ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, November 27, 2014
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:284
  • 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
  • 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

  • Margaret Hageman
  • Anna Barath

Regrets

  • Time Rose, Co-Vice Chair
  • Jerry Borins, Pool Member

TTC Representatives

  • Orest Kobylansky
  • Kirsten Watson
  • Matt Hagg
  • Dean Milton
  • Ihor Witowych

Copies

  • Andy Byford
  • Richard Leary
  • Chris Upfold
  • 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 1:05 p.m. Attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

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

  • Item 5, CEO Andy Byford – Experience in a Chair was moved to Item 8, following Wheel-Trans Customer Satisfaction Survey.

4. Review and Approval of the October 30, 2014 Minutes

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

  • Page 4, paragraph 2: Revise "... the letter will be received by the City once the City's new Public Works Committee is in place" to "... the letter was received by the City and referred to the City's Public Works Committee."
  • Page 8, paragraph 4, add "Design Review Subcommittee" before "Outstanding."
  • Page 10, paragraph 6, add "Communications Subcommittee" before "Outstanding."

Note: In future, when Subcommittee reports refer to their Outstanding Items List, specify the Subcommittee name.

5. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

Regarding the discussion specifying that there would be a Pan Am / ParaPan Am Games update in November, this update was moved to the December meeting, when the Planning group will have more current information.

Regarding Tim Rose's statement that he would send out an email about the Culture of Accessibility meeting, he has not had the chance to do so. The Committee discussed when a meeting should be pursued and agreed that next year would be preferable. Sam Savona moved that the Committee vote on a Culture of Accessibility Meeting in 2015. Debbie Gillespie seconded. All were in favour.

Following the deputation from Alan Yule, the Committee requested the written presentation. It has not been received. Alan Yule assured that it would be distributed shortly.

The Committee reviewed the Outstanding Items List:

Item PRESTO Accessibility Features - will be updated in the Design Review Subcommittee report.

Item Accessibility at Transit Stops - Marian McDonell reported that the training of the general public on the boarding and deboarding of people using mobility devices will be rolled into a more encompassing safety campaign in third quarter 2015. The item will be updated with this report and the completion date revised to "3rd QTR 2015."

Item Auditor General's Report - will be removed, as it is completed.

Item Gap Between Subway Trains and Platforms - Will be updated during the Design Review Subcommittee report.

Item Legends on Maps over TR Train Doors - Marian McDonell explained that Kal Bedder, Customer Communications, is working with engineers to see what they can do. The item will not be updated at this time.

Item Tracking of Reduced Fares - This issue is with the City and ongoing.

Item Incorporating "Accessibility Matters" on all Board Reports - The Action Required was updated with "November 20 memo received from Kevin Lee. TTC Corporate plans to align with City format to use the Equity Lens tool, under development." Completion date was revised to "March 2015."

Item ACAT Participation in the Training of Wheel-Trans Operators - Lynn McCormick elaborated on the arrangements that have been made with Staff for ACAT participation. The idea was brought forward to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee and discussed at that level, and then presented at the October ACAT meeting. The participation is limited to talking to Operators moving from conventional service to Wheel-Trans, helping Operators to understand the point of view of riders, similar to ACAT participation in the awareness training at Hillcrest. This opportunity will be available for all ACAT members. Lynn McCormick has done this twice as a pilot, in consultation with Michelle Hall from Wheel-Trans training.

Some Committee members felt that this was not discussed adequately at the Committee level. The item was referred to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee for further discussion and clarification of what ACAT's participation will be. The completion date was revised to Ongoing.

6. Deputations

oMary Burton

Mary Burton, a staff member at the Community Head Injury Resource Services (CHIRS), and Andre, one of CHIRS' 40 clients, presented an appeal to reinstall the westbound bus stop that was formerly at Kensington and Finch Ave, west of Yonge Street. This bus stop is directly outside of CHIRS and has been used by the clients since CHIRS was built in 2001. Many of CHIRS clients do not qualify for Wheel-Trans, but cannot drive, so they rely on conventional transit. Because the clients of CHIRS experience cognitive, memory, and physical disabilities due to injury, the removal of the stop has caused many issues, such as confusion, anxiety, and frustration. The process of training to a new stop and new routine can take months.

