ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Friday, October 28, 2016
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:309
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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

Present

  • Mazin Aribi, Chair
  • Debbie Gillespie, Co-Vice Chair
  • Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
  • Louise Bark
  • Karma Burkhar
  • Raymond Dell’Aera
  • Joan Jordan
  • Margaret Hageman
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Valdo Tammark
  • Howard Wax

Pool Members

  • Anita Dressler
  • Lauri Sue Robertson

Regrets

  • Jaspreet Dhaliwal

TTC Representatives

  • Andy Byford – CEO, Toronto Transit Commission
  • Josh Colle – Chair, Toronto Transit Commission
  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • Dean Milton – Wheel-Trans
  • Thomas Hartley, Division Manager, Wheel-Trans Transportation
  • Eve Wiggins – Head of Wheel-Trans
  • Ricardo Couto – Division Manager, TTC Streetcar Transportation

Copies

  • Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
  • Richard Leary, Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
  • Chris Upfold, Deputy CEO & Chief Customer Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Deputy Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
  • Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
  • Vince Rodo, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
  • Brad Ross, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
  • Mike Palmer, (Acting) 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

Mazin Aribi, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:13 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On a motion by Howard Wax, seconded by Joan Jordan, the agenda was approved with the following amendments:

  • Remarks from the TTC Chair, Josh Colle was added as item 4 on the agenda;
  • Remarks from TTC CEO, Andy Byford was added as item 10 on the agenda;
  • Item 17 – Report on Streetcar Evacuation Exercise was deferred for discussion at the Service Planning Subcommittee.

4. Remarks from TTC Chair, Josh Colle

Mazin Aribi introduced TTC Chair Josh Colle and invited him to say a few remarks to the Committee.

Mr. Colle thanked all Committee members for their commitment and hard work and noted the following:

  • ACAT is now the second item for discussion after the CEO’s Report at TTC Board Meetings.
  • The ACAT Chair and Vice Chairs meet quarterly with the TTC Chair, Vice Chair, and CEO.
  • The Public Forum on Accessible Transit was a great success but more work has to be done to have better attendance from TTC Commissioners and City Councilors.

5. Remarks from ACAT Chair, Mazin Aribi

Mazin Aribi thanked all Committee Members and TTC Staff for their hard work and commitment. The following were noted in his remarks:

  • The ACAT Information sessions were held on October 6 and 17, 2016 at City Hall.
  • On October 27, 2016, there was a meeting of the City’s Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee which passed a motion requesting that TTC review its accessible stops policy.
  • There are two reports from Louise Bark and Howard Wax which would be discussed in the Service Planning Subcommittee meeting. Mazin Aribi encouraged Ricardo Couto to be in attendance so as to present his report on the Streetcar Evacuation Exercise.

Comments and Questions from the Committee:

A question was raised as to how the attendance at the ACAT Information sessions was and which was better attended. Mazin Aribi noted that the turnout was decent and that there was better attendance in the evening session.

6. Review and Approval of September 29, 2016 Minutes

On a motion by Marian McDonell, seconded by Margaret Hageman, the minutes were approved with the following amendment:

  • Page 13, Paragraph 4, Line 2 – the expression "disabled people" should be corrected to read “persons with disabilities”.

7. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

ACAT members reviewed the Outstanding Items of October, 2016 and noted the following:

  • Item: PRESTO Accessibility Features – A Metrolinx Accessible Self-Serve Kiosk (MASK) Checklist is being developed which includes best practices from several accessibility standards including the CSA B651.2-07.
  • Item: Accessibility at Bus Bays – This item is still ongoing.
  • Item: Accessibility at Transit Stops – An update will be provided to ACAT regarding the streetcar education video.
  • Item: Gap between Subway Trains – Motion has been passed and delivered to the TTC Board for approval.
  • Item: Legends on Maps over TR Train Doors –This will be discussed in the CS report.
  •  Item: Tracking of Reduced Fares – This item is still ongoing.
  • Item: Travel Assistance Card – On hold until the Wheel Trans 10-year strategies become operative.
  • Item: Suggestion that Wheel-Trans Buses be permitted to use the GO Bus reserved lanes – A meeting is scheduled for November, 4, 2016 with the heads of Wheel-Trans, Training, and City Staff to discuss how much training the drivers of Wheel-Trans buses need to have to use these lanes. An update will be provided after the meeting.
  • Item: Amendments to the ACAT Terms of Reference – The amendments have been approved by ACAT and have been forwarded to Legal staff for review after which it would be delivered to the TTC Board for approval. Once approved by the Board, the ACAT Terms of Reference become effective in 2017.

