ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, January 30, 2014
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:274
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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

Present

  • Susan Davidson, Chair
  • Tim Rose, Co-Vice Chair
  • Mazin Aribi, Co-Vice Chair
  • Sarah Adams
  • Judy Berger
  • Karma Burkhar
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Marian McDonell 
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Craig Nicol
  • Angela Rebeiro
  • Sam Savona

Pool Members

  • Anna Barath
  • Jerry Borins
  • Margaret Hageman

Regrets

  • Bill Castor, observing via teleconference
  • Debbie Gillespie

Guests:

  • Maria Augimeri, TTC Chair

TTC Representatives

  • Andy Byford
  • Chris Upfold
  • Orest Kobylansky
  • Sameh Ghaly
  • Vince Rodo
  • Brad Ross
  • Gary Shortt
  • Mitch Stambler
  • TTC Board Members

Copies

  • Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
  • Richard Leary, Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
  • Chris Upfold, Deputy CEO & Chief Customer Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Deputy Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
  • Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
  • Vince Rodo, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
  • Brad Ross, Executive Director - Corporate Communications
  • Mike Palmer, (Acting) Chief Operating Officer
  • Jacqueline Darwood, Head of Strategy & Service Planning
  • Cheryn Thoun, Head of Customer Communications
  • TTC Board Members

1. Call to Order / Attendance

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

2. Conflict of Interest - Explanation

Susan Davidson, Chair, explained that a conflict of interest is a situation where a member would benefit from knowledge gained at the Committee. For example, if a member owned an elevator repair business and knew what the TTC was looking for in terms of elevator refurbishment, the member could use that information to gain a preferential spot with the selection committee.

3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest – Nil

Nil.

4. Housekeeping

A list of housekeeping items were previously sent in the members' package and members were solicited for questions or comments.

Members were reminded to ensure that they do not "Reply All" to an email if they are responding to only the email's primary sender, as this will send the response to ACAT members, Staff, and others. If the member is distributing a response that pertains to all of the people who initially received the email, then they can use "Reply All."

If members have additional questions or discussion topics, it can be placed on the Agenda for the next ACAT meeting.

5. Need for Accommodation of ACAT Members at Meetings

Susan Davidson, Chair, explained that some members have different issues that require accommodation. Members are asked to keep this in mind if they wonder why someone is doing something they think of as not appropriate in the circumstances.

6. Approval of Agenda

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

7. Review and Approval of December 20, 2013 Minutes

On motion by Craig Nicol and seconded by Judy Berger, ACAT reviewed and accepted the Minutes with no amendments.

8. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

Craig Nicol brought forward item six which refers to Mitigation of Impact on Accessible Service during Major Elevator Repairs at Subway Stations, for example, at St. George and Main Street Stations. This issue was brought forward in early 2013, in the Outstanding Items List. However, a notice of an elevator overhaul at Main Street Station was given a few weeks ago, and the overhaul is slated to begin in January, 2014. There was no discussion with ACAT, specifically the Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS), about how to mitigate or communicate this loss of service. There will be no time for SPS to meet and discuss this overhaul.

Staff stood and explained that someone from TTC Engineering will attend the February SPS meeting to discuss this issue.

This issue has been on the SPS Outstanding Items List for some time, but has not been addressed in a timely manner. The decision to do the overhaul should have been discussed with SPS, in order to provide advice on the procedure. More generally, the procedure for when ACAT should be consulted on major disruptions to accessibility needs to be determined and followed.

Orest Kobylansky stood and explained that there are two types of elevator overhauls: a retrofit under operating budget and a complete rebuild through Engineering and Construction, through a consultant. Staff agree that they need to come to SPS to discuss the timing for discussions and operations. Representatives will be sent from the Engineering & Construction (Sameh Ghaly) and Operations (Gary Shortt) group to SPS to discuss timelines and procedures.

To clarify, in terms of major overhaul, the two issues are the notice period and the travel alternatives. The concern was that the notice was issued two weeks before the elevator was taken out of service and, prior to that notice, no long term alternative path was advertised or discussed with SPS to determine if it was appropriate.

The other issue concerning overhaul is how to design elevators to require less frequent maintenance. This is currently on the Design Review Subcommittee Outstanding Item List.

9. Deputation: Nil

Nil.

