ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, May 29, 2014
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:278
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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

Present

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

Pool Members

  • Anna Barath
  • Jerry Borins
  • Margaret Hageman

TTC Representatives

  • Rick Leary
  • Kirsten Watson
  • Ross Visconti
  • Matt Hagg
  • Wayne Reynolds

Copies

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

1. Call to Order / Attendance

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

Kirsten Watson, Senior Manager - Wheel-Trans, introduced Rick Leary, the new Chief Service Officer, responsible for the Service Delivery Group. Rick Leary briefly spoke, describing his background and experience in transit integration, and his goals for improving service delivery, reliability, and training of Operators. The Committee welcomed him.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Bill Castor and seconded by Bobbi Moore, the Committee reviewed and accepted the Agenda with the following revisions:

  • Addition of new Item 14: Brought forward by Staff, Metrolinx has requested that one to two ACAT representatives help them review the Eglinton Crosstown Project.

4. Review and Approval of April 24, 2014 Minutes

On motion by Sam Savona and seconded by Angela Marley, the Committee reviewed and accepted the Minutes with the following revisions:

  • Page 3, Item 6 Deputation: Addition to the end of the item, "Deferred to the Design Review Subcommittee for consideration. Following review, a response will be provided to the deputant."
  • Page 5, Item 9 Service Planning Subcommittee Report: Delete the fifth paragraph, as the information is more accurately reported elsewhere. "Angela Rebeiro reported ... both Operators and members ... when it is ready."
  • Page 10, Item 10 CLP Report: Revise the first sentence of first paragraph from "The panel met on April 16 at Metrolinx, 97 Front Street, and was chaired by Chris Upfold" to "April 16, 2014."

5. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

Sam Savona moved to withdraw the motion made at the April 24, 2014 meeting for the ACAT Executive to write a letter to the Board regarding ACAT’s concerns about the new streetcars. Tim Rose seconded.

Passed.

In the May 2014 Service Planning and Design Review Subcommittees Joint meeting, the new streetcar design and operating procedures were presented to address outstanding issues, and feedback was provided. Ongoing concerns about the new streetcar remains on the Subcommittees' Outstanding Items List.

6. Deputation

Nil.

7. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Angela Rebeiro, Chair

A joint Design Review and Service Planning Subcommittee meeting was held on May 21, 2014, chaired by Craig Nicol. See Design Review Subcommittee Report for details.

Next meeting: June 4, 2014 and a review of the new streetcars on June 18, 2014.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

Report provided by Bill Castor.

A joint Design Review and Service Planning Subcommittee meeting was held on May 21, 2014, chaired by Craig Nicol, to address questions and concerns arising from the earlier streetcar review. Stephen Lam, Head of Streetcar Department and LRV Program Manager, and John Morrison, Streetcar Transportation Manager, attended to present projects and modifications in response to Subcommittee concerns.

Regarding vehicle design issues, the ramp has been redesigned to remove the hump, and LED lights on the exterior of the vehicle were improved to better illuminate the ramp and to warn motorists of the opening doors.

Ongoing vehicle design concerns were the handhold for club seating, a modesty panel for the seat directly behind the door, which the Subcommittee felt is necessary for shorelining and to prevent tripping hazards, and the efficacy of the external lighting. In particular, the Subcommittee was concerned about the pictogram and signage on the rear of the vehicle instructing motorists to stop. The Subcommittees made several suggestions that Stephen Lam took back. These items will be reviewed on June 18, 2014 on the new streetcar prototype.

Regarding streetcar operations, John Morrison presented the procedures for boarding and de-boarding customers. The streetcar Operator will always exit the vehicle when someone needs the accessible door and ramp to board from the street. If assistance is needed, the Operator will provide it.

One Subcommittee concern was where a person should wait for the accessible door and how to make this clear to travellers when the stop is 100 feet long. Suggestions were colouration or texture of the sidewalk. Another concern was how the Operator will know that someone needs the ramp if the platform/stop is crowded, and how to signal for the ramp. The Subcommittee suggested a light on the stop pole. Another concern was the removal of the impediments that are common at transit stops. These concerns were noted by Staff.

The Subcommittees will be looking at the design and operating procedures further as they are developed.

Next meeting is a review of the new prototype streetcars on June 18, 2014.

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

No meeting since last ACAT meeting.

Next Meeting: May 29, 2014.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair

A joint Communications and Service Planning Subcommittee Meeting was held on May 8, 2014, chaired by Marian McDonell.

Minutes from the March 28, 2014 Meeting were approved.

The Subcommittees discussed four issues:

1)  2014 People in Motion Show – Update/Discussion

The Show will be held June 6 and 7, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Queen Elizabeth Hall at Exhibition Place. Sandy Tsirlis, TTC Special Events Staff, attended to update members on the floor plan for the event, which was distributed at the meeting.