8. Deputation – Helen Lee, TTCriders

Helen Lee from TTCriders thanked the Committee for having her at the meeting and noted the following in her deputation:

  • The goal of TTCriders is to ensure that the TTC is accessible to every customer.
  • In light of this mission, she has begun a writing series tagged “Accessibility Annex” which would help educate riders on accessibility issues.
  • A goal of TTCriders is to work with and be an ally of ACAT’s interests to TTC riders.

ACAT members thanked Helen Lee and TTCriders for this initiative and her work to educate the public on TTC accessibility issues.

9. Review of Correspondence   

ACAT members were informed that the letter with respect to the Platform Gap motion has been forwarded to the TTC Board.

10. Remarks from TTC Chief Executive Officer, Andy Byford   

Mr. Byford thanked all Committee members for their commitment and hard work. Mr. Byford noted the following:

  • Discussions are ongoing about the need to increase accessible services for TTC riders.
  • The Easier Access program cannot be sped up due to various constraints, but other accessibility projects will be prioritized.

11. Subcommittee Reports and Updates   

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Valdo Tammark, Chair

A SPS meeting was held on October 4, 2016.

A debriefing of the 2016 Public Forum on Accessible Transit was done. SPS members were asked for their thoughts on what went well, and what could be improved for next year’s Public Forum. The following are observations made by SPS:

  • Some staff when addressing customers used language that was unacceptable. Their Manager assured ACAT members this is being addressed.
    • Attendance was lower than last year. Staff responded that approximately 200 people attended. Staff suspect this is due to the four Wheel-Trans public meetings held earlier in the summer which were all well attended.
  • City Councillors’ attendance was also low. The Subcommittee advised that Councillors should be booked well in advance.
  • The Facilitator was good overall, but spent too much time introducing the event.
  • There was a suggestion to play a video next year instead of presentations which could increase the time available for questions.
  • Signage was better this year and the room layout was improved, especially the wide aisles and space between rows.

SPS reviewed proposed changes to the TTC’s Accessible Customer Service Policy as a result of AODA standard changes in the areas of service animals, support persons, training, and feedback.

  • Support Persons: Wheel-Trans may require a customer to travel with a support person for health or safety reasons. The revised policy describes how Wheel-Trans will first consult with the customer to understand their needs, consider health or safety reasons based on available evidence, and make support person accompaniment a requirement only where there is no other reasonable way to protect the health or safety of the customer or others on board.
  • Training: all employees must now be trained on accessible customer service, not just frontline employees and policy makers. TTC is already compliant with this change.
  • Feedback: accessible formats and communications supports. The policy now describes how all TTC documents and information can be made available in accessible formats, in consultation with the person requesting them. Previously, the policy only described how the policy itself could be made available in alternate formats. TTC is also already compliant with this change.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Raymond Dell’Aera, Chair

A DRS meeting was held on October 5, 2016.
Staff from the TTC Construction Department attended the meeting to present the preliminary plans for Easier Access improvements at Lansdowne Station. The scope of work includes 3 elevators: one from street to concourse level, one from the concourse level to the eastbound platform, and one to the westbound platform; accessible doors at the main entrance; and wayfinding and signage. Lansdowne Station elevator upgrades are scheduled for completion in 2021.

Construction staff also brought a revision of the Board Report on the Feasibility of Accelerating Easier Access III back to the Subcommittee after previously attending the May and June 2016 meetings. Previous recommendations from ACAT were incorporated, where possible. In addition, the report has been shortened to make it more succinct and easier to digest. The report will now be submitted for Action instead of Information only, and now has a specific recommendation to develop a solution for redevelopment of Warden and Islington Stations.