Of particular concern, the TTC only gave CHIRS a month's warning that the stop would be removed. Now, some buses are stopping at the stop while others are not, and the inconsistency is making the transition more difficult.

When contacted, the TTC explained that the removal was to make the route time faster and to accommodate the new articulated buses. The nearest stops are at Talbot, 182 metres from Kensington, and Beecroft, 240 metres from Kensington, which the deputants feel are too far for CHIRS clients who have physical disabilities, particularly in the winter.

Removing the stop has impacted the quality of life of CHIRS clients because CHIRS is their place of work, therapy, and recreation, and they are unable to get there. They feel that removal of the stop goes against the TTC priority for accessibility. The deputants advocated reinstating the Kensington stop and removing the Beecroft stop.

Questions from the Committee:

Craig Nicol asked which eastbound stop CHIRS clients use. The deputant explained that they use the Beecroft stop. Distance to the stop is only part of the issue, the other is the length of time to train to use Beecroft as the westbound stop. This is made more difficult by the short notice of a month, and how buses continue to stop there inconsistently, although the stop was removed in September.

Mazin Aribi asked for more details about correspondence with TTC. The deputant reported that the TTC responded to their concerns and suggestion with a reference to ACAT supporting the guidelines of the stop being removed, that the choice is in line with the amount of space needed. Angela Marley pointed out that Beecroft and Talbot are both signalized intersections.

The Committee referred this investigation to the Service Planning Subcommittee to discuss the two issues of the stop removal and how buses continue to stop on an inconsistent basis. After discussion, the results will be reported to ACAT and then the ACAT Chair will write a letter to the deputant.

oHarold Risman

Harold Risman made a deputation about the difficulties of cross-border travel between York Region and Toronto. He has a visual impairment, has had a stroke, and will be going on dialysis. He lives in Toronto and works at Centre and Bathurst. To travel to work, he takes Wheel-Trans, then waits at Centrepoint Mall for between an hour and an hour and a half, and then is picked up by YRT Mobility. Because of this long wait time, he is often out of the house for 12 hours, which has had a negative impact on his health and quality of life. He requests that the TTC and YRT either find a way to coordinate their services or extend their service boundaries.

He is not the only person experiencing this issue. Many other Wheel-Trans riders must wait for extended periods of time when travelling to and from York Region. He has pursued this issue with the TTC, YRT, and the City, with no results.

The Committee thanked the deputant and referred the issue to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee, to be placed on the next agenda.

Craig Nicol is also a member of the Metrolinx Committee on accessibility, which is attempting to address this issue, and will bring this discussion forward there.

7. Wheel-Trans Customer Satisfaction Survey

Viktoriya Artemyeva, TTC Research Manager, and Bidya Lewis, from the research company, presented the results of the first Wheel-Trans Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted in August. The presentation was distributed to members.
Background

The TTC has been conducting customer satisfaction surveys on conventional service since 2012. As part of the Customer Charter commitments, the Wheel-Trans survey was developed and performed in 2014. They used the same research company that performed the conventional survey.

Objectives

The TTC wanted to measure the satisfaction of Wheel-Trans customers, creating a baseline. They wanted a better understanding of the challenges and obstacles to riders, with the intention of understanding if customers can use conventional service if improvements are made. Specifically, they wanted to identify the effectiveness of the support person program launched in early 2014, to see if it has encouraged riders to use conventional service. The information will be used in action plans and changes for customers, incorporating their feedback. This survey will be conducted every year to track results.

Methodology

The survey was conducted online August 19 to 31, 2014, with a response rate of approximately 1,500, or 18%, much higher than anticipated. The survey was distributed online, and a few respondents requested to complete the survey by telephone or by paper. They originally wanted a split of responses, but the online response was so great that they focused on online respondents and only offered other methods when requested.

Summary of Results

A complete summary and chart of results was provided to members via email.

Overall customer satisfaction is positive at 85%, or 7 to 10 out of 10 on overall satisfaction, compared to conventional customers who have 72-74% satisfaction. 52% of customers expressed pride in the TTC as well as satisfaction, identifying them as advocates. Conventional service has 22-24% advocacy. For both groups, advocates tend to be older, retired, and using the TTC in off-peak hours.

