ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, May 30, 2013
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:265
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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

Present

  • Angela Marley, Chair
  • Susan Davidson, Vice-Chair
  • Howard Wax, Vice-Chair
  • Bill Castor
  • Brayan Bratanov
  • Fay Fuerst
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Craig Nicol
  • Tim Rose
  • Sam Savona
  • Sarah Adams
  • Adam Cohoon

Pool Members

  • Robert Muzzy
  • Judy Berger

Regrets

  • Valdo Tammark
  • Lori March

TTC Representatives

  • Kirsten Watson
  • Ross Visconti
  • Bill Dawson
  • Matt Hagg
  • Orest Kobylansky
  • Alice Smith
  • Jacqueline Darwood
  • Wayne Reynolds

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.The Chair thanked TTC Staff for the tour of Transit Control for ACAT members prior to the April ACAT meeting, and Wheel-Trans staff for organizing rides to and from the tour.

2. Welcome Sarah Adams as ACAT Member

Penny Lamy has submitted her resignation from ACAT. Pool member Sarah Adams has been welcomed as a Committee member for 2013 - 2014.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

4. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Susan Davidson, ACAT reviewed and approved the agenda with the following addition: A commendation to Andy Byford was added to New Business.

5. Review and Approval of April 25, 2013 Minutes

On motion by Bill Castor and seconded by Craig Nicol, ACAT reviewed and approved the Minutes.

6. Union Station – Update

Presented by Malcolm Mackay, TTC Engineering, Construction, and Expansion. This presentation was previously made to the Design Review Subcommittee.

Mr. Mackay began with a brief history of Union Station, which was first built in 1858. The subway from Union Station to Eglinton Station was completed in 1954. Union Station was designated a historical site in 1975.

The TTC is currently revitalizing Union Station by adding a second platform and making concourse level improvements.

The second platform will be constructed south of the current platform. Trains moving from Yonge to Spadina will open onto the existing centre platform whereas trains moving from Spadina to Yonge will open onto the south platform. All forms of vertical movement will be available on both platforms. Both platforms will be decorated by art walls. The Queens Quay LRT will be available through the south platform. Platform construction is halfway complete and scheduled for opening in April-June of 2014, with project completion in January-March 2015.

The concourse level improvements include combining the existing two fare paid areas into one with automatic entrances, and will be brightened and lightened. The fare paid area will keep TTC customers separate from other foot traffic moving through Union Station and the existing stairs in the concourse will be moved to the moat, which will eventually also be removed, putting the TTC concourse on the same level as the GO Transit concourse and the PATH system. On May 20, 2013, the new concourse was opened in an unfinished state to start construction on the other part of the concourse. New ramps and moat stairs were opened.

Other Union Station revitalization projects are ongoing with the City of Toronto and GO Transit, including new retail facilities, a new GO Transit train shed, and a PATH extension.

This construction project has been ongoing for ten years, during which time ACAT was engaged five times. The largest hurdle to overcome was maintaining the pedestrian traffic flow through the construction site. During construction, all vertical transit was available, wayfinding signage was erected, and the Station Managers were highly involved.

Concerns from ACAT Members:

Members expressed concerns about the gap, both horizontal and vertical, between platform and trains and asked whether the refurbishment will address this issue. Mr. Mackay explained that Union Station's location on the corner makes the gap different all the way along the platform. They will be attempting to improve the gap, and building and refurbishing the platforms to the highest standards, but are limited by the train's envelope.

Sam Savona brought forward the experimental gap filler that was installed on an unused Davisville platform. Mr. Mackay will review this.

Members brought forward the question of redundancy of elevators at interchange and terminus stations, where the loss of a lift is most debilitating to travel. This is an issue that the Design Review Subcommittee will be working on.

Members reminded the project team that whenever a third party is required to provide vertical transportation during a construction project this third party be very aware of their responsibilities. One member was held for 45 minutes waiting for a third party elevator to be made available.

Members thanked Mr. Mackay.

7. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

Regarding Item "Roncesvalles Streetcar Platforms," Penny Lamy is listed in the Action Required column as making a deputation to the City Disability Issues Committee. ACAT members discussed the details of this item: that there is an issue where street furniture has been placed on streetcar platforms, which could potentially impact accessibility, and other issues with platform design, including inadequate tactile strips and planters placed in such a way as to leave drop offs.