10. Review of Wording Re: Accommodation

The following is recorded in the October 31, 2013 ACAT Meeting minutes.

"In response to a member inquiry about accommodating members at ACAT meetings, the Executive reviewed the ACAT Terms of Reference and there is no statement regarding accommodation.

Howard Wax, 2013 Co-Vice Chair, read out a proposed statement of accommodation:

The City of Toronto, and all its Boards and Commission are committed to the AODA and the Ontario Human Rights Code and Legislation dealing with the rights and accommodation for all persons, without discrimination, who have a disability and shall be accommodated and given full access to all goods and services.

ACAT wholeheartedly endorses these principles.” 

The Executive is to work on the wording of the accommodation statement, to be reviewed in January, 2014 and thereafter annually at the January meetings and to be included in the ACAT New Member Handbook./p>

Susan Davidson, Chair, revised the statement with the following:

  • Removal of "and Commission"
  • Addition of a statement of clarification that the services referred to are the ones provided by the TTC, not someone else encountered en route.

Sam Savona asked if these principles only apply to meetings of ACAT, as there is no accommodation at Board meetings, specifically attendant care.

Angela Marley provided background information on the need to review accommodation, and reminded members to speak with Staff liaisons or the ACAT Chair about arranging accommodation. This is something ACAT developed and will be referred to Staff to ensure appropriate wording, as it is the TTC who provide the accommodation.

Marian McDonnell recommended that ACAT’s definition should include seniors.

Staff will forward this item to the Head of Commission Services, Kevin Lee, and follow up.

11. Election of ACAT Representative to the Customer Liaison Panel (CLP)

Tim Rose, Co-Vice Chair and former CLP Representative, described that the CLP is a group of TTC riders to whom the TTC brings issues that the TTC needs feedback on. This is an excellent opportunity for various riders to have a direct say in the TTC.

Debbie Gillespie nominated Angela Marley, seconded by Angela Rebeiro. Angela Marley accepted.

Sam Savona nominated Judy Berger, seconded by Sarah Adams. Judy Berger accepted.

The nominees were given time to speak about their experiences and involvement with accessibility issues, particularly in transit, and their intentions if elected to the position as representative.

Judy Berger withdrew her nomination.

Angela Marley was acclaimed as the 2014 Customer Liaison Panel ACAT Representative.

12. Announcement of 2014 Subcommittee Membership

The listing of Subcommittee Membership was distributed to members. The 2014 Subcommittee meeting schedule will be determined at the first meeting of the Subcommittees. Design Review and Service Planning generally meet the first Wednesday of every month, with additional meetings as required, and Communications and Wheel-Trans Operations meet as required. All meetings will be scheduled through Staff, and information will be provided to all ACAT members.

Members were advised to review the Subcommittee Terms of Reference.

13. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Bill Castor, Chair

No meeting since last ACAT meeting.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

The Subcommittee held one regular meeting and two working group meetings in January, 2014.

The January 15, 2014 regular meeting dealt with the Dupont Station Easier Access III installation. In April, 2013, TTC Staff brought the design for the upgrade to the Subcommittee. The design provided a street to concourse elevator on the southeast corner of Dupont and Spadina. With a few minor recommendations, the Subcommittee agreed with that design. Subsequently, the City proposed an alternative design, moving the elevator to the northwest corner. City Planners provided a presentation and the Subcommittee discussed with TTC Engineering. Based on safety, accessibility, usability, and distance of travel issues, the Subcommittee supported the original design as it provided better security and a more visible presence. The issue is back with TTC Staff and City Planning.

The Subcommittee then had a presentation from the PRESTO Farecard Team on the Add Value Machine (AVM) installations at subway stations. AVMs are where customers can transfer money onto their PRESTO Farecard. The machine has a different locking system than originally understood, so the team needed to provide better access to one side. At St. Andrew and York Mills Stations, the machines had to be relocated and the Subcommittee was consulted.

The PRESTO design team responded to comments provided by the Subcommittee after reviewing a soft mock-up of the Single Ride Vending Machine (SRVM) on streetcars and busy platforms. There were comments on the general placements and angle of the keypad. The team committed to exploring equipment improvements of the coin slot in future device designs to improve its ability to hold coins and prevent dropping.

