ACAT Meeting - January 29, 2015
Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.
- Susan Davidson, Chair
- Mazin Aribi, Co-Vice Chair
- Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
- Judy Berger
- Karma Burkhar
- Nicole Cormier
- Margaret Hageman
- Joan Jordan
- Marian McDonell
- Bobbi Moore
- Craig Nicol
- Tim Rose
- Howard Wax
- Sam Savona
- James Bartlett
- Raymond Dell’Aera
- Jaspreet Dhaliwal
- Valdo Tammark
- Matt Hagg
- Dean Milton
- 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
2. Conflict of Interest – Definition
3. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
4. Approval of Agenda
On motion by Angela Rebeiro and seconded by Mazin Aribi, the Committee reviewed and accepted the Agenda with the following revision:
- Customer Liaison Panel Report added as Item 11.
5. Review and Approval of December 18, 2014 Minutes
6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items
Marian McDonell suggested ACAT receive an update in April (or thereabouts) from the Para-Pan Am Games. Susan Davidson suggested they ask for an update ASAP. Tim Rose suggested waiting until they have more accurate numbers. Judy Berger suggested numbers might not be available at that point. Nicole Cormier suggested a 60-day window for an update sounds appropriate, so April would be a good time to get an update.
Marian McDonell stated that the Communications Subcommittee asked ACAT to archive past ACAT minutes. Dean Milton advised that he is going to talk to the Committee about it.
Craig Nicol asked for clarification. Marian McDonell suggested we keep four years’ worth of minutes online, and Craig Nicol suggested we fall in line with TTC Board practice. Howard Wax advised that the TTC website carries minutes all the way back to the year 2000 on their website. Marian McDonell advised we leave this today. Dean Milton confirmed that paper archives exist of all meeting minutes and suggested the Administrative Subcommittee take over this issue.
The Committee reviewed the Outstanding Items List:
- Item: PRESTO Accessibility Features: Ongoing.
- Item: Accessibility at Bus Bays: Craig Nicol advised there will be some discussion on this at the February 4, 2015 DRS meeting.
- Item: Accessibility at Transit Stops: Ongoing.
- Item Gap between Subway Trains and Platforms: Craig Nicol advised this is ongoing, may be discussed at the February 4, 2015 DRS meeting.
- Item Legends on Maps over TR Train Doors: Marian McDonell advised still ongoing.
- Item Tracking of Reduced Fares Issues Response:
Sam Savona stated that now that the TTC is considering free fares for children under 12 that the issue of reduced fares for people with disabilities be revisited. Tim Rose does not agree that people with disabilities are not given a reduced fare, while children have just been given a free ride. He suggested they should ask for a list of concrete steps as to what is being done regarding getting better rates for the people with disabilities, especially when they can only use 60-65% of the system.
Bobbi Moore said she is always feeling like the disability community is always last in being looked after. She added that there is a need to make their voices heard on this issue. Joan Jordan advised if we get the people with disabilities out more, they would feel more involved in the community, and feel less depressed.
Margaret Hageman advised people who are not able to pay are in fact disadvantaged. ODSP recipients face poverty and hardship. ODSP do not always have physical disabilities. The devil is in the details. She acknowledges that the issue exists, but is not sure how this can be resolved. Howard Wax suggested an honour system be introduced, but Margaret Hageman does not believe this would work and would only be abused. Tim Rose said this was brought up months ago and nothing is being done, would like to see “hard numbers” and is frustrated that it will sit on the table forever.
Judy Berger suggested seniors already get half fare. People on ODSP use taxi chits. Judy advised the whole program should be taken to the Province as opposed to the TTC. Joan Jordan was on ODSP for many, many years, and stated that their transportation is excellent. Seniors with no Canada Pension or private pension are having trouble. This is a City/Province issue, not a TTC issue. Bobbi Moore advised she was on the disability community, community living, and she suggested that there be a letter or some form of identification.
Nicole Cormier advised that she has her full support for everyone’s points. The City of Hamilton has been addressing this for the last year. Nicole suggested investigating other cities for ideas. Tim Rose advised Ottawa has reduced fare as well.
Matt Hagg advised that the appropriate TTC staff members were not available for this meeting to discuss this issue and recommended that budget and finance staff be invited to the February ACAT meeting to provide an update on the Policy Framework for Toronto Transit Fare Equity, currently scheduled to be reported back to the City by the end of 2015. Howard Wax suggested the issue should also be added to the agenda for the February 9, 2015 Quarterly ACAT Executive meeting with the TTC Chair and Vice Chair.
