Below is a summary of the accessibility issues and suggestions for improvement raised by customers at the 2017 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.
- “Stations like Castle Frank and College are still not accessible.”
- “Could TTC make all subway stations downtown which are difficult to access using wheelchairs accessible first?”
- “Subway stations should have two elevators to each platform, not one.”
- “Why are there not Wheel-Trans buses to service as shuttles to bypass non-wheelchair accessible subway stations? Between Jane and Kipling for example.”
The TTC has been retrofitting subway stations with elevators for the last 20 years, and all new stations since that time have been constructed with elevators. As of October 2017, thirty-seven stations are equipped with elevators and other accessible features. We are continuing to equip the remaining stations with elevators, with all stations to be accessible by 2025. Additional information and a project schedule is available by visiting the TTC Easier Access website. After 2025, once all stations are accessible, the TTC will look at opportunities to add elevators at key stations, to provide service redundancy.
TTC does not have resources to run supplementary accessible shuttle service, as this service would not be used by enough customers to meet the TTC's service standards which govern where, when, and how much transit service is provided to any part of the city. The TTC plans to make all subway stations by 2025. As an alternative, Wheel-Trans customers are welcome to book trips to areas not yet served by accessible subway stations.
Third-party elevator and escalator maintenance
- “What are TTC’s plans for access to subway stations through private property which have often broken escalators.”
- “TTC must require private landlords who provide third party elevator access to subway stations to keep them repaired.”
It is correct that there are many situations where the initial access to the TTC station is via privately owned buildings. In these situations, TTC enters into agreements with the building owner that outline which party is responsible for the maintenance of the various elements of the facility (i.e. cleaning and repair of doors, walkways, escalators, elevators). As part of these agreements, levels of service such as the frequency of cleaning and response times for escalator/elevator service are specified. If the building owner does not fulfill their obligations, the agreement provides direction for remedy of the situation. Due to concerns over level of services not being adhered to by building owners, the TTC Property Planning and Development Department is endeavoring to revisit agreements with buildings owners in order to require faster responses times for escalator and elevator service issues as well as detailing the lines of communication between TTC Transit Control and the private building security staff for notification between parties when an escalator/elevator goes down.
Low-floor streetcar service
- “Since January we've had accessible buses on the 501 route during construction. As construction ends, we're going back to inaccessible streetcars. Why are we spending taxpayer money to go backwards in accessibility?”
- “When will the streetcars all be fully accessible?”
- “When will we get more new streetcars? We need more of them. They are so easy to get in with walkers or canes.”
- “I’m going to participate in the family of services program, and am concerned about riding the streetcars. The 506 Carlton is especially is difficult to get on.
- “Will there be streetcars like the ones on Spadina? Those ones I can get on.”
- “Have cars stop behind streetcars and they cannot move while streetcar leaves”
- “Get parking removed from Dundas, Queen, and King etc. especially on route diversions”
New accessible low-floor streetcars will be gradually implemented on all streetcar routes across the city, including the 501 Queen and 506 Carlton routes. New streetcars are currently projected to be deployed to 501 Queen and 506 Carlton in 2019. Based on current projections with information supplied by the supplier of the new streetcars, we are projecting that all streetcar routes will operate with accessible vehicles by the end of 2019. Please note that a small number of older inaccessible streetcars will operate until 2024, at busier times of the day only and mixed in among accessible vehicles to minimize wait times.
By-law, other vehicles cannot pass streetcars while the doors are open. We encourage all customers to look left when boarding, and right when leaving a streetcar, to ensure that traffic has stopped.
TTC is working with colleagues at the City to improve priority for customers on transit vehicles. On King Street, a pilot program will begin on November 13 to provide transit priority between Bathurst and Jarvis streets. More information is available at: https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/planning-development/planning-studies-initiatives/king-street-pilot/
Community bus service
- “Why has there been a cut on the 400 Lawrence Manor Community Bus. Goes to Humber Hospital instead.”
- “There should be a community bus at York Mills and Don Mills”
- “Add a community bus to Downtown Toronto”
On September 5, 2017, TTC began a nine-month Community Bus Pilot to test service enhancements along two routes: 400 Lawrence Manor and 404 East York. The buses operating along the pilot routes will run hourly and stop at additional destinations. This project aims to increase ridership, by providing customers with a more convenient and accessible travel option for getting around their neighbourhood easily. If the pilot project is successful, TTC will consult with residents on providing community bus routes elsewhere in the city.
More service, less crowded
- “I mostly use the conventional TTC and doing so in a wheelchair during rush hour is a mess. I go northbound from Queens Park at 5pm and have to plan to be bypassed multiple times due to able bodied people rushing the doors, standing in the doorway. This really needs improvement.”
- “Buses should be spaced out. They come two at a time and the second bus is always empty. If you miss the two buses you end up waiting 15 minutes.”
- “The Dufferin bus, something should be done, sometimes there is no bus and sometimes five buses come together.”
- “Waiting times are bad and too long.”
- “The buses are not running on time. For example the 133 to Neilson Rd on Sunday morning going to church the services begin at 9 o'clock and the buses start running after 9 o'clock. A lot of people are waiting on the same buses.”
Crowding on Line 1 can be reduced after full implementation of the new automatic train control signalling system, which will enable trains to be scheduled more frequently. The new signalling system will be fully operational by 2020.
TTC's Service Planning team is continuously refining route schedules and levels of service to ensure reliability, and will work with our operating divisions to improve route reliability by increasing route supervision. Service does operate on 133 Neilson every 30 minutes starting at 6:25am southbound and 7:00am northbound.
Wheel-Trans cross-boundary travel
- “Why doesn’t Wheel-Trans go to Markham?”
- “Expand the Wheel-Trans area of service to Pickering.”
- “Will it be easily accessible to go from Toronto to Peel Region, and will I pay the same transit $3?”
- “I wish that Wheel-Trans would go from West Rouge to Durham and further west as my doctors, friends and any health services are beyond those corridors.”
- “I would like to know why it takes so long to transfer information like my registration number from Toronto to Peel Region transit service so I can take paratransit there?”
Wheel-Trans is approved to operate only in the City of Toronto. 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 several transfer points shared between Wheel-Trans and York, Peel and Durham Region. Wheel-Trans staff can assist customers with booking convenient connection times between transit agencies. Please contact Customer Service at 416-393-4111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information on your file is transferred to adjacent transit companies in a timely manner; however, it relies on the customer to initiate that they do want to be registered in a neighbouring region. The influx of new customers wanting to use cross-boundary transit systems has caused increased processing times. We appreciate your patience while we work collaboratively with all neighbouring transit agencies.
More Wheel-Trans Service
- “Add more Wheel-Trans buses instead of using taxis to save you more.”
- “Acquire more TTC Wheel-Trans buses and provide more accessible taxis to serve the public, especially seniors.”
- “For customers using walkers, provide more service using accessible vans.”
We supply buses and contracted vehicles based on service demands. Presently the taxi service is the most cost effective mode of trip delivery. We thank you for your comments and we are currently working on the 2018 Budget to find the most cost efficient way to deliver the service. The TTC budget must be approved by the City of Toronto and we do work hard to get this approved.