ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, July 25, 2013
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:267
  • 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
  • Sarah Adams
  • Brayan Bratanov
  • Bill Casto
  • Adam Cohoon
  • Fay Fuerst
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Lori March
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Craig Nicol
  • Tim Rose
  • Sam Savona
  • Valdo Tammark

Pool Members

  • Judy Berger
  • Robert Muzzy

TTC Representatives

  • Ross Visconti
  • Matt Hagg
  • Jacqueline Darwood
  • Krsten Watson
  • 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.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil

3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Sam Savona and seconded by Craig Nicol, ACAT reviewed and approved the Agenda.

4. Review and Approval of June 27, 2013 Minutes

On motion by Debbie Gillespie and seconded by Bill Castor, ACAT reviewed and approved the Minutes with no amendments.

5. Station Managers - Presentation

ACAT welcomed the new Group Station Managers (GSMs) to present their roles and responsibilities. Angela Marley, Chair, expressed that ACAT is a willing resource for input on accessibility issues.

Collie Greenwood, Manager of Station Operations/Collectors, presented the reorganization of stations and the Station Manager program.
 
The GSMs introduced themselves to ACAT and fielded questions, expressing their intention to build a rapport with stakeholders, including ACAT, to collect ideas and comments that will improve customer experience.

  • Michael Sosedov, North York / Sheppard (Finch to St. Clair, Sheppard Line)
  • Bo Koch, Bloor-Danforth West (Bathurst to Kipling)
  • Eve Wiggins, Downtown Yonge (St. Andrew to Summerhill, including Union, not including Bloor/Yonge)
  • Shelley Pickford, Bloor-Danforth East/SRT (Broadview to McCowan
  • Cameron Penman, Central (Castle Frank to Spadina)
  • Ellen Stassen, University-Spadina (Downsview to Osgoode)

ACAT members offered themselves as a resource to subway stations with which they are familiar, should a Manager have a question regarding accessibility about a station or the area around a station. ACAT looks forward to future exchanges with the GSMs.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

Angela Marley, Chair, provided updates on the July items.

Item: Roncesvalles Streetcar Platforms - The letter is under consultation with Staff. The completion date has been revised to August.

Item: Noise at Subway Platforms - Members were sent a copy of the report provided by Staff. The next step is for the Chair to write a letter to the deputant, advising her of the research.

On motion by Bill Castor and seconded by Tim Rose, ACAT moved that the ACAT Chair send a letter to Ms. Carole Nash regarding the noise issue on subway platforms. Passed unanimously.

Sam Savona requested an update on the Fair Fares item, which had been moved back from July to September completion. The Chair explained that the item is on the agenda for the Board, but had to be deferred from the last Board meeting to the next, which is in September 2013.

ACAT members requested a review of the input that ACAT had in this report, which is being compiled by TTC Staff, based on input from several stakeholders. Staff will bring the ACAT input to the next Service Planning Subcommittee meeting on August 7, 2013. Interested ACAT members were invited to attend and additional input will be provided as necessary.

7. Deputation

Mr. Jacob Ormonde and Ms. Mystique Balson were not in attendance.

Ms. Lylly-Ann Fleisher made a deputation:

When making an appointment to speak before ACAT, Ms. Fleisher explained, "I would like to speak about how the TTC abuses elderly and disabled customers."  Ms. Fleisher described incidences where she tried to use TTC conventional service and TTC customers or staff prevented her from riding on the service.

First, when attempting to ride on a train, another customer with a stroller occupied the mobility device location and would not move when requested. Ms. Fleisher pulled the emergency switch, as she was experiencing a problem with her heart and needed to see her doctor. When the supervisor arrived, he asked Ms. Fleisher to leave the train and wait for the next one.

