ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, March 28, 2013
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:263
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.

Present

  • Angela Marley, Chair
  • William Castor
  • Brayan Bratanov
  • Fay Fuerst
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Lori March
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Craig Nicol
  • Tim Rose
  • Sam Savona
  • Valdo Tammark

Pool Members

  • Robert Muzzy
  • Sarah Adams
  • Judy Berger

Regrets

  • Susan Davidson, Vice-Chair
  • Howard Wax, Vice-Chair
  • Adam Cohoon
  • Penny Lamy

TTC Representatives

  • Tom McPherson
  • Ross Visconti 
  • Thomas Hartley
  • Bill Dawson
  • Janet O'Sullivan
  • Matt Hagg

Copies

  • Andy Byford
  • Chris Upfold
  • Orest Kobylansky
  • Sameh Ghaly
  • Vince Rodo
  • Mitch Stambler
  • Jim Teeple
  • TTC Board Members

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Angela Marley, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:00 p.m. Attendance was taken.

ACAT presented a gift and thank-you to Tom McPherson.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Valdo Tammark and seconded by William Castor, ACAT reviewed and approved the agenda.

4. Review and Approval of February 28, 2013 Minutes

On motion by Sam Savona and seconded by Tim Rose, ACAT reviewed and approved the minutes with the following amendments:

  • Page 7, item 11: revise "...letter to the TTC Board regarding Mr. Alan Yule's deputation..." to "...letter to the TTC Board supporting Mr. Alan Yule's deputation..."
  • Page 8, item 13, under header "Accessible Bus Stops on Route Lists": revise "...listing of acceptable stops..." to "...listing of accessible stops..."
  • Angela Marley explained that, effective immediately, the body that oversees the TTC will be referred to as "TTC Board" or "The Board" and the organization staff will be referred to as "TTC" or "TTC staff."

5. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

Regarding Elevator Refurbishment (Item 12 on the February ACAT minutes), the word "key" has been removed from the entry in the Outstanding Items List, to clarify that the questions Craig Nicol brought forward at the last meeting are not limited to key stations, but refer to all station elevator refurbishments.

The questions are, when elevators are being refurbished, what is being done to mitigate the loss of accessibility, and what has been learned from past refurbishments to mitigate the need for refurbishment?

TTC Staff explained that this issue has been passed on to the Elevating Devices staff who will present to ACAT the current arrangements that are made when an elevator goes out of service. They will provide a list of upcoming stations and the timing of their elevator refurbishments.

Sam Savona requested an update on the "Fair Fares" issue which was discussed by the TTC Board in the Fall and sent to staff for a report. Tom McPherson explained that the report will be going forward to the Board in June, and it will include requests from the seniors' community, from the Toronto Board of Health, as well as requests regarding accessibility. ACAT requested an update on this report before it goes before the Board. Staff stated that they will provide information to ACAT on this issue as it becomes available.

Craig Nicol pointed out that in item 10 of the previous minutes, ACAT was invited to provide feedback on the information format on the 94 Wellesley Route, but no forum for feedback was given. Angela Marley explained that this item has been referred to the Communications Subcommittee, where TTC Staff will present on the project to redesign the stop poles and the information format. Therefore, there is no direct medium for feedback at this time. Note that the stop information will be under the Communication Subcommittee's review, but any input for physical stop design and pole placement will be referred to the Design Review Subcommittee.

Regarding the Outstanding Item List, Craig Nicol pointed out that the blue seating item is listed as an item being handled by the Communications Subcommittee, but it was reviewed by Design Review Subcommittee. The status of this item will be revised to "Ongoing with Design Review." The second part of this item, Letter to Commissioners, has been completed and will be removed. The third item relating to priority seating, "Clarification between Priority Seating and Courtesy," has been amended to clearly indicate that it is in reference to the Town Hall response on the website, not just clarification between the two terms.

6. Deputation

Nil.

7. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Presented by Angela Marley

The Subcommittee met on March 6, 2013 with five members present. Election of the Chair was postponed because of a lack of quorum.

Members reviewed the Accessible Transit Service Plan: 2012 Status Report which provides a year-end update on TTC activities to make its system accessible as well as future plans. This report has been circulated to ACAT members.

The 2013 Accessibility Forum will be held on May 9, 2013 at the Queen Elizabeth Building on the CNE grounds. Special Event staff from Customer Communications are assisting with the planning and a facilitator will chair the meeting this year. Members gave feedback on the staff question about using Twitter feed during the Forum for those who cannot attend. The Subcommittee commented that it can be used so long as it does not interrupt or impede the discussion and questions of attendees who are present.

Alice Smith, TTC Customer Communications Department, and Terry Clancy, TTC Training and Development Department, gave a presentation on the Travel Training Program. This program is on a DVD and is designed to help community personnel instruct individuals and groups to travel on conventional TTC. Accessible features are highlighted. Instructors can print handbooks to accompany the information on the DVD PowerPoint information. This training DVD is available from Customer Communications, who are building a distribution list of organizations throughout the city. Members are asked to forward individuals/organizations for this list.

Customer Communications will send a letter offering the material and asking those who are interested to contact the TTC. The material will also be posted on the website where it will be updated as changes are put into effect. The DVD will be distributed at public events such as the Accessibility Forum and People in Motion.

Review of Outstanding Items

Bay Subway Station Escalator Operation: Service Planning staff have reviewed escalator usage statistics and area demographics and are recommending that the east end escalator between the subway platform and the concourse operate in the down direction after 9:00 a.m., Monday to Friday, and all day on weekends.

New Business

Service Planning will forward the information to Customer Communications on the changes to the accessible bus stops on the Easier Access Phase 3, Stage 1, to be updated on the web site, including the Trip Planner.

A Special meeting was held in the morning of March 28, 2013 for selecting the chair and review plans for the Accessibility Public Forum. William Castor was acclaimed as SPS Chair.

Next Meeting: April 3, 2013.

Questions:

ACAT members asked for elaboration on the Public Forum Facilitator. William Castor explained that they are ironing out the procedures for the facilitator, who will be a third party, unbiased professional, likely from the same company as the TTC Town Hall. Social media will be given to the facilitator to integrate into the program.

Information will be provided to ACAT as it becomes available.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

DRS had two meetings in March.

March 6, 2013

DRS reviewed and commented on shelter design and positioning on the Queens Quay streetcar line and more widely on shelter placements on platforms throughout the City. The City Staff member responsible for shelters was unaware of streetcar door placement and access routes to the accessible door. DRS clarified which shelters should have panels and which should not, and commented on where shelters should be placed in relation to the streetcar. TTC staff will send streetcar stop and door locations to the City project team.

The next item was a discussion of the Auditor General's Report. Item #2 of the report was on integration of Wheel-Trans service with the conventional service. This was in three parts: the first part dealt with safety and the barriers to use by persons with disabilities. This is an ongoing topic with DRS. The next two items related to training and communications which were referred to the Wheel-Trans Operations and Communications subcommittees respectively.

DRS then reviewed the proposed material for the blue priority seating and agreed that, although the colour did not match the normal accessible blue, it was most practical for use in the system. Decals in the seat spaces will work in conjunction with the colour, and the TTC is planning a campaign to inform the public about priority seating starting in the Fall of 2013.

DRS then looked at the ACAT Outstanding Items on accessibility at bus stops for persons with visual impairments. First, DRS is dealing with accessibility at stations with tactile signage at bus bays. The second item deals with the painting a square on the sidewalk at station bus bays to indicate where a person should wait. DRS is working on this. The final item concerns the posting signs of instructions for when a person in a mobility device is boarding. This is not a DRS item and is a rather narrow approach. DRS agreed that the communications approach should be to inform the public in general about boarding on streets and in stations.

