ACAT Meeting - August 25, 2022

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, August 25, 2022
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location:Virtual Meeting
Meeting No:383
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes
ACAT members and TTC staff welcomes the public to attend and observe ACAT meetings. Please turn off your camera and mute yourself upon entry. To join, please follow the prompts once you click the Webex link.

Captioning link:

Please be reminded only ACAT members can speak during the meeting. Members of the public are invited to observe all ACAT meetings.

As a member of the public your feedback, ideas and suggestions are important to the TTC and ACAT. To make a verbal, written or video deputation at an ACAT meeting, you must make your request in writing ten (10) days prior to the upcoming ACAT meeting. Deputants must provide a written statement or a brief, written overview of the topic(s) to be addressed in your verbal or video presentation. Please forward your request and accompanying statement or overview to


  1. Call to Order / Attendance
  2. Land Acknowledgement
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  4. Approval of Agenda
  5. Review and Approval of July 28, 2022 Minutes
  6. Memoriam – Scott McArthur
  7. Remarks from ACAT Chair
    1. Quarterly Exec update
  8. Remarks from TTC Executive
  9. Outstanding Items – Review of ACAT meeting times, DRS motion – Davisville Platform Width
  10. Deputation: Nil
  11. Review of Correspondence: Nil
  12. Bloor-Yonge power outage
  13. ACAT 30th Anniversary Campaign: Communications Review
  14. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman
  15. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    • -Communications
    • -Design Review
    • -Service Planning
    • -Wheel-Trans Operations
  16. New Business: Nil
  17. Next Meeting – September 29, 2022
  18. Adjournment


Meeting Date:       

Thursday, August 25, 2022 
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. 


Virtual meeting via WebEx 


Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Co-Vice Chair (Acting 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 
Lauren Foote 
Sean Hollingsworth 


Jonathan Marriott, ACAT Chair 
Janice Shachter 
Wangari Muriuki

Pool Members

Robert Hampson
Lorraine Le Camp

TTC Representatives:   

Gary Downie, Chief Capital Officer, Engineering, Construction and Expansion
Cameron Penman, Acting Head of Wheel-Trans 
Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience 
Matt Hagg, Acting Manager of Customer Experience & Fare Policy, Strategy and Foresight
Chris Hong, Customer Experience Analyst, Strategy and Foresight 
Natalie Francis, Manager, Planning & Policy, Wheel-Trans 
Lodon Hassan, Acting Manager of Customer Service,  Wheel-Trans 
David LoPresti, Manager, Contracted Taxi Services, Wheel-Trans
Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans 
David LoPresti, Manager, Contracted Services, Wheel-Trans
Jamie Simpson, Duty Manager, Transit Operations, Transit Control
Levenson Lincoln, Supervisor, Customer Service Wheel-Trans 
Natashia Singh, Customer Experience Analyst, Strategy and Foresight 
Sara Mahboob, Human Rights Consultant, Human Rights & Investigations 
Cyril Cromwell, Engagement Consultant, Diversity Department
Brittany Manu, Anti-Racism Policy Consultant, Diversity Department 
Anthony Ascenzi, Senior Digital Communications Specialist, Marketing and Customer Experience 
Adrienne Isaac, 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 July 28, 2022 Minutes
  6. Memoriam – Scott McArthur
  7. Remarks from ACAT Chair
    a. Report on ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with TTC CEO and TTC Chair
  8. Remarks from TTC Executive
  9. Outstanding Items – Review of ACAT meeting times, DRS motion – Davisville Platform Width
  10. Deputation: Nil
  11. Review of Correspondence: Nil
  12. Bloor-Yonge power outage – Jamie Simpson
  13. ACAT 30th Anniversary Campaign: Communications Review – Anthony Ascenzi
  14. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman
  15. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates, Communications, Design Review, Service Planning, Wheel-Trans Operations
  16. New Business: Nil
  17. Next Meeting – September 29, 2022
  18. Adjournment

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Co-Vice Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:07pm and attendance was taken. 

2. Land Acknowledgement 

The land acknowledgement was read by Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Co-Vice Chair.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest 

No conflicts of interest were declared.

4. Approval of Agenda 

One new item was added to the agenda under New Business 

a. Contactless Elevator Pilot. 

ACAT Chair, Jonathan Marriott, was not present to chair the meeting and Debbie Gillespie led the ACAT General Meeting on Jonathan’s behalf.