Staff from PRESTO demonstrated the new key pad design that will be included as part of the future Fare Media Vending Device (FMVD) and which will also replace the keypad on the next version of the Add Value Machine (AVM) also known as the Self-Service Reload Device. A replacement for the contactless reader was also demonstrated. The Subcommittee had questions and comments aimed at ensuring the keypad can be used effectively by people with physical disabilities and those with a visual impairment, and underscored the need to have consistency with design standards used in other kiosk machines such as ATMs.

DRS also attended a site visit to Davisville Station on October 17, 2016 to review the T1 and TR AODA-compliant Pre-Boarding Announcement System. The new system will consist of two main features: speakers at the top of train doors, which will emit door chimes and a verbal message containing the line number and destination, as well as visual screens visible from outside the train which display the line number and destination.

It was explained to DRS that this system is phase 1 of the project and has limited capabilities, but will meet AODA requirements. Phase 2 is planned, which will be more automated and fully-featured. Examples of the advanced functionality of the second phase include dynamic volume adjustment and automatic switching of announced destinations at terminal stations. DRS requested that they be consulted to ensure that phase 2 meets all needs.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair

A WTOS meeting was held on October 18, 2016. The items discussed were centered on the W-T 10-Year Strategy. Dean Milton will provide details in his report.

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell, Chair

A CS meeting was held on October 12, 2016. The Minutes from the August 11, 2016 CS meeting were approved. The items discussed were:

  • New Streetcar Education Program: TTC staff from Customer Communications and the Streetcar departments continue to work on developing a video in coordination with Toronto Police Services. The recommendation is to shoot the video for safety and education at the same time in spring 2017. Alicia Fowlie will coordinate. Members were asked to send their input for the script for the video to the CS Chair.
  • Subway Map: Ian Dickson reported that changes have been made but production has been delayed until the first quarter of 2017.
  • Interchange Announcements: Scott Sams reported that the interchange announcements were being updated with new text. He will bring options for the changes to the new route and stop announcements to the December CS meeting.
  • Accessibility Tips: Deborah Brown requested ACAT to send more tips including any pertaining to streetcar accessibility. She will resend out the tips to CS. She will follow up with Corporate Communications and will obtain a list of tips run with dates and distribute to CS. December 3, 2016 is the International Day for Persons with Disability and this will be incorporated into the tips.
  • Wheel-Trans Stops at Subway Stations Update: Angela Marley reported that work continues on the list of Wheel-Trans stops at subway stations and there has been identification of customer-oriented wording. Wheel-Trans staff are looking into obtaining addresses for accessible entrances at some subway stations which have no street address. Deborah Brown will be kept informed as more information is obtained.

New Business:

  • Discussed the importance of inclusive language; The Importance of the ‘Style Guide’ is to be reinforced and Alicia Fowlie is to ensure “People First” language is taught.
  • Margaret Hageman will distribute the Executive Summary of the new document on ‘Ableism’ put out by the Human Rights Commission.
  • Mazin Aribi asked about the origin of the design of the new bus stop poles. Deborah Brown agreed to find out from Ian Dickson and will let the CS know. Mazin Aribi noted that the new designs never came to ACAT for review or discussions and they have been launched throughout the city. Mazin Aribi will follow up on this.
  • A request was made for possible articles for the Wheel-Trans December newsletter and much feedback was given.

Comments and Questions from the Committee:

Members discussed the bus stop poles. A question was raised if the issue was that ACAT’s advice was not considered with respect to the design of the new bus stop poles or that the design was never brought before ACAT for discussion. Mazin Aribi stated that the issue is that ACAT was not consulted with respect to the new design.

TTC Chair Josh Colle also noted that he will follow up on this.

A member noted that there are concerns about the height of the poles. ACAT had recommended that the signage on the poles be lowered or the poles be shortened. At that time, it was explained that the new stop pole information is on sleeves to be placed over the existing structure, and that there is no change in pole height.

A question was asked regarding what design features are to be considered or have been agreed upon for the stop poles. Mazin Aribi replied that the design guidelines would be forwarded to all ACAT members.

