ACAT Meeting - February 23, 2023

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, February 23, 2023
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location:Virtual Meeting
Meeting No:390
  • 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. Remarks from TTC Executive
  6. Remarks from ACAT Chair
  7. Review and Approval of December 15, 2022 and January 26, 2023 Minutes
  8. Outstanding Items
  9. Deputation:
    a. Bloor-Yonge Renovation/Suicide Prevention
  10. Review of Correspondence:
    a. Suicide Prevention/Subway Safety Doors 
  11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman
  12. Announcement of the Chairs of the Subcommittees
  13. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    - Communications
    - Design Review
    - Service Planning
    - Wheel-Trans Operations
  14. New Business:
    a. Fire safety/evacuation protocols on subway system
    b. Family of Services subway trips
    c. TTC Photo ID Office hours and waiting area
  15. Next Meeting – March 30, 2023
  16. Adjournment

Minutes of Meeting:

ACAT General Meeting

Meeting Date:   

Thursday, February 23, 2023
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Virtual meeting via WebEx


Anita Dressler, ACAT Chair
Erica Tanny, ACAT Co-Vice Chair
Gwyneth Dalzell, ACAT Co-Vice Chair
Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair
Craig Nicol, DRS Chair
Howard Wax, SPS Chair
Bobbi Moore
Mei Hun
Rob Lackie
Frank Lockhart
Maria Marin
Valdo Tammark
Tammy Adams, Pool Member
Jason Osborne, Pool Member


Wangari Muriuki
Lavarnan Mehavarnan
Betty Rivington-Law
Nicolas Paterson, Pool Member


Michael McCamus

TTC Representatives:   

Rick Leary, TTC CEO
Cameron Penman, Head of Wheel-Trans
Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience
Chrisanne Finnerty, Director, Commission Services
Matt Hagg, Manager of Customer Policy, Strategy & Foresight
Lodon Hassan, Divisional Manager – Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans
Omar Jabbar, Wheel-Trans Transformation Program Manager
Ross Visconti, Wheel-Trans Project Manager
Cyril Cromwell, Engagement Consultant, Racial Equity Office, Diversity Department
Hannah Biesterfeld, TTC Human Rights

Levenson Lincoln, Customer Service Supervisor, Wheel-Trans
Arlen Orellana, Travel Specialist, Wheel-Trans
Warren Rupnarain, Accessibility Consultant, Diversity Department
Chris Hong, Customer Experience Analyst, Strategy & Foresight
John Boucher, Manager, Lakeshore Garage, Wheel-Trans
Luis Flores, Supervisor, Customer Service
Roger Caramanico, Marketing and Customer Experience

Items Discussed

  1. Call to Order / Attendance
  2. Land Acknowledgement
  3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

  4. Approval of Agenda

  5. Remarks from TTC Executive

  6. Remarks from ACAT Chair

  7. Review and Approval of December 15, 2022, and January 26, 2023, Minutes

  8. Outstanding Items

  9. Deputation: Bloor-Yonge Renovation/Suicide Prevention – Michael McCamus

  10. Review of Correspondence: Suicide Prevention/Subway Safety Doors

  11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman

  12. Announcement of the Chairs of the Subcommittees

  13. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    Design Review
    Service Planning
    Wheel-Trans Operations

  14. New Business:
    Fire safety/evacuation protocols on subway system
    Family of Services subway trips
    TTC Photo ID Office hours and waiting area

  15. Next Meeting – March 30, 2023

1. Call to Order/Attendance 

Anita Dressler, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m. and welcomed attendees. She reminded everyone, the members of the public and TTC employees that they do not participate in the discussion unless asked a direct question or otherwise called to speak.

2. Land Acknowledgement

A member read the Land Acknowledgement.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest 


4. Approval of Agenda 

An amendment to the Agenda was made to incorporate item #12 into item #6.

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

5. Remarks from TTC Executive – Rick Leary, TTC CEO 

Rick Leary, TTC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), thanked the ACAT members for their dedication and apologized for missing the first ACAT meeting. He stated he and all of the TTC staff are looking forward to working with ACAT and all of the members to transform and modernize the TTC, making it more inclusive and further advancing accessibility across the system. He stated that the feedback from the Committee is invaluable to make the TTC more diverse and inclusive.

Rick noted that this is the first time they have had a Wheel-Trans bus wrap celebrating Black History month.

Rick explained that safety of both customers and staff is a priority in the system and that they are merely a microcosm of a larger city, which is similar to many large cities throughout North America. These multifaceted issues are being dealt with in the same multifaceted way. For instance, they have been working with their partners to ensure that people that need support are getting it and they have teams that work closely with these partners working with customers and staff. The feedback from customers and staff regarding having Toronto Police on site has been positive, and they continue to work with the Police Services to increase safety on the system. They are also working with Streets to Homes to make services available to people that need a warm place to sleep or other kinds of assistance.