Action: In consultation with the Design Review Subcommittee, the Chair will write a letter to the City Disability Issues Committee outlining ACAT's concerns and raise this issue at the next Quarterly meeting with the TTC Chair.

Regarding Item "Accessibility at Bus Bays: Public education campaign...," revise to “Accessibility at Transit Stops."

Regarding Item "Clarification between Priority Seating and Courtesy Seating," Alice Smith, TTC Customer Communications, commented that this item is in progress, the decal design has been finalized and they are working with TTC Operations for production and installation. Timing details will be available for the next Communications Subcommittee meeting.

Regarding Item "Mitigation of Impact," the action will be revised to "referred to DRS and SPS." These subcommittees will define the two concerns raised by Craig Nicol: how to prevent elevator breakdown and need for refurbishment at the elevator design level and how to mitigate loss of accessibility when they are down, and return to ACAT.

Regarding Item "TTC Signage Outside," the word "rules" in the action was revised to "standards," and this item was referred to DRS.

Regarding Item "Deputation from Alan Yule," DRS has not been able to view the new streetcar. Orest Kobylansky will arrange this with Vehicle Engineering, to be organized through Staff and DRS, for a June date.

Regarding all Items, members ask to have dates listed rather than TBD.

8. Deputation

Nil.

9. Bus Stop and Shelter Maps

Alice Smith, TTC Customer Communications, presented the new information format on stop poles and the new bus shelter maps that are being tested on the 94 Wellesley route between Castle Frank and Ossington Station. This presentation has been made to the Customer Liaison Panel and to the February Communications Subcommittee and is available on the TTC website.

Currently, stop poles are inconsistent, lack critical information, include non-critical information, and appear cluttered. Shelter maps are cluttered, include the entire system and include non-critical information. Research shows that they are rarely used or understood.

Principles of the new design are, for stop poles, a focus on critical information, a focus on the service rather than the stop, to have an intuitive hierarchy of information, and retaining the current infrastructure. For shelter maps, a focus on critical information, to provide local wayfinding, to provide clear transit alternatives from that location, to show links to the wider system, and to retain the current infrastructure.

Samples of the new poles were presented. Top down, the following information is provided:

  • TTC logo
  • Bus/streetcar pictogram with accessibility symbol in top right corner as applicable
  • List of bus routes in colour, black for normal, blue for night, red for express, and yellow for special route, with symbols indicating which branches they serve and other information, which is explained in the legend at the bottom of the pole
  • Coloured legend badges explaining symbols on the route numbers and exception information
  • Number to text to receive arrival times. There is a service in place for riders to text the stop number and receive the arrival times.
  • Red band.

Action: The Communications Subcommittee requested a presentation on texting the stop number for Next Vehicle Arriving service.

Images of the larger information/legend badges were presented to show how and what information is provided on the pole.

A sample of the new shelter map design was presented. The following information is provided:

  • Current location
  • The routes and where they go
  • Alternate travel options
  • Central geographic vicinity map (approximately 1 kilometre radius) shaded in grey and showing nearby streets with routes, all stops within a short walk, and beyond the shaded area only stops at main intersections
  • List of all routes and when they operate
  • Separate subway connection map, putting this route in context with the subway.

The trial of the new maps and street poles is underway on 94 Wellesley and will go into July 2013. Customer research is planned on the street (at stop) and online. ACAT members are encouraged to go and review. Adjustments will be made to the design based on feedback and then finalized. After finalization, the project team will define the implementation plan, looking at roll out, and then possible integration with City of Toronto wayfinding.

 

Concerns from ACAT Members:

The existing stop poles are too high for customers in mobility devices to read. One of the project principles is to only replace the skins and not the entire pole, but the project team will take this back to look at possible solutions. Members recommend revising the hierarchy of information to put the most important details at the bottom, cutting the poles, or placing a frame lower on the pole with the route numbers.

Route numbers need to be accessible for people with visual impairments, which requires tactile signage. Alice Smith will speak with Harrison, who is familiar with tactile signage after working with the Design Review Subcommittee.

The accessibility symbol is nearly invisible and the module colours are not eye-catching.

The reflective Blue Night decal is not reflective all around the pole, which makes it more difficult to see.

Alice Smith will return with results from the testing and progress in exploring other options.