A member reported that the new designs being installed are different from the pilot designs that were installed on Wellesley Street. There are no indications that the recommendations from ACAT for the designs of the pilot program were taken into consideration.

A member raised a concern that the stop times have been taken off the poles. This is challenging particularly for seniors and individuals who do not use mobile phones to check the new stop times on the internet.

12. ACAT Meeting Highlights for the TTC Board Meeting   

DRS:

  • Reviewed design changes made to PRESTO fare gates based upon prior ACAT consultation
  • Visited Hillcrest Garage to consult on modifications to securement equipment on Nova Buses to make space for people using mobility devices
    SPS:
  • Emergency Evacuation Procedures (ACAT recommended that, once approved and in place, to be posted on the TTC website).  
    • New educational video re correct entry/exit procedures of the new low-floor accessible streetcars.
    CS:
  • W-T Stops (formerly known as W-T Transfer Points) at accessible subway stations are in the process of being synchronized so that customers and drivers meet at the same spot which will make a major contribution to the success of the WT 10-Year Strategy Plan.

13. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters – Mazin Aribi

The TTC Board Meeting was held on October 27, 2016 at City Hall.

Joanne De Laurentiis was sworn in as a new citizen member of the TTC Board and was welcomed by TTC Chair Colle.

The TTC Board received the approved ACAT August 25, Minutes and Mazin Aribi reported the highlights of the ACAT meeting.

Mazin also reported on the ACAT Information sessions that were held on October 6 and 17, 2016 for individuals who want to apply for ACAT membership for the 2017 term.

The TTC Board also received the ACAT Correspondence regarding improving safety and accessibility when moving between subway train and platform. Chair Colle asked the staff of the possibilities of addressing this issue. Mike Palmer, (Acting) TTC Chief Operating Officer, reported that they are already on it and they like to assess the problem throughout the system and he states that there are only 5 stations remaining: Lawrence, St. Clair West, Chester, Kennedy and Islington. Out of all these 5 stations only Kennedy is accessible. Mike Palmer also stated that no size fits all.  Chair Colle made a motion asking staff to report back on this item and the progress to date and the motion was carried.

The TTC Board discussed the Feasibility of Acceleration (Easier Access Phase III). Councillor Glenn DeBaeremaeker asked TTC staff about the status of Warden Station. Staff responded that they are hoping to look at Warden Station with a developer next year. TTC staff added that they are committed to reach the AODA mandated dead line of 2025 although funding is still not in place.

The next TTC Board Meeting will be held on November 30, 2016.

14. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update – Dean Milton

Dean Milton presented the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy update and noted the following:

  • There are two current contracts up for tender: the Functional Assessment as part of the Eligibility Application, and the Appeal Panel. These contracts are expected to be awarded by the end of November.
  • The Eligibility Applications are in the final stage.
  • The Wheel-Trans 2017 Eligibility Appeals Panel would consist of Occupational Therapists, Transit Experts, and Community Representatives. The Community Representatives would initially be drawn from ACAT members. ACAT members who are interested should apply accordingly. Dean advised that he would send the application package to ACAT members.

Comments and Questions from the Committee:

Margaret Hageman suggested that ‘Disability Sensitivity’ in Dean Milton’s report would be more appropriately replaced by ‘Accessibility Awareness’ instead.

Howard Wax asked whether members of ACAT would be present at the training sessions.
Dean Milton noted that ACAT members are encouraged to be part of the training process.

Mazin Aribi asked if past members of ACAT would be involved in the training process.
Dean Milton noted that this would be put into consideration.

15. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) – Angela Marley, ACAT Representative   

The CLP meeting was held on October 12, 2016 chaired by Michelle Picard, Customer Development Department, with nine of twelve members present.

Paul Lopes, Station Manager Group, gave an update on the Subway Stations Transformation including PRESTO and the evolving role of Collectors to Customer Service Agents (CSA). Michelle reported on Transit Fare Equity.

