ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Friday, March 27, 2015
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:289
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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

Present

  • Mazin Aribi, Chair
  • Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
  • Nicole Cormier, Co-Vice Chair
  • Judy Berger
  • Raymond Dell'Aera
  • Joan Jordan
  • Margaret Hageman
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbie Moore
  • Craig Nicol
  • Sam Savona
  • Valdo Tammark
  • Howard Wax

Regrets

  • Tim Rose
  • Karma Burkhar

TTC Representatives

  • Andy Byford
  • Carmen Mager
  • Eve Wiggins
  • Matt Hagg

Copies

  • Andy Byford
  • Richard Leary
  • Chris Upfold
  • Kirsten Watson
  • Susan Reed Tanaka
  • Vince Rodo
  • Brad Ross
  • Gary Shortt
  • Mitch Stambler
  • TTC Board Members

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Mazin Aribi called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Joan Jordan and seconded by Howard Wax, the Committee reviewed and accepted the Agenda with the following revisions:

  • Item 7, Twelve-Point Action Plan, moved to the top of the agenda.

4. Twelve-Point Action Plan / Safe Service Action Plan

Carmen Mager, Bus Transportation, gave a presentation on the Twelve-Point Action Plan, now called the TTC Safe Service Action Plan. 

Carmen Mager began by referencing incidents that gave rise to the need for the plan: two pedestrian deaths by streetcars and two deaths involving buses, involving an adult woman and a 14-year-old girl. The Safe Service Action Plan, outlined in a report presented to the Board on January 21, focuses on driving down risks and includes multiple TTC departments.

Communication

In November 2014, a corporate notice was issued to tell Operators to be diligent in obeying the Highway Traffic Act, especially with respect to red lights.

Twelve CIS programmable text messages for drivers were added, focusing on slowing down. 
In addition to communications to Operators, there is a public campaign called FOCUS that will be launched. Issues covered by FOCUS will include individuals crossing streets in areas outside of crossings as well as distractions such as headphones and electronic devices.

Craig Nicol advised that, last year, ACAT petitioned the City through the Board to install Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) and zebra crossings at all places where pedestrians must cross traffic lanes to reach streetcar platforms located within a roadway. They are waiting for a report back from Public Works to City Council.

Carmen Mager expressed interest in seeing the report. Mazin Aribi advised that background information is available through Matt Hagg, Strategy and Service Planning. Matt Hagg agreed to send the information.

Speed Audits

Speed audits were conducted, with Phase I reviewing driving speed in excess of 85 km/hr and Phase II in excess of 70 km/hr.  Counselling sessions were held for 478 Operators. This was followed by a one-month awareness campaign to ensure Operators are working to standards. 

Questions and Comments from the Committee
Mazin Aribi asked if these strategies address the stress experienced by Operators who are running late and are trying to make up time, due to the pressure to meet the schedule.

Carmen Mager replied that the emphasis is on “operate to conditions” stressing that Operators who fall behind schedule can be late.  Service Planning is working on adjusting bus schedules to make sure they reflect realistic travel times.

Marian McDonell inquired about balancing the competing priorities of safe boarding for individuals using mobility devices and adhering to the schedule.

Carmen Mager acknowledged that this is an important issue and it is part of why communication is a major component.

Mazin Aribi commented that subways have automatic announcements telling passengers when it has to slow down for safety and asked if this can be done on buses.

Carmen Mager said that they are interested in looking into this.

Craig Nicol advised how buses running to the proper speed tend to improve schedule timing because they do not hit their stops early and miss passengers.

Carmen Mager agreed and reiterated that slowing down was critical to the campaign.

