Communications Subcommittee (CS) - Marian McDonell
A CS meeting was held on October 11, 2018.
Deborah Brown provided an update on the website which is still in beta phase and is tentative to go live by November 30, 2018. Staff is continuing to work on data (scheduling) issues and accessibility issues that need to be corrected before going live. An outside firm, T-Base, has been contracted to conduct an accessibility audit of the new website. The audit will be a 4-week process beginning mid-October. T-base will complete a report with detailed explanation of all issues that need to be addressed and corrected.
The majority of the issues and recommendations received from ACAT members have been addressed such as accessibility moved up to header, a page including all bus/streetcar routes is being built, search issues have been addressed. ACAT members are encouraged to continue using the website and provide any comments or suggestions for improvement.
Ian Dickson, Manager – Design and Wayfinding, presented the map developments to the subway and streetcar routes and requested feedback from CS members. The new development concept is to create a hybrid between the streetcar map and subway map to highlight all rail systems. The new maps will have the full rail system including all 4 subway lines and the entire streetcar network. They will be located on the subway trains above the seats to the left or right of the doors; maps will be located in each car; The existing T1 Subway map would remain above the door of the train.
Additional redesigned vertical linear maps will be placed on the subway platforms. The purpose of redesigning the Subway Map T1 and creating the new hybrid map is to simplify and provide more clarity for passengers as they travel through the system.
A suggestion was made to add icons or pictures on the new hybrid map to indicate where the streetcar line intersects. It was mentioned that there will be a legend included in the right hand corner of the hybrid map.
A concern was raised that accessible stations are not indicated on the updated maps. The International Symbol of Access was inserted into the station dot in previous maps. As changes are completed to make stations accessible, this will be communicated to passengers. A Ride Guide will be used to provide full accessibility details.
First On, Last Off Policy
For both streetcars and buses, the policy is that persons using mobility devices should get on first and customers using mobility devices should be last off the bus.
A concern was expressed by various subcommittee members that the “First On, Last Off” policy has not always been followed by Operators or transit riders. The confusion was noted over the policy between streetcars and buses. It was mentioned that, for streetcars, the Operator must come out of the streetcar to deploy the ramp when the streetcar is not at an island platform stop. It was suggested that clarity on the policy as well as the messaging would be appreciated as these modes are quite different. Several requests were made to have the policy communicated to the public in order to resolve the issues. It was noted that for budgetary reasons it may be difficult to do a campaign for 2018 but can look into other communication channels this year and complete a PSA campaign in 2019.
TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit - December 13, 2018
The venue has been moved to the North Building in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC). Wheel-Trans staff will assess accessibility issues and confirm a drop off and pick up location.
The live stream will allow members to watch and also interact by asking questions during the presentation. The URL for the live stream will be confirmed and included in the December newsletter.
The ACAT table will have ACAT-specific information and TTC will have general Wheel-Trans information e.g. Family of Services, etc. These suggestions have been passed to the Events Team.
Wheel-Trans Winter Newsletter - The Communications team is currently in the process of drafting the Winter newsletter. It will be sent to CS members for review by the first week of November. The final newsletter will be sent to Wheel-Trans customers at the end of November.
Metropass Discount Program (MDP) - As of October 11, 2018, a news release was issued announcing the end of the Metropass Discount Program. The decision to end the MDP program was grounded around the uncertainty in Canada Post labour negotiations. On November 1, 2018, all MDP customers will receive a $6 credit to be used to purchase a PRESTO card. MDP customers can transition to a 12-month pass (equivalent to MDP pass) or wait until January 2019 to get a regular pass.
TTC Family Day – This event was held on October 14, 2018 at Mt. Dennis Bus Division. ACAT hosted a table at the event.
Customer Handbook - CS and WTOS members reviewed the draft of the handbook. As there were many issues that came up during the review, it will be further discussed at the December meeting. A suggestion to have a Family of Services newsletter will be discussed by the W-T team and Alicia Sgromo will report back with an update at the December meeting.
The next CS meeting will be held on December 6, 2018.
Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) - Craig Nicol
A DRS meeting was held on October 3, 2018. Two meetings were held in November (November 7 and 14) and DRS had a field trip on November 29, 2018.
October 3, 2018 DRS Meeting
DRS discussed the Scarborough Centre Station Design and reviewed Spadina Station Easier Access design.
DRS objected to having only one Wheel-Trans pick up and drop off location and that the west entrance from the pedestrian bridge to bus platform is designed without a backup staircase for escalators.
November 7, 2018 DRS Meeting
Eglinton West LRT Extension
The City of Toronto is currently meeting with area stakeholders to develop an understanding of the neighbourhood and set the goals and priorities for the project.
Subcommittee Questions and Comments:
Members provided feedback about difficulties at surface and underground transit stops. There was comment about transferring related to the number of street crossings and the need to adjust stop location for rider volumes.
For streetscapes members suggested wider sidewalks, increase shelter lighting, avoid tree wells and grates that may cause safety issues.
Platform shelters need to protect against wind and wind driven rain/snow.
"Protected or Dutch style intersections" were not favoured by members.
