ACAT Meeting - October 26, 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
- Margaret Hageman
- Joan Jordan
- Lynn McCormick
- Desrianne McIlwrick
- Craig Nicol
- Thomas Richardson
- Lauri Sue Robertson
- Howard Wax
- Anita Dressler
- Jessica Geboers
- Igor Samardzic
- Valdo Tammark
- Jaspreet Dhaliwal
- Andy Byford, TTC CEO
- Mike Palmer, Chief Operating Officer
- Matt Hagg, Senior Planner, System Accessibility
- Mark Mis, Manager - Service Planning
- Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager - Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
- Aislin O'Hara, Project Lead - Wheel-Trans Customer Service
- Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
- Richard Leary, Deputy CEO / Chief Service Officer
- Kirsten Watson, Chief Customer Officer
- Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
- Tara Bal, Chief Financial 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
2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
3. Approval of Agenda
On a motion by Joan Jordan, seconded by Louise Bark, the agenda was approved with the following additions under New Business:
- Eglinton West LRT Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting
- York University Emergency Evacuation Simulation
- Informational Support for Accessible Taxi Drivers when ticketed for parking on Bike Lanes
4. Remarks from ACAT Chair Raymond Dell’Aera
Debbie Gillespie noted that October was a busy month for ACAT with the following activities:
- The official opening of Woodbine Subway Station as part of the Easier Access project was held on October 12, 2017.
- Information Sessions that launched the recruitment process for new ACAT members took place on October 10 and 17, 2017.
- Debbie Gillespie thanked Staff and ACAT members for their contribution to the processing of Wheel-Trans applications using the new eligibility criteria. She highlighted their work in preparing
- Information for conditional customers, so they understand the conditions of their eligibility to use Wheel-Trans service.
- TTC Board Member Rick Byers experienced riding the TTC as a person with vision loss. Debbie Gillespie thanked Desrianne Mcllwrick, who is an Orientation and Mobility Specialist, for helping in this regard.
- ACAT continues to be at the forefront of TTC’s accessibility initiatives.
5. Review and Approval of September 28, 2017 Minutes
On a motion by Craig Nicol, seconded by Lauri Sue Robertson, the September 28, 2017 minutes were approved.
6. Business Arising Out of Minutes and Outstanding Items
Debbie Gillespie stated that due to the availability of staff around the holidays, the ACAT December meeting will remain unchanged and will be held on December 21, 2017 as scheduled.
The report on the Wheel-Trans audit of the stops at subway stations and accessible bus stops should be shared with DRS. Debbie Gillespie noted that once the report is available, it will be shared with WTOS and DRS.
- Item: Accessibility at Bus Bays - Completed.
- Item: Gap between Subway Trains and Platforms - Staff report was provided at the DRS meeting on October 4, 2017 and will be submitted to the TTC Board Meeting on November 13, 2017.
- Item: How does the TTC account for loss of revenue from accessible sedan vehicles that do not have PRESTO fare payment devices? – Lodon Hassan noted that Wheel-Trans monitors when customers are unable to pay fares in the instance. The Committee further agreed that this is not an accessibility issue and therefore, the item should be removed from the outstanding items list.
Discussion ensued regarding how to treat some of the outstanding items that had been ongoing for some time. It was agreed that the ACAT Executive would discuss this at their next agenda review meeting.
8. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update
Aislin O’Hara gave an update on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy.
Phase 3 of the Family of Services (FOS) kicked off on October 23, 2017, with customers being dropped off at bus stops on the five selected routes. Staff training continues and ways of improving ridership are being discussed.
The installation of the Access Hub at Meadowvale Loop has been delayed due to City permit issues. Discussion on the three Access Hubs to be installed in 2018 is ongoing.
Wheel-Trans will be sending out letters to customers approved with conditional eligibility to clarify their conditions for using Wheel-Trans service. One letter is going to the existing conditional customers who were approved in 2017 and, going forward, at the time of their approval, new conditional customers will receive the letter outlining their conditions.
Wheel-Trans is developing a travel training program to support customers with taking trips on the conventional TTC. ACAT members who are interested in volunteering were advised to contact Aislin O’Hara. More details on the travel training program will be shared with ACAT at the November meeting.
On November 7, 2017, public consultation will be held at Villa Columbo, a senior living community at 11:00 a.m. about the Community Bus Route 400. Upgrades on the decals and branding on the Community Bus is in progress.