Second, at Downsview Station, Ms. Fleisher stated that there was a bus Operator who "never lets us on." Only once, when there was a supervisor present, did this Operator allow Ms. Fleisher onto the vehicle, but at that time the Operator gave her a "hard time" while boarding. The Operator pulled over and called the supervisor down. Other customers yelled at and insulted Ms. Fleisher and said that she was at fault. The Operator told the customers that they had called the supervisor and the supervisor would get Ms. Fleisher off of the bus. When the supervisor arrived, they brought a police officer and said that Ms. Fleisher had been running over people's feet, although Ms. Fleisher was on the ramp. The police officer stated that Ms. Fleisher would be charged the next time they heard of this.

Third, while on a bus, another customer would not allow Ms. Fleisher to turn around to get into the mobility device position. Other customers kicked, hit, punched, and spat on Ms. Fleisher and the Operator did not intervene. There were no witnesses "except for people who stick up for the Operators."

Ms. Fleisher expressed that these occurrences have been ongoing for 17 years and Operators will not intervene. Ms. Fleisher is frequently removed from vehicles, although there are supposed to be two spots for mobility devices.

Ms. Fleisher asked why the TTC will not provide lawyers for customers when there are incidences of physical, emotional, or mental injury on TTC vehicles.

Questions from ACAT:

When Ms. Fleisher said "we," to whom did this refer? Ms. Fleisher explained that these are people with whom she travels, who also have disabilities.

ACAT thanked the deputant and explained that there is an education campaign about the use of priority seating for all TTC staff, customers, and stakeholders. ACAT will take this into consideration for discussion.

8. ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting Update

Deferred from last meeting.

Angela Marley, Chair, reported about this meeting held on June 21, 2013.

The street furniture, landscaping, newspaper boxes, bicycle loops, etc. become obstacles for customers accessing streetcars at stops on Roncesvalles Avenue. ACAT is sending a letter to the City Disabilities Issues Committee to outline access concerns seeking their help to remedy this situation, as several City departments are involved. This letter will be copied to the Chair and CEO.

Update re: Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) providing advice to Staff about the new vehicles. Regarding the Toronto Rocket subway train, feedback has been given and DRS is waiting responses regarding exterior door chimes, train levelling (the gap issue is on the ACAT agenda this month), audio announcements of the arrow direction indicating the side of the train that the door will open at terminal stations, intercar barrier to which CEO Andy Byford reported that they are using the bungee cords and a tarp material.

Reported that DRS is reviewing the new streetcar on Tuesday June 25, 2013. ACAT has been informed the first articulated bus is expected to arrive in Toronto in July and DRS anticipates a site visit shortly thereafter.

Reported DRS is meeting weekly with TTC and PRESTO staff on accessibility issues, including machines and user interface.

They discussed ACAT's role in the orientation of new TTC Board members, and the Chair suggested ACAT provide an educational presentation at a public TTC Board meeting. ACAT Chair responded that a presentation about ACAT could be given, but TTC Board members learning about accessibility issues is a longer process, including interaction with TTC riders who have challenges using transit. Attending the annual Public Forum and listening to members of the public talk about their transit concerns will help Board members gain increased understanding of transit accessibility issues.

In response to the question about ACAT having a role in educating TTC Board members about the Public Forum on Accessible Transit Services, to encourage their attendance, the Chair stated she would like to meet with ACAT to discuss her ideas about the format of the Public Forum. As the Service Planning Subcommittee is working on the report and template for future Forums, meeting with that group was suggested and she agreed.

The importance of integrating accessibility information into announcements on the conventional service was discussed using examples of the 5-Year Corporate Plan and the subway closures due to signalling work. This education is ongoing work for ACAT and the TTC.

Reported additional items that ACAT is working on, including: participation regarding accessibility issues in the Bus Operator, Collectors, staff training; education campaign for customers regarding priority seating as there is an increasing number of seniors and people with disabilities using the accessible transit system; encouraging Wheel-Trans customers to travel on the conventional service for part or all of their trip; Subway Station Descriptions to be placed on the TTC subway station pages.

