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Message from Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans

Portrait of Dwayne Geddes

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Another year of change at Wheel-Trans has come to a close, marking further milestones for both Wheel-Trans and the Wheel-Trans Transformation. At the heart of our mission is upgrading and improving services, and we have delivered on a number of promises we made to you last year.

This past year, we have delivered new upgrades to the Wheel-Trans self-booking website, improved the wait
times for customers calling Wheel-Trans reservations, and made further expansions to the Family of Services network including the first streetcar route, the 512 St Clair.

We have also started offering Station Orientation Days, where the TTC’s Travel Trainer holds sessions inside accessible subway stations teaching customers about accessible features on all TTC vehicles (streetcar, subway, bus) as well as how to navigate the subway station. To date, our Travel Trainer has taught 155 customers how to independently use the accessible TTC (bus, subway or streetcar) and how to use Family of Services.

We also opened our newest Access Hub at Humber College’s north campus, and are on schedule to complete all remaining Access Hubs by March 2020. These Access Hubs are at Kipling Avenue and Dixon Road, Neilson Road and Ellesmere Road and Victoria Park Avenue and Ellesmere Road.

Due to ongoing testing of the Wheel-Trans mobile app, the release date has been pushed to 2020. To ensure it is fully functional for our customers, we will continue testing until the app is ready for release, and will put out a request for volunteers to test it when ready. Details regarding the Wheel-Trans mobile app will follow after thorough reviews. We hope you’ll be patient with us a little while longer, as we work to ensure the products and services you receive from us are in top working order. As always, if you have any comments or concerns, please reach out to Wheel-Trans Customer Service at wtcs@ttc.ca.

I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.

PRESTO update

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November 30, 2019 was the last day to buy TTC tickets, tokens and passes

The TTC has stopped selling tickets, tokens and passes at collector booths on November 30, 2019. Customers will still be able to buy TTC tickets and tokens at some third-party retailers.

Customers will also still be able to use their previously purchased TTC tickets, tokens and passes to pay their fare. No end date has been set for when the TTC will stop accepting these. Refunds will not be provided, so customers are encouraged to use their remaining TTC tickets, tokens and passes before switching to a PRESTO card to pay their fare.

Customers who travel in Wheel-Trans sedan taxis will be required to pay with exact cash, use any remaining tickets or tokens they have or pay with a monthly pass on their PRESTO card. Full fare payment using PRESTO will be available on sedan taxis early in the new year.

PRESTO cards are available for sale at Fare Vending Machines in all subway stations, all Shoppers Drug Mart locations, online at prestocard.ca, through the PRESTO App or at the TTC Customer Service Centre at Davisville Station.

PRESTO card customers have access to many benefits, including:

  • paying the lowest fare by default;
  • being able to hop on and off the TTC within a two-hour period without being charged a second fare;
  • the ability to set up auto-renew and auto-load so they never have to worry about not having enough money or a monthly pass on their card;
  • balance protection for cards registered on a My PRESTO Account; and,
  • the ability to use one card to pay a fare across 10 other transit agencies that use PRESTO.

Infrequent travellers or visitors to the city can purchase one-ride, two-ride or day pass PRESTO Tickets from Fare Vending Machines at all subway stations, Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Toronto and from the TTC Customer Service Centre at Davisville Station.

To learn more about PRESTO visit ttc.ca/PRESTO.

How to use PRESTO while taking a Family of Services trip

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How do I pay my fare for a Family of Services trip?

Paying your fare with a PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket is easy. Simply tap your PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket on the card reader each time you board a bus, streetcar or enter a subway station. Your fare will automatically be deducted from your card, or your monthly pass or two-hour transfer will be validated. Your tapped PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket is your proof-of-payment. You should be prepared to show it to TTC staff upon request at any point in your journey.

PRESTO cards are automatically set to deduct an adult fare. If you need your card to deduct a different fare, such as a senior or youth, or postsecondary fare, you must have your card reset. You can do this by taking your government issued identification, or your TTC Post-Secondary photo identification, to any Shoppers Drug Mart location or the TTC Customer Service Centre, located at 1900 Yonge Street, above Davisville Station.

Can I still use tickets, tokens or cash?