10. Update – Blue Upholstery on Priority Seating

Presented by Orest Kobylansky.

The TTC is looking at cost estimates of two methods of roll out: attrition, which will take longer but with a lower cost, and a program of performing it quickly. They will also let the manufacturers of new vehicles know that a change order will be issued soon. They will ask Customer Communications for the number of priority seats on each vehicle and continue once costs and numbers are available. ACAT will be advised of new developments and time lines when available.

11. 2013 Public Forum

This item was referred to the Service Planning Subcommittee, which will review comments from Forum attendees and take feedback from ACAT members. Members are asked to give comments to Bill Castor, SPS Chair.

12. People in Motion Volunteer Schedule Discussion

Staff provided the volunteer schedule to ACAT members. Members will be admitted at 9 a.m.

Members reviewed the materials to be distributed at the Show. Questions and input were to be forwarded to Susan Davidson.

13. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Bill Castor, Chair

The May 1, 2013 meeting was devoted to the 2013 Public Forum, wherein the Subcommittee interviewed the Forum facilitators. Bill Castor recommends that, more than breaking down and sending the comments, he would like to know what members felt about different aspects of the Forum in order to create a general approach rather than redeveloping it every year.

The Subcommittee has not received a report on the new streetcar yet. There are issues about disembarkation that are a concern.

The next meeting will be held on June 5, 2013.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

DRS held four meetings since the last ACAT meeting. The minutes of the first three were provided to the Committee members. The fourth was held on May 8, 2013, in which DRS met with the PRESTO Fare Card Project Team to go over the general system structure and implementation, leaving the specific designs for the next meeting. DRS made recommendations for the sale and registration of cards.

The next meeting will be held on June 5, 2013.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Debbie Gillespie, Chair

No meetings held.

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

No meetings held.

14. Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) Report – Tim Rose

The May CLP meeting was held on May 8, 2013 in the TTC Boardroom and was chaired by Bob Hughes, Chief Customer Officer.

The meeting began with observations from CLP members. Tim Rose raised the issue of the platform gap and extended an invite to the Forum on Accessible Transit. Three CLP members —Kathleen, Eric, and Peter — attended the Forum and said they found it very informative.

Other issues raised during observations included 'missing' buses on the Next Bus app and the timing of the 'door closing' announcement on Rocket trains.

CLP then enjoyed a presentation by Bob Hughes on the results of the TTC Customer Satisfaction Survey, the comprehensive data collection undertaking. Mr. Hughes highlighted the results of note, including the areas where most improvement is needed, such as subway crowding. The data will be compiled into a more cohesive final report, which Tim Rose will be happy to share with ACAT members when it is available.

Mitch Stambler provided a thorough presentation on the TTC's cross-boundary services and its relationships with surrounding transit systems. This led to a discussion around the merits and challenges of cross-boundary services and Mr. Stambler was a great resource to answer questions. Although not directly related to accessibility, it is great information for all riders, including those with disabilities.

The meeting then adjourned, with the next meeting scheduled for June 12, 2013 at the same time and location. As always, ACAT members are encouraged to bring concerns to Tim Rose to be relayed to the CLP.

One other item of note, renewal of membership on the CLP has been asked of current members. However, as ACAT is guaranteed a seat on the committee under its Terms of Reference, this has little impact on ACAT.

15. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Angela Marley, Chair, reported that the Chief Executive Officer’s Report, April 2013 Update states the prototype low-floor streetcars "will undergo extensive reliability, performance, and technology tests. System compatibility tests including accessibility features, safety against derailment, platform and on-street interface with the vehicle and bridge plate ramp deployment will be performed."

"Based on the prototype tests, a baseline vehicle configuration will be established for production vehicles, scheduled for delivery beginning in the fall of 2013."

The request for rerouting the Ossington 63 bus to improve service for the Hellenic Seniors home on Winona Drive was referred to staff.

The February 28, 2013 ACAT meeting minutes were received. 

Howard Wax reported that, at the May 24, 2013 Board meeting, the ACAT minutes were not part of correspondence. There was not much on the agenda affecting accessibility.

16. ACAT Table at the TTC Family Day / Roadeo

Presented by Howard Wax.

The TTC Family Day / Roadeo will be held Sunday June 9, 2013. ACAT will have a table and members are encouraged to attend, especially to cheer on Wheel-Trans Staff in the competition from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. ACAT's involvement at this event was a success last year and opened the eyes of TTC Staff and their families about what the TTC is providing to the community.