The majority of the members spoke out about the need for seating, benches, in subway stations, citing examples. Members gave observations about their transit use which included audio announcements wherein the name of subway station was muffled, leaving customers uncertain of the location of the delay; PRESTO installation and gate functioning; and commending Operators for good customer service. Staff stated they would pass on this feedback.

The CLP representative on the Second Exits Committee stated they have completed their report which is expected to go to the TTC Board by year-end.

16. Report on Transit Fare Equity (TFE) Committee – Margaret Hageman, ACAT Representative 

The Transit Fare Equity Report was completed by City Staff which represents the interests of people with disabilities and seniors. The report will go before the Executive Committee on December 1, 2016, then to the TTC Board Meeting on December 16, 2016.

Comments and Questions from the Committee:

Mazin Aribi informed the members that if the City does not approve the recommendations of the TFE Committee on reduced fares for low income people with disabilities and seniors, then ACAT needs to come up with an alternative plan.

Members echoed his concern. It was agreed that ACAT would wait until the final report is available before taking any further action.

17. Report on Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services – Valdo Tammark, ACAT Representative   

No meetings were held since the last ACAT meeting.

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

The ACAT Executive Quarterly meeting was held on October 18, 2016. The following items were discussed.

TTC Funding Commitment Allocation to Accessibility Projects (June 30th Motion by D. Gillespie)

It was suggested that the new funding from the Federal government be allocated to other projects that will improve accessibility which are smaller scale than the Easier Access Program Phase III. These projects are important to have and need to be implemented to support customers using the conventional system (especially as we embark with the WT 10-Year Strategy).

The TTC has a list of these projects, which the ACAT Executive requested a copy of to be shared with ACAT members. Some of the suggested projects discussed were:

  • Finding solutions to address the gap issues between the subway trains and platform along with markings and warnings where gaps are more problematic in the short term. The group discussed the accessible ramp at Eglinton as a good solution going forward to address the vertical gap.
  • The possibilities of running accessible buses along the non-accessible streetcars routes network as a remedy for the delays of delivering the much needed accessible streetcars.

New PRESTO Accessible Fare Gate (Not Accessible)

A discussion was held regarding the concerns that ACAT brought forward to staff when visiting Main Station was not addressed yet. Also discussed was the height of the PRESTO readers at the new accessible fare gates. TTC CEO Andy Byford made a commitment that a lower reader will be installed at a later date.

A question was raised if there are standards for the PRESTO reader height that is accessible and acceptable for those who are using mobility devices.

The complaints about how TTC tokens and tickets will work once PRESTO are in full use were brought to the attention of the group. Mr. Byford offered that one of the TTC staff who is knowledgeable on PRESTO can come to the ACAT meeting to give an update.

Easier Access Acceleration Report (draft report to go to the October TTC Board Meeting)

The final report was discussed and it was understood that acceleration is not possible at this time; however, finding a developer to fund the unfunded Warden and Islington stations would be considered.

The next ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting will be held on December 12, 2016 at City Hall.

Comments and Questions from the Committee:

The issue of using buses along non-accessible streetcar routes to increase accessible service was raised and this matter was referred to Service Planning Subcommittee for further investigation.

With respect to the PRESTO launch, a member asked what will be done about organizations who buy tokens and tickets in bulk to distribute to individuals. Mazin Aribi stated that a representative from PRESTO would be invited to attend the next ACAT meeting to discuss issues surrounding the PRESTO launch.

Matt Hagg stated that consultations are being held with support services organizations that currently buy tokens and tickets in bulk. Most of these organizations should have received a survey invitation, but if ACAT members know of an organization that did not, a link to the survey is prominently displayed on the front page of the TTC website.

19. Other / New Business

Angela Marley informed the ACAT members that the TTC Town Hall Meeting will be held online on November 17, 2016. ACAT members are encouraged to participate and give feedback.

Mazin Aribi stated that participation by members of the TTC Board at ACAT meetings is encouraging and thanked the ACAT members for their commitment in the advancement of the Committee.

20. Next Meeting

The next ACAT meeting will be held on Thursday, November 24, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

21. Adjournment

On a motion by Howard Wax, the meeting was adjourned at 3:22pm.
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