Margaret Hageman offered the wider we cast this net around hardship/poverty issue, the further it falls away from the TTC and more into City/Province hands. The TTC does not get enough subsidy from any government in the same way that other cities get for their transportation. This is completely out of the TTC’s purview. A concern was raised why children aged 12 and under are given a free ride and people with disabilities are continuously ignored.
Susan Davidson advised that many good points have been made on this issue and that the ACAT Executive will bring this up at the Quarterly ACAT Executive meeting and will see who can come to the February meeting to discuss this further. Tim Rose advised once this is discussed further at the February meeting, they should know where to go from there. Mazin Aribi advised the next Quarterly meeting will be about low-income, not a specific breakdown re: ODSP.
Craig Nicol said focus should be on people with disabilities on ODSP and reduced fare, and not all disadvantaged people to get a free ride. Craig added do not cast the net too wide. It was confirmed with Sam Savona that is his intent, focusing on one area.
Matt Hagg advised that any member of ACAT or the public is invited to speak at the next TTC Board Meeting on February 2, 2015 where the budget will be discussed. Deputants need to register by noon on Friday, January 30, 2015.
- Item Incorporating “Accessibility Matters” on all Board Reports: Resolved.
- Item ACAT Participation in Training of Wheel-Trans Operators: Dean Milton advised this has been resolved and suggested that ACAT could determine at the next Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee meeting what the roster will be.
8. Announcement of 2015 Subcommittee Membership
Staff reviewed the 2015 Subcommittee membership list with the Committee.
9. Election of Two (2) 2015 Representatives to Metrolinx
Matt Hagg advised that one or two members should be nominated to represent ACAT on the Metrolinx Accessibility Advisory Committee regarding the design of stations and stops for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line. Sam Savona and Sarah Adams represented ACAT last year. The Metrolinx Advisory Committee meets once a month from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and is not open to the public.
Craig Nicol, who is also on the Metrolinx Committee, noted that the Committee meets at the Metrolinx offices at Union Station or at 20 Bay Street. Not all meetings involve Eglinton Crosstown, though a greater number of the meetings this year should.
Tim Rose nominated Sam Savona. Mazin Aribi nominated Howard Wax. These were seconded and accepted. As there were no other nominations, Sam Savona and Howard Wax were acclaimed.
10. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair
The last meeting was held on January 14, 2015.
College and Spadina streetcar platform ramp, tactile attention surface indicator and crosswalk location design were discussed. It was recommended that, where a platform is displaced back from the crosswalk due to track configuration, TTC develop a list of locations and DRS, via a motion, request the City to adjust the crossing location. DRS reinforced the need for the ramp attention indicator to be at the bottom of the ramp and the ramp slope to be between 1:12 and 1:15.
Toronto Rocket door chimes were discussed, including the design of a “Train Waiting in Station” signal which would indicate to persons with vision impairment that a train is standing in the station. DRS was advised that the installation of exterior door chimes for the Toronto Rocket train sets has been delayed six months and will now start in March 2015.
DRS reviewed design items from the 2014 Public Forum, making recommendations where appropriate.
A review and update of the DRS outstanding items took place. The next meeting is on February 4, 2015.
Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Angela Rebeiro, Chair
The last meeting was held on January 14, 2015.
The Subcommittee addressed two particular issues. They revisited details about third party elevators and reviewed the results provided by the public about the Public Forum.
Third Party Elevators
Jenny Matharu and Michael Stevenson, TTC Property, Planning and Development, returned to the Subcommittee to provide an update on issues surrounding third party elevators. The department had reviewed and created a list of all the direct entrance connections from third parties into the subway and their legal agreements.
The TTC has 66 agreements with third parties. Of those, 16 elevators comprise the main accessible route to TTC stations. Three third party elevators do not have alternate paths and they are: Osgoode, St. Andrew and York Mills.
The TTC website and Lift Line allow customers to access information on TTC elevator outages. To date, however, TTC Transit Control is not willing to place the same information from third parties on the Lift Line, as the third parties do not always update their information in a timely manner; thus affecting the TTC’s credibility should the information be incorrect.
TTC Property, Planning and Development staff have contacted third parties and inquired as to how customers have access to updated lift information. The TTC has been advised that there is a push button that goes directly to Security. It was learned that some elevators have the push button on the inside of the lift, making it inaccessible for information if you are outside the lift. The TTC is, therefore, working with these third parties to improve that situation.
To the Subcommittee suggestion that elevator language should be consistent, the Committee was advised that the TTC Customer Communications is working on a new signage manual. Also, there are plans afoot to revise all inside and outside elevator information subject to budget approval.
