ACAT Meeting - July 27, 2023

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, July 27, 2023
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location:Virtual Meeting
Meeting No:395
  • 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 June 29, 2023 Minutes
  8. Outstanding Items
    1. Honoraria Review Update – September update
  9. Deputation:Nil
  10.  Review of Correspondence:
    1. Kipling Station Wheel-Trans stop
  11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update
  12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    • Communications
    • Design Review (no meeting July 2023)
    • Service Planning
    • Wheel-Trans Operations (no meeting July 2023)
  13. Other/New Business
  14. Next Meeting – August 31, 2023
  15. Adjournment


Minutes of Meeting:

ACAT General Meeting

Meeting Date:                     

Thursday, July 27, 2023
1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.


Virtual meeting via WebEx


Anita Dressler, ACAT Chair 
Gwyneth Dalzell, ACAT Co-Vice Chair
Erica Tanny, ACAT Co-Vice Chair
Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair
Craig Nicol, DRS Chair
Bobbi Moore
Frank Lockhart
Maria Marin, CS Chair
Betty Rivington-Law
Howard Wax, SPS Chair
Wangari Muriuki
Mei Hung
Valdo Tammark
Jason Osborne, Pool Member
Nic Paterson, Pool Member


Lavarnan Mehavarnan
Tammy Adams, Pool Member

TTC Representatives:

Fort Monaco, Chief of Operations and Infrastructure 
Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience 
Lodon Hassan, Divisional Manager of Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
David Lo Presti, Manager, Contracted Taxi Services, Wheel-Trans
Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans
Levenson Lincoln, Assistant Manager of Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
Adrian Gundy, Corporate Communications
Jeff Short, Senior Accessibility Planner
Omar Jabbar, Project Manager, Wheel-Trans
Warren Rupnarain, Accessibility Consultant
Michael Puplett, Head of Transit Control
Sneha Madhuri, Communications Advisor, Corporate Communications
Adrienne Isaac, Administrative Assistant, Wheel-Trans
Oma Okolocha, Human Rights and Investigations  

Invited Guests:

Joanne De Laurentiis, TTC Vice-Chair 

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 June 29, 2023 Minutes 
  8. Outstanding Items 
    a. Honoraria Review Update – September update 
  9. Deputation:  Nil  
  10. Review of Correspondence:  
    a. Kipling Station Wheel-Trans stop 
  11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Dean Milton 
  12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    - Communications 
    - Design Review (no meeting July 2023)
    - Service Planning 
    - Wheel-Trans Operations (no meeting July 2023)
  13. Other/New Business
  14. Next Meeting – August 31, 2023   
  15. Adjournment

1. Call to Order/Attendance 

Anita Dressler, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m. and welcomed attendees.  

Levenson Lincoln, Assistant Manager of Wheel-Trans Customer Service, took attendance.

2. Land Acknowledgement 

A member read the Land Acknowledgement. 

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest 


4. Approval of Agenda 

Howard Wax brought a motion to approve the agenda, Betty Rivington-Law seconded. Carried. 

5. Remarks from TTC Executive – Fort Monaco 

Fort Monaco, Chief of Operations and Infrastructure, gave a presentation on the ongoing efforts of the projects being worked on by the infrastructure team, with input from ACAT. He noted that the escalator availability has been tracking slightly below the targeted rate of 97% but TTC staff are working hard to improve repair timelines. Namely the St. Andrew Station escalators had experienced significant water damage in January due to a severe flooding situation, which took more time to repair than expected given the extent of the damage to the escalator controllers. The escalators were brought back into service on July 7, 2023. He noted there are some other escalators that are out due to station construction and modernization efforts. The elevator availability has been tracking slightly above the targeted 98%.

Fort Monaco discussed ongoing projects, which included automatic door rehabilitation being carried out by a contractor, which should provide a usage life of five to seven years. A station stair rebuild project is also ongoing, which is being done by TTC staff, extending the expected life of the stairs by an additional 25 to 50 years, depending on the location. The final infrastructure project discussed was the replacement of terrazzo flooring, which was required as a result of flooring damage caused by the replacement of the old fare gates with the new PRESTO gates.  Fort further provided an update on the ongoing work on the platform edge tiles and gap remediation work at various stations and included photos shown of some of the work that has been completed.

