ACAT Meeting - November 30, 2023

Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, November 30, 2023
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location:Virtual Meeting
Meeting No:400
  • 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 October 26, 2023 Minutes
  8. Outstanding Items
  9. Deputation:
    1. 250 Davenport Bus Stop Reinstatement
    2. Annex Residents Association
  10. Review of Correspondence:Nil
  11. Wheel-Trans Transformation & COVID-19 update from Cameron Penman
  12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates
    1. Communications
    2. Design Review
    3. Service Planning
    4. Wheel-Trans Operations
  13. 13/Other/New Business
    1. Special Constable and Revenue Protection Overview
    2. South-Facing Doors at Union Station
    3. Planned Closure Process
    4. Closures in the Downtown Core
  14. Next Meeting – December 14, 2023 (Luncheon + In-Person/Hybrid)
  15. Adjournment

Minutes of Meeting:            

ACAT General Meeting

Meeting Date:                    

Thursday, November 30, 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
Maria Marin, CS Chair
Craig Nicol, DRS Chair
Betty Rivington-Law
Bobbi Moore
Lavarnan Mehavarnan
Mei Hung
Rob Lackie
Wangari Muriuki
Valdo Tammark
Tammy Adams, Pool Member
Jason Osborne, Pool Member


Howard Wax, SPS Chair
Frank Lockhart
Nicolas Paterson, Pool Member

Member of Public/Deputants:


Rita Debiasi
Henry Wiercinski


TTC Representatives:


Gary Downie, Chief Capital Officer

Cameron Penman, Head, Wheel-Trans

Keisha Campbell, Chief Diversity & Culture Officer

David LoPresti, Manager, Contracted Taxi Services, Wheel-Trans

Matt Hagg, Manager, Customer Policy, Strategy & Foresight

Dean Milton, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans

Ross Visconti, Wheel-Trans Project Manager

Levenson Lincoln, Assistant Manager, Customer Service, Wheel-Trans

Heather Brown, Director, Customer Experience

Adrian Grundy, Senior Communications Advisor, Corporate Communications

Jeff Short, Senior Accessibility Planner

Stephan Boston, Chief Instructor, Operations Training Centre

Lodon Hassan, Divisional Manager, Customer Service, Wheel-Trans

Natalie Francis, Manager, Planning & Policy, Wheel-Trans

Eric Chu, Head, Project Development & Planning

Richard Wong, Chief Transportation & Vehicles

Robert Smith, Head, Transportation

Steven Gehring, Manager of Closures, Diversions & Incident Response

Sylvia Lopes, Coordinator, Closures & Diversions

Betty Hasserjian, Chief Safety Officer

Marc Mis, Head of Strategy & Foresight

Olivia Laskarzewski, Human Rights Consultant, Human Rights & Investigations

Alexandra Nicastro, Administrative Assistant, Wheel-Trans

Oma Okolocha, Coordinator, Human Rights & Investigations

Sneha Madhuri, Communications Advisor, Corporate Communications

Natasha Singh, Policy Planner, Strategy & Foresight


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 October 26, 2023 Minutes
  8. Outstanding Items
  9. Deputation:250 Davenport Bus Stop Reinstatement Residents – Rita Debiasi
    Annex Residents Association – Henry Wiercinski
  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. Other/New Business
    Special Constable and Revenue Protection Overview
    South-Facing Doors at Union Station
    Planned Closure Process
    Closures in the Downtown Core
  14. Next Meeting – December 14, 2023 (Luncheon + In-Person/Hybrid)
  15. Adjournment

1. Call to Order/Attendance 

Anita Dressler, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:01  p.m., welcomed attendees and attendance was taken.

2. Land Acknowledgement 

A member read the Land Acknowledgement.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest 


4. Approval of Agenda 

Anita Dressler made an amendment to the Agenda to bring New Business c) Planned Closure Process to the beginning of the meeting.

Lauri Sue Robertson brought a motion to approve the agenda, Betty Rivington-Law seconded. Carried.

c. Planned Closure Process

This item was moved up on the agenda to accommodate TTC staff schedules.

