ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, March 29, 2018
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:328
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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

Present

  • Raymond Dell’Aera, Chair
  • Mazin Aribi, Co-Vice Chair
  • Desrianne McIlwrick, Co-Vice Chair
  • Louise Bark
  • Anita Dressler
  • Jessica Geboers
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Angela Marley
  • Lynn McCormick
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Craig Nicol
  • Thomas Richardson
  • Lauri Sue Robertson

Pool Members

  • Scott McArthur
  • Angela Rebeiro

Regrets

  • Mary Burton
  • Igor Samardzic

TTC Representatives

  • Mike Palmer, Chief Operating Officer
  • Jim Ross, Deputy Chief Operating Officer
  • Glen Buchberger, Head of Plant Maintenance
  • Eve Wiggins, Project Manager – CEO Report / WTT Program
  • Helen Obuchowicz, Assistant Manager, Maintenance Design
  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner, System Accessibility
  • Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager - Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
  • Aislin O’Hara, Project Lead, Wheel-Trans
  • Jasmine Eftekhari, Program Coordinator, Specialized Transit Services
  • Mitch Underhay, Senior Community Relations Officer
  • Roy Park, Manager-Vehicle Maintenance Engineering
  • Ricardo Couto, Divisional Manager, Bus Transportation
  • Heather Brown, Manager – Customer Communications
  • Aleksander Urosevic, Manager-Maintenance Engineering

Copies

  • Rick Leary, Acting Chief Executive Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Acting Deputy CEO/Chief Customer Officer
  • Collie Greenwood, Acting Deputy Chief Service 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, Project Manager – CEO Report / WTT Program
  • Lynn Middleton, Acting Head of Wheel-Trans
  • Jacqueline Darwood, Head of Strategy & Service Planning
  • Deborah Brown, Acting Head of Customer Communications
  • TTC Board Members

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Raymond Dell’Aera, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:11 p.m., and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On a motion by Craig Nicol, seconded by Debbie Gillespie, the agenda was approved with the following amendment:

  • An addition under New Business: Discussion regarding the need for interpreters when incidents are reported by the TTC.

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair, Raymond Dell’Aera

Raymond Dell’Aera thanked the ACAT members who visited Coxwell Station. The official opening of the new elevators at Coxwell Station was held on March 1, 2018, making Coxwell Station the 44th accessible subway station. ACAT members were also encouraged to continue to attend consultations for other transit-related projects such as Smart Track.

There was a great response from ACAT members to volunteer for the Operator Recertification sessions. Raymond Dell’Aera thanked the volunteers for their participation.

ACAT has been asked to participate in the upcoming Wheel-Trans Public Consultation meetings. Two volunteers from ACAT are requested per session. Dates will be sent out to members.

There is an ongoing initiative to have GTA accessible transit advocacy groups meet for a joint session. A call was sent out to members and the input is currently being compiled. Further updates will be provided at a later date.

An ACAT in-camera meeting was held earlier in the day. Guidelines and best practices were highlighted, with the aim of helping ACAT stay efficient and constructive in its operations.

5. Review and Approval of February 22, 2018 Minutes

On a motion by Marian McDonell, seconded by Anita Dressler, the February 22, 2018 minutes were approved.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

  • Item: Travel Assistance Card: Ongoing.
  • Item: Wheel-Trans Buses to be permitted to use the DVP Bus Bypass Lanes. Staff reported that training has now commenced. Members agreed that the title of the item will be revised, as all other tasks related to this item have now been completed.
  • Item: Request for Amendment to the Proposed New Guidelines for sidewalk cafes: Matt Hagg reported that a review has been made and technical amendments will be provided to the City.
  • Item: Lack of Tactile Information on Poles for Shared Bus Stops. This will be addressed in the Communications Subcommittee’s report.
  • Item: Family of Services Trips are Difficult to Use during Periods of Overcrowding: Ongoing. This will be addressed at the Service Planning Subcommittee’s April 4, 2018 meeting.
  • Item: Access to Subway Stations and Wheel-Trans Stops at Entrances. This item will be addressed at the Service Planning Subcommittee’s May 2, 2018 meeting.
  • Item: Emergency Procedures for Customer Mobility Device Breakdowns on TTC. This item will be addressed at the next ACAT meeting.

7. Deputation

Nil.

8. Subway Pre-Boarding Announcement System Presentation 

Jim Ross, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and Roy Park, Manager - Vehicle Maintenance Engineering, provided an overview of pre-boarding announcements for the TTC subway fleet. The system has yet to be activated fleet-wide due to system issues. Hardware and software have been installed, but have not yet been turned on for various reasons:

  • On Line 1, train destinations are not standard due to frequent changes to service patterns and closures.
  • The existing design is limited to just four messages and is independent of the Train Information Management System (TIMS) on Line 1 trains. This means it is not able to distinguish when a train is short turning or when the final destination is no longer the terminal station.
  • The next phase of development will allow for integration of the pre-boarding system with TIMS on Line 1 trains, with more control and customization to meet service needs. The new system will also be aware of the train’s exact position and be able to provide more accurate descriptions.

