Customer Information and Customer Service

Comments were received about improving customer education, bus operating procedures, and better customer service and staff training.

Below is a summary of the accessibility issues and suggestions for improvement raised by customers at the 2017 Public Forum regarding Customer Information and Customer Service. 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.

  • Better training: bus / streetcar / subway


    • “Some drivers don’t want to kneel the bus.”
    • “Sometimes the gap between the sidewalk and bus is too big and I cannot step onto the bus. Drivers need to be close to the curb and lower the bus. A few years ago I fell because of this.”
    • “Drivers tell us to wait for the next bus so they don't have to board customers using wheelchairs.”
    • “I need Operator assistance with getting a blue seat.”
    • “On buses the drivers won't get up to lift the seat for wheelchair users, instead the drivers expect customers to lift seats.”
    • “99% of the time drivers do not secure my wheelchair on the regular TTC.”
    • “Streetcar and bus drivers not going forward before an elderly person is seated or hanging on”
    • “Allow people to sit before proceeding to drive”
    • “When buses pull into a subway station, they often stop at different platforms. As a blind person, to orient myself properly I need to know where the bus is actually stopping.” 
    • “Why TTC drivers will not wait for seniors and disabled to make it to the stop. They have a schedule but cannot wait for people to catch a bus (less than minute)”


    Operators are trained to lower the bus at all times, however, the ramp should be lowered for any customers who requests it. Operators are trained to align both the front and rear doors with the curb when servicing a stop on the street or when parking on a platform at a station. Operators are trained to be aware of the risk to safety that results when a customer is forced to step too far from the bus to reach the curb or vice versa. They are also educated on the difficulty some customers experience when forced to step up or down too great a distance to enter or exit the vehicle. In situations when aligning with the curb is impossible (e.g., cars parked too close to the stops, snow banks, construction). Operators are instructed to proceed to the first available, safe location for boarding and alighting customers.

    The blue seats are intended for customers with a disability, which could be visible or not. Operators are required to ask customers occupying the blue seats if they would be kind enough to make a seat available. However, a customer already occupying a blue seat is not obliged to vacate the seat. In fact, this customer may have a disability which is not visible and, therefore, they also may require a blue seat. When someone declines to do vacate a seat, Operators cannot make them comply.

    It is TTC policy for Operators to lift seats for customers using mobility devices and ask the customer if they wish to be secured when boarding. Customers must use all of the securements, or none of them.

    Operators are trained to ensure they maneuver their bus, whether braking, accelerating or turning, in a manner that keeps their customers safe. Operators are trained to wait for all customers who appear to be unsteady on their feet to be seated or standing firmly and holding a stanchion before putting the bus in motion. Bus Operators should be waiting for all customers including seniors and people using mobility devices to be in place before moving the vehicle.

    Operators are trained to advise customers when the vehicle will be stopping at a location other than the normal, designated stop, including providing a description of the immediate area.

    Bus Operators are trained to accommodate any customer who is intending to use the service. There may be some cases where an Operator does not see an intending customer but this should not be the norm. However, depending on the time of day or frequency of service, this practice may not be in the best interests of other users of the road.

    For any concerns with individual trips where the above policies are not followed, please report the bus number, date and time to TTC Customer Service and we will address the issue directly with the Operator.

  • Better training: streetcar


    • “Streetcar drivers close the doors too quickly essentially leaving us in a live lane of traffic as we are trying to get to the curb cuts. When will the regular TTC staff be getting training similar to that of Wheel-Trans operators?”


    TTC launched new AODA refresher and customer service upgrade training for streetcar operators starting October 22, 2017, in order to support and accompany the family of service changes at Wheel-Trans.

  • Better training: subway


    • “The subway doors should stay open longer when at the station as they close too quickly, and hit my mobility device when getting on the subway.”


    TTC subway operators are required to keep the doors open until all the exiting and boarding passengers are clear of the doorways, including customers using mobility devices. To emphasize this, TTC Training staff will review door operation with Operators as part of ongoing recertification and AODA training

  • Better training: Wheel-Trans


    • “Sometimes on Wheel-Trans buses or vans, drivers drive too rough, and I am tossed around.”
    • “When I was picked up by the Wheel-Trans driver, they made an assumption on my gender. So I think that there needs to be some training around that for the drivers.”
    • “More sensitivity training is needed.”
    • “There are a few drivers if they are late to pick you up and there is a long driveway to get to you, they park the bus at the top of the driveway sneak down, stick a no show sticker, while you are sitting there. If they come in when the bus is reversing it makes a noise so you cannot miss it. I use a wheelchair.”


    Further communication to drivers will be provided to ensure both Wheel-Trans and contracted taxi drivers are providing a safe means of transportation. Drivers and other employees are reminded to always address customers by their first name or preferred name. We will continue to ensure that terms associated with genders are not used for the respect of everyone.

