Customer Comments and Staff Responses
Below is a summary of the accessibility issues and suggestions for improvement raised by customers at the 2018 Public Forum on Accessible Transit. Customer comments are accompanied by a summary of the current status of each issue.
Subway station design
- “Fix the gap between subway trains and platforms.”
- “Ramps in subway stations should be smoother with no gaps between the tiles on the ramp.”
- “There should be more washrooms in the subway”
- “Can ACAT look at accessibility of Union Station for those with limited mobility? Specifically, from drop off point to get inside the station.”
- “The existing waterfront LRT should continue to go directly to Union Station. Changing vehicles (i.e. to a people mover) would be annoying for all riders but very hard for people with disabilities who would be faced with an elevation change, perhaps another elevator subject to breakdown, and the tiring prospect of a longer trip and more waiting time as well as the prospect of being jostled getting on and off another vehicle.”
In response to ACAT and customer feedback, the TTC Board approved a strategy in November 2017 to address, to the extent possible, the gap between trains and platforms at subway stations. As a first step, work to improve platforms and reduce the gap will be done at priority stations, with at least five platforms to be modified in 2019. This work will ensure that customers can independently use the subway and will support the Family of Services strategy.
TTC will review our standards for ramps and determine if changes are possible to minimize the gaps between tiles noted.
Incorporation of public washrooms at existing in-line subway stations cannot be accommodated given high retrofit costs due to limited space availability and required services (water, heating, climate control), cost of security and maintenance, etc. However, all future subway stations, including those for Line 2 East Extension, Relief Line and Yonge Subway Extension will include public washrooms.
Accessibility to Union subway station will be improved when the Union rail station Bay GO Concourse re-opens with a level passage between the two stations. Elevators will be available in the rail station to access street level.
Thank you for your feedback on the Union-Queens Quay transit issue. TTC has worked with City of Toronto, Waterfront Toronto, and Metrolinx staff to evaluate the two options at this location, an improved streetcar loop or the replacement of streetcars with an automated people mover. This evaluation is complete and a report was presented to the TTC Board and to City Council in April, 2019. Comments like this were considered as part of that evaluation.
Conventional bus design
- “Remove seats so buses, streetcars and subway trains have more room for standing”
- “How can we use surface routes if mobility scooters do not fit on a standard TTC bus?”
Seating on TTC vehicles is carefully planned to both maximize the available standing space, while providing enough seats for the majority of customers who wish to sit during their trip.
The TTC has worked closely with vehicle manufacturers and ACAT to improve the accessibility of our buses. The passageway space between the front wheel-wells of the current standardized North American low-floor bus designs cannot be made wider. TTC always purchases the widest front doors available and ensures that all components at the front of the bus are arranged in such a way as to not impede the entrance area. Unfortunately, it is still difficult to accommodate large electric scooters given the large dimensions and wide turning radii of these devices.
Wheel-Trans will always be available in the future for anyone who cannot use conventional vehicles.
- “Improve accuracy of bus stop GPS locations and make them available online to help people with vision impairments.”
TTC stop information data, including GPS coordinates, is available on the City of Toronto's Open Data portal. This information is updated approximately every six weeks. https://www.toronto.ca/city-government/data-research-maps/open-data/open-data-catalogue/#f9f5cc1d-11c0-4f2e-27bb-8e5ef422e748
- “Deployable ramps on streetcars are too steep”
- “Why do I have to be my own streetcar door announcement? It is really frustrating to have to explain how the ramp works every single time to the other passengers trying to get the door to open.”
Operator assistance to use the ramp is available for anyone who requests it. TTC staff are exploring the possibility of new information decals and have recently implemented a pre-recorded announcement that the Operator can use to inform customers that door #2 will remain temporarily closed for the ramp to be extended, and that anyone who does not need the ramp can move towards door #1 or #3 to exit the streetcar.
Wheel-Trans Phone wait-times
- “When you need to use Wheel-Trans and do not have access to a computer why is the wait so long to get through by phone? Being told you are #95 in the queue is quite daunting. Waiting 3 hours for a call back that doesn't come is both humiliating and frustrating.”
- “30 minute wait on phone is too long.”
- “Have waited up to 3 1/2 hours on hold but still did not reach someone. The pounding music is horrible.”
- “Phone service - too long to get through if at all. New website is a vast improvement but sometimes I still have to call.”