Bobbi Moore brought a motion to approve the agenda as amended. Howard Wax seconded. Carried.

5. Review and Approval of July 28, 2022 Minutes

Howard Wax brought a motion to approve the July 28, 2022 minutes with the Subcommittee Highlights added. Anita Dressler seconded the motion. Carried.  

6. Memoriam – Scott McArthur

The Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit deeply regrets the passing of Scott McArthur. Scott joined ACAT for his first term in 1998. He died August 3, 2022. Scott served for several years on ACAT including as Vice Chair. Most recently from 2010 to 2012, and as a Pool Member in 2018. ACAT Members express their condolences to Scott's family and friends, and his contributions to accessible transit in the City of Toronto and at the TTC are deeply appreciated.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

On behalf of all ACAT members, Debbie Gillespie expressed that Scott McArthur will be deeply missed. 

7. Remarks from ACAT Chair 

Debbie Gillespie read the ACAT Chair’s remarks prepared by Jonathan Marriott, ACAT Chair. 

The 2023 ACAT recruitment campaign for new members is underway. All current members, TTC staff, and those attending from the public at this meeting were encouraged to spread the word that ACAT is looking for new members. The application deadline is September 12, 2022. 

Following this meeting, the ACAT Chair will send an email to all members canvassing opinions about whether the current meeting times suit members; whether another time slot is preferred and the reason for any other preferred times. The ACAT Chair will advise about next steps once all feedback is received from members. 

Report on ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with TTC CEO and Chair

The ACAT Executive, TTC Board Chair and Vice Chair, and the TTC CEO met for the quarterly meeting on June 7, 2022. Topics discussed were: a) Metrolinx feedback and station review; b) TTC’s intention for in-person meetings; and PRESTO payments and education.

TTC Executives are also waiting on information from Metrolinx. Gary Downie, Chief Capital Officer, offered to discuss the status of the outstanding items when he next meets with Metrolinx.

TTC has reported it intends to take its lead from the City of Toronto with respect to resuming in person meetings.  

The PRESTO card payment and education is an ongoing issue. TTC staff continue to push PRESTO to broaden its availability. The TTC has been working with the Toronto Public Library to distribute PRESTO cards to people who do not have one or may face challenges in purchasing one. Another consideration is to have social service agencies distribute PRESTO cards. This issue remains on the outstanding items of members of this meeting group. 

The Five Year and the Annual Service Plan review is coming and it was confirmed that ACAT will be involved in this process. Both the Five Year and Annual Service Plan will occur simultaneously. 

A discussion took place regarding open payments, which is the ability to pay fares with a debit or credit card. Metrolinx proposed to have this feature by the end of 2022. The TTC Board will provide future updates on this issue.

ACAT members were reminded the September Quarterly meeting will not be held due to the municipal election. The new TTC board will be confirmed and the Quarterly meetings are planned to resume. 

Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Jonathan Marriott presented the ACAT Subcommittee highlights from the May 26, 2022 meeting in the July 14, 2022 Board meeting.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member discussed including a question about availability to attend meetings in the ACAT membership application and during the selection process so applicants are aware about the time commitment. ACAT applications for 2022 have already been circulated so any changes would be for 2023 or later. 

8. Remarks from TTC Executive 

Gary Downie, Chief Capital Officer, provided an update on the Easier Access program. A number of projects are in construction. There are some access issues to Old Mill Station and TTC staff are working with the City of Toronto staff to address this. The Islington Station and Warden Station redevelopment will likely be in 2023. Gary will follow up with the new Metrolinx Chief Operating Officer over the next few months to ensure collaboration and alignment with the design standards across the TTC and Metrolinx.    

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member asked for clarification about the completion of Crosstown and whether TTC has access to all stations. Gary responded a milestone was recently reached as the person who will be training Operators has started their training. Once the training is complete the process of training Operators will begin. Crosslinx is in the process of getting occupancy for the stations, not all stations are complete. Eglinton still has some outstanding work to be completed. Metrolinx has not yet provided an update or completion date statement. 

9. Outstanding Items  

DRS motion – Davisville Platform Width 

The new TTC Board will be dealing with this matter. This item will be added to a future agenda when TTC deems it appropriate. 

Review of ACAT Meeting Times

As ACAT Chair reported in remarks, TTC intends to take direction from the City of Toronto on the matter of resuming in-person ACAT meetings. 