Matt Hagg added that the TTC conventional bus will be the main TTC education program at the event, with an Operator demonstrating boarding, securements, and other accessibility features. There will also be informal discussions with various TTC staff and 'Meet and Greets' spread out over the days. For example, Day One will include an informal 90-minute "Meet the Managers" event, with TTC Executives attending to answer questions on accessibility and the Customer Charter. There will be a video screen running PowerPoint presentations (e.g., Operator training, Introduction to ACAT, and how to access station web pages) for use whenever there are no 'meet and greets' taking place.

Tables will offer brochures, Easier Access station renovation pamphlets, Ride Guides, cardboard buses, and buttons. Easier Access DVDs will also be available for distribution.

Subcommittee members shared many ideas/comments such as ACAT members with mobility devices could demonstrate how to board and de-board the accessible bus on display to encourage visitors who might be apprehensive about using conventional transit.

A member presented a list of "what if" scenarios concerning using the conventional transit system that visitors might put to TTC staff, such as "My wheelchair stopped in between the subway train doors; will the train move?" and "I am attempting to board the bus but other passengers are crowding ahead of me?" Matt Hagg indicated that staff working at the event would have answers available to the scenarios. Mary Leo-Oliver, Manager - Special Events, suggested that a "what if" question and answer page could be another piece of information that visitors can pick up from the booth. Staff will try to accommodate the ACAT suggestions to whatever extent is possible.

The members discussed that their main role as volunteers at the show is to be prepared to answer questions on both Wheel-Trans and conventional service and to help make it a fun event.

2)  Priority Seating Brochure – Boarding Copy

Anastassia Bouktsis, Customer Communications, attended to discuss the wording of priority seating communication regarding the boarding of customers using mobility devices which will be added to the brochure. The addition was possible because the printing had been delayed. The brochures will be printed when the decals are ready.

3)  TR Subway Route Map and Side Panel Discussion

Kal Bedder presented a mock-up of the electronic map over the doors of the Toronto Rocket cars with enlarged text on the side panel legend. He explained that in order to enlarge the text, he had to remove material from the legend. He distributed a draft legend that would appear on the cars for the Yonge-University-Spadina (YUS) line, showing information related to the subway stations on that line only. Complete system information continues to be available on the TTC website as well as in the Ride Guide. Staff are also planning a simple brochure as a takeaway, with less information than the Ride Guide, but with information on all the subway lines.

In order to identify the accessible stations on the main electronic map, Kal Bedder suggested retrofitting the maps with a small blue companion light for subways that are accessible. The next generation of maps would be pre-programmed with companion lights for every station. The blue light would be activated for stations already accessible and turned on once a station becomes accessible. The suggestion is under review to see if it is feasible.

4)  Communication Discussion – as a Result of Customer Falling on Subway Train

Carla Basso reported that there will be a multi-channelled campaign both for employees and customers in the next year's budget focusing on personal safety.

The Outstanding Items List was reviewed and updated to coincide with the ACAT Outstanding Items List. The investigation of checking that the subway station addresses are consistent in various locations like the new "Welcome to Wheel-Trans" booklet was added to the Outstanding Items List.

Communication Subcommittee meetings were also held on May 1 and 15, 2014 in which members finished reviewing and editing the Wheel-Trans new registrant booklet.

The next meeting date is to be determined.

Questions and Comments from the Committee:

Angela Marley asked if the People in Motion volunteer slots have been filled. Committee agreement was that they had been.

8. Customer Liaison Panel Report

Presented by Angela Marley, 2014 CLP ACAT Representative.

May 14, 2014

Cheryn Thoun, the new Head of Customer Communications, was introduced to Panel members.

Member Observations:  A member reported there were not enough buses for the Sporting Life Run held on a Sunday morning on Yonge Street. The subway does not open until 9:00 a.m. and there was a high transit demand to get to the race start location. The late subway opening on Sundays was discussed and planned for a future agenda item.

Customers need information about subway delays before paying their fare, to enable them to decide on using alternate travel modes.

A question was raised regarding the status of the TR subway overhead handle pilot and the results. The TTC plans to have them installed.

Customer Satisfaction Survey results for the First Quarter of 2014 were presented. It was noted that customers using Line 2 reported more pride than customers using Line 1.

Carla Basso, Customer Communications, gave a presentation on Priority Seating, the background and planned education campaign. A lengthy discussion followed as members supported the need for customer education. It was suggested that the floor of the Priority Seating area on vehicles be coloured blue or place the International Symbol of Access on the floor, as is used in parking spaces. There was discussion about enforcement of the By-law. It was clarified that there are invisible disabilities and therefore someone can refuse to give up their seat, although they may not appear to need priority seating.

 Angela recommended this presentation be made at an ACAT General meeting to update the members on the priority seating education campaign. 