Reviewed and updated the DRS Outstanding Items List.

March 20, 2013

DRS met with CNIB Orientation Mobility Instructors to review tactile signage. Their next step may be to go back with actual physical mock ups of proposed tactile signage.

Next Meeting: April 3, 2013.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Debbie Gillespie, Chair

CS met on March 1, 2013 and selected the new chair. CS spoke at length on decals and priority seating and received information from Carla Basso and Stephen Cartaciano on proposed signage and graphics. They discussed the Station Description pages, including simplification and providing background on the project to new members. CS then discussed the spring Wheel Trans newsletter and members provided input.

Next Meeting: April 12, 2013.

Angela Marley pointed out that the newsletter is advertising the date of the Public Forum as May 9, 2013, and the People in Motion as May 31 to June 1, 2013.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair

WTOS met on March 7, 2013 and discussed the following:

The new friendly buses are equipped with new data terminals that are integrated with the scheduling system. Operators will receive updated run sheets right to the terminals, and update with cancellations, no-shows, completed runs, etc. The next feature is a 15-minute call out to customers. A flag will pop up on the terminal for Operators to send the call out, giving riders more accurate information. In the future, they will explore other methods of call outs such as email or text.

WTOS then discussed the Auditor General's recommendation about medical requirements to determine Wheel-Trans eligibility which would require a form or note from a medical professional to determine eligibility. WTOS agreed with Wheel-Trans staff and recommended that Wheel-Trans continue to use the current eligibility requirements of an in-person interview, but no medical note. If the Audit Committee does decide in favour of the medical model, this will come before ACAT.

Sam Savona moved that the members of ACAT do not support the Auditor General’s recommendation number 4a contained in the report entitled “Review of Wheel-Trans Services – Sustaining Level and Quality of Service Requires Changes to the Program” and recommend that Wheel-Trans continue to use the existing application process to determine eligibility for Wheel-Trans service.

Seconded by Brayan Bratanov.

Passed unanimously.

The Audit Committee recommended reviewing cancellation notices and communication of appeal procedures, as customers are unaware that there is an appeal procedure. Staff presented a revised cancellation notice which advises that customers can appeal the decision. WTOS reviewed and approved with amendments.

The Auditor General’s recommendation for Wheel-Trans Customer photo ID will come before the Committee at a later date.

8. Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) Report - Tim Rose

This month's CLP meeting was held on March 13, 2013, in the Executive Boardroom, and was chaired by Bob Hughes of the TTC Customer Service Department.

It began with a round-table discussion of issues, where Tim Rose was able to raise the three specific issues that were brought to him by ACAT members.

These issues were:

  1. ensuring better communication with customers if a bus 'goes missing',
  2. absent staff in collector booths, and
  3. ensuring that short turned buses leave enough room for mobility devices to exit.

All three were documented and Mr. Rose asked Bruno Papa, TTC Customer Development Analyst, to follow up with him, and the information will be forwarded to ACAT.

CLP was then asked for advice on strategies for handling habitual complaint riders. These are riders who have logged over 100 complaints in the TTC's online feedback system in the last two years. After a lengthy discussion, the panel agreed that the best strategy may be to bring in these riders for a one-time, face-to-face meeting with Customer Service staff. Although this approach may have its problems, it is one that staff are going to seriously consider moving forward.

The majority of the meeting was taken up by a Wayfinding/Signage presentation by Ian Dickson about the plan to reform and streamline signage on the subway system. This plan will also be presented to the Communications Subcommittee in April.

Briefly, the plan involves introducing a new numbering system to subway lines to accompany the current colour codes. Many of the changes, from an ACAT perspective, were positive. However, Mr. Rose did raise serious concerns about their plan to remove the 'accessible station' symbols from certain platform-level signs. Mr. Rose thinks that removing access information on any signage is the incorrect approach and told staff this. He urges the members of the Communications Subcommittee to also raise these concerns.