The Committee suggested that Planning, Property and Development look into providing Accessible alternative signage for third party elevators, similar to the existing signage used for TTC elevators. The Lift Line information on existing TTC signage could be replaced with third party contact information.
One of the previous recommendations was that when the TTC is running extra hours (e.g., New Year’s Eve), that it makes sure that third party elevator hours are consistent with the TTC’s own hours. On the other hand, some building managers do not like keeping their building open after midnight. According to entrance agreements with these third parties, however, they are required to keep the building open.
One of the awkward situations for the TTC is that third parties could have three sets of people involved: the developer/owner, the building management, and the building manager. Often the building managers are not aware that there is an agreement between the TTC and the building. Owners are obliged to let the TTC know when there are changes in ownership, but they are not obligated to advise the TTC if there is a change in building management or the building manager. The TTC does its own annual check on whether or not there has been a change of building managers.
Staff provided a brief summary and overview of the comments received as well as the results from the questionnaire handed out at the Public Forum.
Compared to 2013, in 2014, customers put their focus on the importance of having more escalators and elevators and improved TTC Customer Service. Wheel-Trans vehicles and Wheel-Trans Reservations/Customer Service have a slightly lower percentage focus but only by a few points. Taxis were still a source of annoyance for many people.
Most customers rated the Public Forum at 7 or higher out of 10 points and as being much better than the 2013 Forum. In 2014, 42% of attendees were first-timers to the Forum, suggesting success with the outreach which the TTC had done in its advertising and marketing of the event.
Staff reviewed the percentage of comments received in the following categories with the Subcommittee and compared it to comments received in 2013.
Once all departments have compiled and analysed the Forum responses pertinent to their area of responsibility, answers will be posted on the TTC’s website.
Angela Rebeiro concluded by urging ACAT members to read the approved minutes once they have been received.
Questions and Comments from the Subcommittee:
Marian McDonell stressed the importance of Operator Training and that Operators get a chance to talk to ACAT representatives directly. Mazin Aribi and Margaret Hageman added that Pool Members need to shadow members who have experience participating at these sessions.
Judy Berger advised that streetcar drivers now need to be re-qualified every three years. This has recently moved up from every five years. This was confirmed by TTC staff.
Matt Hagg reported that SPS made a number suggestions regarding training staff about disabilities manuals and that the "Serving Customers with Disabilities" training book is going to be updated. Craig Nicol advised that the new streetcars should require new curriculum for training.
Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair
Marian McDonell advised there has not been a Communications Subcommittee meeting in the last month. The next meeting will take place on February 12, 2015.
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair
Dean Milton advised that no Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee meeting has taken place in the last month. The next meeting will take place on February 19, 2015.
Sam Savona expressed concerns that Wheel-Trans is reviewing lift-equipped vehicles and that the Design Review Subcommittee is not involved in the review. Dean Milton advised that both WT Ops and Design Review Subcommittees will be involved in reviewing any new vehicle designs for Wheel-Trans service.
The current vehicles being reviewed are on loan from the manufacturers for a fixed amount of time and that is why comments from ACAT members are required in short order. The official review process is still months away and no decisions regarding vehicle design have been made. Advice from ACAT members will be required throughout the tendering process.
Mazin Aribi also expressed concerns about lift-equipped vehicles.
11. Customer Liaison Panel Report
Angela Marley, 2014 ACAT representative to the Customer Liaison Panel (CLP), was invited to report on the CLP meeting held on January 14, 2015.
The meeting was chaired by Arthur Borkwood, Head of Customer Development. Members reviewed the 2015 TTC Customer Charter. While the discussion was confidential, the following information was released publicly the subsequent week after the meeting:
- There was an “Accessible” category for the first time.
- Seat upholstery colour will be changed from red to blue on priority seats on vehicles in 2015.
- Elevator overhaul at Dundas West Station in Q2, 2015
- Elevator overhaul at Finch passenger pick-up and drop off in Q4, 2015
The next CLP meeting will be held on February 11, 2015. ACAT thanked Angela Marley.
12. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters
Under the agenda item “Accessibility Matters”, the Board received the approved minutes of the ACAT October 30 and November 27, 2014 General meetings for information.
13. Review of Correspondence
Susan Davidson noted that a list of suggestions has been submitted by Karma Burkhar. These will be discussed at the February ACAT meeting
Correspondence was also received requesting moving Rosedale and Summerhill elevator station construction forward. A reply has been drafted up advising that this does not fall under ACAT’s business.
14. Other / New Business
Marian McDonell requested an update on Wheel-Trans vehicles ticketed during the recent downtown parking blitz and asked if there is a solution to this. Dean Milton advised some drivers have been ticketed, but it is a small number compared to the number of trips that have been provided. It is not a huge concern. This is not new; drivers were being ticketed before the blitz as well. Not many have been receiving tickets.