Comments and Questions from the Committee Members
What kind of disabilities is Wheel-Trans focusing on with respect to the travel training initiative? Aislin O’Hara noted that the travel training program will only focus on physical disabilities as of now. Due to the level of expertise that is required, cognitive disabilities will not be included in the training program.
Is it possible to list the conditions at the back of a customer’s Wheel-Trans membership cards, as this can remind customers of what conditions the approval was based on? Aislin O’Hara noted that this will be taken back for further discussion.
Have customers with guide dogs volunteered for the travel training program? Aislin O’Hara noted that just one volunteer has indicated their interest but more are required.
There are concerns about the number of people being approved for Wheel-Trans services without in-person evaluation. This issue has also been raised by Wheel-Trans Operators. It was suggested at the last WTOS meeting, that staff should provide WTOS an opportunity to assess the parameters being used to approve a customer as conditional or unconditional. Aislin O’Hara responded that staff will prepare a presentation to WTOS about this.
How many appeals had been filed since the launch of the new eligibility application? Aislin O'Hara responded that the number of appeals filed has been low, but this is expected to increase with the new letters sent to conditional customers.
9. Training Department – Bus Recertification Sessions
Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair
A DRS meeting was held on October 4, 2017 and the following items were discussed.
Passenger Assistance Intercom (PAI) Replacement Project
The intercom system is being updated for the new no-collector station operation model. The DWA units and new units at fare lines will be a two-button system with information and emergency assist buttons. Units at and in elevators will be a single-button connecting to emergency assistance. Buttons will light when pressed and a ringing sound will be heard, followed by a TTC staff verbal response.
Why are button labels not consistent? PAIs at elevator lobby and in elevators have HELP and PHONE in the elevator, both reaching the same TTC attendant desk. Elevator code requires a PHONE identification for this button.
At DWA and other two-button units, there is the ability to directly access the information service without going through the emergency help desk.
DRS pointed out that the code requirement for the button in the elevator must not be higher than 1220 mm from the floor.
Platform Gap Report – Update
Aleksandar Urosevic provided an update on the Platform Gap Report. The report will be brought to the TTC Board in November 2017.
DRS members provided feedback on possible tweaks to the report with the view to greater clarity for Board members and the public.
Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (ECLRT) Mount Dennis Station Bus Terminal
Matt Hagg reviewed the bus terminal design. This is a paid area with a fifteen-bay bus terminal, accessed only from the station concourse level via elevator, escalators, and stairs. The fully enclosed waiting area has power sliding doors to each bus bay, where there is overhead protection.
The design has the Wheel-Trans stop at the Kodak building entrance, which is close to the LRT platform but will require a long underground trip to the bus terminal. DRS recommended adding a Wheel-Trans stop in the bus terminal.
Construction Hoarding – Yellow Lines
Matt Hagg reviewed visibility markings on construction hoardings.
Any visibility markings should be within the height range of the yellow lines and no portion of the hoarding should be unmarked
DRS agreed that colour contrasting text and graphics could be used in place of the yellow lines to call attention to these temporary barriers.
- Mobility Hub Update
- Accessibility at Davisville customer service
- TR Train door light and audio closing indicators – out of sync
A DRS meeting was also held on October 18, 2017 and the following items were discussed.
King Street Pilot - Detailed Stop Mock-up
David Cooperman, City of Toronto, provided an update on the pilot and street stop design. Stops boarding and alighting areas on the roadway will be defined with a concrete barrier at the cross street and a planter at the front of the streetcar. Stops will have truncated dome attention indicators, marking the divide between waiting area and traffic lane. Barrier free access from the sidewalk will be via temporary ramp structures bolted to the roadway.
DRS received confirmation that there will not be a designated bike lane on King Street.
DRS recommended that the truncated dome base be set flush with the pavement to avoid damage from snow clearing. David Cooperman responded that manual snow clearing will be used and any damaged sections will be replaced.
DRS recommended that the curb between ramps be painted with a contrasting colour.
DRS asked about an intermediate railing for the ramp and recommended that the ramp position should consider the mobility device turning space required to access the streetcar ramp.
Easier Access Phase 3 – Donlands Station
Steve Stewart reviewed the Easier Access 3 upgrade for Donlands Station. The Station is already accessible at street level, two forward motion elevators will be installed to access concourse and platform level. The station is scheduled to be accessible by 2022.
DRS expressed concern about conflicts with stair traffic when accessing or departing elevator E1 at both street and concourse levels. Adding a convex mirror was suggested at concourse level.