Yes, you can still use TTC tickets, tokens and cash to pay your fare.

The TTC stopped selling tickets, tokens and passes on November 30, 2019. No end date has been determined for when TTC tickets, tokens and passes will no longer be accepted. You can continue to use any remaining quantities you have. Once you have used all of your remaining tickets and tokens, you will need to pay your fare using a PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket, or with exact cash. Remember to get a paper transfer if you are paying by cash, TTC tickets or tokens. Your transfer is your proof-of-payment.

How do I pay for my trip if I am in a sedan taxi taking a Family of Services trip?

If you are paying with a ticket, token or exact cash, you will wait until you are onboard a conventional TTC bus, streetcar or at the subway station to pay  our fare. Remember to take a paper transfer as your proof-of-payment and carry it with you throughout your journey.

You can use your PRESTO card to pay your fare as long as you have a monthly pass on it. When you get into a sedan taxi, provide your card to the driver and your PRESTO card number will be recorded on the log sheet. Full PRESTO payment will be available on sedan taxis before the end of the year. If you don’t have a monthly pass on your PRESTO card you will need to pay by exact cash, ticket or token. Remember to tap your card each time you board a conventional TTC bus, streetcar or enter a subway station. Your tapped PRESTO card is your proof-ofpayment.

Travel Training Testimonials

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My son Ridley had a great experience with Desrianne, the TTC’s Travel Trainer. Ridley has a mild intellectual disability and through the Wheel-Trans newsletter I found out about Desrianne and her program.

Ridley was not very comfortable taking the streetcar and subway on his own so I contacted Desrianne to see if he would be a fit for the program. He was and it was fantastic! She not only made Ridley feel comfortable with his route, she created a flash card he can use on his travels. He told her today that he is ready to do the route on his own.

Desrianne should be commended for her creative approach and great work. Thank you and Wheel Trans for this program. I would highly recommend her to anyone else. Our family really appreciates it.

Jason Nykor

People outside of streetcar at Spadina Station

Is Travel Training for you?

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The TTC’s Travel Training program offers one-on-one training to teach you how to travel to your destination safely and independently on
the bus, subway, streetcar or by using Family of Services.

We also offer Station Orientation Days where customers can learn all about the TTC’s accessible features and how to navigate the system.

Sign up for Travel Training by emailing traveltraining@ttc.ca or call Wheel-Trans Customer Service to set up a session at 416-393-4111.

Family of Services update

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As of January, 2020, Wheel-Trans will be able to connect conditionally eligible customers to more than 40 bus and streetcar routes, and with allaccessible subway stations. To date, customers have scheduled over 4,000 Family of Services trips!

Most of the Family of Services transfer points have a shared stop pole featuring a blue Wheel-Trans decal with a blue No-Show Ticket board attached. Some stops have their own individual  Wheel-Trans pole, placed in view of the stop shelter. Customers should always wait at the pole where the No-Show board is located.

New subway station model coming to 65 more stations

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Starting January 5, 2020, the collector booths at the remaining subway stations that have collectors inside will be closed permanently and the collector will be relocated beside the fare line. When this happens, customers will need to enter these stations using exact cash, TTC tickets, tokens, day passes, PRESTO cards or one-ride, two-ride or day pass PRESTO Tickets. This model is similar to the one that exists along the Line 1 extension stations from Vaughan Metropolitan Centre to Lawrence West and is another key part of the TTC’s modernization efforts.

Customers paying by cash, TTC tickets, tokens or day passes will deposit their fare in the fare
box and enter the station through a dedicated fare line. Customers who require access to the wide aisle gate at the station, will pay their fare at the fare box and then travel to the wide aisle gate, where the collector will open it using the local device controller. PRESTO card or PRESTO Ticket customers can enter the station by tapping their card or PRESTO Ticket on a reader at the top or side of the fare gate and enter the station through those aisles, as they do today.