Customers using the sedan taxis were more satisfied than customers using minivans or Wheel-Trans buses, at 89% satisfaction compared to 82% and 83%, respectively. They suspect that this is due to the sedan taxi trip being shorter. There are disadvantages to the sedans, such as less well-trained drivers, so the high satisfaction of customers indicates the importance of trip times.

 

The three key drivers for customer satisfaction were trip duration, helpfulness of the Operator, and courtesy of the Operator. However, all drivers were seen to be important, such as smoothness of the ride. Next year, they will compare the data and see if the drivers remain the same.

90% of customers reported pride in the TTC, with 88% of Wheel-Trans bus users and 92% of minivan and sedan taxi users.

Pick up and drop off timings were investigated. 70% of customers reported that they were picked up and dropped off on time. Those that did not reported a range of issues, including the vehicle not showing up. 75% of customers reported that when they called the Reservationist, they received the pick-up time they wanted. When asked, 80% of customers reported that they would be willing to share their rides if it would improve ride times. Interestingly, riders were more likely to agree to share their rides than the caregivers who travel with them.

Verbatim comments have provided areas for improvement, such as telephone wait times, pick up and drop off times, and vehicles not showing up. This first survey has provided a framework to tailor the next survey with better focus and understanding. Some comments were very touching, expressing how riders rely on Wheel-Trans and the impact that the service has had on their lives.

The TTC wanted to look at whether the Support Person Assistance Program encouraged people to ride more on conventional service. They found that usage of Wheel-Trans remained the same, but 46% of riders reported that they started using conventional service more often after receiving the card. Based on the verbatim comments, some riders felt intimidated or embarrassed by general customers on conventional service, and riding with a support person helped to alleviate this.

In terms of overall satisfaction of all conventional services, Wheel-Trans customers reported satisfaction similar to general riders. 73% of riders were satisfied by buses, subway, and streetcar.

Comments and Questions from the Committee

Remove "accessible" from references to the sedan taxis, as they are not accessible and this could cause confusion.

The question about willingness to share a ride implies that customers can choose not to share their ride, which is not accurate. Because Wheel-Trans is a part of public transit, sharing should go without asking. As well, the wording of the question implies that people will have a shorter ride when they share it, which is not true, rather than a shorter pick up window. These questions were intended to examine what customers would be willing to do for a smaller pick up and drop off window, as the TTC is exploring opportunities for people who are travelling to and from the same place, and will be reworded in the next survey.

In certain locations, people will be waiting for Wheel-Trans and they will be picked up one at a time, where it may be more efficient to arrange for picking up multiple people.

Hearing that Wheel-Trans customers were satisfied by streetcar service was a surprise, considering that the majority of customers cannot board the streetcars. A small proportion of riders were able to board the streetcars, likely with support person assistance. Committee members recommended making this clear in the results.

When talking about TTC advocates, it was noted that advocates on both conventional and Wheel-Trans show a similar description of being seniors. Angela Marley pointed out that 75% of Wheel-Trans riders are seniors, and asked if there is an outline of the Wheel-Trans rider demographics. Dibya Lewis explained that the purpose of grouping the respondents as advocates is to understand how they think and convert more riders into advocates. For the next survey, they will look at the definition of an advocate. In general riders, it was an older population who reported satisfaction and pride, so they naturally expected it to be higher in Wheel-Trans riders.

Mazin Aribi asked if ACAT was consulted in developing the questions. The Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee was involved in the development, and comments and suggestions from the current meeting will be recorded.

The large number of online responses indicates that more Wheel-Trans riders can book their rides online. Dibya Lewis explained that there was often someone helping, and when asked about booking there was a number who wanted to continue with telephone reservations rather than learning how to book online.

8. CEO Andy Byford – Experience in a Chair

Viktoriya Artemyeva, TTC Research Manager, and Bidya Lewis, from the research company, presented the results of the first Wheel-Trans Customer Satisfaction Survey conducted in August. The presentation was distributed to members.
Background

The TTC has been conducting customer satisfaction surveys on conventional service since 2012. As part of the Customer Charter commitments, the Wheel-Trans survey was developed and performed in 2014. They used the same research company that performed the conventional survey.

Objectives

The TTC wanted to measure the satisfaction of Wheel-Trans customers, creating a baseline. They wanted a better understanding of the challenges and obstacles to riders, with the intention of understanding if customers can use conventional service if improvements are made. Specifically, they wanted to identify the effectiveness of the support person program launched in early 2014, to see if it has encouraged riders to use conventional service. The information will be used in action plans and changes for customers, incorporating their feedback. This survey will be conducted every year to track results.