Both the Chair and the CEO were enthusiastic about the Station Descriptions, stating these would be of interest to the Station Managers and be useful for all riders. A sample Station Description is being forwarded to the Chair and CEO. When all the Station Descriptions are completed they will be simultaneously added to the station pages on the TTC website, date to be determined. The Chair suggested that TTC hold a media event at the time of the introduction of the Subway Station Descriptions.

Chair Karen Stintz and CEO Andy Byford thanked ACAT for their work, stating this was a good meeting.

After Angela’s report, ACAT then discussed the initiative of providing accessibility information and the roles and responsibilities of ACAT to Board members, in a more concise form than the information in the Terms of Reference. Proposed ideas were to invite Board members to ACAT General and Subcommittee meetings, to demonstrate what it is that ACAT does. However, as Board members are very busy, ACAT decided to take the information to the Board.

Motioned by Debbie Gillespie and seconded by Howard Wax, ACAT Executive members will draft a presentation of ACAT roles and responsibilities, to be presented to the Board with an open invitation for Board members to attend ACAT meetings. Passed unanimously.

9. Subcommittee Reports and Updates Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) - Bill Castor,  Chair

The Subcommittee met on July 3, 2013. They discussed the Public Forum on Accessible Transit design and format, with the intent of creating a well-defined format for future use. The Subcommittee laid out many things to do and intend to complete the format in the upcoming August meeting. A small group of Subcommittee members will meet with the TTC Chair regarding her feedback on the Public Forum format.

The Subcommittee then discussed the issue of support personnel on the TTC. Legal will be providing an exact definition of support personnel at the August meeting, after which the Subcommittee will provide a recommendation to the TTC.

They addressed the item of a training program that had been written up 3 years ago and never disseminated. The Subcommittee will review the program, bring it up to date, and submit it to the TTC as a guideline for ACAT members to use when training Operators.

The Subcommittee plans to review the operation of the new streetcars. This discussion is pending information from the TTC of how the ramps will be deployed in traffic where there are no streetcar platforms, and how customers will get to and from the ramps across traffic. When the TTC has provided the guidelines, the Subcommittee will offer comments.

The next meeting will be held August 7, 2013.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

The Subcommittee held 3 meetings in July.

July 3, 2013

The Subcommittee reviewed the gap issue. At stations where the gap is wider at one end of the platform, the Subcommittee recommended overhead warning signs and explored the suggestion to use colour or tiling on the floor. The Subcommittee discussed possible solutions for the vertical gap, providing suggestions for Staff comment.

A wayfinding tile issue outside elevators at TYSSE stations was identified and a site visit to some existing stations will be set up to determine if a design change is necessary.

The Subcommittee discussed elevator control panel button arrangement, third party elevator control panel button layout, inconsistencies in floor numbering, and changes expected in the Safety Code for elevators which impact these issues. Staff will collect information on inconsistencies and the CSA standard revision on floor numbering will be forwarded to Staff. A meeting will be held with elevator staff in upcoming months to review these and other elevator issues including elevator refurbishment.

The SRT stations no longer fall within the EA schedule due to Metrolinx SRT replacement. The Subcommittee requested an updated EA3 schedule incorporating Islington and Warden stations.

July 17, 2013

The Subcommittee presented a statement of concern regarding PRESTO schedule slippage and lack of equipment documentation for review. The complete statement is attached in the DRS Minutes. Staff agreed to provide documentation for the Add Value Machine (AVM) by July 19, 2013. Device placement reviews were conducted for Broadview, Bloor-Yonge, and St. George Stations. Subcommittee recommendations are contained in the Minutes.

Public Forum DRS-related issues were presented with some discussion. DRS and the TTC are already working on many of the issues. Staff are putting together responses to common themes; these will be brought to the Subcommittee for discussion and input.

Discussion took place about how persons with visual impairment are notified about out of service stops. Staff will look at signage options and Operator training.