Access Hubs

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Customers in seating area of Access Hub with TTC operator entering

The following Access Hub locations are scheduled to be completed by March, 2020:

  • Kipling and Dixon NW corner
  • Kipling and Dixon SW corner
  • Neilson and Ellesmere NE corner
  • Victoria Park and Ellesmere SE corner
  • Jane and Eglinton SW corner
  • Jane and Eglinton NE corner
  • Victoria Park and Ellesmere NW corner
  • Neilson and Ellesmere SW corner
  • Freshmeadow and Don Mills
  • Overlea and Thorncliffe SW corner
  • Overlea and Thorncliffe NW corner
  • Victoria Park and Meadow
  • Long Branch Loop
  • Yonge and Steeles

Conditional trip-matching

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The roll out of conditional trip-matching has been paused until 2020 due to the further testing required for the Wheel-Trans mobile app. This provides Wheel-Trans customers with the opportunity to sign up for Travel Training and prepare for the possible changes coming with conditional trip-matching.

Re-registration

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Wheel-Trans has begun the re-registration of customers who applied for Wheel-Trans service before January 1, 2017. To begin the process, we are starting with customers who choose to voluntarily re-register. To date, 3,500, customers have voluntarily re-registered.

We will continue to accept applications from customers who choose to re-register. Once Wheel-Trans has completed the re-registration of voluntary customers, there will be a move towards the mandatory re-registration process, starting with customers who are frequent riders.

More information regarding mandatory reregistration will be shared in 2020.

Customer Satisfaction Survey

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As a valued Wheel-Trans customer, family member, friend or caregiver responding on behalf of a Wheel-Trans customer, your feedback on our services is very important to us. The TTC would like to invite you to complete the 2019 Wheel-Trans Satisfaction Survey, which you will receive by email or phone.

Wheel-Trans wants to hear from you!

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We are hosting a number of public meetings to collect feedback from grandparents, parents, guardians and any other customer who travels with an infant on Wheel-Trans. We will also be gathering feedback on the use of Skype for the appeals process.

Consultations will be taking place at Toronto’s City Hall, located at 100 Queen Street West, at the following times:

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2020 – Committee Room #3
    • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020 – Committee Room #3
    • 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
    • 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Wheel-Trans Scheduling & Dispatch update

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Due to ongoing testing of the Wheel-Trans mobile app, the release date has been pushed to 2020. To ensure it is fully functional for our customers, we will continue testing until the app is ready for  release. Details regarding the Wheel-Trans mobile app, including a call-out for volunteers to test it out prior to its release, will follow.

In order to launch all changes at the same time, the updates to the layout of the Wheel-Trans selfbooking website will also be delayed until the app is ready for customers. Further updates will
be provided closer to the launch.

IVR & trips-in-progress

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How does the IVR work?

The IVR is an automated call-out system which shares trip information. Customers receive two different types of IVR calls:

  1. Trip Confirmation
    A trip confirmation call is placed when your ride has been moved off the waitlist and has been scheduled. You can receive a trip confirmation call at any time, depending on when your trip is moved off the wait list and scheduled.
  2. Trip Reminder
    The trip reminder call always occurs around 9 p.m. the night before a customer’s scheduled trip and provides important trip details, including the exact time of pick up.

Important changes to the IVR automated call-out system

A customer will always receive a trip reminder around 9 p.m. the night before their scheduled trip, to confirm details such as pick-up time.

However, customers will no longer receive a trip confirmation call after 6 p.m. the night before a requested trip.

This is because sometimes a customer’s trip will only be moved off the waitlist right before the trip reminder is scheduled to call.

If a customer does not receive a trip confirmation in the days before a scheduled trip, it is not a cause for concern; customers can still expect their trip to be scheduled. As long as a customer received their 9 p.m. automatic trip reminder, the trip has been scheduled and confirmed.

Why is it set up this way?

Due to the way in which trips are scheduled, sometimes trips cannot be taken off the waitlist ahead of time.

When a customer books a trip, they will receive a “Trip in Progress” message. Trips in progress are scheduled 24 hours in advance, going through a process called optimization to ensure all trips make the best use of timing and locations requested by Wheel-Trans customers. When a customer receives their trip
confirmation, they will only receive their pick-up and vehicle information once optimization has taken place and all trips have been scheduled.

Message from the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT)

Marzin Aribi

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As the end of 2019 approaches, I’d like to highlight some of the improvements ACAT members have been working on with TTC staff. The ACAT subcommittees are working on improving services to Wheel-Trans and the conventional TTC.