Steven Gehring, Manager of Closures, Diversions & Incident Response and his team were asked to attend the meeting based on some issues raised about shuttle buses not operating during recent closures between St. George and St. Andrew stations. Steven outlined the rationale for why shuttle buses have not been running during these closures (traffic congestion downtown would increase the travel time for the shuttle buses, resulting in a negative experience for customers relying on them), and highlighted other ways service is being enhanced / provided, including:

  • Putting extra service on east and westbound streetcar routes to help customers travel to the Yonge side of Line 1
  • Having Wheel-Trans buses on stand-by to assist customers with mobility needs get to the Yonge side of Line 1, or if their destination was close taking them right there.

Steven also mentioned that Customer Service Representatives and supervisors are available to answer questions on the closures and travel options available.

Steven also noted that announcements were being made, on the buses and streetcars, as well as in the station, notifying people of the closure so that they could plan their trip accordingly. The information was on the website and emailed to Wheel-Trans customers so that they were aware of the changes to the route.

Questions and Comments

A member asked about the Queen closure between Bay and Church and difficulties with the re-routing. Steven clarified that this would be a joint effort with Metrolinx and the City, but noted that generally the TTC services only go as far as Bay on regular service. 

A member asked about the neurodiversity issues with the route changes with Queen. They noted that when the downtown line is closed this may cause a great deal of difficulty for people as they are unable to judge the trip as it has changed, as well as the time it will take, as this has also changed. It makes travelling difficult to judge and people like them will choose to stay at home, rather than undertaking the difficulty of unknown and unexpected travel changes. There is already a lot of construction around the City of Toronto and adding to this makes it even more difficult.

Steven noted that the TTC has added additional streetcars on both the 505 and the 506 routes to transfer customers from the University to the Yonge side and have frequent announcements. Supervisors are also out in the stations ensuring that these announcements are being made properly and consistently.

A member stated that this is a good summary, however, you are asking people to divert on a diversion, and this creates more chaos. People can’t realistically plan on what the trip will look like, how long it will take. It is appreciated that the TTC is trying to mitigate this, but it is impossible to plan to be somewhere at a specific time, especially if you add accessibility issues and how long is required to work around those additional barriers. They suggested this might have to be addressed at a higher level, working with the City of Toronto to understand the volume of construction and the impact it makes on transit and travel around the City. This solution also requires the customer service representatives to be able to communicate with everyone effectively, and this is not always possible.

Anita Dressler thanked the team for coming and being so responsive to the ACAT members.

5. Remarks from TTC Executive – Keisha Campbell 

Keisha Campbell, Chief Diversity & Culture Officer thanked ACAT for inviting her to the meeting. She also thanked the Committee for everything they do to make travel on the TTC more accessible for everyone. They are in the process of creating an anti-racism strategy and policy and asked for input from ACAT. Anita Dressler asked that they send the information to Alexandra Nicastro, Administrative Assistant, Wheel-Trans, who will circulate to the ACAT members and she will forward their feedback.

Keisha also asked for ACAT participation on an internal employee accessibility survey, which she will provide to Alexandra to forward to the ACAT members.

Questions and Comments from the Committee


6. Remarks from ACAT Chair 

Anita Dressler opened her remarks by speaking about the recent TTC Board meeting, where Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer advised that in two years the TTC should have a total of 264 fully accessible streetcars and the improvements to the audio system that was spearheaded by ACAT. The system is now greatly improved, allowing all customers to hear and understand announcements on the system, including the consistency with the scripts. They also spoke about the new bus routes that are replacing the old Line 3 that travels from Scarborough Centre and Kennedy Stations.

It was also raised that Rogers has now provided regular service on Line 1 to allow customers reliable cell phone access on the system. Bell and Telus are expected to be added soon as well. In celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, she noted an art installation that will be held at the Lakeshore Garage, that will feature Black, Indigenous and racialized artists for everyone to enjoy, and encouraged members and anyone interested to attend. This is done through the Tangled Art + Gallery.

She thanked staff, specifically, Josie LaVita, Chief Financial Officer, as well as TTC Board Members including Joanne De Laurentiis and Julie Osborne, who regularly attend ACAT General Meetings.

7. Review and Approval of October 26, 2023, Minutes 

Bobbi Moore brought a motion to approve the October 26, 2023 minutes as presented,  and Lauri Sue Robertson seconded. Carried.