DRS asked that consideration be given to opening the access between concourse level and the E1 lobby by chamfering the openings for smoother access.
Easier Access Phase 3 – College Station
A second concourse will be constructed south of College Street and linked to College Park. College Park elevators will provide access to street level and two TTC flow through elevators will link the new concourse to the northbound and southbound platforms south of the existing stairs. Stairs will also connect the new concourse to platform level.
The design requires a switchback ramp to concourse level. DRS commented on ramp gradient (less than 1 to 20), width, entry points and proximity to stairs.
At the platform level, elevator lobbies share enlarged space with existing stairs. DRS recommended that a railing divide this area into separate elevator waiting and stair access areas.
Steve Stewart presented an early proposed ramp design for the Rosedale Station Easier Access project. DRS agreed that a further study to determine if ramps are better alternatives to elevators is warranted.
A joint DRS and SPS meeting will be held on October 31, 2017.
The next monthly DRS meeting is scheduled for December 6, 2017.
Questions and Comments from Committee Members
The use of ramp at Rosedale Station instead of elevators may pose a challenge for customers using walkers and manual wheelchairs. This was discussed at the DRS meeting and Steve Stewart suggested that benches can be placed at the switchbacks so that customers may sit and rest if they require it.
Communication Subcommittee (CS) – Margaret Hageman, Chair
A CS meeting was held on October 12, 2017.
Staff presented the low-floor streetcar education video. Minor tweaks will be implemented before the video is rolled out.
A debrief of the TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit was executed from a communications point of view. CS members provided comments and suggestions, particularly concerning having the Wheel-Trans booth close to the ACAT booth next year. This will make it easier for ACAT to refer attendees to the Wheel-Trans station for any TTC-related questions.
CS members provided suggestions to Donna Harris on the Community Bus pamphlets.
Staff presented the “Please Offer Me a Seat” pilot project as well as the Family of Services Phase 3 update and CS members were asked to provide comments on the new letters that will be sent to newly-approved conditional customers.
Questions and Comments from Committee Members
Customers should be informed on the TTC where the “Please Lower Ramp” request card can be obtained.
Is it possible to include the “Please Lower Ramp” request card with the letters that will be sent to newly-approved conditional customers? Staff will follow up on this.
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair
A WTOS meeting was held on October 2, 2017 and the following items were discussed.
Dean Milton provided an update on the Family of Services Phase 3. Although, the number of volunteers has increased, the number of rides booked is still low. Staff is currently investigating how to increase Family of Services ridership. WTOS members suggested that the lack of increase in rides may be due to the fear of being cut-off from Wheel-Trans, once they begin to use conventional services.
Five routes have been chosen for the Phase 3 pilot – 29 Dufferin, 84 Sheppard West, 85 Sheppard East, 95 York Mills and 97 Yonge. Stantec has completed an evaluation of the shared Wheel-Trans stops along these five routes and accessible stations.
Subcommittee Comments and Recommendations:
The bus stops ID’s should be tagged in the landmark near the stops and placed at more convenient height for customers to see them.
For future upgrades, the internal bus announcement can announce the ID of the bus stop so that customers who are visually impaired will know when to request a stop.
Public education is important to increase ridership.
Wheel-Trans staff can do a roadshow to agencies that are directly involved with customers.
Adequate staffing of the phone lines is essential to the success of Family of Services. Training of staff on how best to converse with a customer should continue.
The more information a Reservationist can provide to a customer when booking a trip, the easier and less stressful the trip will be for the customer.
Travel Training Initiative
Aislin O'Hara gave a presentation on the Travel Training Initiative and noted that the quick plans to execute the initiative are:
- Travel training via Functional Transit Assessment
- Travel training from Occupational Therapist Students
- Developing a TTC travel training curriculum for TTC staff
- Developing a referral network through community agencies.
The purpose of the travel training is to assist customers who have never used conventional services to navigate and become familiar with the system.
Subcommittee Comments and Recommendations:
Data on the number of customers who use Wheel-Trans from one end of the City to the other should be obtained so that these customers can be encouraged to use more conventional services.
A WTOS meeting was also held on October 19, 2017.
Dean Milton provided an update on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy. Staff is currently considering holding public consultations with respect to the new changes being made to the eligibility applications. Phase 3 of the Family of Services pilot will entail dropping customers off at bus stops on the five designated routes. Charlene Sharpe is currently creating landmarks in the scheduling system.