The next CLP meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mr. Rose will not be able to attend. Angela Marley, ACAT Chair, will attend in his stead.

Mr. Rose asks ACAT members to bring forward any concerns.

Questions from ACAT members:

ACAT members asked for elaboration on numbering the subway lines. Mr. Rose clarified that they are streamlining the signage, as currently there is a band of colour and no number. If this project involves placing and materials of signage as well as content, that discussion will be referred to Design Review.

The educational campaign for this new signage has no firm date, but they want to roll out in test stations by the end of 2013. The plan is to add to the numbering system when they add new lines. Materials and the TTC website will be streamlined along with the signage.

Valdo Tammark pointed out that buses cannot short turn if they have a mobility device on the bus. This issue is about communicating this policy to Operators and Supervisors.

9. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Angela Marley reported on the TTC Board Meeting held on March 27, 2013.

  • Mitch Stambler gave a presentation on the advantages and disadvantages of Articulated buses, commenting that one of the advantages is the interior spaciousness. When the bus arrives, ACAT will be invited to review it.
  • Old Mill Station's status on the Easier Access III (EA3) priority schedule - A deputation at the October 24, 2012 TTC Board Meeting requested that this station be moved up the list. The Board accepted the recommendation from TTC Staff with input from ACAT/DRS that Old Mill Station's status on the EA3 schedule not be changed. The Board asked that the station status on the priority schedule be reviewed in three years.

DRS reviewed the ridership statistics for Old Mill Station and advised that a request to move the station up in the EA3 upgrade schedule was not warranted. Staff have compiled this advice in their report back to the TTC Board.

  • The Board received the ACAT December 13, 2012 minutes for information.

10. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

11. TTC Signage Outside Subway Stations

Craig Nicol brought forward the issue that station entrances have inconsistent signage. For example, Queens Park Station has four entrances, but only one is indicated with a sign. Dupont Station has no entrance signs whatsoever.

This item was referred to DRS to examine the TTC practice of signage at stations, both at TTC and third party entrances, and the practice or procedure for marking accessible entrances. DRS will report back to ACAT on rules for station entrance signage.

12. Other / New Business 

Tim Rose thanked ACAT members for their support and information for dealing with a customer service experience at Broadview and commented that the Collector’s lack of knowledge of TTC procedures is something for ACAT to remain aware of as an ongoing issue.

Craig Nicol brought forward the question of whether streetcar track work is being done in stations. If so, this can be an opportunity to improve accessibility by installing curbs, both for the visually impaired and to assist the streetcar ramps. If work is planned for station streetcar platforms, Mr. Nicol requests that ACAT be informed so feedback can be provided. TTC Staff commented that designs are brought to DRS as they become available, as part of the ongoing design process.

Regarding the TTC's communications with the public about construction, Debbie Gillespie brought forward the suggestion that the TTC can be more proactive in developing materials about why they are doing street work, and the improvements for riders, especially highlighting accessibility features. Sam Savona cautioned that they must be careful not to blame accessibility for the construction.

William Castor brought forward the issue that DRS has been requesting the opportunity to review the new streetcar. Staff explained that the accessibility features are not functioning yet, and they want to wait until they have a completed, fully functioning prototype. Staff will review the status of the prototype at the next DRS meeting.

Angela Marley requested feedback from staff on the articulated buses. Staff reported that the prototype is to arrive in May, 2013, and DRS will review the vehicle.

Sam Savona requested an update on the Rocket levelling issues and door chimes. Staff reported that there is no update on the status of the Rocket Train.

Fay Fuerst brought forward general information to the Committee, that ARCH is opening a public library on April 18, 2013 and ACAT may want to appear as a group. Ms. Fuerst will forward an email to ACAT members.

13. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2013, in the 7th Floor Boardroom, 1900 Yonge Street.

14. Adjournment

On motion by Tim Rose and seconded by Brayan Bratanov, the meeting was adjourned at 2:55 p.m.

Janet Wright
Recording Secretary

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