ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, August 30, 2018
Location:1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom
Meeting No:333
  • 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
  • Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
  • Louise Bark
  • Mary Burton
  • Anita Dressler
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Jessica Geboers
  • Angela Marley
  • Marian McDonell
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Craig Nicol 
  • Lauri Sue Robertson

Pool Members

  • Scott McArthur
  • Igor Samardzic

Regrets

  • Lynn McCormick

TTC Representatives

  • Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer
  • Jim Ross, Acting Chief Operating Officer
  • Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans
  • Harpreet Nagi, Head of Rail Cars and Shops
  • Lynn Middleton, Manager, Wheel-Trans Transportation
  • Mark Mis, Manager – Service Planning
  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • Jasmine Eftekhari, Project Coordinator, WT Transformation Program
  • Mitch Underhay, Senior Community Liaison Officer
  • Charlene Sharpe, Business Analyst, Wheel-Trans
  • Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager-Customer Service
  • Claudio Caschera, Bus Transportation Manager

Copies

  • Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Acting Deputy CEO/Chief Customer Officer
  • Collie Greenwood, Acting Chief Service Officer
  • Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
  • Dan Wright, Chief Financial Officer
  • Brad Ross, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
  • James Ross, Acting Chief Operating Officer
  • Eve Wiggins, 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 12:45 p.m., and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On a motion by Mazin Aribi and seconded by Debbie Gillespie, the agenda was approved.

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair Raymond Dell’Aera

Raymond Dell’Aera reported that the first GTA Accessibility Advisory Committee Joint Meeting held at City Hall on August 3, 2018 was well attended. Representatives from Peel Region, York Region, Metrolinx, and TransHelp were in attendance. A number of topics were discussed including policies and practices. The full report of the meeting will be finalized.

On August 21, 2018, Raymond Dell’Aera joined TTC Staff, Julie Dabrusin, Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth, Mayor John Tory, and TTC Chair Josh Colle for the Public Transportation Infrastructure Fund’s announcement on Wheel-Trans funding. The $41 million funding will be used to purchase 120 ProMaster buses, fund the Access Hubs, and the upgrade of different critical systems including customer service, scheduling and dispatch, and call centre systems.

The ACAT Information Sessions will be on September 27, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. and September 28, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at City Hall Committee Room 2. Attendance to one session is required if an individual would like to obtain an application for ACAT membership.

The Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) Conference will be held in Toronto from November 18 to November 21, 2018. Mazin Aribi and Raymond Dell’Aera will attend on behalf of ACAT. Staff are looking into the possibility of a booth for ACAT as part of the trade show at the event.

Observations of terminology used at past meetings were reported. e.g., the term hearing impaired is translated in American Sign Language as drunk or broken. It was suggested to use the term “deaf” or “hard of hearing”.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

Members asked about the possibility of being locked out of the TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit due to picketers who are on strike. Heather Brown reported that the event will not be proceeding as planned on September 13 and that information on a new date and venue change will go out and will be widely communicated. 

5. Farewell Presentation to Josh Colle

A farewell presentation to TTC Chair Josh Colle was held.  ACAT Chair Raymond Dell’Aera welcomed Chair Colle and CEO Rick Leary at the ACAT Meeting. Raymond Dell’Aera presented Chair Colle with a gift and thanked him for his service, leadership, and contributions. TTC CEO Rick Leary also made some brief remarks and invited Chair Colle to speak.

6. Review and Approval of July 26, 2018 Minutes

On a motion by Mazin Aribi and seconded by Louise Bark, the minutes of the July 28, 2018 meeting were approved.

7. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

  • Item: Communicating Emergency Procedures for Customers who Encounter problems:
    • All communication has been completed.
  • Item: Pre-boarding Announcements on Subway Trains: Update will be announced today. 

8. Deputation

Nil. 

9. Pre-Boarding Announcement Update

Jim Ross and Harpreet Nagi provided an update.

The pre-boarding announcements on Line 4 (Sheppard) were implemented in May 2018 and on Line 3 (Scarborough) in June 2018. The announcements are not yet functioning on Lines 1 and 2.

It is more complicated to implement the announcements on the Toronto Rocket trains in use on Line 1 because of various short turn destinations and because the north/south directions switch after the trains pass Union Station.