- "With the new digital phone lines, instead of it being queue number 58, why doesn't it say your time on hold will be two hours or three hours or whatever it is going to be?”
Wheel-Trans’ Contact Centre has experienced a recent spike in calls which has led to long wait times for our customers. We understand and apologize and are working towards establishing a positive customer experience when contacting Wheel-Trans over the phone. We are working with our vendor to improve the hold music and we are also working with our IT department and vendor to have an option to inform customers of the expected wait time before their call will be answered.
Wheel-Trans Wait listed trips
- “Sometimes I put in a request for a ride two or three days in advance, and I don't get a ride.”
- “Waitlist is a big worry. A lot of these trips are medical appointments which can be really hard to reschedule. Clearly anyone going to a hospital, doctors, etc should not be waitlisted.”
- “My main concern is booking my rides. I cannot get around without my scooter and they put me on the waiting list.”
We apologize for the uncertainty regarding "wait-listed" trips. Wheel-Trans is committed to ensuring all customer trip requests are accommodated. In order trip scheduling to be provided in the most efficient and economic way possible, trips may be placed on the "wait-list" as we continue to schedule our trips to enable maximum productivity. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires all trip requests to be treated equally and so medical trips cannot be prioritized.
Unaccommodated rides can be happen for many different reasons. One of the most common restrictions is the ability to provide rides for a customer who has vehicle exceptions. If a customer can only be accommodated on a specific sized vehicle at an exact requested time, these trip restrictions can be very difficult to accommodate. Our staff try to identify alternate times available and we are working to improve our on-line booking system to provide alternate times that can accommodate the ride request.
Vehicle assignment is based on the customer's abilities and whether their file is up-to-date with any mobility aid requirements. Based on the ability and potential aid, the request is matched with the vehicle type suited to these requirements. We also have a policy regarding the size of mobility aids. We ask that customers review this policy that outlines size restrictions before purchasing mobility aids that are too large for some of our vehicles.
- “When I book Wheel-Trans I always give the complete address where I'm going but when they are picking me up I have to wait 30 minutes and sometimes they don’t know where I am. Why?”
- “They send me an accessible taxi but I can't take the taxi. Would like an accessible bus.”
- “Put taxi mini vans (standard taxi, different from Wheel-Trans accessible taxis) on the list of vehicles as a separate category. I'm on a cane and cannot get in and out of those.”
- “I am having equipment problems inasmuch as I operate a walker that folds front to back rather than side to side, and the last four trips when we were supposed to be in a Wheel-Trans bus, they have sent around a taxi. Unfortunately, these type of walker does not fit in the trunk of most of the taxis.”
- “Send the right accessible bus. The person doing the booking schedule should know which type of vehicle we need.”
- “You are telling them where you live then they would pass your destination and go somewhere else that's the wrong place then they are making a fuss that I didn't say anything because they didn’t listen when I told them”
We try to ensure that the operators are provided as much information as possible in order to ensure that customers are picked up and dropped off at the appropriate location. Customers have the ability to advise reservations or enter in the self-booking website more detailed information regarding exact location information. These details assist in identifying such things as which entrance the customer will be waiting.
If you require a specific vehicle type please contact Customer Service at 416-393-4111 and they will provide you with the details of what information we require to have this request added to your profile. Vehicle assignment is based on the customer's abilities and whether their file is up-to-date with any potential mobility aids.. We request that customers update their file with any changes to ensure their requests are matched properly. Wheel-Trans is also happy to arrange for an assessment of your device. Please contact Customer Service at 416-393-4111 and our Customer Service Reps will assist you in setting up an assessment of your device.
Our operators must follow their manifest to ensure there are minimal service delays. As a result at times the vehicle may pass your destination however it is mainly because the customer on board must arrive at their respective location for a specific time.
Wheel-Trans service reliability
- “When your bus is going to be late more than 20 minutes they should text message the customer rather than call in and have to wait for more than 40 minutes.”
- “'I've been your customer over 15 years and my job is completely dependant on Wheel-Trans. Don't you think that with a lot of incidents last week that we've never been experienced before people with disability who are working can still rely on Wheel-Trans for going to work without being concern to lose their job because they are unable to get to work on time?”
- “Sometimes our rides do not show and we have not been reporting it because of the long phone wait times. Can we report when drivers do not show in the new online booking system?”
- “How are hard of hearing customers supposed to report no show vehicles over 30 minutes late?”
We are exploring more options to better communicate such information to our customers.