8. Outstanding Items 

a. Recommendations for Honorarium

This item is deferred to the December meeting.

9. Deputation 

a. 250 Davenport Bus Stop Reinstatement Residents – Rita Debiasi

A deputation was received requesting the reinstatement of the TTC bus stop outside of 250 Davenport.

Questions and Comments from the Committee


b. Annex Residents Association – Henry Wiercinski

Correspondence was received from the Annex Residents Association supporting the request to reinstate the bus stop in front of 250 Davenport.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member commented they live in the same community and confirmed this was a serious issue. They took exception that community engagement was not solicited before removing this stop. They also noted that, and it was confirmed, there is no street furniture between the stop that was removed and the replacement, in either direction. This compounds the difficulty for residents that have to walk a much longer distance to get to and from the stop, with nowhere to sit and rest if required and creates a significant challenge.

Eric Chu, Head, Project Development and Planning explained to the group why the TTC removed this stop. He explained that the cornerstone of the TTC policy is safety, for customers and other roadway users. When the road project to add bike lanes was proposed, the TTC took this time to examine the transit service and make improvements to particular stops that were interacting with the bike lanes to improve safety. The rationalization used was that stops that were mid-block do not have safe pedestrian crossings and they were assessed to see if they should be removed, moved or kept. The bikeshare location was decided much later and had nothing to do with any of the other decisions.

A member stated that Eric cited safety as their main concern, and asked what data was used referencing instances of road crossing/accidents taking place at that stop. Eric explained that mid-block stops are indeed commonplace in the City, they are actively reviewing hundreds of them, that will either be removed or potentially have a crossing added or consolidated with other stops. They used Toronto’s Vision Zero data; the TTC has chosen to be proactive with safety, rather than reactive.

A member stated that they hear that the TTC used general data for reviewing the mid-block stops, but asked if they had specific data for this stop and if there was more accidents there than in the area, which is well known for having accidents. Eric Chu explained that they took a proactive approach to this, they didn’t feel taking the approach of the number of actual incidents was important, safety was.

A member understands the safety piece of incidents in the area, but wonders if the mid-block stop is related to that data, or even if having people running across to reach a bus has caused any issues. They asked if the TTC had considered any options for that area like a crosswalk that would make crossing safer for customers and area residents. They noted there is already a cut out for the bikes, which could be converted to allow for bus drop off and pick up easily.

This member also stated that there seemed little consideration of alternatives for this stop, and this seems to point to conflicting policies at the TTC. They are presently moving away from mid-block stops, and they seem to be moving them to traffic lights with pedestrian crossings for safety, but also moving some stops further away from traffic lights in other areas to allow for smoother traffic flow.

Eric stated that they don’t have specific data for this stop, they are dependent on the Vision Zero data provided by the City of Toronto. This data does not get down to the granularity of specific stops. Their core principle is to be proactive, not reactive and want to do this ahead of time so they are not negligent that could lead to a dangerous experience. If we know there is a safer way, the TTC doesn’t want to put customers and road users into harm’s way to get to the stop or bus.

A member asked for clarification that you would have to cross the bike lane to get to the bus, and that the new stop has a raised walkway to get from the sidewalk, where you wait for the bus, to enter the bus. Eric confirmed this. Bikes have to stop as people are boarding and exiting the bus.

A member commented that there are different metrics to measure and assess safety, and wondered what considerations were given to other aspects of safety. The example was having elderly people or disabled people travelling farther or on slippery sidewalks to access bus stops. They asked if these safety features were weighted when deciding to remove this stop and said that it appears that liability was heavily weighted when the decision was made, not overall safety of the residents and customers. Eric stated they would be happy to facilitate working with the City to help ensure they do a better job clearing the sidewalks in the Winter if this is a big concern.

A member commented that the considerations mentioned about the distance to walk on the sidewalk and slippery, this is not unique to the area, it is everywhere in the city. This seems like a lot of pressure to bring the bus stop closer to the deputants, discounting anyone else in other parts of the city who have longer distances to walk to a bus stop.

A member also noted that there are issues with snow clearing all around the city, they have issues with their wheelchair, often the sidewalk is only half cleared, and they get their wheels stuck in the half that isn’t cleared. They also have difficulty travelling through the city, it seems to be a systemic problem.

