ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, May 28, 2015
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:291
  • 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
  • Karma Burkhar
  • Raymond Dell'Aera
  • Margaret Hageman
  • Joan Jordan
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Craig Nicol
  • Tim Rose
  • Sam Savona
  • Valdo Tammark
  • Howard Wax

Pool Members

  • James Bartlett
  • Jaspreet Dhaliwal
 

TTC Representatives

  • Matt Hagg
  • Ian Dickson
  • Thomas Hartley
  • Deborah Brown
  • Mostafa Omran

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, Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:02 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Marian McDonell and seconded by Sam Savona, the agenda was approved with the following revision:

  • Item 7, Pan Am Games Update – scheduled presentation has been cancelled.

4. Review and Approval of April 30, 2015 Minutes

On motion by Bobbi Moore and seconded by Tim Rose, the Committee reviewed and accepted the minutes with the following revisions:

  • Page 4, paragraph 4 should read: “Joan Jordan expressed concern about the seating at the ACAT booth because without a full-back chair she would not be able to participate. Sandy Tsirlis said she would look into it.”
  • Page 5, Item: Accessibility at Transit Stops, should read: “The Communications Subcommittee is looking into the boarding and deboarding of people becoming part of the Pedestrian Safety Campaign.” Item should also be added to Outstanding Items.
  • Page 5. Item: Legends on Maps over TR Doors, should read: “The Communications Subcommittee advised Ian Dickson and Deborah Brown from Design and Wayfinding on map designs.” Item should also be added to Outstanding Items.
  • Page 9, paragraph 7 that begins with the motion, “ACAT requests to be consulted…” should be left as is but added to the Outstanding Items list.

5. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

  • Item: Gap between Subway Trains and Platforms – The Eglinton Station platform modification has been completed to reduce the vertical gap at the south end of the southbound platform near the elevator. Members discussed the need to inform customers how to access this modification, to use the first car on southbound trains in order to exit at the south end of the platform at Eglinton. Craig Nicol, DRS Chair, pointed out that TTC is planning to modify the south end of the northbound platform as well. Referred to Communications Subcommittee for customer education.
  • Item Legends on Maps over TR Train Doors - Too small a print for passengers to read - Sam Savona raised a concern about the new map on the T1 train, where it appears the font got a lot smaller, with a lot of blank space.
  • Ian Dickson, Manager – Design and Wayfinding, reported that he presented the new T1 map design at the April 30, 2015 Communications Subcommittee meeting and heard feedback from its members about the size of the accessibility symbol. He stated there were trade-offs in the new design and, as the map had been printed, this feedback will be taken into consideration for the redesign of the map next year.
  • Mazin Aribi asked about when ACAT will have an update about maps on the TR trains. Ian Dickson said he would like to commit for August because they are currently occupied with the Pan Am Games.
  • Tracking of Reduced Fares Issues Response – Ongoing.
  • Item Accessibility Flashcards - Mostafa Omran, Customer Development Manager, reported there are no flashcard updates. The accessibility flashcards initiative will be part of a bigger accessibility project regarding space on vehicles, planned to be rolled out later this year.

6. Deputation

Nil.

7. Pan Am Games Update

Matt Hagg presented answers to questions regarding the Pan Am Games and accessibility accommodations.

  • Being dropped off close enough to venue: Every site will have an accessible stop for paratransit vehicles and it is designed to be close enough to entrances. Paratransit vehicles will be allowed to go through security areas if required.
  • Customers with mobility devices using conventional system, but there are only two mobility device positions on the bus: To deal with this issue, there will be extra Wheel-Trans vehicles on standby at certain stations like Union. Operators will be trained to bring anyone who needs the mobility device seating area straight to the front of the line so they will not have to wait.
  • Extra buses will be on standby to operate where they are needed.
  • ParaPan Am Games opening ceremonies will be at York University where buses will operate every few minutes from Downsview Station. 
    Questions and Comments from the Committee:
  • Mazin Aribi asked if key stations around Pan Am Games, such as Union, will have staff around elevators in case they break down.

    Matt Hagg replied that they are planning to do preventative maintenance in advance, and Maintenance staff will be on standby in case there is a problem. There will be a lot of extra Customer Service staff on hand as well. 

    Tim Rose asked if customers can still take Wheel-Trans to the opening ceremonies. TTC Staff replied that rides could be arranged through the Call-One Centre at 1-844-727-2663 (1-844-PARA ONE).

8. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

Craig Nicol provided an update on the Design Review Subcommittee activities in May. There was a regular meeting and PRESTO testing session.
During the May 6, 2015 meeting, the Subcommittee discussed RioCan’s redevelopment at Sheppard and Yonge in which the elevator is being brought into the shopping centre. The existing stairs are moving and an escalator is being added. The new elevator is a flow through as opposed to the current one which has one door. A new accessible subway entrance will be separate from the Sheppard Centre entrance. This work will take place over a two and a half year period. There is a backup accessible entrance at the Hullmark Centre in the event of elevator outages.

