Below is a summary of the accessibility issues and suggestions for improvement raised by customers at the 2016 Public Forum regarding Service Improvements. These suggestions were submitted during the meeting, on comment forms, and in comments to TTC Customer Service. Customer comments are accompanied by a summary of the current status of each issue.

More elevators

Comments

“We need elevators at all stations (e.g. Wilson, Warden). It is very hard on people who suffer with knee and back problems and disabilities.”

“Warden Station is not accessible to seniors and should be upgraded.”

“The schedule for installing elevators at many stations is a moving target. What steps have you taken to ensure that you meet the elevator installation schedule in the future?”

“In order to get more private developers installing elevators, sell the air rights so offices or medical buildings can be built above the station. One good example would be Lansdowne.”

Response

The TTC is planning to retrofit all subway stations with elevators and other accessibility features by 2025. Funding was approved to make all stations accessible as part of the 2016-2025 TTC Capital Budget. Elevator construction is underway at St Clair West, Woodbine, Coxwell, and Dupont Stations. Easier Access projects over the past several years have been very challenging as will be the remaining stations which are currently scheduled to be completed by 2025. Completing the remaining stations will be accomplished by continuing to work on multiple locations simultaneously and advancing work such as property acquisition, where possible. Additional information and a project schedule is available by visiting the TTC Easier Access website.

Warden Station in particular has a multiple bus bay configuration that requires redevelopment to make it accessible, similar to the recently completed project at Victoria Park Station. Warden Station redevelopment is currently unfunded, however, the plan is to request funds in future budgets to complete it as a separate project.   

TTC has historically and does continue to‎ look for opportunities to partner with private developers with respect to the construction of entrance connections that include accessible entrances to subway stations.  This can include air-rights development above a subway station entrance. Recently constructed developments that contain accessible subway entrances include the Canadian Opera Company (Osgoode), MaRS Discovery Centre (Queen's Park), and the Hullmark Centre (Yonge-Sheppard). Future planned developer-constructed accessible entrances include St. Patrick, Eglinton, and Lawrence stations.

More escalators

Comments

"We need to have funding dedicated for station renovations that include more escalators.”

“Warden Station and Lawrence East Station need up escalators.”

“We then got to the King Street station to go downstairs during rush hour, only the down escalator was turned off during rush off. Could TTC please make sure they don't create new barriers and keep the escalators running.”

Response

While newly constructed stations will have both up and down escalators in addition to elevators serving station levels, it is not practical to retrofit escalators into existing stations given space constraints and excessive cost to complete this work. TTC is addressing accessibility through installation of elevators as part of the Easier Access program, scheduled to be complete by 2025.

There are eight escalators in King Station and we do strive to keep all of them in operation for a maximum amount of time. Specifics like description of location or unit ID, date and time are needed to investigate why the unit was out of service.

Express bus service

Comments

“There are too many 185 Don Mills Express buses, not enough 25 Don Mills buses. When a 25 Don Mills bus comes, they are always packed and I can't get my wheelchair on the bus.”

Response

We are making changes to the 25 Don Mills and 185 Don Mills Rocket routes starting in January 2017. This includes an increase in service on the local service at most times of the day, which should help to resolve this issue.

Conventional stop locations

Comments

“On September 30, TTC is removing 2 actively used bus stops, number 7192 and 7193. Many who rely on them are elderly or disabled.”

“Ensure that when planning route changes, that the distance a person needs to walk is not too far. You have recently removed stops near churches/places of worship - but these places are also soup kitchens or part of the "out of the cold" campaign, where many people with disabilities go for meals.”

“Why can't there be a bus stop so we can catch the bus on the same side, rather than criss-crossing and then the light turns red and you missed that bus and have to wait another 20-25 mins for the next bus (e.g., Victoria Park Ave and Eglinton Ave).”

“Yesterday I took the streetcar line along King Street with a friend who is senior who can't walk far and he explained to me how TTC has cut out a number of the stops so that the distance you've got to be able to walk between stops is longer than before. That's creating new barriers.”