    Regular and frequent AODA and Sensitivity training is provided to our employees to better understand our customers needs.

    When picking up a customer, Operators are trained to park at a safe place, to approach the first accessible door, and announce their next pick-up person. Operators are then to wait the 5 minutes past the pick-up time or wait 5 minutes after their arrival prior to posting a No-Show sticker. We encourage all customers to be ready at-least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled pick-up time.

    If there are any concerns with individual trips where the above policies are not followed, customers are encouraged to provide feedback to Wheel-Trans Customer Service following their trip so that we can follow-up with the specific driver.

  • Better training: Wheel-Trans contracted services


    • “Why is there a difference between the Wheel-Trans bus and other Wheel-Trans service? Service quality in terms of lateness, assistance, etc. differs.”
    • “I have an invisible disability and don’t always receive the best service from sedan taxi drivers. What kind of training do these drivers receive?”
    • “Very often drivers do not walk us to the door and are still talking on the phone or using their earphones”
    • “Better communication is needed with taxis regarding drivers to allow dogs into their vehicles”
    • “Taxi drivers need training updated often they will not secure seat belts unless asked.”
    • “Taxi drivers don’t follow the rules. They need proper education on how to deal with their passengers.”
    • “Accessible taxi drivers… a lot of them arrive late and they always blame construction for being late, and they are eager to give out no-show tickets.”


    We expect the same level of customer service from our contracted services. They are held to the same accountability as a Wheel-Trans bus driver would be. We continue to monitor, coach and address any concerns with service provided by the contracted vehicles.

    We work with the contractors to ensure that proper training is conducted. We have included sensitivity and awareness in the training program being delivered. ACAT also attends to audit and monitor the training courses being delivered. We will deal with specific cases as they are identified.

    We will remind and send out a notice that drivers must not be on the phone while engaged with a customer, must follow the proper procedures at drop-offs and escort to the doors, must ask and assist with the seatbelt at all times, follow the Highway Traffic Act, and be on-time. Every contractor has also been advised that service animals must be accommodated as per the AODA.

    If there are any concerns with individual trips where the above policies are not followed, customers are encouraged to provide feedback to Wheel-Trans Customer Service following their trip so that we can follow-up with the specific driver. 

  • Fares for people with disabilities and seniors


    • “There should be $1 fares for seniors during off-peak hours.”
    • “Why not make it affordable for people with disabilities?”
    • “Why doesn't the City of Toronto have a monthly pass for persons with disabilities?”
    • “I just heard that children up to 8 years do not pay, is that right? Instead it should be for seniors.”


    The City of Toronto is currently working with the TTC on a Fare Equity project to provide discounted fares to low-income residents. In December 2016, the TTC Board endorsed the City of Toronto’s proposed Transit Fare Equity: Fair Pass Program. The program will be rolled out in phases and the TTC will be working with the City to implement it. The first phase in 2018 will specifically include Ontario Disability Support Program and Ontario Works clients before expanding to all low-income Toronto residents by 2020.

    The policy of children riding for free up until age 12 was introduced as a way to provide financial relief for families. Many low-income families rely on the TTC to get to school, doctors’ appointments and recreational activities but found it a financial strain paying for an adult and children to make these trips.  Allowing children to ride for free has alleviated a lot of stress for low-income families who use the TTC as their primary mode of transportation. The TTC does not have the budget to extend further discounts or free ridership to seniors.

  • Fare payment


    • “I have issues with tapping Presto cards, it should be hands free. Annual pass will be less accessible on PRESTO both gates and vehicle readers.”
    • “Wheelchair gates at subway should be used for wheelchairs not for general public because wheelchairs get pushed out of way all to get a free ride.”
    • “There seems to be fare evasion at Scarborough Centre Station, with people sneaking in for free from the GO side.”


    The new wide aisle fare gates have PRESTO card readers on the top and front of the gate, to make it easier for customers with limited mobility or dexterity to tap. Those wide gates that don't yet have the reader on the front will have them installed before the end of the PRESTO rollout. Customers who require assistance tapping their card on a card reader on a vehicle can ask the operator for assistance.

    Accessibility benefits everyone, and we encourage anyone who requires the wide gates to use them, whether that is a customer using a wheelchair, a parent travelling with a stroller, customers with luggage, or anyone who feels that they could benefit from using the wide gate.

    TTC appreciates customer concerns with respect to the perceived fare evasion that is occurring at some of our subway stations. We can assure that Transit Enforcement works cooperatively with Stations staff and Bus and Streetcar Transportation Supervisory staff to proactively monitor illegal entry to our stations. Often times, customers become confused when transferring from one transit system to another and inadvertently enter the TTC subway system inappropriately at an area other than the designated passenger entrance. While in some instances this activity may pose a safety concern should a customer walk across a bus roadway etc. the problem of fare evasion will be mitigated with the full implementation of PRESTO as special constables and fare inspectors will be performing inspections at random points across the transit system.

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