The Subcommittee also looked at Bus Pre-boarding Announcement and Sonalert which lets people know the bus is kneeling. TTC received complaints from residents who live near bus stops regarding the loud beeping sound so the modified Sonalert device has a clipped tone that adjusts to ambient noise levels.

Pre-boarding announcements will let people know the vehicle route and destination. The pre-boarding announcement system is an AODA requirement for January 2017.

DRS tested the system in a busy intersection to review ambient noise adjustment. The System will be tested on the #11 Bayview route.

The PRESTO testing session on May 26, 2015 examined the Add Value Machine, which is to be added to subway stations, allowing customers to add money to the PRESTO card using debit or credit. The machine is much the same footprint and style as the Single Ride Vending Machine. There is no schedule for going into service at present, but it should be some time this year. DRS provided feedback on audio and Braille and they are reporting back.

The next Design Review Subcommittee meeting is postponed until later in summer when presenters are ready.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS)

Matt Hagg provided an update on the Service Planning Subcommittee meeting in May. There was a presentation on the Stroller Policy (name to change) and the general consensus was in favour of having seats flipped up so long as individuals with mobility disabilities are given priority. Next step is putting forward the policy combined with communications.

Also discussed was the emergency evacuation from buses, subways, and streetcars. There was general satisfaction with the plan but some feedback was provided to TTC staff, for example, procedures for assisting in the evacuation of deaf blind customers.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair 
No meetings were held since the last ACAT meeting.
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Sam Savona, Chair
No meetings were held since the last ACAT meeting.

9. Report of TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Mazin Aribi reported that he and Sam Savona attended the TTC Board Meeting on May 27, 2015. Mazin Aribi reported that Alan Heisey was elected as Vice Chair. Following a motion by Alan Heisey about amending the accessible taxi service contract, the meeting went in-camera and Mazin Aribi was not present for the final decision.

Sam Savona added that he was really troubled by some of the language being used at the meeting. The person giving a deputation regarding the accessible taxi service contract, referred to Wheel-Trans customers as “wheelchairs.”

Members agreed with his concern and gave examples of this kind of language, stating it reduces individuals to their mobility devices. In the past, contracted service providers were heard referring to customers using wheel chairs as "wheelies". Customers reported these incidents to Wheel-Trans staff who directed the contractors to stop the use of this type of language.

Nicole Cormier pointed out that, under the AODA, there is a requirement for training around communications. She also inquired about training provided to contracted service providers.

Howard Wax replied that, as part of the RFP process, there is a requirement that contracted service providers include a training syllabus. ACAT’s responsibility comes back to seeing whether they are actually carrying out that training which is why ACAT audits their training sessions.

Sam Savona reminded the Committee that this use of derogatory language took place in a public meeting. He suggested that ACAT send a message to the Board advising them that this kind of language is offensive to people with disabilities and should not be permitted at a public meeting. None of the Board Members present made a comment in reaction to the offensive language. If anyone used other kinds of discriminatory language, they would be stopped.Tim Rose said that, in a case like this, procedurally they should call a point of order. This goes back to the Culture of Accessibility and ACAT can be a leader in this.

Mazin Aribi said that this issue could be added to the ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting taking place on June 1, 2015.

Thomas Hartley pointed out that the TTC puts tremendous pressure on contracted taxi drivers to follow standards and expectations and he offered to provide copies of training materials.

10. Report on Customer Liaison Panel 

Tim Rose reported that the Panel met at beginning of May, chaired by Arthur Borkwood. The majority of the meeting consisted of observations that members shared on a number of topics. The proof of payment policy on new streetcars and how it is being rolled out was one topic of conversation.
The recruitment of new Customer Liaison Panel members is underway. Currently, there are five members, and seven new members will be announced at the next meeting on June 17, 2015.

Angela Rebeiro raised the question of people with disabilities being able to apply and how is it that the Board does not have any people with disabilities.

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

Mazin Aribi reported that the May 15, 2015 meeting has been postponed to June 1, 2015.

Several members brought up a concern that Board Members are not attending ACAT meetings and asked the ACAT Executive to bring this to their Quarterly meeting. 

A discussion was also held about getting Board Members to attend the Public Forum on Accessible Transit.
Mazin Aribi acknowledged the concerns raised by ACAT members and added that the issue will be brought up at the ACAT Executive Quarterly meeting.

12. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

13. Accessible Accommodations for Planned Subway Closures

Raymond Dell’Aera presented his experience using his power wheelchair travelling on the TTC during a weekend subway closure, to show the impact of these closures on accessibility travel and the need for improvements.