Questions and Comments from Committee Members

Is it possible for destination announcements to be made within the train and also to announce on the platform where the train will be short turning? As destinations change frequently, the decision was made not to provide such information as it could be misleading to customers.

Have there ever been complaints about misleading messages? As the system has never been turned on, there have not been any complaints received.

Does pre-boarding refer to audible and visual signs? Yes, speakers and LED signs have been installed and are in place right now.

Could the non-integration of LED signs and announcements lead to mismatched information being given to deaf customers or customers with hearing impairment? The destination would be displayed on LED signs prior to boarding, and the TIMS system would show the destination. The signs would be updated to keep up with service announcements.

A member made a comment that it is critical to have the audio announcements provide the same information and that the audio should be clear for customers to hear.

Will the TIMS system be linked with the VISION system? The Vehicle Information System and Integrated Operations Network (VISION) Communications system only operates on buses and streetcars, while TIMS is a feature of the Toronto Rocket trains.

A member made a comment that the pre-boarding project is currently one year behind the AODA’s schedule; therefore, solutions need to be put in place. Several members recommended an interim implementation during the wait for TIMS. The recommendations included:

  • That on Line 1 an interim implementation of pre boarding announcements be activated in advance of TIMS and that pre boarding announcements be activated on all other lines.
  • Use of the word “towards” for Line 2 destinations in combination with the words “eastbound” or “westbound.” This would give customers an idea of train’s direction and will give customers with visual impairment and visitors to the City the assurance that they are on the right platform.
  • That the train Operator should let customers know when the short turns will occur.

The following actions and timelines were confirmed by Jim Ross:

  • An update will be provided on whether a temporary solution can be provided for Line 1 In advance of the TIMS integration.
  • A timeline will soon be provided for implementation of recommended changes to Line 2 and activation of the announcements on Lines 3 and 4.
  • The TTC would proceed with the ultimate solution of integrating the system on Line 1 trains with TIMS. The project will be submitted for approval to the TTC Board in June, and a further year to 18 months is expected for implementation.

9. Platform Gap Update

Glen Buchberger, Head of Plant Maintenance, and Helen Obuchowicz, Assistant Manager, Maintenance Design, provided the platform gap update. The TTC has committed to repairing the platform gaps at five locations in 2018. An overview was provided of the potential locations and estimated timelines. The proposed stations listed for repair are:

  • Eglinton: The proposed plan is to work on the gaps in advance of work to be conducted by Metrolinx, to retrofit the north and southbound platforms.
  • St. Clair: Both northbound and southbound platforms have vertical and horizontal issues.
  • St. George: The southbound station would be scheduled for the fall, due to the temperatures within the station.
  • St. Clair West and Dundas: These stations have been added to the list of station platforms to be considered for repair, in the short term. The list is not definite, as locations to be repaired are variable, depending on issues found at each station.

A sample of the platform edge replacement tiles was presented to ACAT. These tiles will be used to raise or lower the level of the gap in order to obtain the optimum platform gap vertical height. Use of such tile is flexible to accommodate a variety of gaps across several stations. A sample of a horizontal gap filler was also shown, which will be attached to the vertical face of the cantilevered slab and used to fill any horizontal gaps.

The tile material is impervious to water and will not allow water to drain off the edge of the platform. Less maintenance of the new tiles is expected as they are thicker and more rigid and should not be damaged by overnight work. The product is used worldwide across various transportation networks, is designed to withstand various internal and external temperatures, and has a warranty of 15 to 20 years.  In addition, there is little chance of objects getting caught within the rubber fingers of the horizontal gap filler.

Retrofits will be dependent on station closures. Construction will proceed by first removing the old tiles and using adhesive to fasten the new tiles to the existing system.

Questions and Comments from Committee Members

A member commented that Davisville Station has one of the worst gaps, along with having a narrow platform. Support was expressed for placing Davisville Station on the list, given the frequency of customer use. While members were informed that some locations are more technically challenging than others, further comments were made that the deficiencies at Davisville surpass those of St. Clair Station. The determination of what stations are initially scheduled for repair will be based on the schedule, as well as the difficulty of removing tiles at certain stations. Five stations is a realistic number given the unknown conditions and potential of difficulty at various stations. In addition, the schedule is constrained by the number of available subway closures. Davisville may be placed on the contingency list. Other factors include consultation with the manufacturers, purchase and delivery of materials, as well as further modifications that still need to be discussed. Construction is scheduled from June onwards, which will provide enough lead time to obtain the materials. ACAT’s recommendations of what locations should be prioritized will be reviewed to determine what can fit into the schedule.

A member requested the chance to try out a station once the repairs are near completion in order to determine how various mobility devices can move on the surface. Depending on the completion of installation (expected to take a month), feedback may be obtained once certain sections are complete.

Staff were urged to work on the stations that are considered to be the most problematic and unsafe. St. George Station was identified as a good choice, as it is an interchange station and is heavily used, given the number of students who attend University of Toronto.

The Chair observed that ACAT members are pleased that the project is being prioritized and is moving forward after many years of discussion.

10. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update

Jasmine Eftekhari provided an update on the ACAT Policy Workshop, which is part of the Wheel-Trans Transformation Program and the Family of Services project. Twenty-one customer policies were discussed at the Customer Experience Policy workshop, which will be implemented in the next 12 to 14 months. An update will be provided once the implementation has been formalized.

Mitch Underhay, Senior Community Liaison Officer, reported that a series of five Wheel-Trans Public Consultation meetings are scheduled for April in various locations around the city. An email will be sent to ACAT.

  • April 18 – evening, Metro Hall
  • April 24 -  evening, Etobicoke
  • April 25 – evening, Scarborough
  • April 30 - afternoon and evening, North York

Aislin O’Hara provided an overview of the presentation that will be delivered by Eve Wiggins and Lynn Middleton at these public meetings. The presentation outlines the customer demographics, Wheel-Trans vision and mission, as well as the five pillars of customer experience strategy.

A timeline and outline of different initiatives in each year of the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy was also provided.

Questions and Comments from Committee Members

Members made the following recommendations:

  • Describe the features of the access hubs.
  • In the demographics section, add how many customers book online versus booking by phoning in. The number of Wheel-Trans customers who are seniors should also be made clear.
  • Customers should be given handouts so that the poster boards will not need to be adjusted to accommodate different heights.
  • Use appropriate format of the slides, include changing the contrast, splitting the content of slides and increasing font size.
  • Information about FoS at the end of the presentation should be increased.

Members were asked to send further feedback to staff.

11. Subcommittee Reports and Updates  

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Marian McDonell

A CS meeting was held on March 8, 2018. Marian McDonnell was acclaimed as CS Chair.

A review of the CS outstanding items list was made.

  • The Streetcar Education Video has now been completed and will be removed from the CS outstanding items list.
  • Accessibility Tips: It was suggested that the home page of the TTC website feature accessibility tips, as there is still no deal with the Metro commuter paper for TTC space. The inclusion of this feature on the TTC website will be brought to the Subcommittee for review in June.
  • The Travel Assistance Card has been referred to WTOS and Wheel-Trans staff are considering it. The "Please Offer Me a Seat" project is being developed by a staff group that includes Strategy and Service Planning and Customer Communications. Customers who need a seat can use this card to request any seat on the vehicle.
  • The new stop poles currently pose accessibility barriers due to the height at which the information is placed, as well as a lack of tactile indicators. There was discussion about the challenges by people with visual loss in finding the right stop pole at bus stops with multiple poles. Ian Dickson, Manager - Design & Wayfinding, provided various recommendations for modifications to the stop poles.

The next CS meeting will be held on April 5, 2018.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) - Craig Nicol

A DRS meeting was held on March 7, 2018.

Staff provided an update on PRESTO as well as the installation of payment systems on low-floor streetcars. The Single Ride Vending Machine (SRVM) will be phased out and replaced with a payment machine made by Parkeon. As the Parkeon machines are not currently accessible for people with vision loss, a proposal is currently being made to maintain the current SRVM’s in the accessible module of the streetcar and install the Parkeon machines beside the bicycle area located in module 4 until a more accessible Parkeon machine is developed.

A number of other items related to PRESTO were discussed, such as legacy fare media and fare payment on Wheel-Trans vehicles.

A prototype of tactile and braille material for elevator buttons was presented to DRS.

A discussion was held on the wording needed for pre-boarding announcements.

A discussion took place regarding the correction of gap issues at the Eglinton/Yonge interchange station. DRS expressed concern that the gap issues be corrected in time for the opening of ECLRT Line 5 service.

A site visit was conducted on March 28, 2018 for DRS members to view the prototype of the passenger information display and audible information system. DRS members provided feedback for suggested improvements.

The next DRS meeting will be held on April 4, 2018.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) - Thomas Richardson

Deferred.

Wheel-Trans Operations Committee (WTOS) - Lynn McCormick

Deferred.

12. ACAT Subcommittee Meeting Highlights for the Next TTC Board Meeting  

CS:

  • Stop Pole Re-design
  • Accessibility tips
  • Spring Wheel-Trans newsletter

DRS:

  • Eglinton/Yonge Line 1 gap and wayfinding issue correction to coordinate with Line 5 ECLRT opening in 2021.
  • Impacts on accessibility due to PRESTO streetcar vending machine replacement and completion of PRESTO/fare gate switch over.

13. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) - Thomas Richardson, ACAT Representative

Deferred.

14. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters 

Deferred.

15. CEO Update 

Nil.

16. Review of Correspondence

Deferred.

17. Other / New Business 

There was a discussion on the coordination of a meeting to discuss the FoS audit with all ACAT members and Stantec. ACAT members agreed to schedule the meeting for the end of April.

A member made a comment that the focus of the discussion should be on specific issues discovered by Stantec. There was less support expressed for a scoring system. Members were informed that the data on such issues exists and may be extracted by the Committee as needed.  Questions should be sent to Lodon Hassan who will forward to Stantec, in preparation for a response.

18. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, April 26, 2018, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

19. Adjournment

On a motion by Angela Marley, the meeting was adjourned at 3:38 p.m.

Temi Adewumi
Recording Secretary

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