ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, December 18, 2014
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:285
  • 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
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Craig Nicol
  • Angela Rebeiro
  • Sam Savona 

Regrets

  • Karma Burkhar
  • Bill Castor

Invited Guests

  • Scott Haskill, TTC Strategy and Service Planning
  • Sho Kalache, TTC Pan Am Co-ordinator

TTC Representatives

  • Kirsten Watson
  • Matt Hagg

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

The meeting was called to order at 1:00 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

 - Nil

3. Approval of Agenda

Susan Davidson moved item number 7 (Pan-Am and Para Pan-Am Games Update) to item number 2. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters added as item number 10. Report on ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with CEO and Chair added as item number 13. Craig Nicol added Presto Card and Metrolinx Centre Platform to agenda. Mazin Aribi moved the changes be approved and Sam Savona seconded.

4. Pan-Am and Para Pan-Am Games Update

Scott Haskill, TTC Strategy and Service Planning, and Sho Kalache, TTC Pan Am Co-ordinator, attended to provide an update and slide presentation on the TTC’s role in the Pan Am and ParaPan Am Games, to be held in July and August 2015. The games will be held in Toronto as well as all over Southern Ontario. The TTC’s role is to provide spectator and volunteer transportation within Toronto. There will be private contractors to transport athletes and other games officials.

The Province will be designating HOV lanes on major roadways. These will be mainly for the use of games officials and athletes.

a) Major Venues and Transportation to these Venues

The 5 major venues will be Exhibition Place, York University, U of T Scarborough Campus, U of T Downtown Campus and The Mattamy Athletic Centre at The Gardens. The following transit routes will serve these specific locations:

  • Exhibition Place – two streetcar routes, 509 Harbourfront and 511 Bathurst, and two bus routes, 29 Dufferin and 193 Exhibition Rocket.
  • York University – 196 York University Rocket from Downsview and Sheppard-Yonge Stations as well as 195 Jane Rocket from Jane Station. There will also be accessible shuttle buses within the York University campus operated by the university.
  • U of T Scarborough Campus – 38 Highland Creek, 95 York Mills, 198 U of T Scarborough Rocket & 194 Aquatic Centre Rocket.
  • U of T Downtown Campus – Majority of the events are at Varsity Stadium and Hoskin Avenue Back Campus (accessible via north end of Kings College Circle). Subway stops are St George and Queens Park Stations.
  • The Mattamy Athletic Centre – Subway stop is College Station. As College Station is not accessible, there will be a shuttle bus, route 406, from St George and Queens Park Stations to the venue.

b) Road Events and Additional Services

  • The road events will be at the Exhibition, Lakeshore and High Park. The routes running in these areas are # 80 & # 506.
  • There is expected to be a general increase in background travel during the games, therefore, TTC will operate a Saturday service on Sundays during the games.
  • Additional subway trains, streetcars and buses will operate throughout the city.
  • For the ParaPan Games, additional bus service will be provided for Tennis events at U of T Scarborough via a shuttle bus, route 408. Staff noted that the organizers are only expecting 400 to 500 spectators at this specific venue.
  • Ticketing – A ticket for any event will be valid as a TTC day pass and the TTC will be compensated. GO Transit and other GTA transit agencies will also be covered.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Angela Marley has noted that Pan Am is providing a smart “One Call System” that will allow customers to book paratransit throughout their entire journey to the venue, even crossing municipal boundaries.

Sam Savona inquired about day-to-day Wheel-Trans customers commuting to and from work and if TTC is prepared for this. Staff advised that they expect to be able to accommodate the additional demand from Pan Am customers, and also that they have done surveys and discovered that many regular customers are saying that they will likely stay home or plan on taking vacation during that time.

Sarah Adams inquired as to how often the 196 York University Rocket buses will be running and in addition, for U of T Scarborough, how often the GO will be running. Staff advised that route 196 will be running more often than usual and concerning U of T Scarborough, it will be regular GO bus service but GO trains will be increased on the Lakeshore Line.

Tim Rose commended the TTC on their planning but was concerned about subway elevators breaking down during the games. Staff advised that elevator and escalator crews will be on standby throughout the entire games and that no major overhauls will be scheduled to take place during the games, leaving those crews free for emergency repairs. Craig Nicol added that staff should be able to direct customers to alternate stations, if elevators are out of service.