Testing for announcements cannot be completed in the night as neighbours are complaining that the system is too loud.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

The announcement that says “Line 4 to Sheppard” is misleading as it does not state the correct station name and also continues to play at Sheppard-Yonge Station until the train departs back to Don Mills.

When will the solution be implemented on Lines 1 and 2? Jim Ross will get direction from the CEO to get this done and get back to ACAT, with a timeline as to when the pre-boarding announcements will be fully implemented. Operational staff will look into the matter of fixing announcements through Bombardier and TTC will work with supervisors to make the system better for a faster setup. The audio announcements cannot be updated right away because Bombardier owns the rights to the software.

At Kennedy Station, when disembarking from the Line 3 trains, there are no directions to use the doors on the opposite side of the train for elevator users. Staff responded that this is related to the next stop announcement system and that they will look into the matter.

Members reiterated ACAT’s recommendation regarding subway announcements: “Direction (eastbound / westbound / northbound / southbound) toward the terminal station (Finch / Vaughn / Kennedy / Kipling, etc.).

10. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update

Jasmine Eftekhari reported that the Wheel-Trans Transit Mode Share Survey will be launching this week. It will determine what modes of transportation are being used by our customers on a daily basis. The goal is to determine how frequently Wheel-Trans customers travel using conventional TTC.

New Family of Services (FoS) routes are underway. Stops along these routes are being carefully analysed for transfer suitability. Different options in terms of transferring customers to and from conventional stops are also being reviewed,

The Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) reviewed and supported the proposed change in the escort policy for customers travelling FoS. The escort policy for door-to-door service remains the same.

The Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) reviewed and supported the proposed change in the escort policy for customers travelling FoS. The escort policy for door-to-door service remains the same.

The Access Hubs project continues to progress. Construction at the Humber College North Campus hub will begin in October and is scheduled to finish by end of year. Access Hubs at Victoria Park and Ellesmere, Jane and Eglinton, and Victoria Park and Neilson are on schedule to be completed in 2019.

Height and detection range of the motion sensors has been adjusted for Meadowvale Loop Access Hub with the help of WTOS Chair Lynn McCormick. The height and range tested will be used at all the future Access Hubs.

Travel Training

To date, a total of 55 customers participated in travel training, ranging from 16 to 91 years in age. Customers have participated in travel training orientation sessions, vehicle exploration days, and one-on-one travel training sessions.
 
The Pilot has involved partnerships with AMI Accessible Media and the Disability Channel. Both agencies have filmed during the vehicle exploration days and are producing segments that will be shared across all their digital platforms. ACAT will be provided with a link to the recording as soon as it becomes available.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

It was noted that access hubs are not located at subway stations, but in locations where there is no natural TTC source, so customers can wait to transfer to or from Wheel-Trans.”

Clarification on the escort policy is to be provided by staff, as it had been stated in the presentation that customers in Wheel-Trans buses who need help may be escorted from a Wheel-Trans bus to a conventional stop, especially if the bus is parking on a side street. In addition, customers with low vision will need an escort regardless of whether they are using FoS or Wheel-Trans.

Further comments were made regarding use of the word “escort” but it was agreed that the word is used as part of the policy’s title.

11. PRESTO Update

Heather Brown reported that the new fare gates have been installed at all subway stations except for Yorkdale main entrance and King Station’s Commerce Court entrance, although PRESTO is still available at those stations. These entrances will have the new fare gates installed in line with the Easier Access work scheduled at those stations in 2019.The PRESTO Fare Vending Machines which customers can use to purchase and load cards are available at select subway stations entrances. All entrances will have a PRESTO Fare Vending Machine available by mid-November.

Card readers are available on all buses, streetcars and Wheel-Trans. A solution for customers to pay their fare by PRESTO on contracted sedan taxis is still being developed. The permanent solution for sedan taxis will not be available to sedan taxi drivers until next year.

By the end of October, all 134 Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Toronto will be able to sell and reload PRESTO cards.

TTC Metropasses will be discontinued after December 31, 2018.

The wording “Is PRESTO right for you” will be changed to “PRESTO is right for you”.

PRESTO tickets will be available in June 2019 for visitors and customers who use transit infrequently. The introduction of PRESTO cards for support persons will be available next year. The support person will have a non-revenue card.

Child, youth and senior concessions can be added to PRESTO cards at Shoppers Drug Mart or the TTC’s Customer Service Centre. A valid government-issued identification is required to set a concession fare on a card.