Methodology

The survey was conducted online August 19 to 31, 2014, with a response rate of approximately 1,500, or 18%, much higher than anticipated. The survey was distributed online, and a few respondents requested to complete the survey by telephone or by paper. They originally wanted a split of responses, but the online response was so great that they focused on online respondents and only offered other methods when requested.

Summary of Results

A complete summary and chart of results was provided to m

CEO Andy Byford attended to present his experiences using a motorized wheelchair on TTC services.

At the 2013 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit, the TTC Chair was challenged to observe the system from a wheelchair. Andy Byford volunteered to do so. He was trained and accompanied by Mazin Aribi. He wanted to know what it was like to use the system, rather than assuming that the accessibility features are adequate. He went incognito to avoid media attention.

During the course of the day, he experienced travelling on Wheel-Trans, on a conventional bus, on the subway, and visiting a Tim Hortons. Issues that he found were difficulty manoeuvring on conventional buses, clutter at bus stops, subway platform gaps, inconsistent signage in stations and on elevators, and the attitude of the general public toward people using mobility devices. At one point, he asked someone to move out of the mobility device location on the TR train, and the person only grudgingly moved over. At another time, he had lined up with the subway door and people pushed in front of him to get by. Positive experiences included the kindness and patience of TTC staff and the hard work of the Wheel-Trans Operator in securing riders. However, at Union Station, the elevator was not working and the TTC Ambassador was unable to provide an alternate route.

He found the experience sobering as it indicated just how far the TTC is from achieving an accessible system. He was glad to do it and has taken away the issues that need more work.

Judy Berger added that the general public needs more awareness of what the priority seats are for, as many still do not realize the purpose of the blue upholstery. Andy Byford agreed and will take the issue up with Pattison to reserve the advertising space above those seats for priority messaging. Angela Marley added that an image of the blue seats will soon be incorporated in the priority seating messaging to clarify their purpose.

Sam Savona brought forward the issue of the tiny map legends over the doors on the TR train cars. It says which stations are accessible, but is useless to someone sitting down. The legend should be moved down. Andy Byford agreed, and added that this information should be provided audibly as well, such as an additional announcement on arrival that "this station is accessible." His experiences have added to his resolve.

Debbie Gillespie commented that there is inconsistency in whether bus drivers ask someone to move from a priority seat when someone who needs it boards. Some drivers will speak up and others will not; this should be consistent to the policy. Another issue is that sometimes drivers will stop at a different location than the stop requested, and they do not say anything. They need to let customers know. Andy Byford explained that they are trying to train Operators to think like customers and be more aware of customer needs.

Bobbi Moore thanked Andy Byford for utilizing a motorized wheelchair, and that many people would not have the courage. Sarah Adams added that she appreciates that he has remained positive, and does not pity people who use mobility devices. He was glad for the experience. He was also asked to experience the system as a person with a visual impairment, but the safety issues and training requirement would be too great.

Angela Marley pointed out that the TTC Annual Report's 2013 milestones included the accessible streetcar and Pape Station, but the only mention of accessibility is the elevator. The accessibility message must be integrated throughout. Andy Byford agreed and highlighted that the Pape Station keystone now includes the international symbol of access.

Sarah Adams brought forward the issue that bus drivers are not consistent in whether they will flip up the seats or not, as she cannot do it. The policy must be established and followed.

Craig Nicol brought forward the issue that many system entrance signs have disappeared over time, including directional signage from nearby streets such as Bloor and Danforth. Andy Byford agreed and will be talking to Chris Upfold about making entrances more visible.

Andy Byford finished with a commitment to bring the Chair to the December ACAT meeting.

Overall customer satisfaction is positive at 85%, or 7 to 10 out of 10 on overall satisfaction, compared to conventional customers who have 72-74% satisfaction. 52% of customers expressed pride in the TTC as well as satisfaction, identifying them as advocates. Conventional service has 22-24% advocacy. For both groups, advocates tend to be older, retired, and using the TTC in off-peak hours.