Craig Nicol inquired about where the extra buses will come from to operate the additional service for Pan Am. Staff confirmed that they would not be able to put extra buses on the road if the games were taking place in Fall or Winter, but as the games will take place in the Summer, they will have over 100 buses available given the usual decrease in regular TTC service operated at that time of year. In addition, there are almost no events in the AM rush hour. There will be no real attempt by the games to avoid holding events during the afternoon rush hour but a fair amount of events are also being held later in the evening.

 

Debbie Gillespie inquired about monitoring online ticket services and if there will be extra staff to assist customers with visual impairments. Staff advised that projections have been done on how many people will utilize the TTC while travelling and a firmer number of games spectators are expected in February or March for scheduling. TTC supervisors will also make day-to-day decisions. Concerning extra staff, when a games ticket is bought, part of the process is asking if assistance is required. Outside the stations, there will also be plenty of volunteers to assist spectators towards the venues.

Sarah Adams added that having the extra staff is wonderful but that staff should all have any alternate route information on hand. Staff has confirmed that Operators and Supervisors will receive updated information and will make sure that staff have that information.

Marian McDonell expressed concern with transportation to the ParaPan ceremonies at York University given that each bus only has two accessible spots and it might not be enough. Staff confirmed that is a concern for them as well but that is why they will be running more frequent buses.

Mazin Aribi inquired if full-size buses will be utilized for the route 406 and 408 shuttle buses and if there will be proper signage at the stops for customers who require this service. Staff advised that full-size buses will be in use and that signs will be provided at all of the shuttle bus stops on the route.

Sam Savona asked about additional communication and staff stated that Metrolinx is going to run a centralized transit trip planner for the Games. It is a traveller information planner that will utilize all available technology.

ACAT appreciated the Pan Am update and it is understood that there will be another update in the New Year.

5. Review and Approval of the November 27, 2014 Meeting Minutes

Angela Marley has requested these changes to be made:

  • Page 8, Item 8, 2nd paragraph – Change: Accessibility Forum to TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit
  • Page 8, 3rd Paragraph, last line – Change: Staff person to TTC Ambassador
  • Page 12, New Business, last paragraph – Insert West after Lawrence
  • Page 13, Customer Liaison Panel, last paragraph – Insert after testing “of Presto fare card system”

Craig Nicol has requested these changes to be made:

  • Page 5 – Any discussion on these items to be deferred to 2015
  • Page 9, Item 8, 2nd paragraph – change to Andy Byford for “utilizing a motorized wheelchair”

Tim Rose moved these changes be approved and Debbie Gillespie seconded.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

Marian McDonell brought forward an issue on how long to keep minutes on the website. There are minutes going back to 2008. Angela Rebeiro asked to defer this discussion to under “New Business”. Marian McDonell asked if the title “Accessibility in Transit Stops” can be changed. Mazin Aribi believes that TTC staff thought that this can be addressed as part of Communications. Matt Hagg advised that he understands this as a safety and courtesy item. Tim Rose asked to move the discussion to 3rd quarter in 2015 and motioned to move on to the next item on the agenda.

7. Deputation

 - Nil

8. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair
Craig Nicol advised that if a Design Review meeting is required in January, the Subcommittee will advise.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Angela Rebeiro, Chair
The Service Planning Subcommittee held a meeting on December 3, 2014.

oTTC Response to the Deputation at the ACAT Meeting on November 27, 2014 – Finch and Kensington Bus Stop

Linda Fice and Jose Rubio, Stops Administration, attended the meeting to respond to the deputation made at the November ACAT meeting by Mary Burton, from CHIRS, regarding the bus stop that was removed at Finch and Kensington.

The deputant brought forward two requests: a) that the TTC reinstall the stop at Kensington and Finch, or, if this is not feasible, that b) its Operators cease serving customers at this stop, as it is detrimental to the retraining of Community Head Injury Resource Services (CHIRS) clients, many of whom have had brain injuries that make changes to routine difficult to learn.

TTC Staff advised that the stop could not be reinstalled due to safety reasons; and secondly, the stop was removed to fit within the general stop guidelines determined by the Stops Administration earlier in the year.

To accommodate the articulated buses on this route some of the stops had to be moved. An example of an existing bus bay being too short to accommodate articulated buses, now on this route, was offered. There were many more points made and explained about the importance of removing stops from certain locations.