Fort also updated the ACAT committee on the April 2022 recommendation to remove the platform shelters on the northbound platform at Davisville Station. This work was completed in April 2023, creating a wider, more accessible platform for customers. Lastly, Fort updated the committee on the ACAT recommendation to review whether the York University handrail could be converted into a continuous outer handrail and advised that a solution has been developed and agreed to by ACAT, with construction scheduled to start in Q1 2024. Fort also confirmed that the TTC intends to conduct more frequent testing on both the Passenger Assistance Intercom (PAI) and the Public Address (PA) systems and will have further updates at the September Board meeting.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member asked about the escalators that are out of service at Donlands Station and specifically why they are out of service when they are not close to the construction area.  Fort Monaco explained that this is sometimes done when construction materials or staging area may be in close proximity of the construction zone and is a requirement of the Technical Standards and Safety Authority to allow for a “safe zone” for accessibility. In general, Fort suggested that the specific scenario at Donlands may be required given that the construction requires excavation underneath a portion of the existing stairwell, reducing the stairwell’s width. In such circumstances, it may have been decided by TTC stations staff that shutting down the elevator to permit for use exclusively as a stairwell best serves the needs of all customers but could not be certain. The member commented that having the impacted escalator back in service would help the pedestrian flow of traffic. Fort Monaco will reach out to the team and confirm after the meeting why this escalator is taken out of service. Jeff Short, Senior Accessibility Planner, will coordinate with the teams responsible.

A member noted that there is a systemic issue with the grey stairs and the chrome handrails are difficult to see as there is no contrasting colours. They suggested considering using blue, red or yellow. Jeff Short commented that there is contrasting yellow and black colour at the top and bottom of the stairs and asked for clarification on whether there should be more on the stairs or handrail. The member stated that colour should be put intermittently or along the full handrail in case someone has to let go of the rail part way down. 

6. Remarks from ACAT Chair 

The ACAT Chair, Anita Dressler, reflected on the great work done by ACAT over the last seven months. Some of the work included reviews of electric buses, evacuation procedures, Davisville platform issues, York University Station and identifying issues with handrails. For accessibility highlighting communication concerns, ramps on buses, Wheel-Trans vehicles and accessible vehicles, PRESTO card, Metrolinx and TTC initiatives, bus routes, Wheel-Trans appeals, re-registration to meet AODA requirements, accessible stations, operator training, COVID issues post-pandemic and ride sharing, support cards, travel training, Wheel-Trans stops and landmarks, bus shelters, newsletters, TTC announcements, the Scarborough Centre Station motion, along with other items.

She noted that the diligent work done by ACAT members, the subcommittees and TTC staff make a positive impact on improving a system that helps all citizens and visitors to the City of Toronto. The team has another five months to go with lots more work to be done. 

7. Review and Approval of June 29, 2023 Minutes 

Lauri Sue Robertson brought a motion to approve the June 29, 2023 minutes as presented, Howard Wax seconded. Carried. 

8. Outstanding Items 

The ACAT Chair provided an update on the following outstanding items:

a) Recommendation for Honorarium 

There will be an update at the September meeting.

b)  Scarborough Centre Station Motion

A member stated that he was at a meeting recently with the Metrolinx Design Advisory Panel and that ACAT’s recommendations regarding the elevator access on two of the stations, Scarborough Centre and Sheppard East, are being considered. 

9. Deputation 


10. Review of Correspondence 

a)  Kipling Station Wheel-Trans Stop

The ACAT Chair referred the correspondence to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee meeting for review and discussion.

11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Dean Milton 

Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans provided the update on behalf of Cameron Penman. He discussed the new pilot for the Family of Services, which will run from August 27 to September 30. TTC staff are looking for at least 20 volunteers and Dean encouraged members to register for the pilot. He provided an update about the reregistration of customers who registered for Wheel-Trans prior to January 1, 2017. YTD 2023, 2,600 customers have re-registered and 8,300 remain. The communication efforts include personal letters, a banner flag on the Self-booking Website when a customer logs in, posters in vehicles, and notifications in the newsletters and vehicles. ACAT members were reminded this is being done to ensure that all customers are categorized into one of the three AODA mandated eligibility categories.