The Customer Charter 2014 First Quarter results were distributed.

Members were asked to participate in PRESTO Fare Card system devices customer interface testing.

Questions and Comments from the Committee:

The Committee agreed to invite Carla Basso to give the presentation about the Priority Seating campaign. Staff were asked to arrange this for the June General Meeting.

Angela Marley noted that the CLP members take priority seating very seriously and want to encourage the TTC about the need of education for customers to know and follow the guidelines.

Angela Marley encouraged Committee members to look at the prototype wayfinding signage being tested at Yonge and Bloor Station and pass on feedback. In June, they are looking at putting up the new signage at St. George Station, so feedback is requested as soon as possible. Angela noted that Committee members provided positive feedback for locating the elevators, and for the aesthetics and readability of the signs.

9. Report on ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with CEO and Chair

Deferred from the April ACAT meeting.

On April 10, 2014, ACAT Chair Susan Davidson and Vice Chairs Mazin Aribi and Tim Rose met with TTC Chair Maria Augimeri and TTC Chief Customer Officer Chris Upfold.

The following issues were discussed:

  1. TTC culture and commitment to accessibility by all levels of staff, discussing assessments of staff on their knowledge of and commitment to accessibility as it pertains to their position, and including a section in Board Reports for accessibility issues, which is with Kevin Lee, Corporate Services, for consideration.
  2. Accessibility should be given equal priority in all reports and not just given minimal accommodation and/or a secondary position on any agenda or discussion.
  3. Elevator redundancy versus elevators as part of new construction.
  4. Pedestrian safety when using the new streetcar ramps and platforms. Raised DRS issues and motions written to the Board in April 2014 regarding Zebra Crossings and Accessible Pedestrian Signals.
  5. PRESTO Card equipment designs and operations.
  6. How to communicate with able-bodied customers that, as Wheel-Trans riders are moving toward using conventional services, that, in addition to sharing TTC services, they will be required to follow procedures for priority boarding.

Questions and Comments from the Committee:

Tim Rose commented that Chair Augimeri reinforced the need for funding and mentioned having ACAT stand next to her in the call for more funding. Tim Rose cautioned against ACAT presenting themselves in a political light.

Bill Castor commented that DRS is pushing for redundancy of elevators, especially in transfer stations. DRS had been asked to choose whether some stations can be pushed back in order to install second elevators in transfer stations. Without assessment they could not say, but they will be reassessing the Easier Access project.

Committee members discussed the issue of elevator redundancy versus ensuring that there is an elevator in every station. Because later reports will address this issue, the discussion was deferred to later in the meeting.

Sarah Adams expressed concern that if there is a section in reports reserved for accessibility matters and the staff member completing the report is not familiar with accessibility, there may be an issue. Tim Rose explained that the section is there not to put the onus on staff, but to remind them of potential issues, and for them to put in writing whether they believe there will be an accessibility impact so that ACAT can go back and reassess as needed.

 

10. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Tim Rose, Co-Vice Chair, reported on the April 30, 2014 Board Meeting. The main accessibility issue was the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. The other discussion items were the issue of new streetcars and the issue of elevator redundancy raised in relation to the multi-year report, raised by Commissioner Heisey.

Susan Davidson, Chair, reported on the May 28, 2014 Board Meeting. The May 28th Board meeting dealt with a few issues pertaining to accessibility.

Andy Byford explained that the "Corporate Integration Plan" was considering ways to encourage Wheel-Trans users who can, to use the conventional system for all or part of their trips in conjunction with Wheel-Trans service.

The Board approved the contract for the sedan meter-based taxi service for Wheel-Trans, awarded to Beck Taxi Limited (Beck) and Associated Toronto Taxi Cab Co-operative Limited (Co-Op) in the amount of $40,000,000 with a duration of 5 years.

The Board approved funding for the Easier Access III renovation of Ossington Station.

Councillor Stintz brought forward a motion that the funds left from last year's budget as a result of lowered WSIB payments be used to offset projected 2015 fare increases. Commissioner Heisey asked how the decision to put it toward offsetting the fare increase was arrived at, as opposed to other items such as funding Easier Access projects. Giving back to all riders was the response. The clarification provided was that this money belongs to the City, was earmarked for TTC budget and if not used, is returned to the City. The motion was carried asking the City to allocate these funds to TTC.

The Board approved the staff report to relocate and eliminate selected streetcar stops, designed to improve pedestrian safety and customer journey times, and approved retaining specific stops identified by local Councillors. The Service Planning Subcommittee reviewed the presentation in their February meeting. City Councillors submitted similar concerns that stops not be removed in areas where there is high traffic of seniors or other people with mobility impairments. For example, hospitals, community centres and seniors' residences.

The two recommendations from ACAT, the Zebra Crossing Markings and the Automated Pedestrian Signals, were referred to staff. The Board received the ACAT March minutes for information.