Root Causes

Bus, streetcar, and subway groups are designing a robust investigative process to ensure that corrective action is taken. Examples include a data analysis of high risk areas such as at York University and Eglinton West. The Safe Service Action Plan is also reviewing 19 new best practices compiled from other transit authorities, for example, reflective tape on the back of buses, new warning systems, cameras, and CAD/AVL automated dispatch. Carmen Mager advised that the additions of skilled, customer service-focused Operators are another component of the Safe Service Action Plan. The TTC Human Resources department is on board to look at the process of getting suitable Operators. Also the Assessment of Defensive Driving (ADD) process will be looked at.

Results

Carmen Mager advised the Committee that, although the Safe Service Action Plan is still in the early phase, it looks like things are improving. Success indicators are fewer injuries, fewer claims, less vehicle damage, less loss of service, and better press.

Questions and Comments from the Committee
Craig Nicol stated that vehicle turns and intersections involve a lot of incidents and that it may have something to do with pedestrians’ understanding of how large vehicles turn. Buses may look like they are going forward but they’re making a wide turn. Public education is needed and schools could be involved.

Carmen Mager advised that her group is doing this at Eglinton West. They used to have a schools program – which is one of the 19 best practices. She agreed to raise this with the Communications group who run the FOCUS campaign.

Bobbie Moore observed that it would be safer if a speaker announced which bus is coming, to eliminate people running for the wrong bus, posing a safety hazard.

Carmen Mager said that a pre-boarding announcement is being designed for buses, but it would be at the moment the door opens.

Margaret Hageman suggested an eye-level decal be added on the front of buses or the corner indicating the vehicle makes wide turns.

Carmen Mager said that this will be looked into.

Joan Jordan inquired about Donlands Station where she saw a bus Operator trying to turn into the station where several pedestrians continued walking by on the sidewalk, not aware they were obstructing the bus from turning, until she asked them to give the driver space. Valdo Tammark inquired about having crossing guards there for school hours.

Mazin Aribi stated that the Communications Subcommittee is working with staff on educating the public regarding boarding of people using mobility devices first, for safety. Education is also needed about the ramp, which can be a hazard if the public is unaware of its deployment.

The Communications Subcommittee was informed that an education campaign is coming and it includes recommendations from ACAT. Mazin requested an update on this campaign for the Committee.  Matt Hagg will advise Customer Communications staff of this request.

5. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Sam Savona and seconded by Bobbi Moore, the Committee reviewed and accepted the Minutes with following corrections:

  • Page 1, Mazin Aribi is Chair, not Co-Vice Chair
  • Page 3, Item 3, toward the bottom it should read "Judy Berger nominated Howard Wax, seconded by Joan Jordan."
  • Page 3, Item 3, it should read "Marian McDonell nominated Sam Savona, seconded by Judy Berger. Sam Savona accepted"
  • Page 4, Item 5, in the second bullet point moved to Other / New Business, 1st paragraph, 2nd sentence, and should read “He further advised the Members that he would not be at the March meeting to discuss his proposal, so the discussion was moved to the April meeting. In the meantime, ACAT members were encouraged to review his proposal and to send questions to Tim Rose by email, before the April meeting."
  • Page 6, the second paragraph under Communications Subcommittee contains redundant wording. Changed to read: “Issues discussed included the accessibility audit of the TTC website, the safety campaign on pedestrians, the Twelve-Point Action Plan, issues of deployment of the ramp, snow removal, and the development of accessible flash cards."
  • Page 6 at the bottom it should read "Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) - Sam Savona, Chair"
  • Page 7, last paragraph should read "The elevator between street level, concourse, and the eastbound platform will be closed for sixteen weeks starting March 8, 2015 for a complete overhaul."

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

Mazin Aribi inquired whether there were any updates on PRESTO.

Matt Hagg stated the updates would be in the DRS reports.

7. Deputation

Nil.

8. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

The Design Review Subcommittee had one meeting and one field trip. The field trip took place on March 1, 2015 at Eglinton Station. The purpose was to test a mock-up of an interim gap solution for installation on both northbound and southbound platforms in the vicinity of the elevator. Two doors would be outfitted with a ramped area raising the platform edge marking tiles resulting in a short slope to the level of the train door threshold. The Subcommittee found that the northbound side still has an excessive horizontal gap that remains a problem. To remedy this, it was suggested that rubber finger gap filler should be explored once the ramp is in place.