ACAT Members discussed the attempt to obtain a group photograph. The Webex group screenshot quality was insufficient for use on the TTC website or printing and it is difficult for Members to submit individual photographs. If the December annual lunch resumes this year there may be an opportunity to take a photograph at that event.   

10. Deputation: 


11. Review of Correspondence: 


12. Bloor-Yonge Power Outage

Jamie Simpson, Duty Manager, Transit Control, discussed the fire at Bloor-Yonge Station that occurred on July 26, 2022. At 7:06 a.m. train crews reported a burning odour inside Yonge station. A second train entering the station reported smoke inside the station. TTC staff implemented Fire Smoke protocols and subway service at Yonge Station was suspended. Subway turn backs were implemented at St. George and Broadview stations and shuttle buses were ordered. Toronto Fire attended the scene, the subway station was evacuated and a power cut was made. The power cut was from Yonge Station over to St. George and the east side of Sherbourne Station. The fire was suspected to have initially come in as an electrical feeder. Subway grates needed to be removed from track level to get access to the fire. When there is a serious incident at Yonge or Bloor Station, the opposite line is affected. In this case, Line 2 was the affected line. Line 1 did not service Bloor Station customers. That station went into bypass and customers were accommodated at Rosedale or Wellesley stations. There was an approximately 382-minute delay to subway service at Yonge Station. Subway service resumed six hours later.

Customers were directed to proceed to the street level to board the shuttle buses and TTC staff swept through the station to ensure that all vulnerable people were out. Additional TTC staff from neighbouring stations were dispatched to assist with customer accommodation to evacuate the station.

Questions/Comments from the Committee

A member asked how accessibility was considered and handled considering escalators and elevators may not have been in operation. Jamie discussed initially escalators and elevators were available. Toronto Fire later had to further cut power. The station itself had power and throughout the evacuation lighting remained effective. The only power lost was the 600-volt traction power, which did not affect any of the station services, elevators, or PRESTO gates. 

Another member asked about the interchange station, the location of the fire and what line it was under. Jamie explained that the protocol was to suspend service in both stations. Customers were redirected to the next closest station for safety and for emergency response efforts. The fire was on Line 2, right at Yonge Station and Line 1 was directly above. This was the passageway to get to Line 2 and Line 1. 

A member asked how customers coming in from the street would be handled.  Jamie reported TTC staff were at entrances to redirect customers to shuttle buses. If anyone needed accommodation or assistance TTC staff would report that to Transit Control and a special pick up arranged. An incident commander is at every major event and staff are delegated to tasks such as customer accommodation, and ensuring no one enters a station. TTC staff are also at the street level to direct people.

13. ACAT 30th Anniversary Campaign: Communications Review 

Anthony Ascenzi, Senior Digital Communications Specialist, presented about the ACAT 30th Anniversary Campaign. He began by explaining that posts on social media have allowed TTC staff to increase customer awareness around transit accessibility. The content schedule was segmented into 4 categories: introduction, vehicles, stations and tools. 


  • Educate TTC followers on how to better utilize accessibility features.
  • Further develop TTC accessibility communications in the digital space. 
  • Display a progressive approach to transit. 
  • Reduce the negative publicity around closures.
  • Highlight the work the TTC is doing to maintain and upgrade accessibility for all customers.
  • Inform followers accessibility truly does benefit everyone not just people using mobility devices. 


Over 68% of this campaign’s reach and 53% of the total impressions were on Facebook. Engagement was the highest on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Campaign Performance:

Overall, the ACAT 30th Anniversary campaign performed slightly above average. The campaign performed better than the Annual Service Plan Customer Feedback campaign; Slips, Trips and Falls Safety Campaign and the Earth Day campaign.  

Campaigns ACAT 30 performed on level with:

  1. Enabling Change 
  2. TTC Connects: Women in Transit 

Benefits of Digital Campaigns:

  • Digital campaigns create two-way conversations around accessibility. Followers can see TTC content and engage with staff, ask questions, leave compliments and learn more by linking back to the TTC website. 
  • Helps staff build TTC insights. Knowing which content the TTC followers respond to the most and reviewing commentary can provide more information on the needs of our customers. 
  • Can be executed quicker in comparison to print campaigns.
  • Saves time and resources. 
  • Informs a wider audience of the accessibility benefits of TTC stations.