We are actively seeking solutions to this matter. Once the Family of Services becomes fully operational we will be able to provide a more reliable door-to-door service. As more of our customers take advantage of the shorter trips to transfer at accessible subways and bus/streetcar stops (Family of Service), this will free up vehicles to provide more trips for customers requiring door-to-door service.
Customers have the ability to report a late vehicle using the new Self-Booking website.
You may contact the TTY line or use our new self-booking website.
Wheel-Trans trip length
- “Is there a limit on how long a user can be expected to travel in a Wheel-Trans vehicle?”
We strive to limit the duration of trips to 90 minutes. However, Wheel-Trans operates in Toronto and we are subject to infrastructure, traffic congestion and weather constraints. We also serve customers which who, depending on their abilities that day, may need extra boarding time. In view of all this, the 90 minute ride duration is not always attainable.
Wheel-Trans eligibility and Family of Services
- “What is a ‘Family of Services Trip’ and who can book it?”
- “What happens when someone moves from further away into the GTA. It takes 90 days to get an OHIP card/see an Ontario doctor, but visiting is only 30 days. How does someone bridge that 60 day gap? Assuming your doctor is comfortable filing out a Wheel-Trans form on the first visit. For many complex disabilities, it can take months for a doctor to understand a case fully to fill out that form properly.”
- “Last year Wheel-Trans said users would have to reassessed to see if they could use Family of Services. Is this still going to happen, and when?”
- “Can we include ‘strollers’ in the assistive devices for disability? Children who access TTC Wheel-Trans may have mental disabilities instead of physical.”
- “Don’t force users into Family of Services before we know the subway/bus/streetcar system is safe in case of emergency for everyone. Deaf, persons with low vision, persons with intellectual disabilities.”
- “I have spinal damage so I cannot travel on the subway with trains swaying or buses that stop suddenly. Does this mean by 2025 there will be nothing for us?
Family of Services offers more travel options, flexibility and spontaneity to customers as it encompasses a combination of Wheel-Trans and conventional transit such as accessible bus, streetcar and/or subway. Any customer may choose to book their trip using Family of Services.
Wheel-Trans allows customers “visitor status” in Toronto, as long as they are registered with the para transit company in the municipality in which they live for example if you live in the Peel, York and Durham regions. If this is the case, you do not have to reapply for WT. Simply have your paratransit company send us your information and we will give you the same eligibility as what you have in your region of residence.
Recertification will happen as soon as we work out the mechanics of how and when. We will be beginning important consultation with both internal and external stakeholders to determine the most equitable means to have the eligibility of customers who were registered prior to Jan 1, 2017 reclassified to unconditional or conditional.
Strollers are unfortunately not classified as an assistive device. An assistive device is any device that is designed, made, or adapted to assist a person perform a particular task. For examples, canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, and shower chairs are all assistive devices.
Family of Services still remains an option to provide more spontaneity and flexibility to our customers. Customers are not forced to utilize a travel option which they do not feel comfortable with. Customers also have the option to request a door-to-door trip if a Family of Services trip was previously scheduled. Customers with conditional eligibility have the option to use Family of Services or door-to-door service for their travel needs. If a customer cannot safely use the conventional TTC, their eligibility category for Wheel-Trans will be unconditional.
Wheel-Trans services will always be available for customers who need door-to-door service as a result of their medically substantiated inability to use conventional TTC services.
- “You mentioned Wheel-Trans is scent free. A lot of the times when I am in Wheel-Trans, people smell with heavy perfume.”
- “Why aren't Wheel-Trans riders treated with the same rights as conventional system users?”
- “What is the difference between ‘attendant’ and ‘companion’?”
- “For Wheel-Trans customers who use support persons, do they have to bring a support person on every trip?”
- “What is the difference between ‘conditional’ and ‘unconditional’ customers?”
More information on Wheel-Trans' environmental sensitivity policy is available at: Environmental Sensitivity Policy
The TTC treats all its customers equitably. Our Family of Services and door-to-door services aim to satisfy customers in the same as our conventional ones. Wheel-Trans customers using door-to-door and Family of Services are expected to follow the Code of Conduct Policy as well
An attendant or Support Person is someone who assists an individual with a disability with communication, mobility, personal care/medical needs or with access to goods, services or facilities. The support person should be capable of meeting the needs of the individual with a disability during travel and/or at their destination. If the applicant requires a support person when travelling on TTC or Wheel-Trans, they have to provide their own. Customers with a Support Person card must always have the card available during their trip as the operator is required to verify the information. If the card is not present, the person travelling with the customer is required to pay the appropriate fare. A companion is one who serves as a friend or partner in something; someone you keep company with, as per TTC By-Law no.1
Conditional customers are those whom have submitted an application with information which supports their ability to utilize the Family of Services. Unconditional customers are those who are unable to utilize this option of travel.