A Member thanked Rick and the TTC for getting fare collectors out of the booths and interacting and developing a connection with customers. This was a very positive move.

A Member explained that in the past the TTC has connected violence and mental illness, and they should be more sensitive with how they communicate information to the public. 

A Member also suggested that the TTC reach out to other community partners, other than Streets to Homes, as they do not necessarily have a good reputation in the community they serve. The TTC might be better able to help more people if they reached out to other groups. Rick stated that they have been working with specialists in these areas to ensure that there is a clear distinction and to assist them in understanding the issues. TTC has further been training staff in de-escalation techniques, not just to identify any issues, but to be able to bring down the temperature of a situation. He personally has been learning a lot, and the TTC is implementing as many initiatives as possible to ensure the safety of the customers and staff.

A Member stated that this did not answer the second question in that is the TTC looking to develop further partnerships other than Streets to Homes. Rick will update the Committee when there is anything new as they are working on some new initiatives.

6. Remarks from ACAT Chair 

Anita Dressler addressed the group. Robert Hampson has resigned from the Committee. Anita wished him well on behalf of herself and the Committee in his future endeavors. Valdo Tammark has replaced Robert Hampson. Anita explained that the subcommittees are a very important aspect of what ACAT is doing and what ACAT accomplishes. They are a learning experience and she thanked all of the members for participating.

The new subcommittee Chairs are as follows: Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair, Craig Nicol, DRS Chair, Howard Wax, SPS Chair, Maria Marin, CS Chair.

7. Review and Approval of December 15, 2022, and January 26, 2023 Minutes 

There were no errors or omissions noted in the December 15, 2022 minutes.

Howard Wax brought a motion to approve the December 15, 2022 minutes as presented, Lauri Sue Robertson seconded. Carried.

ACAT members reviewed the January 26, 2023 minutes. A member noted that the section Davisville Platform Motion required further details and suggested including an update that TTC staff will be moving forward with removing shelters on the northbound platform and adding additional signage on either side of the narrow areas of platform. The capital portion to reconfigure the platform will not move forward at this time as the property is expected to be redeveloped in the future and it would not make sense to do that now. DRS will have input on the placement of benches when shelters are removed.

Craig Nicol brought a motion to approve the January 26, 2023 minutes as amended, Howard Wax seconded. Carried.

8. Outstanding Items 

Lodon Hassan, Divisional Manager of Customer Service, Wheel-Trans, provided an update on the following outstanding items:

ACAT Meeting Times

The TTC Diversity Department is preparing a report, which is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2023.The report will be provided to ACAT members for review once available. This will be forwarded to WTOS for review and comment prior to reintroduction to ACAT.

9. Deputation 

a. Bloor-Yonge Renovation/Suicide Prevention – Michael McCamus

Michael McCamus asked that the TTC and ACAT consider the implementation of platform edge doors at the busiest and largest station, Bloor-Yonge. In the past, the issue has been twofold, that the cost would be prohibitive and the technology of lining up the doors of the train and the doors for the barrier would be very difficult. He understands that since that time, the three levels of government, on December 9, 2022, released funds to renovate the Bloor-Yonge Station, in the amount of $1.5 billion dollars. This would allow the TTC the funds to install platform edge doors at Bloor- Yonge, perhaps setting a precedent for further renovations of other stations in the future. Michael further understood that changes have been made to at least Line 1, that would permit the doors to line up correctly. He suggested that this was the best time to implement this as all of the prohibitions stated in the past are covered. He provided a study that showed that suicides are reduced by providing these barriers.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A Member asked if Michael was proposing this on both Line 1 and Line 2. Michael stated that if the technology was there, it would be best to do both. A member confirmed that automatic train control is not yet available on Line 2 and the timeline for this is unknown. The trains would also need to have the correct technology prior to implementation. The Member stated that the new Ontario Line will have these barriers installed and Michael stated he was heartened when he heard this earlier.

A Member thanked Michael for bringing this important topic to their attention. He had pointed out that this not only prevented potential suicide attempts but also other assaults that cause people to be pushed onto the tracks. The Member asked if he had considered any other mechanisms he would like to share with the Committee. Michael stated that the blue button on the Bell Canada phones was an important addition, along with other suicide prevention initiatives taken by the TTC. TTC staff has been offered the services if they have witnessed a suicide, to help prevent more stress or potentially PTSD. Michael suggested that it should be a multipronged approach.