Anita Dressler recommended sending this to the Service Planning Subcommittee for further investigation and discussion and recommended they invite Eric to a meeting for further discussion.

10. Review of Correspondence 


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

Cameron Penman, Head of Wheel-Trans, provided a Wheel-Trans update. Workshops with the consultants have begun to develop the Request for Information for the new Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems. These will be followed by a Request for Proposals for the new systems which are expected to be issued next year. Regarding phases 5-8 of the Reservations, Scheduling and Dispatch software upgrades, Cameron explained that internal discussions continue regarding a way forward based on the recommendations from the solution assessment.

Cameron explained that the Wheel-Trans Mobile App was released and there have been over thousands of downloads. It offers many of the same features as the Self-booking Website with the convenience of being on your smart phone.

The re-registration of legacy customers is ongoing, and Cameron advised that this year over 5,000 customers have re-registered, with just under 6,000 customers remaining.

With respect to the Wheel-Trans fleet, there are currently more than 110, new 7 metre ProMaster buses in service.

The COVID update included that Wheel-Trans will continue to monitor the public health environment over the coming months and will re-implement safety related COVID policies if deemed necessary by local public health officials and TTC Safety.

Sunday, December 3rd, 2023 is International Day of Persons with Disabilities. As part of TTC’s commitment to improve Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility, the Diversity Department is hosting a collaboration with Tangled Art + Disability, a disability-led arts organization working towards creating accessible opportunities in the arts.

The collaboration is called, Transit as a Canvas: Celebrating Black, Indigenous, and Racialized Artists with Disabilities. It will take place at the Wheel-Trans Lakeshore Garage on Friday, December 1st, celebrating how disability can offer new ways to experience the world through the eyes of eight artists in a gallery-style exhibition. There will also be a wrapped Wheel-Trans vehicle on display.

The December ACAT General Meeting will be a hybrid event and the TTC will be hosting a luncheon for our members in the 7th Floor Boardroom at Head Office prior to the meeting.

Questions and Comments from the Committee


12. Subcommittee Reports, Highlights and Updates: 

Communications Subcommittee (CS)

Maria Marin, Chair of the CS provided a summary of the Communications Subcommittee meeting that was held on November 2, 2023.

Deborah Brown presented a pilot project for E-paper screens to be installed at select bus stops as part of a pilot project. These signs will provide up to date information on the route as well as having text to speech capabilities. Some concerns included vandalism, accuracy and whether they continue to work, the cost and best place to mount it on a pole to provide maximum access for everyone. This would include people in wheelchairs and those that are blind, as it would have to be consistent across the system so they can be located easily. Deborah confirmed that the information will also be visible at night. The buttons are tactile and will be outfitted with braille. Jeff Short, Senior Accessibility Planner commented that the CSA has standards for mounting that would assist them in locating them in the best location for everyone. Deborah confirmed they are approximately $6,000 each, and the project is currently unfunded, which is why they are doing a pilot project. She would like to see how they fare in the Canadian winter, and how the real-time information improves the experience for customers.

Ian Dickson, Manager, Design & Wayfinding provided an update on the issues at Queen’s Park and St. Patrick stations with the lack of signage directing people to accessible options. The team is working on having signs installed at the station. He also confirmed that this is not a systematic problem, but only an issue at these two stations. They will be updating signs for the earlier location of Easier Access over the next 5 years to bring all of the stations to the same signage standard. Ian expects the maps across the system to be updated by the end of November and will provide an update at the December meeting.

Sofia Rizzo, Customer Communications Specialist provided a short update on the ways customers can find out what stations may be impacted by noise or other issues. Jeff Short updated the committee on the ongoing consultations for the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. He encouraged all ACAT members to fill in the survey and provided the link. Sneha Madhuri, Communications Advisor commented on the upcoming draft winter Wheel-Trans newsletter, a survey for the new mobile app and the preparation of a new video to assist contracted taxi drivers with the proper protocol for picking up and dropping off customers.

New business included the approval of two items to be forwarded to the ACAT General Meeting for distribution to the proper subcommittees.  These were:

  1. The training component for taxi drivers and guide dogs or any other accessibility issue; and 
  2. Discussion surrounding how to effectively communicate elevators are out of service in stations. How can the TTC inform their customers about the closures in stations before they use the system so they can comfortably navigate.