Customers using the sedan taxis were more satisfied than customers using minivans or Wheel-Trans buses, at 89% satisfaction compared to 82% and 83%, respectively. They suspect that this is due to the sedan taxi trip being shorter. There are disadvantages to the sedans, such as less well-trained drivers, so the high satisfaction of customers indicates the importance of trip times.

 

The three key drivers for customer satisfaction were trip duration, helpfulness of the Operator, and courtesy of the Operator. However, all drivers were seen to be important, such as smoothness of the ride. Next year, they will compare the data and see if the drivers remain the same.

90% of customers reported pride in the TTC, with 88% of Wheel-Trans bus users and 92% of minivan and sedan taxi users.

Pick up and drop off timings were investigated. 70% of customers reported that they were picked up and dropped off on time. Those that did not reported a range of issues, including the vehicle not showing up. 75% of customers reported that when they called the Reservationist, they received the pick-up time they wanted. When asked, 80% of customers reported that they would be willing to share their rides if it would improve ride times. Interestingly, riders were more likely to agree to share their rides than the caregivers who travel with them.

Verbatim comments have provided areas for improvement, such as telephone wait times, pick up and drop off times, and vehicles not showing up. This first survey has provided a framework to tailor the next survey with better focus and understanding. Some comments were very touching, expressing how riders rely on Wheel-Trans and the impact that the service has had on their lives.

The TTC wanted to look at whether the Support Person Assistance Program encouraged people to ride more on conventional service. They found that usage of Wheel-Trans remained the same, but 46% of riders reported that they started using conventional service more often after receiving the card. Based on the verbatim comments, some riders felt intimidated or embarrassed by general customers on conventional service, and riding with a support person helped to alleviate this.

In terms of overall satisfaction of all conventional services, Wheel-Trans customers reported satisfaction similar to general riders. 73% of riders were satisfied by buses, subway, and streetcar.

Comments and Questions from the Committee

Remove "accessible" from references to the sedan taxis, as they are not accessible and this could cause confusion.

The question about willingness to share a ride implies that customers can choose not to share their ride, which is not accurate. Because Wheel-Trans is a part of public transit, sharing should go without asking. As well, the wording of the question implies that people will have a shorter ride when they share it, which is not true, rather than a shorter pick up window. These questions were intended to examine what customers would be willing to do for a smaller pick up and drop off window, as the TTC is exploring opportunities for people who are travelling to and from the same place, and will be reworded in the next survey.

In certain locations, people will be waiting for Wheel-Trans and they will be picked up one at a time, where it may be more efficient to arrange for picking up multiple people.

Hearing that Wheel-Trans customers were satisfied by streetcar service was a surprise, considering that the majority of customers cannot board the streetcars. A small proportion of riders were able to board the streetcars, likely with support person assistance. Committee members recommended making this clear in the results.

When talking about TTC advocates, it was noted that advocates on both conventional and Wheel-Trans show a similar description of being seniors. Angela Marley pointed out that 75% of Wheel-Trans riders are seniors, and asked if there is an outline of the Wheel-Trans rider demographics. Dibya Lewis explained that the purpose of grouping the respondents as advocates is to understand how they think and convert more riders into advocates. For the next survey, they will look at the definition of an advocate. In general riders, it was an older population who reported satisfaction and pride, so they naturally expected it to be higher in Wheel-Trans riders.

Mazin Aribi asked if ACAT was consulted in developing the questions. The Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee was involved in the development, and comments and suggestions from the current meeting will be recorded.

The large number of online responses indicates that more Wheel-Trans riders can book their rides online. Dibya Lewis explained that there was often someone helping, and when asked about booking there was a number who wanted to continue with telephone reservations rather than learning how to book online.

9. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Angela Rebeiro, Chair

The last meeting was held November 5, 2014.

John Morrison, Manager of Streetcar Transportation, attended to discuss the new streetcar operating procedures. A major concern of the Subcommittee was that the SOP did not differentiate between street and platform boarding. He explained that these are no longer separate and the Operator must attend all ramp deployment. This would address customers tripping over the ramp, but there is a concern that the time delay of having Operators exit, deploy the ramp, and assist in boarding would cause tension with other passengers. Staff will monitor the situation, and so far this has not been an issue with the two running vehicles.

There was a concern that customers are lining up at the second door and sometimes banging on it, delaying ramp deployment. Staff will look into announcements that the ramp deployment is in process and other doors are available. This issue may eventually sort itself out with more vehicles.