TTC will meet with social service agencies to discuss bulk purchases of PRESTO paper tickets which will be implemented next year. ODSP recipients will use the Fair Pass Program if they qualify through Toronto Employment Services.

A PRESTO app for phones will be available by 2019. The two-hour transfer for PRESTO cardholders went in effect August 26, 2018.

It was suggested that the customer can use the Passenger Assistance Intercom (PAI) system to speak to a Collector if they need help and there is no Customer Service Agent nearby (i.e. at a PRESTO fare gate or an automatic entrance).

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

TTC staff are not always around to assist when the readers are not working. Heather Brown will review concept of operations with Ellen Stassen to ensure protocol is in place to assist customers through a fare line when the gates aren’t working.

ACAT members made the following suggestions:

  • A recycle box should be provided to throw away the single-use PRESTO cards
  • It may be difficult for people with dexterity issues to use the PRESTO card if the Collector is not there.
  • PRESTO cards can be ordered by phone by calling PRESTO’s Customer Service Centre at 1-877-378-6123.
  • Provide enough Customer Service Agents at subway station farelines to assist individuals.
  • Collect data on 2 taps within 2 hours
  • Inclusive language other than English and French for PRESTO brochures. 

12. Subcommittee Reports and Updates 

Communications Subcommittee (CS) - Marian McDonell

A CS meeting was held on August 24, 2018.

  • Tactile Information on Stop Poles

The request had been made for tactile information to be placed on bus stop poles where there are multiple poles for different routes at the same intersection, or location. For sighted people, the route is printed on each pole. The same route number should be placed on the pole in a tactile format for non-sighted customers. Examples include Bayview and Eglinton, Yonge Street and Bishop, and Sherway Gardens. The recommended solution does not require a high level of technology, as all that is needed for each pole is a raised print number with the Braille equivalent printed underneath. As not all people with vision loss read Braille, it was also suggested that a button (also known as the “talking bus stop”) could be added to the pole, which would provide audible information. This item will be added to the list of outstanding items and reviewed by staff.

Public Forum on Accessible Transit

The recommendation was made that matters pertaining to accessibility be reserved for the ACAT table, leaving items that are TTC-specific for their table.

There are many comments and questions from CS members regarding the location of the table and the promotion of the event through various TTC media.

PRESTO Update

Heather Brown provided an update on PRESTO. Fare gate construction is complete, with the exception of Yorkdale and King Station’s Commerce Court entrance. Card readers are available on all buses and streetcars. However, this is not the case for surface vehicles such as sedan taxis.  In the interim Operators can record customers’ PRESTO card numbers, which will then be reviewed on their run sheets.

As of September, customers will be able to purchase adult, senior and youth monthly passes, which will also be available as annual passes. Over the next year and half, detailed plans to switch to PRESTO were outlined. The two-hour transfer, which is for PRESTO cardholders only, comes into effect on August 26, 2018.

By November, every station entrance will have a Fare Vending Machine installed at the station, where they can be used to purchase and load PRESTO cards, as well as to check balances. The TTC will meet with social service agencies to discuss bulk purchases of the PRESTO paper ticket.

  • Materials / Newsletter Reviewed Between Meetings

CS members helped W-T FoS with an upcoming survey, as well CS members were involved with 2 conference calls; provided feedback on the new website; and reviewed the Wheel-Trans newsletter.

  • New TTC Website

CS members were thanked for providing feedback which has now been passed onto Deborah Brown and the web design firm. The current website will be maintained until November, and the new website will be kept in the beta format until October, while issues with schedule data are being resolved. New information will be loaded onto the new beta site.

The following feedback was provided at the meeting:

  • In response to a query, the most current information resides on the old site, and a process is still to be determined on how to update both the old and beta site simultaneously.
  • Station maps are still being planned and will be placed under station descriptions.
  • Information about accessible streetcar service will be posted under the Accessibility Section.
  • A comment was made that the placement of both corporate and customer information on the home page is confusing to those who need information on transit.
  • Several comments were made about viewing the website on a screen reader unsuccessfully and it was recommended that the web design firm view the site with a screen reader.
  • A concern was expressed that the technical requirements for accessibility are not being followed, especially in comparison to other accessible sites. It was further advised that every website element be tested by the people creating the new website to use the technology that blind people use when accessing the site to determine if the site meets accessibility standards.
  • Formatting of the new information is also critical. An example was given of stops with multiple branches, where users now need to click each branch to see its schedule.
  • It was advised that information should not just be transferred; its proper context should be understood, so that information can be placed in a logical format.
  • Citing a lack of consultation at the outset, the request was made that the web design firm meet with the Subcommittee, so that feedback could be presented first hand. This request will be reviewed by Deborah Brown.
  • Feedback on the website will be accepted until October, and the information shared at the meeting will be shared with other staff and the web design firm. The website will also be kept as a standing agenda item until it goes live

New Business

  • Interviews will soon be scheduled for the Manager of Digital Communications position.
  • The “First On, Last Off” campaign will be moved to the CS Outstanding Items List and will be added to the agenda of the next meeting

The next CS meeting will held on October 11, 2018.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) - Craig Nicol

A DRS meeting was held on August 1, 2018 and a site visit at St. Clair West Station was held on August 22, 2018.

DRS Meeting, August 1, 2018

Easier Access Program Update for Runnymede and Wilson Stations

This is the second time DRS has seen these stations. Both station designs are now ready for tender with completion in 2020.

Subcommittee Questions and Comments:

  • DRS agreed that, at the bus platform in each station, a Wheel-Trans stop, signage, and pole are required to ensure that Operators and customers know the pickup point.
  • Recommendations were made regarding the installation of accessible benches to replace old benches and addition of new benches.
  • Recommendations were made with respect to the names of floor levels at Wilson station. This was to bring the names in line with those of other stations. After the meeting, it was confirmed that the DRS recommendation is already planned.

Lawrence Station EA3 Update

When this station was presented, DRS expressed concern about a column interrupting a new stair. At this meeting, it was confirmed that a redesign of the stair has eliminated the concern.

  • PRESTO Update

Jan Richards outlined a number of issues that had been raised previously regarding PRESTO devices. DRS members were asked to rank the issues in categories of “must have,” “very nice to have,” “nice to have” and “not desired.”

Subcommittee Questions and Comments:

  • Of the five items raised, only the item relating to forward approach toe clearance at reload and fare media devices were considered necessary. DRS suggested a simple method whereby the required toe clearance could be achieved.
  • During the meeting, DRS took the opportunity to again express concern about PRESTO fare collection devices used on Wheel-Trans and Operator use of these devices. DRS’ feedback will be shared, and there is the possibility of a more in-depth discussion with the Wheel-Trans Operations subcommittee.

Other Business:

Metrolinx has proposed a joint meeting with DRS on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT design issues.

DRS Site Visit at St. Clair West Station, August 22, 2018

DRS attended at St Clair West station to review the upgrades to fare gates. An enhanced audio confirmation of tap was tested providing the increase in volume that DRS requested. A discussion took place regarding the improved visual markings on the gate paddles. An issue of extending the time to pass through the gates when using the reduced height reader on the wider gate was discussed.

The next DRS meeting will be held on September 5, 2018.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Thomas Richardson

The SPS Report for the July 4, 2018 meeting which was deferred from last ACAT Meeting is being provided at this meeting.

SPS Meeting, July 4, 2018

There were 4 items discussed at this meeting.

  • Proposed Fees for Lost CNIB PRESTO Passes

Paul Manners and Melissa Montana gave an overview of the TTC’s proposal to introduce a $25.00 administration fee to replace lost or stolen CNIB PRESTO PASSES. Historically, the CNIB managed the distribution of Transit passes to their clients on an annual basis, including the replacement of lost passes.

With the conversion to PRESTO, and the fact that the passes now have a 3-year life, the TTC will take over the management of the passes. The TTC will maintain a confidential registry for tracking purposes in order to prevent the possibility of fraudulent use of a lost or stolen pass. The administration costs of deactivating and creating a replacement pass is considerable and will be covered by the TTC. Therefore, the TTC proposes to introduce a $25.00 administration fee for this service. The CNIB is not opposed to this initiative and will communicate this issue to their clients.