A Member reminded Michael that even if this was going ahead, that it would take many years for the gates at Bloor-Yonge to be implemented and many more for the other stations. This Member also stated that if one were intent on suicide and the Bloor-Yonge Station had the barriers, they could go to another station. Michael agreed that while starting to implement these gates is only a starting point, it could be a precedent for other stations in the future. He further stated that there are studies that prove that these barriers help save lives. Suicide is mostly crisis driven and it has been found that if the person can be talked through the crisis or find barriers to suicide, once that crisis passes, they are less likely to go through with it.

A Member stated that the Design Review Subcommittee is the best place for this topic as they can look at some of this, specifically the Bloor-Yonge redevelopment, as the platforms will require reinforcement for future possible installation of these gates. The platforms up through the Vaughan Station were reinforced so that any barriers considered in the future could be installed. Metrolinx is extending Line 2 and this should be discussed with them along with the Richmond Hill extension, discussions should include reinforcement of the platforms for future consideration of gates.

A Member commented that just having the barriers might give pause to someone that might be considering jumping and give them enough time to work through an impulsive thought.

A Member suggested that these barriers would also have to consider the possible restrictions around stairways and escalators and their impact on accessibility.

A Member has done research into what was done in Japan and suggested that having the openings just a little larger might solve the issue of accessibility impact by allowing room to maneuver into an opening.

The ACAT Chair assigned the topic will be forwarded to the Design Review Subcommittee.

10. Review of Correspondence 

The letter regarding the installation of platform edge doors will be included with the correspondence forwarded to the Design Review Subcommittee.

11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman 

Cameron Penman, Head of Wheel-Trans, provided an update about Wheel-Trans. Wheel-Trans plans to upgrade the AVL system which provides us with vehicle tracking. Steps are also being taken to secure a contract to implement a new Interactive Voice Response phone system.  He further confirmed that they are adding to the 7M ProMaster buses and there are now currently 70 of these buses in service. These buses are more comfortable and are replacing the Friendly buses, which they expect to retire by the end of this year.

Customer and Operator safety remains a top priority and as such, the mandatory masks/face coverings policy, where medically possible, will continue at this time on all vehicles.

The campaign for re-registration of Wheel-Trans customers is underway and they are being more direct about having these customers’ re-register. Lauri Sue Robertson suggested that they add a pop up on the Self-booking Website at the subcommittee meeting, which they are looking into implementing.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A Member asked if they had considered giving the customers a hard deadline for re-registration. Cameron stated they have spoken about this, as there are still 60% of customers required to re-registration. They may have to reconsider this later, but currently they want to send these letters out and see if there is a positive response.

A Member commented that the feedback they heard has been suspicion of the re-registration. Cameron stated that it is important for the communication strategy to help with this.

A Member commented that one issue would be that if all of the customers that required re-registration all tried to make appointments at the same time, the system would be flooded.  Cameron confirmed this would be true, but they have notified their partners and they are ready for an increase in functional assessments and increased members available to hear appeals.

A Member stated that they heard that one of the concerns customers have that use the system with unconditional service is that they might be forced on Family of Service, and they are concerned about their safety. Cameron explained that is why they are sending the letters in waves and will pass this information along regarding customers feeling safe on Family of Service, along with all of the other services.

Another Member suggested that people may not be re-registering as they are now able to use the regular TTC service effectively and efficiently. This Member also mentioned that one issue with the Wheel-Trans is that they may come very early or late, which makes it difficult to use for appointments.

A Member has heard that unconditional members are asking why they have to re-register as they had a disability ten years ago, and they are now older, with more issues and their disability has not gotten better. Cameron explained that they need to be reassessed to ensure they are in the correct eligibility category; it doesn’t take long to fill in the forms and have your medical professional fill their portion in.

A Member asked what happens if a customer does not have a regular doctor. Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, explained that there is a range of options for a medical professional, it does not have to be a doctor, just a medical professional with knowledge of the customer’s disability. The Member stated this was better, as there are many people without a doctor and this would still allow them to access this service. Dean also suggested that they can fill out the form and can be assigned an occupational therapist that will conduct the functional assessment.

12. Announcements of Chairs of Subcommittees 

Included with the ACAT Chair’s comments.

13. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates: 

Communications Report

This report was deferred to March.

Design Review Report

Craig Nicol made the presentation of the Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) Meeting that was held on February 15, 2023. Craig was elected as Chair at this meeting and gave an updated on some of the projects discussed. They included:

  • Eglinton Crosstown Site visit log from Metrolinx because of the meeting and comments. The concerns included:
    • The wayfinding path will be straight and not jog to go around the obstacles at the Science Centre underground and Mount Dennis Stations. The DRS was satisfied with this.
    • Concern was raised regarding the bus platform and roadway in the stations were the same colour and DRS requested a contrast. Metrolinx pushed back on this and the TTC suggested painting a yellow line. They will take this back.
    • At surface stops, concern was raised about the refuge area at the bottom of the ramp up to the platform being part of the crosswalk and it being difficult to tell where the crosswalk starts. DRS did not feel that this was properly implemented and had been discussed at length in 2016. Craig Nicol was asked to forward this information from 2016 to Metrolinx.
    • Concern was raised regarding the audio announcements on trains. They were told when it was discussed previously that it was just an example and when asked now, Metrolinx claims that the script has already been set to the manufacturer and cannot be changed. They will work with the TTC on the script they have and the script that the TTC must see if some changes could be implemented or if they are vastly different.


