ACAT Meeting - May 26, 2016
Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.
- Mazin Aribi, Chair
- Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
- Louise Bark
- Raymond Dell’Aera
- Margaret Hageman
- Joan Jordan
- Angela Marley
- Lynn McCormick
- Marian McDonell
- Bobbi Moore
- Valdo Tammark
- Howard Wax
- Sarah Adams
- Anita Dressler
- Lauri Sue Robertson
- Karma Burkhar
- Jaspreet Dhaliwal
- Debbie Gillespie, Co-Vice Chair
- Matt Hagg, Senior Planner;- System Accessibility
- Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans
- Dean Milton, Assistant Manager, Wheel-Trans
- Michelle Jones, Co-ordinator;- Analysis & Procedures
- Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
- Richard Leary, Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
- Chris Upfold, Deputy CEO & Chief Customer Officer
- Kirsten Watson, Head of Bus Transportation
- Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
- Vince Rodo, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
- Brad Ross, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
- Gary Shortt, Chief Operating Officer
- Jacqueline Darwood, (Acting) Head of Strategy & Service Planning
- Cheryn Thoun, Head of Customer Communications
- TTC Board Members
1. Call to Order / Attendance
2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
3. Approval of Agenda
4. Review and Approval of March 31, 2016 Minutes
On a motion by Angela Marley and seconded by Joan Jordan, the minutes of April 28, 2016 were approved with the following amendment:
- Item #9, page 6 - Eglinton Crosstown LRT Accessible Station Design Meeting. The entire section was deleted because the same information appeared under Item #14 on Page 9.
5. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items
7. Wheel-Trans 10 Year Strategy Update
Dean Milton presented an update. The highlights are as follows:
- List of work completed regarding eligibility and the new Wheel-Trans application process – both internal and external. The proposed new application package was handed out.
- In the next six weeks, stakeholders and the community will be informed/educated (Councillors, TTC Board, major groups, medical community, etc.)
- Communication of the update appeared in the ACCESS Newsletter and in a Wheel-Trans 10 Year Strategy brochure which is in a FAQ format which will be available at the People in Motion Show.
Key changes/differences between current and proposed eligibility as follows:
- Three categories of eligibility are proposed: Unconditional (Permanent); Temporary; and Conditional (customers who cannot consistently use conventional transit due to physical or environmental barriers )
- Any/all disabilities that prevent persons using conventional TTC some or all of the time are included.
- New pre-screening process can be completed online or by phone with Customer Service
- Determination of eligibility could, for some customers, be made based on the application alone. If a decision cannot be made then the individual will be sent for a functional assessment by a third party professional practitioner. Results will be made available to the customer.
- Appeal process: if an individual is refused eligibility, they have the option to appeal to an independent panel. The panel will make the final decision as to the category of eligibility or denial, or they can send the customer for a further assessment with a different professional, after which they will decide. This assessment information will also be made available to the customer.
- The eligibility statement and categories of eligibility were again reviewed, along with how the applicant and health care professionals complete their sections.
Questions and Comments from the Committee:
- In addition to a functional disability, a customer may have an additional impairment – will there be a social component to the Application? The questions are very detailed both for the applicant and the health care professional e.g. “what might prevent the applicant from moving from accessible to conventional transit”. If any re-wording is required, it can be done.
- People who have not used conventional transit before may not know that a support person is permitted to accompany them. Maybe a person could go with them a couple of times to take them through a trip? Part of the Application describes what services are available and explains current levels of accessibility. Eve Wiggins added that they will include in the promotional information a “Do You Know” section.
- It was noted that too many stations do not have “Down” escalators – it can be very dangerous to walk down stairs - this will be a factor in determining persons who need Wheel-Trans. Wheel-Trans customers need to have ‘real time’ information at stations e.g. elevators not working. Dean said the questionnaire should answer this – it is very detailed – he has noted this.
- It was noted that it can be a considerable cost for the applicant to have health care professionals fill out the necessary forms. This point was well taken.
- Regarding the Family of Services, for persons transferring from Wheel-Trans to a different system, e.g. Durham, is there a system in place for coordinating services – is there a way to work together? Wheel-Trans realizes there is some difficulty in cross border travel – and are looking at commonalities to coordinate systems. This is part of TTC’s Accessibility Community and stakeholders are all at the table.
- Wheel-Trans Newsletter gives a lot of information regarding the changes in service. Can Wheel-Trans have an internet space to keep information updated on a regular and timely basis? Also, is there a process in place for Temporary eligibility being changed to Conditional or Unconditional service? Both the health care professional and the applicant can make that clear – Wheel-Trans needs to be informed. If a re-assessment is required it can be done.
- How flexible is Wheel-Trans? Conditional allows the individual to have access to Wheel Trans; some use it and some do not.
- Dean noted that if a functional assessment is required, this is done by a third party. Also, the Appeal Panel is third party.
- Communications: Can the TTC YouTube channel be used? The public needs to know that the 10-Year Plan is online and updates will be added as they become available. All agreed it would be a good idea to link into CEO Andy Byford’s videos.
- As there is an extensive list of stakeholder organizations, W-T staff agreed to have it published in response to an ACAT request
- W-T staff agreed to ACAT’s request that the most recent version of the Application process be sent to members electronically and whenever updates take place.
- Since the Newsletter came out there have been many questions about the new process. The response needs to be that W-T is working on a new Application form in accordance with Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) regulations. Family of Services is intended to service all customers better. The goal is to give the best transit options and not kick people off. AODA has advised that TTC needs more ways to serve people with different disabilities/conditions.