Securement

Laurie Sue Robertson introduced some issues regarding the securement of mobility devices on buses. She recommended that Operators check to ensure that these securements are clean and in good working order before taking their vehicles into service. She also recommended that, as a matter of safety, securement for all mobility devices should be made mandatory on all TTC buses. Presently, the policy of “All or Nothing” is being practiced. This means that a customer requiring securement can refuse securement, putting themselves and other customers at risk of further injury in the event of an emergency. There was much discussion on these issues and the SPS members agreed that more research on this issue was required to determine a clear policy for TTC Bus Operators.

People in Motion Debrief

The following observations were made by the ACAT members who volunteered at the ACAT display at this year’s People in Motion event.

  • The event was held on June 15 and 16, 2018 at Variety Village and the attendance at this new venue was comparable with last years’ event.
  • The location of the TTC and ACAT displays were side by side which made it more convenient to refer attendees requiring specific information.
  • Increased service from the Victoria Park subway station should have been considered since shuttle buses were not provided due to financial constraints.
  • With the increase of mobility devices coming to the event on the conventional buses, a refresher in boarding and de-boarding procedures was recommended for Bus Operators.

Equity and Transit Service Planning Project

The purpose of this project is to develop a process and identify strategies to advance economic and social equity in TTC’s Service Planning. The project will be rolled out in two streams.

The first stream will define Major Changes and identify Diverse Groups to create a standard process for the development of Service Planning for these groups. The second stream will identify the Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (NIA) where the service changes will be implemented, and to evaluate the effectiveness of these changes. With the feedback from this project, there is the potential for extension of this project into other areas of Service Planning. All changes will be presented to the TTC Board for approval prior to implementation.

New Business

It was proposed that the SPS meeting time be extended to 4:00 p.m. when necessary.
SPS members agreed providing ample notification was received prior to the meeting.

The next SPS meeting will be on August 1 2018.

A SPS meeting was held on August 1, 2018. The following items were discussed.

TTC Enforcement Program

Sergeant Pam Ashcroft, TTC Transit Enforcement, gave an overview of the TTC’s Transit Enforcement Division in which she clarified the different roles of the Special Constables versus the Fare Inspectors. Pam Ashcroft also emphasized that some AODA training was included in the Transit Enforcement training curriculum. She was very receptive when the Subcommittee recommended that an ACAT member attend future training sessions as they do for other TTC training sessions. 

Bus Transportation Training

Seth Irvine and George Free from the Training and Development Department invited SPS members to provide feedback on previously circulated materials. SPS provided their recommendations on corrections to the language and definitions of the documents previously provided. Recommendations were given regarding securement and how Operators should approach persons with disabilities and mobility devices when they are offering assistance. 

Access Hub Update

Dean Milton and Catalina Parada provided an update on the Access Hub initiative with a focus on locations not previously presented. An overview was provided on the hub sizes, site selection criteria, and implementation phases.

Business Arising

There was much discussion regarding the safety issues at surface vehicle stop locations where street crossings were required to access subway entrances. SPS recommended the following:

  • That coordination with the City be arranged, to ensure suitable crossing signal times, and Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS) should be added to all of the applicable intersections.
  • That, in the future, distances and number of street crossings from the surface vehicle drop off stops to subway entrances be discussed with ACAT for positive feedback, prior to placement of these stops.

The September SPS meeting is cancelled. The next SPS meeting will be held on October 3, 2018.

Wheel-Trans Operations Committee (WTOS) - Lynn McCormick

The WTOS report will be presented at the next ACAT meeting.

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

CS:

  • TTC Website feedback
  • Tactile route numbers on bus stop poles where there are multiple dedicated stop poles at an intersection or location
  • TTC Public Forum materials

DRS:

  • EA3 reviews of Wilson, Runnymede and Lawrence Station issues.
  • PRESTO vending and reload device accessibility compliance issues ranked for correction.
  • Fare Gate audio signal volume and gate paddle contrasting markings

SPS:

  • Introduction of the TTC’S Transit Enforcement Program
  • Information and Feedback on the Bus Transportation Training Program

14. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP), Craig Nicol

There was no CLP meeting held this month. 

15. CEO Update

Nil.

16. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

17. ACAT Participation in CUTA Conference, November 18-21 2018

Raymond Dell’Aera had mentioned this in his Remarks (Item #4).

18. Other / New Business

Nil.

19. Next Meeting

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, September 27, 2018, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

20. Adjournment

On a motion by Mazin Aribi and seconded by Thomas Richardson the meeting was adjourned.

Sandra Sylburne
Recording Secretary

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