ACAT Meeting - July 27, 2017
Agenda is not available for this meeting.
Please check the meeting minutes for meeting details.
- Debbie Gillespie, Chair
- Angela Marley, Co-Vice Chair
- Raymond Dell’Aera, Co-Vice Chair
- Louise Bark
- Mary Burton
- Jaspreet Dhaliwal
- Margaret Hageman
- Joan Jordan
- Lynn McCormick
- Desrianne McIlwrick
- Craig Nicol
- Thomas Richardson
- Lauri Sue Robertson
- Howard Wax
- Anita Dressler
- Jessica Geboers
- Valdo Tammark
- Igor Samardzic
- Andy Byford, TTC Chief Executive Officer
- Matt Hagg, Senior Planner - System Accessibility
- Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager - Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
- Donna Harris, Communication Specialist, Wheel-Trans
- Lynn Middleton, Division Manager - Wheel-Trans
- Yuval Grinspun, Project Manager, Wheel-Trans Transformation Project
- Louise Riggi, Project Coordinator, Wheel-Trans Transformation Project
- Zeina Althawabeth – Project Coordinator, Wheel-Trans
- Jasmine Eftekhari, Project Coordinator, Wheel-Trans
- Twain Sparks, Senior Instructor, Training
- Charlene Sharpe, Business Analyst, Wheel-Trans
- Aislin O’Hara, Project Lead - Wheel-Trans Customer Service
- Malcom MacPherson, Stations Supervisor, Central Zone
- Mark Mis, Manager - Service Planning
- Radamiro Gaviria, Diversity and Human Rights
- Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
- Richard Leary, Deputy CEO & Chief Service Officer
- Kirsten Watson, Acting Chief Customer Officer
- Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
- Brad Ross, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
- Mike Palmer, Chief Operating Officer
- Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans
- Jacqueline Darwood, Head of Strategy & Service Planning
- Cheryn Thoun, Head of Customer Communications
- TTC Board Members
1. Call to Order / Attendance
Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order and attendance was taken.
2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
3. Approval of Agenda
4. Remarks from ACAT Chair, Debbie Gillespie
Debbie Gillespie thanked ACAT members who volunteered in the video production of the new streetcar education program.
Members were encouraged to attend the 2017 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit. Attendance at the TTC Public Forum indicates ACAT’s commitment and support for TTC staff.
5. Review and Approval of June 29, 2017 Minutes
On a motion by Joan Jordan, seconded by Craig Nicol, the minutes were approved with the following amendment:
- Page 7, under Communication Subcommittee, 4th paragraph should be amended to read “Wheel-Trans Stops”.
6. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items
- Item: PRESTO Accessibility Features – Allan Foster and Yemi Okewole provided an update to ACAT on the PRESTO Accessibility Features.
- Item: Gaps between Subway Trains and Platforms – the TTC Board has requested a more detailed cost analysis on this project. This would be presented to the Board in September, 2017.
- Item: Suggestion that Wheel-Trans Buses be permitted to use the DVP Bus By-Pass Lanes – Negotiations with the City and TTC are ongoing.
- Item: Letter to Metrolinx from Andy Byford - At the May 25 ACAT meeting, Andy Byford informed the Committee that a letter would be sent to Metrolinx with respect to harmonizing accessibility standards between TTC and Metrolinx. A letter has been sent and no response has been received yet.
- Item: Letter to the Property Management of the elevator at Queens Quay Station from Andy Byford for a permanent solution to address the reliability of the elevator. A letter has been sent and no response has been received yet.
7. Deputation – Doris Power
Doris Power raised the following items in her deputation:
- Wheel-Trans to allow customers to request “Do Not Leave Unattended” (DNLU) only to outbound trips and erase that designation on homebound trips, when requested.
- Demand that Parking Enforcement Officers and the Police cease giving tickets to Wheel-Trans contracted taxi drivers who are simply performing their duty.
- Use technology to allow Wheel-Trans to know when many customers have booked for an event and will be leaving the venue to return to homes in the same general area, to be more cost-efficient in arranging trips together.