At the ACAT Wheel-Trans subcommittee, a new mobile app is in the works which will enable customers to book, cancel and monitor their rides. The subcommittee is also working to encourage more customers to take advantage of the free Travel Training program.

At the ACAT Design Review subcommittee, members are working with Metrolinx to ensure building accessibility design features for Finch West Humber College station are met. This includes dual elevator access, accessible washrooms, tactile attention and direction indicator flooring.

At the ACAT Service Planning subcommittee, members were involved in improving training for TTC Customer Service Representatives, Customer Service Agents and streetcar operators. Members also worked on the Public Forum for Accessible Transit and the design and locations of Access Hubs to support Family of Services.

You are always welcome to reach out to ACAT to share your experiences and to learn more about what we do by emailing acat@ttc.ca or by attending our monthly public meetings, held on the last Thursday of every month at 1900 Yonge St. from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In closing on behalf of all ACAT members, I would like to wish all Wheel-Trans riders and their families a happy and safe holiday season.

Sincerely,
Mazin Aribi - Chair

Winter Service

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Many facilities and programs close over the holiday season, so we will be cancelling all regularly scheduled trips (trips that automatically reoccur every week) for the period of December 22, 2019 – January 4, 2020, on your behalf. Regular trips for dialysis, and any trip that has been preserved for the holidays, will not be cancelled.

You can still make travel arrangements during this period, but you will need to book all the trips you require. If you know in advance you will need to keep your regularly scheduled trips during the above mentioned period, please let us know beginning December 9, or up to seven days prior to the date you are travelling by visiting mywheeltrans.ttc.ca or by calling Reservations at 416-393-4222.

Service to transfer points

Some transfer points will have service changes over the holiday period, as the local business hours change. For your safety, some of our service to transfer points will reflect the local reduced business hours, as listed below:

Central

Finch YRT/GO Terminal and Tim Hortons at 3310 will be used for all transfers after hours when other locations have closed.

Tim Hortons, 3310 Steeles Avenue West:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 4 p.m.
  • December 25-26: Closed
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off at 4 p.m.
  • January 1: Closed

Shops on Steeles and 404, Food Basics, 2900 Steeles Avenue East:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 4 p.m.
  • December 25-26: Closed
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off is at 4 p.m.
  • January 1: Closed

Tim Hortons, 2890 Steeles Avenue East:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 2 p.m.
  • December 25: Closed.
  • December 26: Opens at 6 a.m.
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off at 2 p.m.
  • January 1: Opens at 8 a.m.

Tim Hortons, 5641 Steeles Avenue East:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 3:30 p.m.
  • December 25: Tim Hortons is closed.
  • December 26: Tim Hortons opens at 6 a.m.
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off is at 5:30 p.m.
  • January 1: Tim Hortons opens at 8 a.m.

Centre Point Mall, 6464 Yonge Street - Entrance 6:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 4 p.m.
  • December 25: Closed
  • December 26: Opens at 9:30 a.m.
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off is at 4 p.m.
  • January 1: Centre Point Mall will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

West

Queensway (Trillium) Hospital, 150 Sherway Drive:

  • December 24-26, 31 and January 1: Last pick-up and drop-off is at 9 p.m.

East

McDonald’s, 7431 Kingston Road:

  • December 24: Last pick-up and drop-off at 4 p.m.
  • December 25: Closed
  • December 26: Opens at 6 a.m.
  • December 31: Last pick-up and drop-off at 4 p.m.
  • January 1: Open from 6 a.m.

Service to major malls

In order to deal with congested parking lots at shopping malls, beginning Sunday December 7, we’ll provide service to the following malls only to the entrance listed below:

  • Yorkdale Shopping Centre: Shoppers Drug Mart mall entrance.
  • Scarborough Town Centre: TD Bank mall entrance
  • Fairview Mall: Shoppers Drug Mart mall entrance
  • Cloverdale Mall: Dollarama mall entrance
  • Sherway Gardens: Shoppers Drug Mart mall entrance

Service to all other malls will remain unchanged. Please remember you are responsible for carrying your parcels, bags and boxes. Be safe, and have a happy holiday season!

Wheel-Trans vehicle parked in front of Pape Station