During the May 9, 2015 Line 1 subway closure between St Clair West and Downsview for a re-signalling project, he was traveling home to Eglinton West from Union. He knew there was accessibility accommodation. Having checked the alerts in advance, he understood that he was to get off at St. eorge station to await an accessible shuttle bus.

Initially, he waited in the bus bay at St George station, but no shuttle arrived. He proceeded downstairs for more information but saw no signage and no staff. He went to the Collector and asked where the shuttle bus was located. The Collector did not seem to know what bus he was talking about. Raymond showed the Collector the TTC website and she called Transit Control. He waited another 15 minutes till the Collector announced that a Wheel-Trans vehicle would take him the rest of the way. The Collector asked him if he was signed up with Wheel-Trans. Raymond commented his registration should not have been relevant during a closure, but he provided his information anyway. The Wheel-Trans Operator took Raymond home rather than to the Eglinton West station. He did not expect this direct trip to his home.

Raymond suggested this experience raises a number of questions:

  1. From a general Service Planning perspective, are there accommodations when the closure is at a station that is not accessible.
  2. Was it appropriate for the Collector to ask if he was registered with Wheel-Trans?
  3. Should there have been staff at the platform or near the elevator? Was the lack of staff in this case typical or an anomaly?
  4. From a communications perspective, there was insufficient communication material. Raymond stated he looked up issues ahead of time and it did not say anything at all about what accommodations are in place. Information is very sparse and directs customers to a phone number or to the website, but it is the same information. Raymond said he would like to see the TTC increase the amount of information on these materials, particularly about what and where accommodations for persons using mobility devices will be made so that they know what to do when they arrive during a closure.

Tim Rose agreed and raised the other communications issue that the Collector did not seem to know about the closure and accommodations, even though she was staffing a bridging station.

Raymond added that the Collector told him to go to St. Clair West station which has no elevator.

Matt Hagg offered to provide ACAT with an overview of what is supposed to happen, and advised that if there are any further questions, the issue should be referred to Service Planning Subcommittee.

Matt Hagg stated that there should have been a TTC staff wearing an orange vest and safety hat at St. George station with a radio. Normally, there should also be a Wheel-Trans bus there to transport customers using mobility devices. This is standard practice for all closures. For example, when there are closures from Woodbine to Kennedy, there is someone at Pape accessible station to assist.

Matt Hagg explained that, during this closure, all elevator lobbies on the Yonge Line 1 should include signage telling customers needing accessible connections to go to St. George station. It is normal for a Wheel-Trans bus to be used and they should drop customers off at the next accessible station or the final destination, if it is within reasonable distance to do so.

Mazin Aribi asked whether it was appropriate for Raymond Dell’Aera to be asked for his Wheel-Trans registration number.

Matt Hagg replied that he is not sure what happened, but in this case they may have called for an additional bus.

Thomas Hartley added that in these cases (subway closures), the bus is basically loaned from Wheel-Trans to the conventional service. Wheel-Trans' responsibility is to provide the bus and driver. Other TTC staff handle the rest in terms of where they provide shuttle service. He added that the Collector may have asked for the information when giving the details to arrange the Wheel-Trans shuttle for him. A regular Wheel-Trans bus run might have been used, making Raymond's trip an "add-on", where it is required to record this information. 

Members highlighted a number of issues: Collector education about accessibility accommodations during subway closure, communication including signage in stations, adherence to AODA requirements, and how the shuttles are organized including how people are expected to know where they are supposed to go to access the shuttle buses.

Matt Hagg replied to the last issue that generally they send station staff who act as sign posts to tell customers where to go. Conventional buses are used.

Raymond Dell’Aera added that the current signs for the Dundas West Elevator overhaul are an excellent example of what signage should be like.
Matt Hagg asked the Committee to table the issue until the individuals who are responsible for these closure plans can report to the SPS for feedback.

14. Other / New Business

Judy Berger shared that the St. Clair streetcar was closed because of a marathon on Yonge Street. Judy Berger suggested there be notices at major intersections because many passengers on the St. Clair streetcar were upset when they were simply told, “well you should have known” regarding the closure.

Howard Wax complimented the people behind the Wheel-Trans CommunityLINK newsletter, which he felt was well done.

Mazin Aribi described his experience using the San Diego Transit System, which he said, had an impressive conventional system. At the bus stop, everyone waited for him using his mobility device to board the bus first, without anyone having to say anything. 

Mazin Aribi brought to the Committee’s attention to two questions that the San Diego Transit equivalent of Wheel-Trans asks customers that the TTC does not:

  1. Are you requesting door-to-door or a curb-to-curb. 
  2. Are you able to be left alone unattended?

Nicole Cormier introduced the ACAT pamphlet to be distributed at the People-in-Motion Show.  This pamphlet includes information on how to get involved with ACAT, information sessions, Subcommittee information, and contact information.

15. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, June 25, 2015, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

16. Adjournment

On motion by Tim Rose, the meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.
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