Craig Nicol asked Matt Hagg if there was an update on whether there would be an opportunity for installation during a system shutdown.

Matt Hagg stated that during the scheduled subway closure the second weekend of May, there should be an opportunity.

On March 4, 2015, there was a formal meeting where the preliminary Easier Access design for Wellesley Station was presented by staff. It includes the addition of a second entry/exit. While the second entry/exit will not be accessible, the Easier Access project includes two TTC standard elevators from the street level station building that run from the paid area to the platform level. The Subcommittee recommended that when Easier Access updates are implemented at Wellesley and other stations that tactile tiles be added to warn people reaching the top of stairs, as has been successfully done at Pape Station.

The Eglinton Station platform gap was discussed at the meeting, following up from the March 1, 2015 meeting, specifically the issue of horizontal gaps resulting after ramps are put in place. After ramps are installed, the horizontal gap is less of a problem, but still a problem.

The next item concerned Express Bus stop announcements. When an Express Bus route leaves a station, it is often a long distance before the first stop announcement. But the auto announcer makes the first announcement much too early and it is confusing for customers with vision impairments. The solution is forthcoming but is delayed due to a backlog of other changes that are needed to be made to the system. The Express stop route announcements are expected to be updated closer to the end of 2015.

A PRESTO fare card update was given by Allan Foster, discussing the present state of the project and future plans. Twenty-six (26) subway stations will be PRESTO reader-enabled and all streetcars by the end of 2015. The Subcommittee will be involved in the process for streetcars, busses, and turnstiles. The Add Value Machine (AVM) remains to be finalized both for hardware and audio scripting.

The next meeting is scheduled for April 1, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. at 5160 Yonge Street, 9th floor.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Howard Wax, Chair

The Subcommittee met on March 4, 2015.

Marcel Hrudka, TTC Transit Control, presented on the Emergency Evacuation Procedures. It was agreed that further discussions were required as well as input from other TTC departments.

There was also a presentation by City of Toronto staff on issues of snow removal at transit stops.

There was an update regarding the retirement schedule for the remaining high-floor buses.

The next meeting is to be determined.

Communications (CS) - Marian McDonell, Chair

No meeting was held.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Sam Savona, Chair

Marian McDonell presented on behalf of Sam Savona.

A Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee meeting was held on March 5, 2015 to go through questions and comments made at the 2014 Public Forum on Accessible Transit. These responses will be forwarded to Service Planning and also utilized in the training of Wheel-Trans Operators. It was agreed that Sam Savona would participate in this month’s Wheel-Trans Operator training and report back to the Subcommittee. The next meeting is not yet scheduled.

9. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Mazin Aribi reported that the Board Meeting was held on March 26, 2015 at City Hall. The meeting was delayed and, as a result, not all Executive members were able to attend. The Board received ACAT’s approved minutes for January 29, 2015.

Mazin Aribi encouraged the members to read the TTC Board Meeting Minutes as well as the CEO’s Report.

The TTC reported on the modernization of subway operations. As part of its Five-Year Corporate Plan, there will be a move to One Person Train Operation (OPTO) on all subway lines, with the exception of Line 3 SRT where this technology is already fully operational. The OPTO requires the installation of a Train Door Monitoring System to allow the Operator to have a clear view of the platform and car doors from the driver’s seat. Engineering design is required for this modification and it was requested that staff give ACAT a presentation on the design.

The Board approved the 2015 Accessibility Plan Status Report. Councillor Joe Mihevc inquired about telephone wait times for Wheel-Trans customers to book their rides and what the abandonment rate is, as he had received many complaints. Councillor Mihevc moved to further improve standards related to telephone trip bookings. Councillor Mihevc also inquired whether staff had begun to revise the eligibility criteria for Wheel-Trans customers in meeting the AODA requirements.