- Suggested an email list of stakeholders which can be sent updates and make sure those who have not previously used TTC can now do so. The new computer system will give more up to date information. Also need to include what is coming up.
- Need of ambassadors/champions to start training to team up with those who are fearful? This is ongoing.
- People In Motion – pass out pamphlets, dialogue etc.
- The Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee recommended that more descriptive questions be developed particularly around Conditional/Unconditional and the change of status. Dean believed that the form is clear regarding the change of circumstances.
- A concern was raised that the application is accessible for customers with limited English language. Dean responded that, from the outset, great care was taken to use correct language. Customer Service staff can assist if required. Languages other than English are not in the plan.
- Many seniors who may be able to pass the Conditional test may be able use buses, but could feel vulnerable in crowds, etc. As part of the W-T Assessment, multiple types of test i.e. endurance, balance, cognitive, etc. will be included. In the near future, there will be a pilot form tested.
- A concern that TTC is setting high standards – do neighbouring regions have the same? TTC is working with them on consistency and high standards.
Dean noted that the new email address specifically for questions on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Plan is; firstname.lastname@example.org which is included in the pamphlet.
8. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair
At the meeting on May 4, 2016, WTOS worked with Wheel-Trans Staff on the new Wheel-Trans Application package.
Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair
No CS meetings were held since the last ACAT meeting. The next CS meeting will be held on June 9, 2016.
Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) - Raymond Dell’Aera, Chair
Design Review held a meeting on May 11. Staff from TTC Development, along with representatives from the development firm IBI Group, attended to present plans for the new Yonge Park Plaza Development at York Mills Station. A new accessible entrance to York Mills Station at the northwest corner of Yonge Street and Wilson Avenue, approximately the same location as the current entrance, has been proposed. The new TTC entrance at street level will have sliding doors to access Yonge Street, and a vestibule with two elevators and a staircase. The elevators travel from the street down to all parking levels, where they will connect to the existing tunnel connection under Yonge Street and linking the property to York Mills Station. This will create a second barrier-free path to the subway in addition to the current one on the east side of Yonge Street. DRS provided input primarily to ensure that the connection between the new development and the existing tunnel is clearly marked and is ergonomic for customers of various needs.
The Easier Access Program Project Manager presented a report on the feasibility of accelerating the Easier Access program, which was initiated because of a motion passed by TTC Board in February regarding the 10-Year Wheel-Trans Strategy. Various points were shared as to what goes into the Easier Access plans/decisions and the possibility of acceleration. Many factors are needed to be considered. ACAT feedback was encouraged. The report concluded that it is not feasible to accelerate the process.
After the meeting, Subcommittee members identified a number of concerns and observations, particularly what was said, how it was said, and the very brief time given for consultation, which were conveyed to staff. Staff will return to ACAT for further consultation on this report and to respond to the feedback provided.
ACAT members noted that the Easier Access Program was initiated to make every station accessible. Earlier in the program, advance work took place at ten stations further down the priority list in order to make street to bus and bus to bus connections accessible through the installation of sliding doors, accessible fare gates, and signage, in advance of elevator construction. The report should mention these stations as an earlier form of acceleration.
Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Valdo Tammark, Chair
SPS held a meeting on May 18, 2016.
Laurence Lui, Transit Planner, attended and provided details of three route changes effective June 19, 2016 as follows:
A new streetcar route, 514 Cherry, will operate between Distillery Loop and Dufferin Gates Loop via Cherry Street, King Street, and Dufferin Street. A question was raised as to how customers could connect to Line 2 from 514 Cherry via an accessible route in the east end. Could the 65 Parliament route be extended to Broadview Station to make this accessible connection? SPS was informed that was not possible because there was no bus terminal space available and limited ridership. The closest accessible connection between 514 Cherry and the subway is at St. Andrew station.
A new bus route, 121 Fort York-Esplanade, will replace 172 Cherry Street, serving the St. Lawrence area and provide new accessible service to the west, but ending short of Liberty Village.
72 Pape will be revised to operate from Pape Station to Union Station, providing an alternative travel option to downtown.
Changes to the online accessible trip planner were made in April to include the 510 Spadina streetcar route. Routes will be added as and when the new low-floor streetcars come into service.
9. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters
10. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) – Angela Marley, ACAT Representative
11. Report on Transit Fare Equity (TFE) Committee – Margaret Hageman, ACAT Representative
The purpose of the TFE Committee is to find ways for the TTC to be more accessible for people with low incomes. The TFE Advisory Group will do a cost analysis and preliminary implementation proposal to be included in a report which will be ready by the end of October.
A decision was made to move the TFE Report to the October City Council cycle as follows:
- TTC Board - September 28
- Executive Committee - October 26
- Board of Health - October 31
- City Council - November 8.
12. Report on Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services – Valdo Tammark, ACAT Representative
A meeting was held May 11, 2016 which discussed Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS). AODA requires that all new and redeveloped signals be equipped with APS. Currently, 31% of signalized intersections in the City have APS. The City of Toronto will install APS on a request basis and will complete within a year from the request.
The Panel discussed many features of the APS. Separating and hearing the different tones was of concern to many. The placement of buttons is inconsistent. Tactile mapping would be helpful but not practical. The Panel forwarded their feedback to the City concerning improvements to the APS.
Questions and Comments from the Committee:
Observations were made by ACAT that some people have a problem reaching the buttons, especially when obstructed by snow. It can also be difficult to push the buttons for several seconds to activate the audible features.