Wheel-Trans no show and cancellation policy
- “At the last meeting last spring, I brought up the late cancellation policy and asked for a change. If you don't have a round trip and your next ride is within four hours and you are a no-show, you get another point for the next one, which makes it three points for one event. So I was told that would be changed, and it still has not changed.”
We will take your suggestion under advisement and send it to our project team for review. We apologize for the delay.
Wheel-Trans online booking
- “Wheel-Trans should have kept the original online booking system. The new online system is very difficult. It is difficult to book a ride.”
- “The Wheel-Trans booking website doesn't currently work with screen readers. When will this be available?”
- “Can your new online booking system please implement the type of transportation company that will be picking the passengers? If no company is specified, it is difficult to know who will be arriving.”
- “iPhones cannot retain log-in information with the new system.”
- “The computer booking system lost its drop down to indicate doctor, restaurant, etc. for drop-off or pick-up”
The new self-booking system is designed to be user-friendly and intuitive. We are confident our customers will learn to use it in no time.
We are aware of some screen readers which are experiencing issues with our new Self-Booking website. We will be releasing our first upgrade for our Self-Booking website and are confident this will address the ongoing screen reader issues. The issue with devices not retaining log-in information has now been resolved.
There is a separate "notes" box available during the time of booking to add specific notes to the trip booking.
Wheel-Trans smartphone app
- “Is it true that a smartphone app is in the works so we'll be able to book rides that way?”
- “With the new system you should be able to track your bus in live time.”
- “Is that possible to develop a smartphone app, so we can track our coming ride like Uber?”
We will be releasing an app in 2019 for customers to use to book their trips. Wheel-Trans is exploring options to have tracking features available in the app.
Wheel-Trans fares / PRESTO
- “Two hour transfer does not work well for Wheel-Trans passengers because of the 45 min rule. With the new limits imposed by the booking system we would be lucky if we can create one two way trip with less than 2 hours between trips. The reason is because of the half hour window on both ends of the trip plus the planned half hours for the length of the trip.”
This issue will be investigated with Wheel-Trans.
Wheel-Trans cross-boundary travel
- “There should be better integration between the paratransit services of neighbouring transit agencies”
- “Provide better transfer points”
- “Why do we have to call to get trips that are outside of Toronto?”
Wheel-Trans is establishing hubs along our boundaries with neighbouring municipalities, similar to the Meadowvale Loop Access Hub. We will be opening up additional hubs this year and more to follow in subsequent years. We are in dialogue with our partners in York, Durham and Peel to work on improving the transfer points, if possible.
Wheel-Trans is only allowed to operate inside the Toronto boundary limits, because of Ministry of Transportation regulations. Customers who wish to travel cross boundary are required to call the paratransit company where they live in and book their trip and then call Wheel-Trans to book the connecting trip.
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 to find the most cost efficient way to deliver the service.
Better information for Wheel-Trans Customers
- “A lot of parents of students with autism have a problem with the scheduling of Wheel-Trans, either online or on the phone. There may be a computer literacy or language problem. How are you going to improve on this issue?”
- “We need good and clear communication.”
We are exploring ways to assist in better managing our wait times on the phone to ensure customers who are unable to utilize our online booking platforms are able to contact Wheel-Trans via telephone. We try to keep our customers informed through multiple mediums such as the TTC website, through our phone booking system with direct call-outs, by e-mail, the Wheel-Trans newsletter and on our Self-Booking Website. With the new telephony system, we also have the ability to play messages while customers wait in the queue.
Better customer service: Wheel-Trans
- “Upgrade and extend hours of Wheel-Trans Customer Service e.g. 24/7 open hours and hotline”
- “Why is Wheel-Trans customer service closing at 4 o'clock?”
- “Access to Wheel-Trans customer service online”
- “Provide better customer service”
We are currently reviewing the possibility of extending Customer Service hours and improving staffing levels.