Welcome letters will be sent to newly-approved conditional customers. The letter will stipulate the conditions on which they have been approved and provide the Family of Services phone lines as the first means for booking their trips. Letters will also be sent to existing conditional customers which will remind them of the conditional approval and identify the conditions.
Mobility Transfer Hubs
The Mobility Transfer Hubs will now be known as Access Hubs. Discussions with Humber College have been moving forward, for the installation of an Access Hub in the North campus.
Pro Master Bus
David Tonon provided an update on the Pro Master Bus and noted that new buses are being received weekly. One Pro Master bus is currently in operation and another is being used for training.
TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit – Debrief
Ross Visconti invited WTOS members to provide comments about the recently concluded TTC Public Forum. WTOS members provided comments and suggested a few ways the organization and management of the event with respect to Wheel-Trans pick-ups and drop-offs can be more efficient in the future.
Wheel-Trans Day to Day Operations
Lodon Hassan provided an update on Wheel-Trans Day to Day Operations. As of September 30, 2017, 1,422 new eligibility applications were received. Lodon Hassan also provided an update on the service upgrades and changes being implemented by Wheel-Trans.
The next WTOS meeting will be held on November 2, 2017 at 580 Commissioners Street.
Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Valdo Tammark, Chair
A SPS meeting was held October 4, 2017. The SPS report is deferred to the next ACAT Meeting.
10. ACAT Subcommittee Meeting Highlights for the Next TTC Board Meeting
- Passenger Assistance Intercom Designs
- Platform Gap Report
- King Street Pilot final update before installation.
- Easier Access 3 project review for Donlands and College Stations
- Preliminary discussion of Rosedale Station
- Streetcar education video is completed. This is an inclusive approach to addressing how the streetcar works for everyone: public on street, TTC customers, customers with cross-disabilities so that everyone can understand what is expected of them as mobility users are new to streetcars.
- Supporting TTC accessibility in many types of written communications (newsletters, customer letters, Community Bus brochures): benefit of lived experience in review of order of information, tone, clarity of language, priorities and needs of persons with disabilities.
- Please Offer Me a Seat Campaign - a button that is meant for persons with non-visible disabilities or conditions, to promote peer-to-peer interactions on TTC. And, starting with conditional eligible customers as a pilot is an idea supported by the Subcommittee as it signals a culture shift on de-stigmatizing disability.
- Family of Service Phase 3 update – dropping off customers at shared Wheel-Trans bus stops
- Welcome letters will be sent to newly-approved conditional customers and letters will also be sent to existing conditional customers which will remind them of the conditional approval and identify the conditions when they are eligible.
- The purpose of the travel training is to assist customers who have never used conventional services to navigate and become familiar with the system.
- Pro Master bus in service.
11. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters
Raymond Dell’Aera reported that the TTC Board Meeting was held on October 16, 2017 at City Hall.
The July 27 and August 31, 2017 ACAT minutes were received by the Board. ACAT Chair Debbie Gillespie presented the ACAT Subcommittee meeting highlights.
Debbie Gillespie highlighted an item on the Board’s agenda - the King Street Pilot: Monitoring and Evaluation report, noting that although the report mentions drop-off and pick-up spots for Wheel-Trans vehicles, there is no mention of how accessibility will be measured and evaluated for streetcar operation. This is relevant because the King Street Pilot will change the way the curb lane is used and how customers will need to access the streetcar.
Rick Byers expressed his thanks to Debbie Gillespie, Desrianne McIlwrick, and ACAT for facilitating his experience riding the TTC from the perspective of a person with vision loss. He shared his experience and some of the insights he gained, speaking of a newfound respect for the courage required to use conventional TTC services as person with a disability, and a recognition that when it comes to accessibility, the little things matter. He also said that he continues to appreciate the work that ACAT does, and the TTC's ongoing initiatives regarding accessibility.
In his CEO Report, Andy Byford noted that Bombardier has admitted that it will not meet its delivery target of 70 new low-floor streetcars in 2017, further delaying the rollout of accessible conventional transit service on the city’s streetcar network.
The next TTC Board Meeting will be held on November 13, 2017 at City Hall.
12. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) – Tom Richardson, ACAT Representative
A CLP meeting was held on October 25, 2017.
Mostafa Omran, Manager - Customer Experience, presented a draft of the next TTC Five-Year Corporate Plan, to be presented to the Board early next year. SPS members have provided accessibility input. The CLP members provided feedback.