The next meeting will be held on December 8, 2023, at 1:00 p.m.

CS Meeting Highlights: 

  • Presentation on pilot project on E-Paper screens.
  • Updates on signs in stations directing people to accessible travel in the stations over the next few years.
  • Member concern over signage posting of elevator closures and lack of information on accessibility in stations.
Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member asked for more details on the new E-paper signs that were being proposed. It was explained it is a pilot project and will be posted on some of the bus stops, be like a tablet that will have a raised button to read out the information, which will include diversions and times. There is still a lot of questions and concerns about this, but when one is ready, ACAT will be contacted to come and try it out to provide feedback.

The member who had issues with the contracted taxi drivers noted that the issues continue, with drivers making obnoxious comments and inappropriate questions regarding her service dog. She also noted she will often be waiting for a taxi and when it finally arrives, even though the service dog is listed on their information, the taxi often arrives with three people already in the taxi with no room for them and the service dog. Staff agreed that this was not acceptable and David LoPresti, Manager of Contracted Taxis and Levenson Lincoln, Assistant Manager of Customer Service, Wheel-Trans will reach out to this member for more details and to sort out the issues. They also noted they are currently editing the training video that will be sent to aid in training going forward.

Anita Dressler thanked Cindy, our recording secretary, Sarah, the captioner and Alexandra Nicastro for their hard work. Without all of them, the meetings would be much more difficult.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS)

Craig Nicol, DRS Chair provided a summary for the Design Review Subcommittee, held on November 14, 2023.

Leo Lin, from Giannone Petricone Associates, Architects provided a detailed presentation regarding the new proposed tower including the new entrance at 5 Cumberland Avenue, Tower C and the connection to Bay Station.

Clarification was asked regarding access to existing elevators and Yonge/Bloor Station. Leo confirmed there would be no fire break doors in the long barrier free hallway, only doors providing access to the subway station.

A member clarified the requirements for tiles at the top and bottom of the ramp, which they will change. Members raised safety concerns for the elevator, which is down a hallway by itself, and Leo confirmed there will be cameras and confirmed that access will conform to TTC hours and be made available to the public.

It was confirmed that the current plan does not provide access to the Yonge/Bloor subway station, that will be through the CIBC building. More details were provided on exterior door access to the building when asked for clarification. After the Architects left the meeting, Aleks Todorovski, Development Coordinator, Property Planning & Development, was asked to clarify what is going on with the CIBC and access to Bloor Yonge Station as this is the first the DRS have heard that there is access.

New Business included updates on outstanding items. This included pre-boarding announcements that Jeff Short is working on with others, but they have other items they are dealing with through Clever Devices, and it will take time. This will be particularly important when more silent electric or hybrid buses are added to the system.

The fare gate timing issue is being investigated by Chris Salvador, Head, Revenue Operations and will provide updates as soon as he can. One possible option is updating the software and he asked for guidance from ACAT, which was given. Some clarification was requested by the DRS members on the positioning and usage of the sensors.

The next outstanding item was the Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) audio messaging, which the City has installed as a trial at St. Clair and Avenue Road. Jeff Short will arrange a time to visit for ACAT member feedback.

The final outstanding item was the third-party entrances, snow clearing and reliability of power doors. This item will be moved to the Service Planning Subcommittee.

The final item discussed was the timing of the subway/bus doors closing and a recommendation that operators be trained to watch for people that take a little extra time.

The next meeting will be December 12, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.

Questions and Comments from the Committee


DRS Meeting Highlights:

  • Presentation of the new accessible entrance at Bay Station.
  • Member concerns included access hours and access to Yonge Bloor Station.
  • Staff is working on the preboarding announcements.
  • The Accessible Pedestrian Signal messaging was confirmed at the St. Clair/Avenue Rd. intersection.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS)

Jeff Short presented the information on the SPS meeting held on November 7, 2023.

Trevor Timbrell, Manager, Training & Logistical Support, Special Constable Service and Eric Smith, Assistant Manager, Fare Inspection provided a presentation that outlines an overview of the Special Constable Services and Revenue Protection department and their roles and responsibilities as they relate to accessibility at the TTC. Members showed some concern that the special constables and Community Engagement Unit were linked, wondering if that would limit the assistance they could provide or the acceptance of the community. Staff explained that they are separate, but often the Community Engagement Unit requires the help of the constables.