It was also explained that the TTC, with the support of the City tries to locate stops at signalized intersections, pedestrian crosswalks, and pedestrian islands. Because Finch is a high-speed arterial road, the stop at Kensington was not signalized, which posed a safety hazard.

The Subcommittee was satisfied with the explanation and strategy. The stop had to be removed for safety reasons and since CHIRS' clients are already using the Beecroft bus eastbound, there is good reason to believe that they could be trained to use the westbound stop, so long as the erratic service to Kensington ceases. The Subcommittee discussed other options for stop removals, and eventually summarized their discussion on the subject of the deputation: they asked staff to consult with the deputants to explain that the stop cannot be replaced, but that the TTC will instruct Operators to cease serving the old stop. They recommended that staff explore issues with CHIRS to learn what the impact of brain injuries can have on service. The ACAT Chair will write a letter to the deputant.

oServing Customers with Disabilities Booklet

 

The TTC Training Department is updating its Serving Customers with Disabilities booklet and requested that the Subcommittee review it and provide additions or changes by the end of December. This is an internal document for Operators and Customer Service staff, and it will not be issued to the public.

The Subcommittee agreed that the document is well written, and that each member would review the booklet and pass on their comments to Matt Hagg by December 19, 2014.

oUpdate: AODA Customer Service Standard Changes – Service Animals

Craig Nicol reported that the new wording specifies that third party certification can indicate that a service animal has been trained to provide assistance. Previously, people using service animals were being told to submit letters from health professionals when, in fact, the I.D. card was being provided by an organization.

oReview and Update of SPS Outstanding Items

Staff reiterated that accessible shuttle bus locations are now being announced during unplanned subway service outages longer than about 45 minutes, and that Wheel-Trans vehicles will be available at accessible stations.

The Subcommittee commented that outage announcements could not be heard on the train, and requested that all announcements should come up on the display screen. Staff explained that this is one of the longer-term outstanding items for the Design Review Subcommittee.

Item 4: The Travel Training Program booklet has been updated and will be printed. Copies will go to Customer Service and Wheel-Trans. DVDs will be available to send to any interested organizations and the document will be posted online. This item is completed.

oOther Items / New Business

Regarding the coordination of paratransit service across Toronto and the YRT, Craig Nicol reported that he has brought this issue to Metrolinx. Angela Marley brought forward an issue of vehicle signage, where the lettering is too small to be easily read on the Toronto Rocket trains. Staff explained that they are already pursuing this.

Sam Savona brought forth an item which he had learned about when he attended Collectors Training with Margaret Hageman at Hillcrest. TTC staff were not aware of the Lift Line that they can check the status of elevators to Transit Control. They would like to have access to the Lift Line directly. Mazin Aribi confirmed this and Craig Nicol clarified that the Collectors do not seem to have access to this information for the destination station.

Kirsten Watson responded that updated information is funnelled to the TTC Collectors and concerning the information on the destination station, the Collector should call Transit Control and confirm to the customer at that point.

 

Angela Marley noted that ACAT should request a copy of the Ride Guide and have the opportunity to review it before it is released to the public. Mazin Aribi agrees with Angela and stated that this is something to be discussed before the next Ride Guide is published.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair
Lynn McCormick advised that Dean Milton was not able to attend this meeting but he will confirm on the item(s) that was supposed to have been reviewed at the cancelled meeting from Thursday, December 11, 2014.

Kirsten Watson brought up the issues raised by Harold Risman in his deputation has yet to be resolved. However, the item is on the Metrolinx Board agenda.

Susan Davidson welcomed CEO Andy Byford to the meeting. Andy Byford noted that this is an auspicious day as the Lawrence West Station elevator is now live. He has followed up with Kevin Lee and notes that accessibility is a highpoint with all of the TTC stations. Andy wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair
No meeting was held since the last ACAT meeting.

9. Customer Liaison Panel Report

Angela Marley, the 2014 ACAT CLP Representative, reported that the December meeting was a social gathering held on December 10, 2014.

10. Metrolinx Accessibility Advisory Committee Update

Nil.

11. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Susan Davidson noted that, at the TTC Board Meeting on December 9, 2014, the Board presented in-appreciation plaques to ACAT members who are finishing their term. The outgoing members are Angela Marley, Bill Castor, Debbie Gillespie, Lynn McCormick, and Sarah Adams. The Board also approved 5 new ACAT members: Nicole Cormier, Margaret Hageman, Joan Jordan, Valdo Tammark, and Howard Wax. These members introduced themselves at the current ACAT meeting. Three new Pool Members also introduced themselves: James Bartlett, Raymond Dell’Aera, and Jaspreet Dhaliwal. The TTC Board also received the ACAT minutes from June, July, August, and September 2014. The ACAT Motion with respect to safety associated with passengers boarding or exiting a stopped streetcar was referred to staff. Alan Yule did a deputation and suggested the fine for not stopping behind an open streetcar should be equal to not stopping for an open school bus. It is noted that one disappointing item was that there was no direct accessibility plan mentioned in Andy Byford’s presentation, “The Road to Modernization”. Hardly mentioning accessibility was a major omission; however, more was discussed about this at the Quarterly meeting with ACAT Executive, TTC Board Chair, and TTC Management.

12. 2015 ACAT Meeting Dates for Approval

The March 2015 General Meeting has been moved to Friday, March 27, 2015. Susan Davidson confirmed that the original scheduled date of March 26, 2015 conflicted with the March TTC Board Meeting.

13. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

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

Tim Rose reported that Susan Davidson, Mazin Aribi, and himself had met with the new TTC Chair Josh Colle and CEO Andy Byford on December 12, 2014. Topics discussed included: new streetcars and new buses, improved features on buses and working on solutions to the TR train gap issue which includes raising the subway platform access. Tim Rose had noted disappointment to the Executive Team at the lack of TTC Board Members at the Public Forum. Chair Colle suggested discussions on building the relationship with ACAT. Mazin Aribi suggested ACAT to meet with the TTC Board 15-20 minutes prior to the Board Meeting. Mazin also brought forth an item where, with the previous snowstorm, he had noted that the new areas with curb cuts (Queen West, etc.) were completely snow-covered. It will be a good idea to start plowing and clearing (working with City of Toronto) before the new streetcars arrive in 2015. The Executive team took notes and will review in the New Year. Susan Davidson mentioned a few other issues were discussed such as ACAT - year in review, General Public Education Programs, Reduced Fares and lobbying on funding. Angela Rebeiro suggested that it would be useful to put together an ACAT package/kit and distribute to the TTC Board. Tim Rose seconded that idea.

15. Other/New Business

Angela Marley noted that with Andy Byford’s presentation, there was hardly any mention of accessibility. The staff who write these reports should have an accessibility package/kit. Sarah Adams and Bobbie Moore seconded this idea. Mazin Aribi advised having highlights of the year from ACAT for the Board, at the beginning of the year. Debbie Gillespie added that instead of the having a 15-20 meeting prior to the Board Meeting, ACAT should set up a formal meeting with TTC Board. Tim Rose ended the discussion with a note, stating that if ACAT commit to action, we can make a huge positive change to the culture of accessibility. Craig Nicol brought forward an issue with the Eglinton Crosstown platform safety, advising that new stations should follow guidelines to platform safety. Craig also noted that with Presto card service centres, they are unable to compact 4 cards into one/move funds over. One has to wait 24 hours to move from one card to another. Discussion with the Fare Card team is planned for next Service Planning Subcommittee. Angela Marley suggested ACAT members should have an electronic location (password-protected if needed) to store and access items such as resource packages, archived minutes, Talking Points for Operator Recertification, etc. Matt Hagg advises that he has done research on this and TTC does not have the resource to set up on their own. They would have to utilize a 3rd party company. Sarah Adams advised using a Wiki template. Tim Rose agrees with this idea but noted that it needs to be more structured and contained. Mazin Aribi advised that he is having second thoughts about this as he prefers to have everything in the open. For all TTC staff and even Global transit staff to access – as a best practice. Debbie Gillespie noted that she is not in favour of taking the set up outside of the TTC and to find out what other transit systems are doing. TTC staff to do more research and come back with some solutions in the New Year. Debbie Gillespie brought back Marian McDonell’s earlier remark on lessening the length of time that ACAT minutes will be online. Susan Davidson has referred this to the Communications Subcommittee for 2015.

16. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, January 29, 2015, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

17. Adjournment

Susan Davidson thanked all the 2014 members for this past year. Tim Rose moved the meeting be adjourned. The meeting adjourned at 3:27 p.m.
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