13. CEO Update
Andy Byford, TTC CEO, informed ACAT that the upcoming open house for the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, Highway 407, and Pioneer Village Stations will unfortunately not be accessible due to elevator approval pending from the TSSA.
Andy Byford reported that Bombardier has expressed their inability to deliver the 70 new low-floor streetcars.
Questions and Comments from Committee Members
What is the biggest concern about the Family of Services? Andy Byford responded that the TTC is committed to making the system work and there might come a time that the service will be expected to be used and not voluntary. The TTC is working on getting more people on the Reservation lines.
Are all subway stations Wi-Fi enabled? Andy Byford responded in the affirmative.
Will ACAT members be given the opportunity to view the TYSSE stations when they become accessible and before the formal opening? Mike Palmer responded in the affirmative. The logistics of this will be worked on.
There are concerns about accessibility issues on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT network. Andy Byford noted that meeting with the Metrolinx CEO is yet to happen but these issues will be discussed as soon as that meeting is held. Andy Byford also noted that it will be helpful to have a presentation on the accessibility of the entire Crosstown network by a representative from Metrolinx.
There is not enough pressure on customers to use PRESTO and the gates near the Collector’s booth are always open, allowing people pass through without paying their fares. Mike Palmer stated that a lot of customers still use the TTC monthly pass. Staff will discuss how to stop customers from passing through those gates without paying fares.
Customers appear to be riding the streetcars without paying fares. Mike Palmer noted that one of the ways to stop this will be to increase the number of revenue inspectors. This will be followed up on.
There has been great difficulty and inconvenience when calling the Reservations line to book Wheel-Trans rides. The wait time has been very long and this has become a safety and emergency issue, particularly for seniors. Management should have anticipated the increase in ridership in September due to start of school. Mike Palmer responded that TTC is looking to hire additional Reservationists next year and that Eve Wiggins and Lynn Middleton will be contacted about this issue.
Mike Palmer further noted that Eve Wiggins and Lynn Middleton will be invited to provide a written report on what the problem is and indicate possible solutions to address the issue.
14. Review of Correspondence
15. Other / New Business
Eglinton West LRT Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) Meeting
Raymond Dell'Aera reported that ACAT received an invitation to send a representative to the SAG. Raymond Dell’Aera accepted because of his experience with the Design Review Subcommittee, the Eglinton Crosstown consultations, and because he is a local resident in the area the LRT will serve.
On October 23, 2017, the Eglinton West LRT Stakeholder Advisory Group held its first meeting, attended by representatives of various groups, including resident and business associations, interest groups, local organizations, and land owners. There was also staff present from the City of Toronto, Metrolinx, and the TTC.
The Eglinton West LRT project is an extension of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT currently under construction and will have between 8 and 12 stops between Mount Dennis and the Mississauga Transitway at Renforth Station and an extension to the new Regional Transit Centre (RTC) at Pearson Airport, operating mostly in dedicated lanes in the centre of Eglinton Avenue.
The purpose of the meeting was to provide background information on the project, the results of the studies completed to date, and to gather feedback regarding their analysis. In addition, they were looking for feedback on things that fall outside of their statistical analysis, ensuring that the Eglinton West LRT provides great transit connections and develops well-designed spaces that align with community needs and values.
Raymond Dell’Aera identified four main areas where the project’s design will impact accessibility, namely:
- The decision on how many stops to include
- Impacts of grade separating some of the stops
- Harmonizing standards and design with the Crosstown LRT and other TTC services
- Opportunities to improve on the existing LRT standards developed by Metrolinx
- Integration between LRT stops and Wheel-Trans service in support of the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy and Family of Services
These comments will be submitted in further detail to the stakeholder group.
Raymond Dell'Aera advised that public meetings are scheduled to begin on November 13 and 15, 2017.
Questions from Committee Members
Is the Eglinton West LRT part of the Smart Track project? Raymond Dell’Aera answered in the negative.
What interest groups were represented at the meeting? Raymond Dell’Aera noted that some of the groups present include local community members and land developers.
York University Emergency Evacuation Simulation
Howard Wax stated that this will be discussed at the SPS meeting.
Informational Support for Accessible Taxis Drivers when ticketed for parking on Bike Lanes
Lauri Sue Robertson stated this topic will be discussed at the WTOS meeting.
16. Next Meeting
The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, November 30, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:36 p.m.