Dean Milton explained that a temporary location for the customer appeals has been found at 3250 Bloor Street West at Islington. Some suggestions by the TTC Chair for improved signage at this location are underway. 

Wheel-Trans continues to add 7m ProMaster vehicles to their fleet, replacing the older Friendly buses. There are now 92 of the newer, more comfortable buses in service.  The roll out of the mobile app, which was planned for the end of July or early August is delayed due to an outstanding defect within the android version. The IT department will advise as to when the issue is resolved. A new version of the android is currently being tested. The launch of the mobile app to all customers is planned for some time in August. Wheel-Trans is in the initial stages of working with the procurement group to develop a Request for Information for the AVL system upgrade. Internal discussions continue regarding phase 5 to 8 of the reservations, scheduling and dispatch software. The path forward is being finalized and ACAT will be updated in the future. 

Front seat usage in Sedans and Accessible Taxis is now available on a first come first serve basis to allow for the accommodation of more customers. The removal of partition barriers is ongoing and will improve air flow in vehicles. Full ride sharing has resumed and the mandatory masking policy, where medically possible, continues and will be discussed at the WTOS meeting in August.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member asked about accommodating the schedules of customers who work during the day and are required to be assessed after re-registering. Levenson Lincoln, Assistant Manager of Customer Service, confirmed that TTC staff work around the customer’s schedule to make it convenient for them to attend. 

A member stated that they were on Lawrence East recently and noticed that some of the poles with a shared FOS stop have been damaged. The member will send information on the particular stops if they are back on Lawrence and notice them. They believe that one is near Lawrence and Bellamy.

A member commented that there is also damage to the stop at Eglinton and Pharmacy, which appeared to be a stop that was no longer serviced, although the bus did stop and pick up passengers. This information will also be passed along. 

A member asked for clarification regarding the procurement of the electric vehicles for the upcoming pilot project, stating that some members were wondering why the TTC would be using the pilot vehicles without the second exit. The member asked if it was to learn about the operating characteristics along with how to integrate electric vehicles into the system. Dean Milton will forward to the Manager of Planning and Policy at Wheel-Trans for clarification.
A member stated that on the conventional system, often wheelchairs are not secured and suggested retraining or reminding bus drivers that this needs to be done. Dean Milton confirmed that this was part of the Operator training and suggested that a reminder to the bus divisions could be sent to ensure that Operators are following proper procedures. 

A member noted that there is a temporary conventional bus stop at Bathurst and Sheppard, north on the west side that is well used and should be considered to be kept as a permanent stop. This feedback will be taken back.

12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates: 

Communications Subcommittee (CS)

Maria Marin, CS Chair, provided a summary of the Communications Subcommittee Meeting held on July 6, 2023 through Microsoft Teams.

The CS Chair read out the outstanding items.

There were no updates on the first item: Status of signage for Line 5 alternative routes for accessibility when elevators and/or escalators are down. 

On the second item, the TTC system map strategy 2023/24, Alex Blackwell, Wayfinding and Signage Coordinator, provided an update. He explained that updated maps for the vehicles have been printed up to and including Lansdowne Station becoming accessible. The maps are being installed in vehicles. He noted that the system wide change for all accessible stations will be done in November 2023, after Line 3 is decommissioned, to include this, along with all the accessible stations.

On the third item, sensory notice on Platform Video Screens and/or other places in the system, Heather Brown, Director of Customer Experience, will be working on this with the Digital Communications team and will provide an update at the September 7, 2023 CS meeting.

Sneha Madhuri, Communications Advisor, presented on the mobile application for Wheel-Trans self-booking. The tentative launch date is July 31, 2023. Wheel-Trans staff are working with Google and Apple to roll out the app for IOS and Android. Highlights of the presentation included the ability for riders to use the app for both door-to-door trips and Family of Services. Customers will also be able to receive service alerts, use a where is my ride feature, and book and modify or cancel trips. 

The item, TTC Website, was removed as a standing item. Updates on the website will be communicated to the Subcommittee.

The next Communications Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for August 3, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. 