This meeting was followed by a combined Communications Subcommittee (CS) and DRS meeting. Minutes will be issued by CS.

July 24, 2013

The Subcommittee reviewed PRESTO device locations at 3 stations -- Dundas West, Islington, and Kipling. The Subcommittee pointed out concerns about space to access PRESTO devices in small stations.

The Subcommittee presented comments regarding AVM documentation for inclusion in the TTC feedback to PRESTO. These included general comments as well as clause-specific comments. Further consultation is expected.

There was a discussion relating to PRESTO equipment design and implementation.

The next meeting will be on July 31, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., with an afternoon site visit to review the articulated bus.

Questions from ACAT:

A question was asked regarding the time line for solutions to the issues with PRESTO devices.

SPS advised that there is currently no timeline in place, though PRESTO is intending to be in service on the streetcars by quarter one in 2014. DRS will make a statement about timeline concerns to ACAT executive, to be passed on to the TTC Board Chair.

Clarification was given regarding the space issue in the placement of PRESTO devices in stations, that it is for people pulling up in mobility devices as well as for traffic congestion.

A question was raised if there is any information about the PRESTO launch in Ottawa.

None; although PRESTO is redesigning the system in Ottawa.

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

The Subcommittee discussed a report received from the Ombudsman claiming that a rider of Wheel-Trans complained that the use of video surveillance was used in the Questionable Rider Program to help determine his/her continued eligibility as a WT rider.

After review, the Ombudsman did not say that WT could not use the video recordings for this purpose. In addition to the Ombudsman's report, the TTC had consulted with the Privacy Commissioner, who had also said that using videos for this purpose is acceptable. The Ombudsman recommended that the public be made aware that videos may be used for this purpose, as well as provide a copy to riders during the appeal process.

Staff plan to update the policies and until that has been completed video recordings will not be used in the Questionable Rider Program.

Staff provided an update on the outstanding items from the Auditor General's Report:  The no shows and late cancellations, identifying individuals who cancel frequently and ways to proactively notify customers when they are approaching their limit of allowable late cancellations / no-shows, using similar technology to the call outs.

Brayan Bratanov, Howard Wax, and Lynn McCormick had attended the Annual Taxi Refresher Training course received by the taxi drivers. Members discussed the purpose and role of ACAT, which is to monitor the training programme to ensure it is conducted in accordance with the training program that the company submitted when they made the bid to provide this service.

Several members spoke of incidents where Operators were asked to help out in unusual circumstances - a mobility device had broken down; secondly, a person in a mobility device needed EMS; and thirdly, where a ride was requested on the street. The Operator replied that he could no longer do this with the new system. Staff reassured the Subcommittee that the new scheduling system does accommodate this, allowing Operators to reschedule trips on their own. If a customer is stranded and picking them up keeps the Operators within 10 minutes of their schedule, the Operator is allowed to pick up the customer and advise Dispatch later. Operators will be reminded of what their options are in these situations.

The Subcommittee discussed the deputation made by Mr. Michael Dzura at the June 27, 2013 ACAT meeting. The Subcommittee agreed that many WT riders are in a similar situation as Mr. Dzura. We advised in writing that Mr. Dzura work with his attendant care provider to ensure that he gets to his rides in time. The Subcommittee discussed the Late Cancellation / No-show policy, agreed that it was followed appropriately, and did not advise any changes.

From the Outstanding Items List, the Subcommittee reviewed the items regarding the possibility of the new bike lanes and raised the issue of dividers obstructing WT vehicles. Staff presented the City Bylaw stating that TTC vehicles are permitted to stop in the bike lanes. WT vehicles tested the divider and found that there was no risk of obstruction. This item was closed and removed from the list.

Following the meeting, the Subcommittee went on a tour of the WT facilities.