14. Wheel-Trans Transformation and COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman

Cameron Penman, Acting Head of Wheel-Trans, provided an update about Wheel-Trans Transformation and COVID-19 protocol. The Solution Assessment for Phases 5 to 8 of the reservations schedule and dispatch software is expected shortly and an update will be provided at the September ACAT General Meeting. The Mobile Application pilot will be released to more customers later in 2022. Wheel-Trans continues to add more 7M ProMaster vehicles. The 27th vehicle has been added. These buses are similar in size, but more comfortable than the older ‘Friendly’ Wheel-Trans buses. 

Customer and Operator safety remains Wheel-Trans’ top priority. Customer health screening questionnaires and mandatory wearing of face masks where medically possible will continue into September. Wheel-Trans will continue to roll out the plan to return to share riding on all vehicles. Sedan accessible taxis will be next but not in September. 

Wheel-Trans reintroduced functional assessments earlier this year and plan to resume Appeal Panel meetings in September. TTC staff will be reaching out to ACAT members for participation on the panels once scheduling resumes. The TTC Safety Department supports this approach and plan. Should safety measures continue to remain in place, masks will be mandatory, along with physical distancing requirements for panel members and the customer. Panel members and the applicant will need to complete a health screening questionnaire prior to the meeting and an air purifying filter will be in the meeting room. 

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member asked about the Appeal Panel and what would be required. Cameron explained the appeal process for customers. A functional assessment is first completed by an occupational therapist. A customer can then appeal the eligibility or conditions assigned to them. The Appeal Panel also includes a transit expert and a member of the disability community. The occupational therapist asks questions, and then following the interview the panel deliberates to make a determination on eligibility.

A member asked how ACAT members can become part of the Appeal Panel. If ACAT members are interested in volunteering for the appeal panel they should email Adrienne Isaac, Administrative Assistant, Wheel-Trans. Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans, explained that a training module has been created and ACAT Members can be taken through the training to review procedures and expectations. 

Another member asked about the Family of Services (FOS) routes and criteria for station locations. Dean explained that a maximum distance a customer would need to travel on their own is factored in to the FOS solution offered. FOS transfer stops are easily identifiable as they have a no-show board attached to them. Some non vehicle transfer stops do not have shelters and benches, however all designated vehicle transfer stops e.g. Wheel-Trans pick-ups and drop-offs, do. There will be times in a FOS journey that customers will need to travel outside a vehicle or shelter in inclement weather. 

A member asked if the Wheel-Trans ACCESS newsletter has gone out and whether it included information about the Public Forum. Cameron confirmed the newsletter will be circulated next week and there is a section advertising the Public Forum. The Forum will be held virtually this year on September 22.  

15. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates 

Communications Subcommittee (CS)

Angela Marley, CS Chair, reported a CS meeting was held on August 4, 2022 via Microsoft Teams. Subcommittee members reviewed the communications plan for the Public Forum on Accessible Transit that will take place on September 22, 2022, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The forum has been held since 2009. This is the third year TTC will be hosting the forum entirely online. Captioning and ASL interpreters will be provided. Members of the public can participate online by live streaming the forum at or by phone. The Subcommittee discussed possibly showing the new Family of Services promotional video while attendees wait for the forum to begin.
Matt Hagg, Manager of Customer Experience and Fare Policy (Acting), presented the communications plan for the York Mills Station Accessibility Pilot. Several new accessibility and wayfinding features have been installed at the York Mills Station Bus Terminal to guide customers with vision loss to the bus stops; to clearly indicate a location near that stop pole where people using mobility devices can wait at to board the bus first; and to assist Operators with better aligning their buses to each stop in a more consistent position. On-site surveyors will collect customer feedback in September 2022.

Ian Dickson, Manager Design and Wayfinding, described Contactless Access Elevator Controls. TTC is piloting a new technology for TTC elevators making them contactless, so users could operate an elevator using an app on their phone, without having to touch the buttons. A site visit for ACAT members’ review is planned. 

The next CS meeting is scheduled for October 6, 2022 

CS Highlights for next board meeting

  • Public Forum on Accessible Transit Communication Plan
  • York Mills Station Bus Platform Accessibility Pilot 

Questions and Comments from the Committee:

A member suggested more promotion and public awareness is needed about TTC station accessibility. Another member suggested using every opportunity to speak to the press promoting the accessibility of the TTC.