  • The Line 3 bus replacement was discussed:
    • TTC explained the process that would be used once Line 3 was removed and prior to the dedicated bus lanes being implemented. There were concerns that the shuttle buses should have differently marked stops and concerns that the buses going northbound may not come down the same street going southbound which may confuse people.
    • The walk from the new bus loading area that will accommodate all the new buses at Kennedy Station is a long walk to the station and TTC was asked to provide seating where possible.
    • Due to the changes on the routes, TTC agreed that proper announcements for the buses will be made prior to leaving to ensure that riders that get on, are getting on the right bus.


  • Correspondence delegated from ACAT regarding York University Station having a stairwell whose railing is not aligned with the stair risers. Photographs of the stairwell will be brought to the next meeting for discussion. This letter also asked about directional escalators and the DRS suggested one should go up and one should go down.

The next DRS meeting is March 7, 2023.

DRS Highlights:

  • Eglinton Crosstown site visit log
  • Line 3 bus replacement
  • York University Station stairwell

Wheel-Trans Operations Report

Lauri Sue Robertson made the presentation of the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) Meeting that was held on February 8, 2023. Lauri Sue was elected as Chair at this meeting and gave an updated on some of the projects discussed. They included:

Family of Services Update

  • Dean Milton introduced Chris Alexander, Supervisor of Municipal Licensing Standards who works closely with the TTC to ensure the safety of the Family of Services (FOS) vehicles. The presenters set out what is done to ensure the vehicles are safe, including random inspections of each vehicle for numerous requirements and the follow up required to bring the vehicle back into service.


    • Chris Alexander confirmed that although the drivers do not do circle checks of the vehicles, there is a municipal law that requires checks.
    • Infractions are checked and ACAT members will get a high-level update on these.
    • The complaint process was explained to the Committee members.


  • The presentation was made on the detailed re-registration drive that is beginning and how the TTC plans on moving ahead.
  • The Large Scooter and Wheelchair strategy was discussed and the TTC confirmed that anyone who is registered with one of the larger chairs and anyone who reports a problem negotiating a vehicle will have this put on their file so that trip planning will avoid these routes in the future, or they will get door to door service, depending on their designation. The TTC will ensure that customers are well informed of this.


  • Details were also given to members regarding if the bus is full how to contact TTC for a ride and if the building you are leaving is closing before your Wheel-Trans pick up, the procedure for getting a ride.


  • TTC customer service survey was sent out and replies were received and detailed to the members.


  • Details of the Family of Services were given to the members.



  • A review of the complaints process was discussed.


  • Heating in the vehicles, including Wheel-Trans and Family of Service was discussed.

The next WTOS meeting is March 8, 2023.

WTOS Highlights:

  • FOS Update and safety of FOS vehicles
  • Re-registration drive for legacy customers
  • Large scooter and wheelchair strategy
  • Review of Wheel-Trans complaints process
  • Heating in Wheel-Trans vehicles

Service Planning Report

Howard Wax made the presentation of the Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) Meeting that was held on February 15, 2023. Howard was elected as Chair at this meeting and gave an updated on some of the projects discussed. They included:

  • The Special Events team gave a presentation and advised that accommodations for all their events will be included as part of event planning, including access to washrooms.
  • The announcements on subways were difficult to understand and the subcommittee suggested that operators be given additional training on how to use the microphone.


  • There was discussion on sufficient dwell time at stations for surface routes that connect with Line 5 at stations without bus terminals, and this will be taken back and brought back to the subcommittee with answers.
  • The availability of the Photo ID Office was discussed, and the subcommittee made some suggestions. Heather Brown will be invited to speak at a future meeting.
  • The Subcommittee requested a discussion on emergency evacuation procedures including any changes for Lines 5 and 6.

The next SPS meeting is March 7, 2023.

SPS Highlights:

  • Accommodations at events
  • Subway announcements
  • Line 5 connection dwell times
  • Photo ID Office availability

14. New Business 

a) Family of Services Subway Trips:

The Family of Services will be in a presentation made in June by Dean Milton.

15. Next Meeting 

The next ACAT General Meeting is on March 30, 2023.

16. Adjournment 

The meeting was adjourned on a motion by Howard Wax at 2:52 p.m.

Cindy Edwards
Recording Secretary


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