Response

TTC and the City of Toronto are currently reviewing these stops as part of larger project to standardize and upgrade stop designs at Pedestrian Refuge Islands (PRIs). TTC does not want to limit service at these locations, however we have recognized that continued operations at PRIs is dependent on these upgrades. In the meantime, temporary measures have been submitted to the City of Toronto for continued service at these locations with final design work still pending.

The TTC is currently in the process of removing, relocating, and consolidating a number of bus stops in order to improve customer/pedestrian safety and overall service. Sunday stops, which were established in the 1920s to reduce walking distance to nearby churches, are, at an average of about 125 metres away, too close to existing adjacent regular stops. Transportation best practices state that bus stops should be 300 to 400 metres apart. The TTC is removing the stops for safety reasons as well, as none are located at signalized intersections or crosswalks.

Farside stop locations are the most optimal bus stop design if they are situated in a bus bay.  However, given space and resource constraints, the next best configuration is nearside of the intersection. This configuration allows the operator maximum visibility of approaching traffic, pedestrians, crosswalks, and customers waiting to board and alight the bus. At intersections with nearside locations, this “checker board” situation is inevitable. Siting of bus stops is individualized and primarily influenced by these safety considerations. TTC is undergoing continuous review of all stop locations in the city and will frequently move stops (which includes farside/nearside configurations) to best suit site conditions.

The TTC has undertaken a review of all streetcar stops to improve customer safety and speed of service. TTC will be improving the safety and speed of streetcar service by adjusting streetcar stops to ensure they are located at signalized intersections or crosswalks. This initiative will speed service by removing some stops that are unreasonably close together. The recommendations for these improvements were made after consultation with the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT), TTC’s Customer Liaison Panel, and City Councillors, and were approved by the TTC Board at the May 28, 2014 meeting.

Low-floor streetcar service

Comments

“There are extremely long wait times for a new streetcar on the 509 route.”

“I am moving to the Pan Am Village, but it took me two hours to get here tonight from there because the 514.”

“Make streetcar routes accessible for people in wheelchair/ scooters by having kneeling accessible buses at certain times i.e. rush hour or every 30 to 60 minutes.”

Response

New streetcars continue to be added to the 509 and 514 routes as they are delivered by the manufacturer. 509 Harbourfront and 514 Cherry are scheduled to be operated entirely by low-floor vehicles by mid-2017.

Community bus service

Comments

“Create accessible options from local accessible subway station linking with local hospitals. (e.g. Dundas West to St. Joseph's. Modify the Parkdale community bus route.)”

Response

TTC Staff will report back to the TTC Board in Q1 2017 with plans for the community bus network, which is expected to include improvements to the 402 Parkdale route.

More service, less crowded

Comments

“Stop packing the buses beyond safety limits."

“Think about the peak times when the school children have to go to school, and when the school finishes. Anybody with a wheelchair, it's very difficult for them to get on the bus there because it's so crowded.”

Response

Our crowding standards are measured against the average number of people on each bus during the busiest hour. This does mean that some trips will be busier than others, particularly when there is a service delay. Many routes are operating near these crowding standards as we are unable to add service due to budgetary or fleet constraints. Our operators are trained to drive safely and will deny boarding when they feel the bus has reached capacity.

We do operate special school trips at dismissal times to accommodate student travel on many of our busiest routes. Customers can let us know by contacting TTC Customer Service if there is a specific school or location that we should look at, as we can explore if a school trip is warranted.

Wheel-Trans cross-boundary travel

Comments

“YRT Mobility Plus uses north of Steeles as the dividing line. Wheel-Trans goes 1 kilometer north of Steeles as a service to York residents. This means more bookings, travel time and costs not supported by York region. Why is there no reciprocity or cost sharing?”

Response

Wheel-Trans will travel up to 1 km beyond the Toronto boundary. If a customer requires travel beyond that, all transit agencies in the GTHA have a reciprocity agreement in place to automatically accept customers who are registered in the region they reside in. There are four transfer points shared between Wheel-Trans and York Region, and two transfer points to Peel Region. Wheel-Trans staff can also coordinate trips with staff from neighbouring regions. Please contact Customer Service at 416-393-4111 or wtcs@ttc.ca.