Design Review Subcommittee Meeting (DRS)

Craig Nicol, DRS Chair, provided a summary of the DRS meeting held on August 3, 2022. Scarborough Rapid Transit (SRT) bus replacement was discussed the Metrolinx draft Terms of Reference reviewed. 

Eric Chu, Project Development & Planning, provided an update on the SRT Bus Replacement project, which involves replacing the transit service on Line 3 Scarborough when it shuts down in Q4 2023. Initially run-on City streets the service will later use the converted SRT right of way. Revamped stations, a new Tara Avenue station and expansion of the Kennedy and Scarborough Town Centre bus platforms were discussed. A further discussion will be arranged at a future meeting. 
The Subcommittee raised the issue of customers needing to cross bus driveways and the bus way. Accessible curb ramps will be provided and there will be a follow up regarding traffic control for the crossings. A question about moving GO service out of Scarborough Town Centre station produced information about a temporary GO terminal at Borough and Triton where a transfer to TTC buses will be considered. Questions about the Kennedy station three section bus platform brought comments about paid and unpaid areas and the need for way-finding.
Metrolinx presented a draft Terms of Reference for Metrolinx Consultations for subway projects. The intent is to formalize discussion, improve the process, and expectations for both parties. It was agreed that discussion materials should be provided well in advance of meetings.
It was stated that while DRS can make suggestions to improve the process, it is not the role of DRS to enter into agreement with Metrolinx as to the adoption of a terms of reference. The subcommittee highlighted the importance of early consultation to avoid the situation where changes would be required after contract award. The subcommittee and Metrolinx staff, Jeffrey Short, agreed that consultation should include vehicles. A follow up is to include more information about the vehicles.
The matter of comments tendered after review of the Scarborough Centre station design was raised. DRS has requested further discussion respecting the elevators between bus platform and concourse level and the location of the fare line. Jeffrey Short will follow up with Matt Hagg. 
The next DRS Meeting is scheduled for September 14, 2022

Highlights for next board meeting:

  • SRT Bus Replacement
  • Draft Metrolinx Consultation Terms of Reference

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS)

There was no meeting held in August. The next meeting is scheduled for September 14, 2022. 

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS)

Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair, presented a summary of the subcommittee meeting held August 17, 2022. 

Marco Iorfida, Scheduling and Policy Specialist for Wheel Trans, discussed the work on stop locations and landmarks.

Levenson Lincoln, Customer Service Supervisor, discussed Wheel-Trans eligibility applications and processes, including appeals. A member suggested adding neurological deficits to the list of disabilities that are accepted. This member also asked about adding an internal review by staff between the steps of ‘denial’ and ‘appeal’.

Mohammed Shaikh, Divisional Manager of Operations, Wheel-Trans, discussed the Wheel-Trans securement process and safety training given to bus operators. The WTOS Chair expressed concern about the lack of mandatory securement on conventional buses. TTC Staff will discuss these issues and further information will be presented at the next WTOS meeting.

Under New Business, three members spoke about their experience on FOS trips using conventional buses. They were concerned that their mobility devices would not fit. TTC staff will provide an update in September.

The next meeting is September 21, 2022.

16. New Business: 

a. Contactless Elevator Pilot. 

Matt Hagg, Acting Manager of Customer Policy, Strategy and Foresight, provided an update about a pilot project of contactless elevator features at five subway stations: Union, Kipling, Kennedy, Finch, and Vaughan stations. This is a new feature that will enable customers to control elevator buttons from their smart-phone when inside or waiting for the elevator to arrive. This will be a great benefit to people who cannot reach or press buttons. An app called “Contactless Access” is available in the Apple and Google Play stores and once the app has been installed, when a person is in close proximity to any of the elevators that are part of the pilot the app can be accessed by clicking the search button. This works over Bluetooth, internet access is not required. A site visit for ACAT Members will be arranged for some time in September. 

Questions and Comments from the Committee:

A member was interested in testing the app when it comes to voice over being used. Another member suggested people with cognitive and neurological disabilities or phobias would also benefit from the app. 

A member asked if a report about the Focus Group held August 6, 2022 was being prepared. Matt confirmed a report will be presented at a future DRS meeting. 

17. Next Meeting 

September 29, 2022

18. Adjournment 

On a motion by Craig Nicol, the meeting adjourned at 3:20 p.m. 

Shawna Briand
Recording Secretary


Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.