CS Meeting Highlights:  

  • Mobile Application for Wheel-Trans self-booking launch 

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS)

There was no Design Review Subcommittee meeting in July. The next Design Review Subcommittee meeting will be August 8, 2023.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS)

Howard Wax, SPS Chair, presented about the SPS meeting held July 4, 2023. Route changes for Line 6, with a focus on Humber College was discussed. 
The next SPS meeting is scheduled for August 1, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. 

SPS Meeting Highlights:

  • Line 6 Humber College route changes 

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS)

There was no Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee meeting in July. The next WTOS meeting is scheduled for August 9, 2023, at 1 p.m. 

13. Other/New Business 

a) Electric Vehicle Procurement

A member suggested that ACAT should revisit the decision made to purchase the electric vehicles for the pilot project as dangers that might result from the battery, for examples fires, were not reviewed and the member suggested it is not safe without the second exit. Levenson Lincoln noted that the concern regarding the electric vehicle procurement will be sent to the WTOS meeting and added to the agenda for discussion at a future meeting.  

b) SRT - Derailment 

A member suggested that ACAT should discuss the recent derailment of the Line 3 Scarborough and the situation with the shuttle buses as well as what might be done if service resumes or does not resume before the November decommissioning. Heather Brown stated that there are ongoing discussions regarding all of this, including the current shuttle buses, and what might be done in either case. The investigation is ongoing and TTC staff are working diligently to find solutions.  The ACAT Chair assigned this topic to the Service Planning Subcommittee for discussion.

c) Metrolinx and Ottawa Transit Issues

The ACAT Co-Vice Chair discussed issues that OC Transpo (Ottawa) has been having with vehicles provided on their LRT, which are similar to the ones being used for the new Line 5. She suggested liaising with Metrolinx to ensure that these issues are not experienced in Toronto with the new Line 5.

d) Ramps on new Vehicles

A member noted that their wheelchair almost tipped over and suggested that Operators be reminded to hold the back of chairs when they are using the ramp as not all drivers are doing this. This could avoid an injury of a customer or an operator. Levenson Lincoln noted that he will reach out to TTC staff about reminding Operators to hold the back of wheelchairs.

e) Fire Safety and Emergency Presentation

A member discussed the presentation given at the Service Planning Subcommittee meeting. Jeff Short confirmed the presentation will be shared with ACAT members in advance of the next ACAT General Meeting and will be discussed at the next ACAT General Meeting. 

f) Interim Location for Appeals

The ACAT Chair noted that when looking for a permanent location for appeals two locations are being scouted, one east of Yonge Street and one west of Yonge Street, to make it easier for people. TTC staff and the ACAT Executive will ensure that any location is fully accessible and a member of the ACAT Executive will attend a site visit.

Joanne De Laurentiis, TTC Vice-Chair, suggested that not everyone absorbs information the same way and that providing some of the information to drivers or customers might be better with the options of listening or video.

Questions and Comments from the Committee: 

A member noted that the signage in the new appeals location was lacking. Levenson Lincoln advised each customer that was attending the site was contacted to ensure they knew which floor to go to until signs could be posted. Also, as the subway stop is not accessible, each person attending is offered door-to-door service to ensure they can get to the site.

A member commented that the issue seems to be the decision-making process on which location is accessible and that they should be looking at everything. The ACAT Chair confirmed that all aspects of the location are being considered.

A member commented that one of the issues appears to be the decision-making process when choosing a location for the appeals. This new location is a quick fix to ensure that the appeals committee is accessible. There will be a presentation at the August WTOS meeting about a number of issues, including the appeals process and panel in general, and all members were encouraged to attend the next WTOS meeting. A further separate meeting could be held to discuss this issue, and results can be taken to the ACAT General meeting for discussion and review. Levenson Lincoln suggested that the presentation be moved to the September WTOS meeting as Cameron Penman will be away and would like to participate. The ACAT Co-Vice Chair who will making the presentation agreed to the presentation being moved to September if necessary.

14. Next Meeting 

The next ACAT General Meeting is scheduled for August 31, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.

15. Adjournment 

The meeting was adjourned on a motion by Betty Rivington-Law at 2:30 p.m. 

Cindy Edwards 
Recording Secretary

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