Joan Jordan advised that several of her drivers have been ticketed, which is costly to drivers as they lose a day’s salary to fight ticket in court. Dean Milton advised with sedan taxi drivers, it is difficult to identify that they are on Wheel-Trans business because they are on call for Wheel-Trans jobs and then go back to regular sedan taxi business. Joan Jordan advised that a sign should be carried by these drivers to identify them during their Wheel-Trans contracted jobs.
Mazin Aribi advised that training should be updated that laws have changed and drivers should be notified not to park in certain areas. He also asked if certain locations are consistently troubling and if these areas can be looked into and possibly corrected. Mazin shared that a friend of his got picked up at a hotel, and there was no clear pick-up area that he had to walk a great distance. Mazin asked if hotels have identified/designated pick-up areas for the Pan-Am games. Dean Milton advised, in most cases, the main entrance would be the designated pick-up and that Wheel-Trans does not get many complaints for hotels.
Craig Nicol advised that the Zebra crossing and Accessible Pedestrian Signal (APS) proposals remain with the Public Works Committee, awaiting a report from City staff.
Craig Nicol advised that an additional accessible entrance from street level is now open at Queens Park station in the MaRS building. This is a third party elevator. Operating times for third party elevators are still an issue, and this one will only be operated from 7am to 9pm. This elevator has been added to the station description page on the TTC website.
Matt Hagg advised that the Dundas West Station elevator from street to concourse to eastbound platform will be out of service for a major overhaul from March 8, 2015 to the first week of July, 2015. A shuttle bus will operate during construction from Dundas West Station to (likely) Dufferin Station. An elevator contractor will be on call to ensure reliability of elevators at nearby stations.
Susan Davidson attended the “Meet the Manager” Session for the opening of the elevators at Dufferin Station. The elevator was not working the day after opening, but was back in service and running fairly quickly afterward.
Tim Rose advised he was recently on a Wheel-Trans bus and heard from a customer “that group doesn’t do a damn thing,” in reference to ACAT. Tim Rose suggested inviting more people to meetings and working to increase awareness of and what ACAT does.
Judy Berger advised this issue extended to drivers. Some drivers are not aware of the ACAT Transportation pass card.
Joan Jordan advised that many drivers/operators, mainly taxi drivers, have never seen the pass and confuse it for a CNIB pass.
Marian McDonell advised this is why we have a customer Public Forum and a website.
Dean Milton advised that he will ask David LoPresti, Assistant Manager - Contracted Services to send an email to the taxi companies clearly identifying what the ACAT Pass looks like.
Karma Burkhar advised, when the Customer Liaison Panel started, there was a lot of publicity, but then it died down.
Bobbi Moore suggested talking about ACAT everywhere they go, trying to publicize as much as possible.
Susan Davidson asked Dean Milton when the 2015 photo is to be taken and published; a blurb usually goes with that. Susan asked if ACAT’s profile could be raised as playing an important role in a customer newsletter, etc.
Mazin Aribi advised that there are different types of passes, and asked if ACAT could be added to the training manual. Matt Hagg advised that every December/January that all pass types are publicized to the bus/streetcar/subway divisions, including the ACAT pass and will take this back to the TTC Training department to see if more can be done. Angela Rebeiro advised that a very small number of people use the ACAT pass in ratio to the ridership of the TTC.
Karma Burkhar advised that the big issue is that so many people do not know about ACAT, not just Wheel-Trans, but the conventional system as well. ACAT needs more publicity system-wide. Karma observed that the Customer Liaison Panel is mentioned in the newspaper far more than ACAT.
Margaret Hageman advised that the Communications Subcommittee should get more information on the website such as adding a link to TTC website with more information about what ACAT does. Be more strategic about communications management, namely the website and finding ACAT, having more prominence on the website. Mazin Aribi said that ACAT should come up on a search or when you click on accessibility on the top right corner of the TTC website.
Howard Wax advised that, five years ago, he had asked if Brad Ross could help increase ACAT’s profile. Brad Ross said he would look into it. Howard suggested if Brad Ross could come out to one of the meetings.
Joan Jordan advised ACAT members should attend more TTC Board meetings.
Marian McDonell advised that the TTC is making the website much more visible and user-friendly.
Joan Jordan believes that 99% of seniors do not have a computer or access to internet, a non-web presence needs to be discussed.
Tim Rose said that, in all circles, they need to raise ACAT’s profile.
15. Next Meeting
The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2015, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
On motion by Tim Rose, the meeting was adjourned at 3:22 p.m.