Better training: Wheel-Trans
- “Once me and a friend were on Wheel-Trans and the driver did not strap me in properly, he went over a curb while driving, he didn't know where he was going, he was very rude to us”
- “Please train all staff to understand that not all Wheel-Trans users are in wheelchairs. I am often overlooked by drivers who do not identify themselves in public spaces and they leave when they don't see me using a wheelchair. I'm then reported as a no show.”
- “Please provide training to Wheel-Trans drivers about obtaining consent re touch first. Not everyone using needs help with seatbelts and some of us do not want others in our personal space.”
We will be initiating a revamped recertification program for Wheel-Trans Operators this year and have taken measures to ensure to focus on a customer service component.
Customer Education on Accessibility
- “Please offer me a seat: friends have tried it and no one gives it to them.”
- “Educate people not to chat blocking the train doors during rush hour.”
- “I am wondering about the parents and caregivers of babies in strollers with wide axles. They seem to feel that they have priority because of the baby, but they are ignoring seniors with shopping carts and with canes and walkers.”
- “Training on use of accessible TTC services should be expanded.”
We continue to promote considerate use of Priority Seating through our Share the Space campaign, station announcements and social media. We are also re-launching our customer courtesy campaign that deals with behaviours such as blocking the doors, bags on seats, etc.
TTC will continue to offer Travel Training to Wheel-Trans customers so that they can learn to utilize the accessible conventional TTC network. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-457-4151.
Better Information On Vehicles
- “The next stop announcement system on older streetcars seems to have a high failure rate.”
- “Streetcars need to provide short turn information prior to boarding”
- “Why does the electronic text message system on subway trains only say "Listen to TTC announcement" whenever there is an announcement. The system should show actual announcements.”
We acknowledge that there are issues with the current next stop announcement system on buses and the older high floor streetcars. Unfortunately, the system does not have the ability to notify the driver when it fails. Fortunately, the system running these signs will be replaced in its entirety by the end of 2019 with a new advanced, robust, and reliable system, at which point such errors should no longer occur. This new system will also eventually provide the ability for TTC Transit Control to send automated audible and visual announcements about detours, delays and emergencies directly to buses and streetcars.
All vehicles are required to provide short turn destination information on the front and side signs prior to boarding. However, in some cases Transit Control may not determine that the bus or streetcar needs to short turn until part way through its trip, at which point the Operator will be notified and the destination signs changed.
TTC is reviewing and planning to budget for the necessary requirements to upgrade subway trains to support real-time delay and emergency announcements in visual/text formats. In the interim, the Toronto Rocket series trains on Lines 1 and 4 do have the capability to display pre-defined messages on the screens within the trains. Operators are being trained to activate these messages to supplement the audio information provided from Transit Control.
Better Information in Subway Stations
- “Signs need to be bigger and more information.”
- “Why are the subway platform screens set to the news channel but without captions?”
- “Adopt the beacons accessibility initiative currently in operation at St Clair Station in other subway stations.”
TTC is gradually replacing all older-style signage in the subway system with new, high contrast large print signage including international standard pictograms.
Please note that the video feed on the subway platform video screens is sponsored advertising content. It is not the actual news channel and does not contain audio.
TTC is currently reviewing customer feedback from the beacon wayfinding pilot and is consulting with stakeholders to gain experience from international best practices prior to making a decision on whether to expand this technology to all subway stations.
Better training: bus/streetcar/subway
- “Regular bus drivers won't let us on with a wheelchair, they say they don't have room, yet there is.”
- “Is it possible for TTC to instruct drivers of buses to stop near the curb so passengers with disabilities can step off and not have to jump off or step down too far to get off, especially Eglinton Ave buses.”
- “Are staff trained in providing assistance and/or managing crisis?”
- “No drivers have ever tried to secure myself or others.”
- “Can we ask to get out between regular stops (Request Stop Program) if we need the ramp?”
If a bus Operator arrives at a stop where a customer using a mobility device is waiting and cannot accommodate the customer due to overcrowding, the Operator must communicate to the customer and explain why they cannot be accommodated. The Operator must then call the Operations Control Centre to notify them of the situation and then follow the instructions of the supervisor as to what actions are going to take place in order to accommodate the customer.
All bus Operators are trained to stop 4 to 6 inches from the curb under favorable conditions. If the 4 to 6 inches cannot be achieved safely the procedure is then to stop the bus far enough away from the curb so customers will have to step directly onto the road which prevents customers from inadvertently slipping and falling.