The working group, constituting of two Subcommittee members and Staff, met twice to work on the SRVM audio scripts, which can be used by visually impaired customers, accessed via the audio jack. The scripts are at a stage where they will be converted to audio and loaded onto the machine before further comment can be made. They have also begun working on the AVM audio scripts.

The next meeting will be held on February 5, 2014 and the working group will meet on February 7, 2014.

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

No meeting since last ACAT meeting.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Debbie Gillespie, Chair

No meeting since last ACAT meeting.

14. Customer Liaison Panel Report

Tim Rose, 2013 CLP Representative, did not attend the January CLP meeting. The next meeting will be held on the third Wednesday of February, and he will contact Angela Marley, the 2014 CLP Representative, with information.

15. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Susan Davidson, Chair, provided a high level review of the Board Meeting, and the Committee discussed the following:

The CEO Report alluded to two meetings with Wheel-Trans customers about video recording and new signs on Wheel-Trans buses. From an observation point of view, the sessions went extremely well. As of yet, there have been no inquiries or follow up from customers. Wheel-Trans Staff will be meeting with the Ombudsman soon and will resume the use of the videos in March. The CEO will send out a letter to customers to indicate that.

There was discussion about streetcar procurement and implementation. ACAT's Design Review and Service Planning Subcommittees have input in this matter, as well as in the testing done by Engineers.

The second item under procurement was the taxi contract. There was some discussion as the monetary value that the TTC will be paying is slightly reduced. The taxi company owners spoke. There are four companies to whom the five-year contracts were awarded. The matter had also been referred to the Fairness Commissioner, who provided a written report about the procurement practices in the situation.

During the discussion with taxi operators, it came about that some drivers are carefree with the use of customer personal information, specifically names and addresses. One of the taxi drivers made a deputation about the number of kilometres he was driving. To prove his point, he brought in a photocopy of a run sheet to pass around to the Board. At the end of the meeting, he reclaimed the photocopies. The two concerns are what the taxi drivers in general are doing with their run sheets, and how these photocopies were disposed of. This is a serious privacy and safety concern.

Wheel-Trans Staff stood and explained that they will be contacting the taxi company to talk about the specific issue and ensure the photocopies were destroyed. This was a breach in the non-disclosure agreement, and the run sheets are supposed to be returned to the TTC for storage. They will review each company and enlighten them that drivers who breach this agreement will not be given TTC business. This will then be emphasized in driver training.

Electronic run sheets are not currently available for taxi company drivers.

The Board then heard the report on the Dufferin Station redesign and the elevator completion at Pape Station, which ACAT has known about since Fall 2013, and at St. Andrew Station.

The Board discussed extending the time on transfers. Sam Savona suggested that ACAT remind the Board about the difficulty of people on fixed income to accommodate the raised fares. Although there are possible advantages for anyone who wants to take a short trip, there will be issues for anyone who cannot take advantage of the extension. This is particularly true for Wheel-Trans customers, who are unable to book a trip that is less than two hours.

There are three issues involved: the time-based transfers, the cost of the time-based transfers and if the raise in fares is related, and that the raise is a burden on people who receive ODSP.

Staff recommended inviting Bob Hughes to an ACAT meeting to discuss this issue for a full understanding of the matter, as Bob Hughes wrote the reports on both Fair Fares and the extended transfer time. The discussion was deferred until such a time as Bob Hughes can attend.

Another item discussed at the Board meeting was to stretch the length of bus stops from 200 to 300/400m, eliminating some stops on certain roads. Mazin Aribi asked Mitch Stambler, TTC Head of Strategy & Service Planning, if this had come before ACAT to review possible impacts to accessibility, and the response was that it had not due to time constraints. In future, for changes that Staff want to recommend to the Board that have accessibility implications, these should come before ACAT for input before the end of the process. To this end, ACAT recommended that the report template include a section for accessibility impacts, to serve as a reminder to Staff that this is something to consider for every report. This section will be filled out either with impacts or with "N/A".

Staff acknowledge and agree that ACAT should have been consulted earlier regarding the bus stops, which will be discussed at the next Service Planning Subcommittee meeting. As of yet, there has been no decision as it was deferred to the next Board meeting.