The event is until 2:30 p.m., and Wheel-Trans will be providing attendants.

17. Review of Correspondence

None.

18. Other / New Business

Commendation Re: Elevator Maintenance, given by Angela Marley, Chair.

ACAT commends Andy Byford and TTC staff for their work in keeping elevators in service during the strike by elevator technicians in the company contracted by TTC to provide this service. We appreciate the work done by David Dixon and Gary Shortt, Operations, as well as Wheel-Trans staff under Kirsten Watson and Dean Milton.

Angela stated that this issue was noted on May 9, the day of the 2013 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit. Between 11:16 a.m. and 3:29 p.m., she received 13 TTC Alerts that 12 different elevators were out of service; one reported an elevator was back in service.

When Angela raised her concern with TTC staff because this was the night of the Public Forum, Andy Byford immediately responded with the information that TTC staff were “doing everything possible to keep our elevators in service and to return them to service when they fail.” That evening, TTC had elevator technicians situated at Bathurst station to ensure those elevators remained in operation.

Since then, the TTC has hired another company to provide elevator maintenance until the labour disruption is over. For the last few weeks, Angela stated that she has noticed the TTC Alerts about elevator outages have lessened and in her travels, has not encountered "out of service" elevators.

ACAT presents this commendation to Andy Byford, David Dixon, Gary Shortt, and Operations staff for their work in keeping the elevators operating during the Public Forum and during this work stoppage. Also included are the Wheel-Trans staff headed by Kirsten Watson with Dean Milton who arranged Wheel-Trans buses to be located at strategic stations to ensure customers get to their destinations.

Andy Byford thanked ACAT and commented that elevator service is vital, and he will work to keep them in operation. He will pass the commendation on to Operations and Wheel-Trans Staff. ACAT members added observations of incidents where TTC Staff have provided exemplary service and commitment.

Andy Byford mentioned the Five-Year Corporate Plan, which he will brief ACAT on at the next meeting. He will also liaise with ACAT about having a day in a wheelchair to understand better the accessibility challenges faced by riders using mobility devices.

Members brought forward the following concerns:

With so many elevators in the system, members suggest the possibility of a devoted elevator maintenance staff to prevent the issue of third party labour disputes.

Debbie Gillespie reported that buses that stop and start too sharply make it difficult to remain seated. Andy Byford responded that there are three contributing factors: external, vehicle mechanics, and the Operator's driving. Orest Kobylansky will speak with Ms. Gillespie regarding which routes may be more problematic.

A member raised the issue of vulnerability of interchange stations where there is only one elevator. If these elevators go down, the traveller cannot go further. Members requested investigation into elevator redundancy at St. George and Yonge and Bloor Stations. Andy Byford will refer Staff to look at the cost, but his priority is to make all stations accessible first. If ACAT advises changing this priority to put redundancy first, this can be discussed.

A member raised the issue that the accessible automatic entrances do not take cash, which requires a person in a mobility device to navigate the crowds around the Collector’s Booth to pay and then navigate back. Station Managers will be reminded to look for persons needing to use the automatic entrance.

A member raised the issue of TTC Cleaning staff telling ambulatory passengers to use the elevator and asking persons in mobility devices to wait. Andy Byford assured members that courteous, considerate behaviour is encouraged in staff, and to report these incidences.

A member suggested the possibility of large escalators to accommodate mobility devices as an alternative to more elevators.

Members thanked Andy Byford for his involvement and encouraged him to return every few months.

Members were asked their opinion on having the ACAT Subcommittee minutes distributed electronically rather than in hard copy.

Fay Fuerst advised ACAT that more ACAT volunteers are needed for the Recertification and Customer Service Training sessions.

Motion: Sam Savona moved, that before the TTC finalizes the design of the bus stop and shelter map signage project, they further consult with ACAT Communications and Design Review Subcommittees. Brayan Bratanov seconded. Passed unanimously.

Howard Wax suggested sending the commendation to Andy Byford to the TTC Board for the June 2013 meeting. There was unanimous support.

19. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2013, in the 7th Floor Boardroom, 1900 Yonge Street.

20. Adjournment

On motion by Brayan Bratanov and seconded by Howard Wax, the meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.
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