All Operators are trained to ask customers if they would like to be secured before they even board the vehicle. This allows the Operator the opportunity to prepare the securement area should the customer wish to be secured. Our Operators are also trained on how to deal with difficult situations and emergencies.
The Request Stop program is available after 9pm daily. If the area in which the customer would like to get off meets the required specifications to safely use the ramp, then they can be accommodated. Otherwise, the Operator is trained to identify the next available safe location.
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.
Fares for people with disabilities and seniors
- “To avoid isolation and loneliness there is an initiative from health centres to give "Social prescriptions" for free access to cultural attractions. Will TTC support the patients with a "social prescription" with free rides?”
- “There is a Fair Pass for people on ODSP, but there doesn't seem to be any help for seniors.”
- “What is PRESTO doing with Support Person Assistance Card so they can travel with card holder paying a single fare?”
- “Why doesn’t the CNIB PRESTO pass work when we need to pay an extra fare, like the routes in York Region?”
The TTC works closely with the City to identify and meet the needs of low income customers. Once of these initiatives is the Fair Pass program, a city funded program that provides discounted fares for low-income customers.
Seniors already receive a discount via the seniors concession fare. We are working on a 5-year fare strategy to be completed by the end of 2019. This will look at our current fare structure and see if it still meets the needs of our customers.
Details are still being finalized for a Support Person Assistance Card on PRESTO. Information will be shared when available.
TTC CNIB PRESTO passes are subsidized by the City of Toronto, therefore, these cards are only valid for unlimited travel on TTC routes within Toronto.
PRESTO fare payment
- “PRESTO is still not being accepted by all Wheel-Trans Family of Services vehicles.”
- “Will Wheel-Trans customers have to use PRESTO only in the future? Any other types of payment method allowed?”
- “When the PRESTO reader is not working, are we expected to pay cash?”
- “Where is the PRESTO solution for those routes which use double fare?”
- “Put PRESTO machines in taxis.”
- “With the senior PRESTO pass, it is charged on the 23rd of the month. Most seniors get their money at the beginning of the month.”
- “I was part of the volunteer for the Family of Services program where you get on Wheel-Trans, and they drive you to the subway. I had to pay a double fare when I transferred at Yonge and Bloor.”
- “Create machines that a wheelchair person with short arms can reach”
- “It doesn’t make sense for PRESTO machines to have TTY numbers. No one carries these devices with them. Two way texting is essential.”
In addition to PRESTO, customers will be able to pay with cash in the future. Sedan taxis operators will be provided with a PRESTO app that they can use on their tablets to accept fare payments. This app will be available later this summer. If a PRESTO card reader is not working on a Wheel-Trans vehicle, customers will be allowed to board and be asked to tap at their destination if they are transferring to another TTC vehicle or subway station, or tap when they get picked up by their Wheel-Trans vehicle.
Customers will be able to use PRESTO on the Downtown Express bus routes later this spring. More information will be provided when available.
The reason the payment for the 12 Month Pass is deducted on the 23rd day of the month is because they way payments are processed on the PRESTO system.
Now that the 2 hour transfer is available, accidental double fare payments should no longer happen.
TTC has and continues to work closely with ACAT to review the design of all devices during the design phase of the solution delivery life cycle. While every attempt is made to address all concerns during that phase, it is possible for items to not be incorporated for various reasons. Concerns regarding device design have been noted, and will be assessed for consideration for future device enhancements.
Safety and security
- “Safety should be the TTC's first priority”
- “Once I was almost hit on the station platform by someone riding a skateboard. What can be done about improving the safety in the stations? Some of the platforms are very narrow, and it is very risky for this sort of activity.”
- “TTC remains inaccessible to users with PTSD due to noise and abusive customers.”
TTC continues to promote safe behaviours and we will be re-launching our courtesy campaign in 2019 to help educate customers. We encourage customers to report abuse or unsafe situations to any TTC staff member in the system, or by using the SafeTTC app.
- “Can you please clarify what the difference is between “barrier-free” and "easy access"?
- “Elevators in stations ASAP”
- “I would like to see in the new system as you build the Relief Line and the line out to Scarborough is two elevators going down to each of the platforms. That way when one is undergoing maintenance, the other will still be operating.”
- “Provide two elevators in each station.”
- “We cannot go to Warden. It is not completely accessible.”
- “It's hard to use elevators with mobility devices with everyone else that can use escalators.”