The Committee discussed the recommendation to ensure all Board reports include a section addressing accessibility. Including this will ensure that it is always a question that Staff must ask while completing their reports, and may help to encourage them and the Board to keep accessibility impacts in their awareness. Although not all Staff will have the expertise to determine if a report will have an impact on accessibility, there are people at the TTC with whom Staff can consult. Including this item gives Staff an opportunity to examine and include accessibility, and gives ACAT the opportunity to be identified as having or not having an issue. This will also be a way to help the TTC keep track of and educate about accessibility, supporting the AODA's requirement for the transit system to be fully accessible.

Sam Savona moved that ACAT recommend that all Staff reports going to the Board have a Section listed as “Accessibility Matters”, with the item and the outcome described. If there is nothing to report, "N/A" will be recorded.

Mazin Aribi seconded.
All in favour, motion passed.

16. Review of Correspondence - Nil

Nil.

17. Other Items / New Business

a) City of Toronto Disability Issues Committee Meeting

Mazin Aribi, Angela Marley, and Sam Savona attended a City of Toronto Disability Issues Committee Meeting on January 24, 2014. Improving access to transit stops was on their agenda. This item originated on September 30, 2013, when the TTC CFO and ACAT Chair sent a letter to the City Committee regarding City furniture obstructing access to bus stops and streetcar platforms. City Staff from the Transportation service were in attendance. They reported that the City had adopted guidelines in 2006 and there were lengthy discussion from presenters. There are some standards that the City has been working on with TTC Staff; however, with new streetcars and entry through the second door, there were difficulties to come up with a consistent location and clear area at stops.

Regarding the Roncesvalles issue submitted by an ACAT member in a previous year, the Disability Issues Committee discussed it. City staff responded that they had worked with the business community in that area to remove inappropriately placed street furniture. Staff demonstrated that it is difficult to police or control where businesses put street furniture and impediments.

There were some questions and comments from members. They think there seem to be a lack of sensitivity training for TTC operators and are unaware that there are programs in place. Sam Savona spoke to that, informing that ACAT members do go out to talk to the Operators for sensitivity training.

The City Committee made a motion to accept the letter from ACAT. The City is reviewing the stops and will contact and work with the TTC.

ACAT members discussed the possibility of formalizing a connection between ACAT and the City Disabilities Issue Committee, by inviting the City Committee to observe ACAT meetings, and ensuring ACAT members are present to observe the City meetings. After discussion, ACAT decided that no action was required. If City Committee members want to observe ACAT meetings, they are welcome as members of the public, and ACAT members are welcome to observe City Committee meetings. If transit issues arrive at the City Committee, they will contact the TTC and this will filter down to ACAT. Meeting minutes are always available and ACAT can write to the City Committee again if issues are not addressed satisfactorily.

b) Station Description Pages

Craig Nicol has received a tentative listing of Wheel-Trans transfer point stops at EA3 Stage One stations which, when confirmed, will be included in the Station Description Pages. One other outstanding stop is Pape Station.

Station Pages are descriptions of stations on the TTC website to inform customers where everything is and what to find, which is helpful for trip planning and efficient navigation.

Sarah Adams commented that Wheel-Trans Reservationists are unaware of the transfer points. Staff will investigate this.

Angela Marley stated that ACAT needs to promote the availability of this information to stakeholders at all levels, and promote the development of station maps.

Members noted that the terminology used across the TTC is inconsistent. For example, although the term "mezzanine" is outdated, it is still used on TTC alerts, and elevators and escalators are labelled inconsistently. This issue was referred to the Communications Subcommittee.

c) Wayfinding

Debbie Gillespie informed the Committee that there will be a Wayfinding Stage Two meeting on February 11, 2014, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. She will forward information to the Committee members.

d) PRESTO Farecard Customer Communication and Training

Regarding the implementation of the PRESTO Farecard, the communication and training plan has not gone through ACAT for discussion. The Committee requested more information on when this will be developed and by whom.

Kirsten Watson will refer this question to TTC Customer Communications, Donna Bryant, and the PRESTO Farecard Team.

e) Support Person Assistance Card

Information about this card was issued in the Wheel-Trans newsletter, but the message states that the card is available for people with disabilities, not for people who require assistance. A clearer message is required. This item was referred to the Service Planning Subcommittee.

18. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday February 27, 2014 from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

19. Adjournment

On motion by Mazin Aribi and seconded by Tim Rose, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Janet Wright
Recording Secretary
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