- Repair the Wheel-Trans stop at City Hall Hageman entrance.
- Repair the Wheel-Trans call-box in the City Hall Wheel-Trans waiting room.
- Update the Wheel-Trans No Show board in the Toronto City Hall Wheel-Trans waiting room.
Debbie Gillespie thanked Doris Power for her deputation. ACAT members referred the items raised in the deputation to Wheel-Trans staff to follow up and provide a response.
8. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update
Yuval Grinspun, Project Manager, Wheel-Trans Transformation Project, gave an update on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy.Family of Services
Phase 1 is still ongoing with over 350 customer volunteers and over 1,000 trips registered with the pilot. Feedback is being received via an online survey tool. Regular meetings are being held with Operators to discuss how to coordinate trips between Wheel-Trans and conventional buses.
Phase 2 of the pilot project is scheduled to begin in August, but no specific date has been set yet.Pro Master Buses
The prototype vehicle is scheduled to be delivered in August. ACAT members are going to be invited to view the vehicle.Mobility Transfer Hubs
A design review update is set to be presented to the DRS at the next meeting. Installation at the Meadowvale Loop is scheduled for September 2017. Other locations where the hubs are to be installed are being considered.Community Bus
The expansion of the 400 and 404 Community Bus routes is on track to begin in September. The buses will be painted and updated to make them distinct from Wheel-Trans vehicles.Comments and Questions from the Committee Members
How are Wheel-Trans customers being recruited to volunteer for the FOS Pilot? Yuval Grinspun stated that some customers were approached via a third party to seek their participation while other customers indicated their interests.
It is important to communicate to Wheel-Trans customers that the Family of Services project is not mandatory but is encouraged to be used.
Customers should be encouraged to provide feedback on other issues involved in the Family of Services but not captured as part of the online survey questionnaire.
The questions in the survey should be presented to the WTOS for review. Feedback from WTOS will provide insight on making improvements to the survey.
9. Review of Wheel-Trans Late Cancellation / No Show Policy
Aislin O’Hara, Project Lead – Wheel-Trans Customer Service, reported that the purpose of reviewing the current policy is to make it more customer-friendly. The changes in the policy could yield a 72% reduction in the number of customers who are in violation each month.
The policy changes include:
- The cut-off for cancelling trips changed from 11:30 p.m. the night before to 4 hours before the customers scheduled pick-up time.
- Instead of treating each cancellation as a penalty, Wheel-Trans wants to offer “life happens points”.
- Late cancellation and No Shows will deduct 2 points.
- Instead of having Late Cancellations, No Shows and Cancel at the Door, all together, they will be separated. Late Cancellation and Cancel at the Door will each count as one point and No Show will count as two-point deduction.
- Each month, customers will be given 8 life happens points, which are not accumulated. The Late Cancellation, Cancel at the Door and No Show points are deducted from this 8. For the next month, the 8 points are given. Policy details will be posted on the TTC website and in the Wheel-Trans Access newsletter.
Is there a common factor in the customers who have a high incidence of LC/NS, such as health issues? Aislin O’Hara answered in the affirmative, based on research. Discussions are being held to see how this can be worked out.
Are customers with no show due to medical emergencies still allowed to call for forgiveness? Aislin O’Hara answered in the affirmative; however, customers who have not used their life happens points that month will be encouraged not to call in but to simply use their points
10. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
A DRS meeting was held on July 5, 2017. The items discussed were:
Keele Station Easier Access
Steve Stewart, TTC Construction Department, presented a revised design for the westbound platform elevator. The new design provides an optimized access route with clearer sightlines for safety and security as well as direct access to and from the bus platform. The revised design will create less disruption during construction and can be completed faster.
It was recommended that a sliding door with motion sensor be used at the bus platform access to the westbound elevator.
DRS questioned if tactile attention indicators at stairs will be included. The response was that as a rule, these would be provided only where elevator construction impacts stairs. Addition of attention indicators at stairs throughout the system would need to be budgeted separately.