Easier Access is the name for the TTC's project to make all subway stations barrier-free accessible by 2025. The TTC has been retrofitting subway stations with elevators for more than 20 years, and all new stations since that time have been constructed with elevators. Additional information and a project schedule is available by visiting the TTC Easier Access section.
Warden Station is particularly challenging to make accessible due to the multiple bus bay configuration. Conceptual designs are being studied to replace the multiple stair configurations with a level bus terminal (similar to the recently completed Victoria Park Station project). The redevelopment of the bus terminal is necessary to make the station accessible and funding has been requested for the project.
After 2025, once all stations are accessible, the TTC will look at opportunities to add elevators at key stations, to provide service redundancy. Each station is unique and would have to be reviewed separately. It should be noted that for some of the stations, this may not be feasible. Note that all future subway stations, including those for Line 2 East Extension, Relief Line and Yonge Subway Extension will include elevator redundancy from street level to platform level.
TTC policy is that elevators are available for use by all customers and are not solely reserved for people with disabilities. The provincial Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) regulates the operation of escalators in Ontario. The TSSA has identified that escalators are for “Passengers Only” and that strollers, walkers or carts of any kind are not permitted on escalators. Therefore, TTC encourages customers with wheeled devices to use elevators, where available. Furthermore, it is not always readily apparent as to who can use stairs or escalators and who cannot, as many people have invisible disabilities. We do encourage all customers to show consideration for those whose needs may be greater than their own.
Better Information Online
- “When I look on the TTC website about priority seating, it says the blue seats, but I'm totally blind. I can't see the colour, and there is no direction where those of us who are blind can find the blue seats.”
TTC will revise the Easier Access section of the website to better describe Priority Seating.
Low-floor streetcar service
- “When are the new streetcars going to be delivered and when will all routes be accessible, including 505 and 506?”
- “Is there no east-west accessible Family of Services option downtown until 2020?”
More than 100 accessible streetcars are in service and we plan to start introducing new low-floor streetcars on every route by the end of 2019, with full conversion planned for early 2020, subject to vehicle availability. 504 King is now an accessible route and 501 Queen will follow next in 2019.
Community bus service
- “I would like to know if or when the Community Buses will be available at Victoria Park? Also what will be the hours that the bus will be available?”
- “The 405 Etobicoke bus doesn't go to Dixon or Martin Grove. Why?”
- “Maybe the transit system should consider having a community bus that would get people to those subway stations that are accessible so that people can do same-day trips”
Community buses are available along the southern portion of Victoria Park Avenue in the vicinity of Victoria Park Station. With respect to other community bus routes or route changes, TTC staff are reviewing the results of the ongoing Community Bus Pilot project to determine the feasibility of expanding these routes across the City. More information will be made available later in 2019.
More service, less crowded
- “If the 97 Yonge bus ran all day how many fewer Wheel-Trans trips would there be? A lot of people can walk to Yonge and could use the bus in good weather.”
- “I use a walker and taking accessible buses is difficult on route like Bathurst due to crowding.”
The 97 Yonge operates in all periods between Davisville Station and Steeles. The 97B Yonge only operates south of Davisville Station to Queens Quay in the peak periods. In our recent analysis of this route, we found that the ridership projections were too low to justify operating the 97B in other, off-peak periods, especially when the subway is less busy.
Streetcar operation will return to 511 Bathurst starting in June 2019, and subject to vehicle availability, low-floor streetcars are planned start to be introduced later in summer 2019. Streetcar schedule adjustments are also planned for 511 Bathurst to improve service reliability.
- “Consider mental conditions, ADD, autism etc. when developing the next TTC accessibility plan.”
- “Make sure all sidewalks at bus stops and corners leading up to them are fully cleared of snow”
- “I've given up trying to connect to the TTC’s Wi-Fi system, TConnect, as it never shows up on my phone.
TTC consults with our Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit which regularly provides advice on how to improve TTC services for people with varying disabilities and conditions. Read more about ACAT.
Sidewalks and bus stops are cleared by the City of Toronto after snowfalls. Bus stops and transit shelters will generally be ploughed within 48 hours after a snowstorm. To report a transit stop that has not been cleared, please contact 311 Toronto: https://www.toronto.ca/home/311-toronto-at-your-service/
TConnect is provided by a third party. More information, support and contact information can be found at Wi-Fi In Our Stations and Cellular Service.