Eve Wiggins, acting Senior Manager - Wheel-Trans, confirmed that they are retaining a consultant to conduct a full eligibility review to ensure the eligibility requirements meet AODA standards. The standards for call times are also being looked at. The budget approved for six additional Reservations staff and new software for planning trips.

10. Report on Customer Liaison Panel

Nicole Cormier reported on behalf of Tim Rose on the March 11, 2015 meeting that was chaired by Arthur Borkwood, Head of Customer Development. Customer Survey 4th Quarter results were discussed in depth.

There was a brief discussion about the TTC’s Employee Engagement Survey, an ongoing initiative among employees and the TTC.

The discussion of the stroller policy was cut off due to time restrictions, but it was recommended that it be brought for discussion with ACAT as soon as possible.

The next meeting will take place April 8, 2015.

11. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

12. Other / New Business

Relief Line Stakeholder Advisory Group

Craig Nicol reported on the discussion of the Relief Line Stakeholder Advisory Group. A diverse group of community leaders discussed evaluating criteria for station locations and also to look at possible station locations and line alignment. Craig Nicol reported that the process appears to be moving slowly and that he would not expect to see anything before 2020.

GO Transit Station Descriptions

As a member of the Metrolinx Advisory Committee, Craig Nicol reported that he received a draft description of one of their GO Transit stations. They used the subway station descriptions on the TTC website as a resource. This shows TTC best practices to other transit operators.


Accessibility Flash Cards

Judy Berger inquired whether there was any movement on the Accessibility Flash Cards Mazin Aribi asked whether the Communication Department will print them.

Marian McDonell clarified that this is still to be discussed.

Howard Wax requested that the Accessibility Flash Cards be added to Outstanding Items list. Mazin Aribi agreed.


CEO Update

Andy Byford joined the meeting and reported that the TTC budget process is finalized and City has approved it. This is an unprecedented increase in funding for the TTC resulting in an increase in subsidy from 81 cents per rider to 88 cents per rider.

He reported the new streetcars should resume rolling out soon. Currently, there are four on Spadina and the fifth is coming in a few days. Bombardier has committed to a new schedule after some production difficulties. There will now be a new streetcar every five days as opposed to every 10 days.

Andy Byford informed the Committee that they are asking the Province for more funding for accessibility upgrades. Currently, upgrades are under construction at Coxwell, Woodbine, and St. Clair West stations. The TTC Chair and Mayor will talk to the Province about this funding to meet the 2025 deadline to make all subway stations accessible.

Andy Byford proposed making a tribute to Susan Davidson. ACAT 2015 Chair who died in February 12. He suggested naming a Wheel Trans Building or a vehicle in her honour. The Committee was receptive to this idea. Andy Byford requested the Committee write a letter proposing this and stated he will advance it.

Craig Nicol remarked that he attended a Relief Line Stakeholder meeting and that the political traction of the relief line is of interest.

Andy Byford stressed that, although Relief Line and Smart Track are compared, it is not an either/or proposition because they are different markets. Smart Track does not obviate the need for a Relief Line.

Craig Nicol mentioned that the Committee needs to think about the Scarborough Line.

Andy Byford replied that he felt there is a lot on the Commission’s plate with five mega projects (PRESTO, new streetcars, Line One Automatic Train Control, Spadina Extension, and Culture Change). These are all happening at the same time as daily operations. Andy Byford did not feel a sixth mega project was desirable. The TTC’s priority should be the core business – moving people.

Members thanked Andy Byford for the work he has put in on behalf of ACAT.

Committee members discussed Mr. Byford's proposal to honour Susan Davidson and referred this item to the Executive and staff to compile information for discussion at the next meeting.

13. Next Meeting

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

14. Adjournment

Mazin Aribi moved to adjourn, seconded by Marian McDonell.

Meeting was adjourned at 2:50 pm.
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