The next meeting is scheduled for August 7, 2013, but will be revised.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Debbie Gillespie, Chair

The Subcommittee met on July 17, 2013 in conjunction with DRS. They discussed priority seating on TTC vehicles and Customer Communications provided updates. The decals will be in place and the blue fabric for priority seating has been ordered.

Regarding the subway station description pages, Craig Nicol, Angela Marley, and Mazin Aribi have been working with Customer Communications. The pages will go live by mid-September. They are currently undergoing final editing.

The Subcommittee received a presentation on the new bus stop signs and shelter maps from Customer Communications. Both CS and DRS raised concerns about the height of the signs and difficulty reading them. A pilot is currently underway on the Wellesley 94 bus route and feedback will be collected on the street and website when the project restarts with a new staff member in September. Feedback will be provided at the next meeting.

During the meeting, Debbie Gillespie expressed concern about the timeliness and readability of materials for the Subcommittees. If the materials are not provided ahead of time in a format that all members can access, the relevant items will be removed from the agenda.

10. Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) Report

The CLP meeting held on July 10, 2013 was chaired by Chris Upfold and began at 5:00 p.m. in the TTC Boardroom.

It began with a presentation by Brad Ross regarding feedback for the recently released “Passenger Assistance Alarm” video explainer on the TTC website. The video was generally well received by the panel. Issues raised were concerns over the length, use of more graphics, and clarity of the message. Tim Rose raised the issue of captioning, was assured that it was in place, and suggested ideas for disability-related videos.

They then had a presentation and discussion by Dave Dixon regarding the upcoming extended subway closure between St. George and Bloor-Yonge stations in October. The presentation covered the reason for the closure, shuttle bus service, and feedback on customer service. A long and in-depth discussion followed, and Tim Rose raised accessibility concerns of shuttle service, which Mr. Dixon said was part of the plan. Members had a wealth of ideas regarding customer service.

The third presentation of the night, by John Morrison, was an in-depth presentation on streetcar service. As streetcars are not currently accessible (a point brought up during Q & A), there was not much input from an ACAT angle, but it was an interesting presentation regardless.

There was also a brief discussion regarding CLP membership.  All CLP members are appointed except ACAT which holds a permanent seat on the panel with Tim Rose elected as the representative for 2013.
The meeting concluded with observations by panel members. Issues raised included subway noise, drivers expressing personal views, and commendations over the service during recent flood. All concerns were documented and responses offered by staff.

Next CLP Meeting: September 11, 2013. Tim Rose requested ACAT members to send him concerns/issues that they want brought to the Panel. 

11. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters 

Howard Wax, Vice-Chair, provided a brief report. On July 24, 2013, he sent out copies of the CEO monthly reports on operations of the TTC and asked ACAT members to read them. Both the reports from June 24, 2013, and July 24, 2013, have information on Wheel-Trans and accessibility issues. Howard Wax will send the reports electronically.

12. Review of Correspondance 

Nil

13. Electronic Distribution of ACAT Subcommittee Minutes 

All members will receive an electronic copy of the ACAT meeting package, approved Subcommittee minutes and Outstanding Items lists. However, ACAT members were given the following options on how they would receive hard copies of meeting materials:

  1. Full Package - Receive a hard copy of the ACAT meeting package with Agenda, Minutes, Outstanding Items, and attachments, as well as approved Subcommittee Minutes, Outstanding Items lists, and attachments.
  2. Receive a hard copy ACAT meeting package, with Agenda, Minutes, Outstanding Items, and attachments. No Subcommittee meeting information is included.
  3. Electronic correspondence preferred.

After discussion, ACAT reached the consensus that Option Two would be the default choice for members to receive meeting materials. However, if a member prefers another option, they can indicate this to Grace Santos, Wheel-Trans.

14. Other Items / New Business 

Nil

15. Next Meeting 

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday August 29, 2013 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

16. Adjournment 

On motion by Howard Wax and seconded by Brayan Bratanov, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

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