Questions and Comments from the Committee:

The Committee discussed ACAT input into the streetcar stop discussion. The issue came before the Service Planning Subcommittee in February 2014 for review and recommendations. The Subcommittee's concern had been to ensure that the stops met the needs of the community.

In the past, the Subcommittee had looked at walking distances and made a recommendation for a standard maximum.

11. Review of Correspondence

An email from Andrea Russell, University of Toronto Faculty of Law, AODA Review Project Manager, regarding the independent review of the AODA by Dean Mayo Moran of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, was shared to the Committee members. For anyone interested, the deadline for submissions to the review has been extended to the end of June 2014.

12. Recommendations From Deputants

Deferred to next meeting.

13. 2014-2018 TTC Multi-Year Accessibility Plan

Presented by Matt Hagg.

The TTC has produced an annual multi-year accessibility plan each year since 2003; and is now required to have a 5-year accessibility plan. ACAT SPS has been involved previously with reviews of vision, goals, and objectives for this plan.

The yearly status report will be provided to ACAT as well as the Board, anticipated in February or March each year.

The 2014-2018 TTC Multi-Year Accessibility Plan is posted on the TTC website.

Questions and Comments from Committee:

Regarding upgrades to the subway station PA system, there is a separate plan for the trains themselves. TTC staff are currently investigating this. The Committee will be consulted soon with regard to the AODA pre-boarding announcement requirements.

Regarding the roll out of the new streetcars, the Committee discussed how the order of routes was chosen. Staff explained that this was limited by the infrastructure required by each route, and there was no opportunity to rearrange the order.

The Committee commended Matt Hagg and Staff for their work on the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, which was well-written and put together, and for the quality of presentation materials.

Angela Marley suggested that the Multi-Year Accessibility Plan be recommended reading to people new to ACAT, as it gives a thorough introduction to accessible public transit and covers what has been, is being, and will be done to improve it.

Regarding the $240M needed to complete the Easier Access Program, the Committee discussed why that funding had not been allotted and where it could come from. The City of Toronto had withdrawn $2B for future TTC projects. The TTC has submitted a letter to the Province about the lack of funding for the Support Person Assistance Card Program and the Province responded that the Government of Ontario does not provide funding to implement standards under the AODA. There is funding for projects for the next six years, and staff will continue to re-evaluate in consultation with the Committee.

The Committee discussed concerns about the funding issue pushing back the dates for completion of accessible subway stations even further, including ACAT's role in the Board's search for reinstatement of full funding of the Easier Access plan. ACAT making a submission to Dean Moran AODA Review was brought forward and the Committee members favoured supporting the Board as an advisory committee, and not making a submission as an independent body. Members can make their own individual submission to the AODA review.

Debbie Gillespie moved that ACAT undertake along with TTC staff and Board the effort to have the $240M reinstated by the City.

Sam Savona seconded. Craig Nicol and Angela Rebeiro abstained. Motion passed.

14. Metrolinx Request for ACAT Representatives

Metrolinx contacted the TTC to invite one or two ACAT members, in addition to Craig Nicol, to join their Accessibility Advisory Committee to review the Eglinton Crosstown project.

In a June 6, 2014 teleconference, the Metrolinx Committee will be reviewing and advising on accessibility design guidelines. In the next year, there will be station design reviews.

Sam Savona and Sarah Adams put their names forward and were accepted as ACAT representatives.

15. Culture of Accessibility

Tim Rose, Co-Vice Chair, presented the concept of culture of accessibility, which was first raised at the March 2014 General Meeting. This was a discussion about broader philosophical issues around accessibility. Tim Rose proposed that there be an in-camera meeting of ACAT members in order to discuss the culture of accessibility, not necessarily as it pertains to TTC policy, and how ACAT can help to instill ideas of accessibility in broader society.

The Committee discussed the proposal and ACAT's role. There was some confusion as to the purpose of the meeting, whether it would remain within the scope of transit, if it would give an overview of ACAT's activities and purpose, if it would be a discussion on how to encourage the TTC to look beyond the minimum standards, or if it could be a forum for sharing experiences. Members suggested that the culture of accessibility was strengthened and communicated in all of the Subcommittee meetings whenever TTC staff are involved, and that otherwise such a discussion would be outside of the Committee's scope.

There was consensus that a meeting could be important to the Committee.

The discussion was deferred to communication via email, to be further addressed at the June General Meeting.

16. Other Items / New Business

The TTC Roadeo and Family Day will be held on June 8, 2014, and this is an opportunity for Committee members to volunteer to be at the ACAT booth to talk with TTC staff and their family members about accessible public transit. 

17. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

18. Adjournment

On motion by Angela Marley and seconded by Tim Rose, the meeting was adjourned at 3:37 p.m.

Janet Wright
Recording Secretary
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