The SOP specified that customers must back down the ramp which caused concern. But this is only for manual devices so Operators can assist in deboarding. This will give Operators better control.

The Subcommittee discussed the stroller issue to great length and suggested that Ambassadors advise customers that more space is available in the fourth car for strollers and bicycles. Staff were advised to create a stroller policy.

Debbie Gillespie advised that Operators need to inform passengers when stopping not at the streetcar stop.

oUnion Station Elevator

Malcolm MacKay, Project Manager of Union Station Second Platform, and various TTC Construction, Stations, and Customer Communications staff attended to update the Subcommittee on the Union Station construction project and take back Subcommittee comments.

The project is intended to increase station capacity with the second platform, reconfigure the concourse by adding ramps to create continuous access to the PATH system, combine the fare paid areas, work with Union rail station to create a level “moat” area between the two stations, and install a new automated entrance to PATH. The second platform was opened in August, with an elevator between the platform and concourse, and final construction will be completed before the Pan Am / Para Pan Am Games.

To accelerate construction, the existing elevator will be taken out of service, limiting accessibility to the centre platform. This will bring the new elevator and escalator into service 6 to 8 weeks earlier. Staff outlined alternate routes to get around the outage and their communication and staffing plans. The Subcommittee agreed that the alternate routes are the only ways around the outage, and urged that the signage at Queen Station needs to be updated, staff must be specifically trained to provide relevant information and assistance, and the frequent outages of the new elevator must be addressed. Concrete dates were provided. Staff advised that the outage would be from early December 2014 to late January 2015, but could not be more specific.

oComments and Questions From the Committee

Craig Nicol reported that the elevator on the northbound University platform is out of service earlier than planned and alternate route material has been distributed. Angela Marley added that there are posters in elevators throughout the system that indicate the outage at Union Station and provide alternate routes. Announcements are also running throughout the system.

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

No meeting was held since the last ACAT meeting.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

The last meeting was held on November 5, 2014.

oThe Gap Issue

Engineering Staff attended to present a proposal and interim solution to the vertical gap issue at Eglinton Station. Near the elevator, the platform would be ramped up to train level for a distance that would give level access to the last two doors of northbound trains and the first two doors of southbound trains. Another ramp may also be considered near the DWA.

After discussion, it was agreed that an onsite test should be conducted before proceeding. This will be arranged outside of normal service hours. Because the proposed location is where the northbound horizontal gap is widest, Staff will again consider the gap filler that was tested at Davisville. There have been no updates as of yet on the arrangements for testing.

It was raised that the “Mind the Gap” decals are not being maintained and have pulled up at some stations due to the cleaning. Station managers must be more aware of these decals and have them replaced immediately when damaged or removed.

oYorkdale Easier Access Update

Engineering and design staff presented a proposal for the Easier Access upgrades to Yorkdale Station. It will involve a ramp from street to concourse and an elevator from the concourse to the platform. The Subcommittee had several recommendations to modify the gradient of the ramp so that it is more consistent from top to bottom, and to widen the landing levels. In the concourse level, the elevator to the platform is behind a stairwell, restricting the waiting area and visibility. The Subcommittee suggested reconfiguring the stairs to make the waiting area bigger and elevator more visible. The engineers will look at this. Another comment was to move the crash gate in the fare line. Currently, they have designed it directly beside the EA fare gate, which can create crowding and other issues. Staff agreed to move the crash gate.

The Subcommittee suggested that there should be a dialogue between the TTC, Yorkdale Mall, and GO Transit on the issue of making the pedestrian walkway accessible, which would make travel easier and safer by removing the need to cross the service road. Yorkdale Mall is currently working on a property project and Craig Nicol has spoken with Metrolinx about arranging a meeting to coordinate.

oStreetcar Platform Signage and Wayfinding

Harrison, TTC Signage and Wayfinding, attended to gather input from Subcommittee members on possible signage to identify the mobility device boarding area on streetcar platforms. This will let people who need the ramp know where to wait, and let people who do not need it know to wait elsewhere. Harrison will return with a digital representation of a blue section of railing and a sign at the rear of the platform, and discuss the message wording.

oOther Business

The Subcommittee discussed the hearing loops item referred from the last ACAT meeting. Collector Booths are slated to become obsolete when PRESTO is fully implemented, so installation would not be appropriate around the booths. They recommended that Staff look into the system and whether it would be beneficial and feasible, specifically around DWA and Press for Help button locations.

