the Communications subcommittee and the ACAT Executives. Jonathan agreed that the last thing needed is another meeting and would welcome the opportunity to pursue the information and liaise to the rest of the committee. 

13. New Business

Janice thanked the TTC staff for making sure people with disabilities are not housebound. She commended the Wheel-Trans customer service and reservations team for their commitment to ensuring that trips are possible and timely, especially in trips for dialysis treatments which are life-saving for her family members. She noted the positive improvements in the system in the last few years and the dedication of all TTC staff involved in making the lives of people with disabilities better. 

Craig informed the committee that he finds a lack of information regarding out-of-commission escalators on the TTC website. While there is information regarding elevators, escalators are nowhere to be found. This will be followed up at the Communications subcommittee, as noted by Jonathan. Matt Hagg responded later on in the meeting that this issue was escalated that morning and it has been updated to the TTC website since. 

Craig made note of the testing of new seating materials on TTC buses and how comments and suggestions on the TTC website can be made. He offered to send the link to the rest of ACAT for their information and participation. Jonathan inquired about the return to in-person meetings, and whether there was any further update from the TTC. A few ACAT members responded, recalling that the guidelines towards in-person meetings would align with the TTC Board Meeting protocols. Jonathan offered to have discussion if the committee wanted to venture into this independently, however further information will be considered and the item will be kept in the agenda in the meantime. 

14. Next Meeting – June 30, 2022

15. Adjournment

Howard Wax motioned to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 3:12 pm. 

Paolo Nicolas
Recording Secretary 


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