Concerns were raised that without staff at the collector booths, it is difficult to obtain help, but Trevor explained there are many other ways to obtain help in the system. It was also suggested to refresh or expand education for students as backpacks have become an issue again. Staff were encouraged to attend the ACAT General Meeting to hear the concerns that are raised at that meeting. 

Members were curious on how much AODA training is provided to staff and they will reply back as ACAT members asked they be included in the training. Staff was asked if they have a training partner for people with autism, and they replied the Autism Society; the member suggested reaching out to some grassroots groups.

Clarification was requested for the security guards in Union Station, which was explained as filling in the gaps in TTC staff as they are hiring 40 new people.

Matt Hagg, Manager, Customer Policy, Strategy & Foresight and Jason Genee, System Planner, provided an update on the 5 Year Service Plan. Questions included clarification of the issue of bike lanes on the accessibility access, lack of information from the City on density to aid the TTC is moving services and the effect of changing the 10 minute and 6-minute bus routes on customers.

New Business included the ability of letting customers know in advance when accessibility features are not working (elevator/escalator, etc.), and the responsibility for notification or posting of signs. Jeff Short will arrange to have this information presented at a future meeting.

The next meeting will be on December 5, 2023 at 1:30 p.m.

SPS Meeting Highlights:

  • Trevor Timbrell, Manager, Training & Logistical Support, Special Constable Service provided an outline on the special constable’s responsibilities on the TTC as it relates to accessibility.
  • Eric Smith, Assistant Manager, Fare Inspection provided an overview of their department and their roles and responsibilities as they relate to accessibility.
  • Members raised some concerns regarding the relationship between the special constables and community engagement groups.
  • 5 Year Service Plan update.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

A member commented that since the collectors have come out of the booths, they are engaging more with the customers, and they find it easier to find help. They noted that perhaps educating the customers on how and where to find help would be beneficial. This includes the location of the passenger assistance intercom and where they can go to get information in the station regarding elevators out of service. They recommended sending this to the Communications Subcommittee.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS)

Lauri Sue Robertson, WTOS Chair, presented the information from the meeting held November 8, 2023.

Dean Milton, Manager, Strategic Initiatives, provided an update on FOS trip demand; specifically, that 2023 continues to show significant growth vs 2022. He reminded the members that the recent diversion survey indicated that 31% of Wheel-Trans customers regularly travel on conventional TTC. Details were also provided on the results of the FOS pilot project that ran for 5 weeks from September 10 to October 14. Dean confirmed that a few volunteers dropped out during the pilot for personal reasons. Staff confirmed they are considering another pilot project to obtain more feedback.  Key takeaways from the pilot included; modifying the description of FOS transfer stops to make it clearer to both customers and operators, and a video will be produced to demonstrate the expectations that Wheel-Trans operators and contracted taxi drivers must enter the subway station bus bays to pick-up and drop-off customers. The video will also clarify the procedure for issuing a no-show at subway stations. This training video will also be provided to the contracted taxi companies.

Questions included whether or not FOS travel will decline in the winter, and if F extra attention would be paid to those locations when clearing snow. Staff confirmed they will be working closely with the City of Toronto to ensure these areas are kept as clear of snow as possible. WTOS suggested inviting City of Toronto staff to a future meeting to discuss snow clearing. Staff took this suggestion away to see if this could be arranged.

A re-registration update was given, there are now 6,000 legacy customers still remaining. Marco Iorfida, Scheduling and Policy Specialist, reported on the stops and landmarks and the upcoming changes to the changes at the hospital pick up and drop off area with the construction updates. Information is posted on the self-booking website and TTC website. Staff confirmed that customers are being notified if they call in and confirmed there should be no issues fitting the 7 metre Promaster buses in to the drop off area.

Natalie Francis, Manager, Planning & Policy, addressed a previous concern regarding a closure at Union station. She stated that any closures occurring are scheduled ahead of time and the organization contacts the team in response to an issue raised last month. Members asked if all of the information is provided to staff, and she confirmed that it would be provided on a form going forward to ensure it is standard.

There were no updates for COVID and masking updates, as they continue to monitor the situation.