In the past months, the Subcommittee and other ACAT members have participated in on-streetcar testing of the PRESTO SRVM at Hillcrest Yard.

On November 26, 2014, there was an opportunity for Subcommittee members to meet with Waterfront Toronto to review the ramp at the Harbourfront Centre stop on Queens Quay that streetcar Operators considered a tripping hazard. They used that opportunity to look at other features and had concerns that will be passed back through Staff and discussed in the next Subcommittee meeting.

There will not be a meeting in December.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair

The last meeting was held on November 6, 2014.

oChanges to ACAT Information on TTC Website

Deborah Brown, TTC Manager of Customer Communications, discussed the pending changes to ACAT information on the TTC website. Suggested revisions were sent via email to Subcommittee members. Revisions were completed and placed on the website November 12, 2014.

Changes included:

  • Adding a list of current ACAT members, including the pool members.
  • Rewording the FAQ about priority seating.
  • The left navigation bar will be revised and accessibility/ACAT information will be easier to locate.
  • The website search analytics have been modified, such that when someone runs a search for ACAT, the ACAT web page will come up instead of pages listing .PDF documents.

The Subcommittee suggested the following:

  • Revise Chair and Vice Chair to elected Chair and Vice Chair, indicating that the Committee is democratic.
  • Ensure that the information about blue priority seating is under accessibility as well as under the FAQs.

The Subcommittee was asked how long ACAT wants to retain their Minutes on the website, which is not considered an archive. Currently, there are Minutes going back to 2008 and there is no standard. The City Minutes remain on their website for four years. Whatever the Committee decides, the Minutes will still be archived with Wheel-Trans, and people can access them by contacting the Wheel-Trans office. This can be discussed in December.

oThe Wheel-Trans Winter Newsletter

Staff and the Subcommittee went through the Winter Newsletter, and Staff noted the recommended changes. The highlights of the newsletter are holiday service interruptions, issues with holiday shopping, reduced number of drop offs at malls, ACAT's 2014 achievements, and snow and ice safety.

The Subcommittee discussed Travel Training, that it is becoming increasingly more important. Wheel-Trans is compiling a list of interested people from newsletter to newsletter.

The Subcommittee discussed that a campaign which helps more people travel using the conventional system must specify that people will not be removed from Wheel-Trans service. This was referred to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee.

oNew Business

There was a question concerning whether there will be a ribbon cutting or media event for the completion of the modernization project at Dufferin and Lawrence West Stations. The question was forwarded to Customer Communications.

Members were asked via email to review the Community Bus brochures because the editing had to be done and sent for printing in short order.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Committee members noted that there was a media event at the reopening of Dufferin Station on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.

10. Customer Liaison Panel Report

Presented by Angela Marley, the 2014 CLP ACAT Representative.

The Customer Liaison Panel met on November 12, 2014, chaired by Arthur Borkwood, Head of Customer Development. Members reported on their assignment to purchase a PRESTO fare card and use it to travel on the TTC. Members commented on the PRESTO web site, methods of purchasing cards, and limitations of the current PRESTO system. PRESTO readers are not mounted on accessible fare gates and will not be mounted until Wave 2 on the new fare gates.

Bob Hughes, Head of Fare Card Team, provided an update on the PRESTO launch.

On November 22, members had an opportunity to do onboard testing of the Presto fare card system on the streetcar at Hillcrest.

11. Metrolinx Accessibility Advisory Committee Update

No meeting was held since the last ACAT meeting.

12. Review of Correspondence

Susan Davidson, Chair, wrote and sent a cover letter regarding the proposed revision of the Highway Traffic Act.

13. Other Items / New Business

Sarah Adams brought forward the issue of paying by cash where accessible entrances are not in the fare line. Some people are unable to reach the cash box. In some stations, the elevator has its own fare gate on the other side of the Collector, and people using a wheelchair cannot get to the Collector's fare box. This issue was referred to the Service Planning Subcommittee.

14. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, December 18, 2014, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

15. Adjournment

Motioned by Mazin Aribi, the meeting was adjourned at 3:45 p.m. 
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