Caledonia Station Bus Loop
DRS reviewed the latest design for the TTC bus loop at the Eglinton Crosstown LRT Caledonia Station. This is an unpaid outdoor bus loop on the north side of the Eglinton Avenue West. The loop which can be accessed from the sidewalk on Eglinton Avenue West, has direct access to the station waiting area and has overhead protection with a partial back wall. The station waiting area has power sliding doors, benches and a DWA. The bus driveways will have zebra markings and curb ramps for crossings and the west driveway crossing Eglinton Avenue West will have accessible pedestrian crossing signals.
Where is the Wheel-Trans loading bay and will the curb ramp impact pedestrian flow on the bus platform? The bay is opposite the station entrance and the curb ramp has wide flares.
Where does the public para-transit drop off? Staff noted that, in earlier designs, it was just west of the west driveway but is no longer shown. Staff will bring this omission to the attention of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT team.
Passenger Assistance Intercom (PAI) Upgrade
Staff advised that the entire TTC PAI system will be replaced with a design that is more compatible with the way the stations will be run in the future, with roaming customer Service Agents. The new system will allow contact with agents, Transit Control, and station hubs. With the Collectors moving out of the booth, PAIs will be installed at fare lines and the new features will include a video screen.
Subcommittee Recommendations and Comments
DRS suggested that the Help and Information buttons should have different colors, texture, and shape to be clearly distinguished. It was suggested that the buttons be in a line positioned vertically, with the Help button at the bottom to guard against accidental activation. This would be in a similar fashion as the elevator control panels.
It was recommended that when a button is pressed, both visual and audible confirmation messages should be provided.
A concern was expressed that the TTC and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT should collaborate to ensure that the PAIs in the subway and Crosstown are of similar, if not the same, design to ensure consistency for customer service and interaction.
Steve Stewart, Project Manager – Construction, provided elevator installation status updates. Woodbine Station will open late summer. Coxwell Station and St. Clair Station elevators, from street to concourse, will open by the end of the year.
City café guidelines are being updated and may impact the provision of accessible transit stops by restricting available sidewalk widths. It was recommended that TTC become involved to protect accessible transit.
The King Street pilot project continues to be of concern about safety and access to streetcars. DRS has requested further consultation with City on this matter.
Site Visit to TTC’s Hillcrest Yard
On July 18, 2017, DRS had a site visit at the TTC’s Hillcrest Yard to review the new Nova bus designs. DRS reviewed a new three-point mobility device securement product that increases space in the mobility device parking area. Further, a flip down/up seat design and seat mounting on the driver’s side providing additional flexibility and aisle space was reviewed.
The next DRS meeting is scheduled for August 2, 2017.Communication Subcommittee (CS) – Margaret Hageman, Chair
No CS meeting was held since the previous ACAT monthly meeting. The next scheduled CS meeting will be on August 10, 2017.
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair
A WTOS meeting was held on July 13, 2017.
Lynn McCormick noted that meeting focused on the discussion surrounding the Late Cancellation / No Show Policy as presented by Aislin O’Hara to the ACAT meeting.
The next WTOS meeting will be held on August 3, 2017 at 580 Commissioners Street.Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Valdo Tammark, Chair
A SPS meeting was held on July 5, 2017. Valdo Tammark, Chair, provided the following report:
Changes to the Community Bus Pilot Project
Staff have carried out additional public consultation as well as operational and stop-level reviews and will now be recommending minor changes to the TTC Board.
The change to route 400 Lawrence Manor would allow two additional seniors’ residences to be served. On the 404 East York route, service would be provided to one additional community centre. In both cases, the routes would be optimized to reduce unsignalized left turns and ensure suitable stopping locations.
Toronto Seniors’ Strategy Version 2.0.