Anita Dressler provided an update on the appeal panel location. The team did a site visit to Variety Village which covers 110% of all the needs required, settling on that location as the East-end location. In the meantime, 250 Bloor Street W at Bloor and Islington will be the West-end location which is 99% accommodating. Efforts are on-going for a permanent west-end location.

Levenson Lincoln provided an update on the complaints through Wheel-Trans. He clarified the method for no-shows, confirming they investigate each one thoroughly. There were concerns that it is mostly the contracted cabs that are reported no-shows and staff will confirm whether this is on the operator or dispatcher’s end. A member noted that the taxis often show up late, which creates issues for people with appointments. A member also commented that operators are not leaving no-show notices, especially at apartment buildings; there was a discussion about call in and how customers can opt in and opt out.

New Business included two items brought from the Communication Subcommittee; to confirm if there’s specific training for operators and not just TTC operators as there have been instances of rudeness.

The second issue was regarding elevator signage stating elevators not in-service at the station entrance level and not platform level. This is not the first time that member has raised this concern. A member stated that this presentation should be put on Service Planning Subcommittee minutes as a refresher and Maria Marin appear at the next meeting on December 5th.

There was a short update on the new TTC app. ACAT member were reminded about the luncheon and in-person ACAT meeting on December 14, 2023.

The next WTOS meeting is scheduled for December 13, 2023.13.

13. Other/New Business 

  1. Special Constable and Revenue Protection Overview
  2. South-Facing Doors at Union Station
  3. Planned Closure Process
  4. Closures in the Downtown Core

a. Special Constable and Revenue Protection Overview

Eric Smith gave a summary of their presentation at the subcommittee meeting. He explained what the Revenue Protection officers do and how they respectfully approach customers to ensure they are able to pay their fare and help them if they have not or are unable to access it. He explained the process that the officers do when they board a transit vehicle. He explained that they focus on having the customer tell them how they can best be helped in a respectful way.

Questions and Comments


Trevor Timbrell, Manager, Training & Logistical Support, Special Constable Service confirmed that 19 new Special Constables will begin training and there will be an additional 24 in March that will begin training. They are looking to have more visibility on the system. When they begin the AODA training, he will be reaching out through Alexandra Nicastro, to solicit ACAT for any member that would like to participate and give lived experience for the trainees.

b. South-Facing Doors at Union Station

Jeff Short provided an update on this, as it was brought up by an ACAT member at the October General Meeting. These doors are not for a TTC facility (subway station), but rather are for the portion of Union Station that is owned and operated by the City of Toronto. The City recently propped open more of the doors to aid with pedestrian flows. Jeff and the ACAT member have both noticed that this has helped improve pedestrian flows and accessibility. He explained they must balance the requirements of the building systems with optimizing optional pedestrian flows.

Questions and Comments

Two members asked if propping open more doors creates a fire hazard, because it could create a wind tunnel. Jeff Short noted that the City of Toronto took all of the code requirements into consideration before doing this.

c. Planned Closure Process

This item was addressed at the beginning of the meeting and will be sent to the Service Planning Subcommittee for additional investigation and discussion.

Questions and Comments

A member commented that the term “planned closures” is vague, in that some closures are months or a year long due to construction. There has not been any discussion they noticed about alternative routes for the Queen Street streetcar when construction on Adelaide gets finished. Access to accessible streetcars is difficult. As this involves the TTC, Metrolinx and the City, perhaps staff should be invited to the Service Planning Subcommittee meeting to discuss. Natalie Francis noted that they will have to review the options.

d. Wheel-Trans Stops and Landmarks

A member raised the issue that their taxi driver was ticketed on Adelaide when they stopped to pick them up. This item will be raised at WTOS as there needs to be some agreement on what they are doing for this issue, and it will be brought back to the ACAT General meeting in December.

Questions and Comments


14. Next Meeting 

The next ACAT General Meeting is scheduled for December 14, 2023 which will be held hybrid, both online and in person and it is hoped that many of the members can attend. The location is 1900 Yonge Street, at the TTC office, in the boardroom with a luncheon prior to the meeting.

15. Adjournment 

The meeting was adjourned on a motion by Betty Rivington Law at 3:10 p.m.

Cindy Edwards
Recording Secretary




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