The Toronto Seniors Strategy is the City’s strategy with respect to actions to improve City services for seniors. Version 1.0 was developed in 2013. The strategy includes action items for all City divisions, plus arm’s length agencies, such as the TTC and Toronto Police. Every City agency input several different action items into the strategy. Tracking is taking place to see whether these items have been completed or when they will be completed. Version 2.0 is now under development. TTC staff consulted with ACAT members to determine which action items should go ahead as part of Version 2.0.
The 2017 Public Forum on Accessible Transit, co-hosted by ACAT, will be held on September 19, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. at the Allstream Centre, Exhibition Place.
11. ACAT Subcommittee Meeting Highlights for the Next TTC Board Meeting
- Eglinton Crosstown Caledonia Station bus platform review.
- Keele Station Elevator design review
- Passenger Assistance Intercom (PAI) initial view of interface panel
- Nova bus securement and seating design review.
- Toronto Seniors’ Strategy Version 2.0
- 400 Lawrence Manor and 404 East York Community Bus Pilot
- Late Cancellation / No Show Policy
12. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters
Angela Marley reported that the TTC Board met on July 12, 2017.
ACAT Chair Debbie Gillespie provided the ACAT highlights of the May 2017 ACAT meeting and the Board received the minutes.
CEO Andy Byford reported that 40 low-floor streetcars are in operation. Although, Bombardier is on schedule to deliver 70 by year-end, Mr. Byford reported they have acknowledged challenges keeping to the schedule. Given the delayed delivery of the 2014 streetcars and potential addition of 60, although unfunded, the Board passed a motion to explore interest and ability of companies to bid on supplying Light Rail vehicles.
The Board approved the 400 Lawrence and the 404 East York Community Bus Route extensions as well as the amendments to the Wheel-Trans Sedan Meter-Based and Accessible Taxi services contracts. ACAT members were encouraged to read the Board reports.
TTC Vice Chair Alan Heisey encouraged the Board members to attend the 2017 Public Forum on Accessible Transit Service, to be held at the CNE Allstream Centre on September 19, 2017. He emphasized that in two hours, it is a very good way to learn a lot about accessible transit issues.
The next TTC Board meeting is on September 5, 2017.
13. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) – Tom Richardson, ACAT Representative
Tom Richardson reported that an Orientation Meeting for the new CLP members was held on July 19, 2017. There were 8 new Panel members in attendance including Tom Richardson as the new ACAT representative on the panel.
The TTC was represented by Safiya Bulbulia, Customer Experience Analyst; Michael Hazlett, Transit Control Manager; and Arthur Borkwood, Head of Customer Development.
Michael Hazlett presented an in-depth behind the scenes look at how TTC’s Transit Control works on a day to day basis. His presentation entitled, “A Tour of Transit Control” invoked many questions which Michael readily answered.
Arthur Borkwood also gave a presentation about the background of the CLP/TTC and how important the relationship is between the CLP and the TTC.
The next CLP meeting is scheduled for August 16 2017.
14. CEO Update
Andy Byford, CEO, noted that the changes to the Late Cancellation / No Show policies are consistent with the TTC’s goal of ensuring that customers are treated properly.
The Queens Quay elevator has been repaired and has become more reliable. TTC would like to take over the management of maintaining the elevator.
Andy Byford informed ACAT that he met with Bill Henry, Project Manager in Metrolinx, with respect to having a review of all the stations in the Eglinton Crosstown project. A DRS member is to be invited to the August 8, 2017 review of the new Scarborough Station Extension Project.
Questions and Comments from Committee Members
It is important that the operation of the Eglinton Crosstown Stations be compatible with the direction that the TTC is taking, with the removal of Collectors in the booth. Andy Byford noted that he will be in touch with the TTC interface team on the Project.
The sidewalk and bicycle lanes designs in the King Street Pilot Project are concerning particularly as they impact accessibility features. Andy Byford noted that he will follow up on this.
15. Review of Correspondence
16. Other / New Business
Craig Nicol raised concerns with respect to people sitting on stairs in subway stations and the impact on accessibility for some customers. This item was referred to staff.
17. Next Meeting
The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, August 31, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.