Metrolinx LRT Project Consultation Process
Antonia Hammer attended to discuss the consultation process for Metrolinx LRT projects. The objective was to gather feedback to improve the process.
- Start the consultation early in a project.
- Conduct meetings with designers interacting rather than a spokesperson presenter.
- Create a venue for open discussion rather than bring a completed design to the meeting.
An issue was raised regards safety of bus flip down seats and unintended results of installing these seats.
November 14, 2018 DRS Meeting
Jan Richards presented several PRESTO updates including the PRESTO App, PRESTO Mobile App for Sedan Taxis, PRESTO Tickets and Milestones Updates and Delivery. The PRESTO app will be an accessible smart phone tool for managing multiple cards providing reload machine functions via your phone. The PRESTO Mobile app for sedan taxis will run on tablets used by the taxi industry allowing fare payment with a PRESTO card. PRESTO Tickets are paper PRESTO cards available for purchase of a limited number of rides typically one or two and are not reloadable.
The Milestones relate to what is yet to roll out in 2019:
- Presto Tickets - Q1
- Legacy Weekly Passes (stop selling Q1, March)
- PRESTO APP for Sedan Taxis (testing) - Q2
- Legacy Ticket Tokens (stop selling Q3, August 2, Stop accepting Q4, December 31)
- Collector Booth (closed) - Q3 or Q4, aligned with the same dates when legacy fare media will no longer be accepted.
Subway Train Pre-Boarding Announcements
Staff provided an update on the subway train pre-boarding announcement system. Changes have been made including volume, repetition, and scrolling speed. Text of the announcements was distributed prior to the meeting.
- A further review of the Vision system capabilities was requested.
- Concern was raised about ECLRT flow through in car elevator control panel location.
November 29, 2018 DRS Site Visit
Prior to the ACAT meeting, DRS met on the Davisville Station subway platform for a demonstration of the pre-boarding announcements and display on a TR train set.
The next DRS meeting will be on December 19, 2018.
Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Thomas Richardson
Raymond Dell’Aera provided the report on behalf of Thomas Richardson. SPS meetings were held on October 3, 2018 and November 7, 2018.
October 3, 2018 SPS Meeting
There were 3 items discussed at this meeting.
1. Customer Service Agents (CSA) – Training and Responsibilities
Dinah Holliday, Program Manager for Station Transformation, initiated a discussion on the training and responsibilities of CSAs. Currently, most TTC stations are staffed in booths where their primary responsibility is the selling of fares. In the future, fares will be sold by vending machines and these Collectors will no longer be required. The TTC will then staff all stations with CSAs based on the existing models in London and Boston. The primary responsibilities of CSAs will be to provide information and customer service, as well as inspecting their stations to ensure that all elevators and escalators are in good working order. The six new extension stations are already staffed in this manner.
CSAs will be required to attend a training program. The curriculum will include:
- An understanding of the Family of Services
- Issues surrounding accessibilities and diversity
- Coordination with other staff
- Emergency protocols
A full roll out of the CSA program is expected to be completed by late 2019.
2. 2018 TTC Public Forum on Accessible Transit
A change of venue was required due to labour difficulties at the usual location. Since the AODA requires that a forum on accessible transit is held on an annual basis, the forum will take place at the Metro Convention Centre North Building on December 13, 2018. The nearest entrance to the rooms where the forum will take place faces Front Street. This poses a major problem for a drop off and pick up point for Wheel-Trans. There is another entrance to the south of the building where Wheel-Trans can drop off and pick up persons requiring their service. However, this is a longer distance to the North Building rooms. Many suggestions were discussed by the Subcommittee and the general consensus is that Wheel-Trans use the south entrance and staff will be available to provide assistance to persons requiring help to make the long trek to and from the forum rooms.
Other issues discussed were attendance at the forum due to inclement weather and the time of year, and communicating information to potential attendees. Matt Hagg assured the Subcommittee that live TV coverage of the forum will be available, and viewers will have the opportunity for questions/comments. Matt Hagg informed us that a site visit to evaluate and decide the most efficient way to proceed will be made soon. As soon as a final decision is made then the communication process can be launched.
3. Under New Business – Wheel-Trans Stops at Subway Stations
SPS members commented on the motion passed at the September ACAT General Meeting regarding Wheel-Trans Stops at Subway Stations. Staff clarified that the Outstanding Item on this issue is being addressed and the reimaging of Yonge Street and other similar projects are under consideration to resolve the impact of bicycle lanes on Wheel-Trans stops at subway stations. SPS recommended that this issue be raised at the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee.
The next SPS meeting will be on November 7, 2018
November 7, 2018 SPS Meeting
There were 3 items discussed at this meeting.
1. Closures and Diversions – Bus Stop Accessibility
Larry Hossu, Co-ordinator of Closures and Diversions, asked the Subcommittee for their feedback on this topic. The Subcommittee’s response was focused on safety concerns at temporary bus stops. These concerns included:
- Deployment of ramps where there are no curbs.
- The presence of informed TTC staff at construction sites to direct and assist persons with disabilities until the construction is complete.
- The clarification and consistent messaging of the language on the website
- Wheel-Trans have shuttle busses at midway and end points during subway closures and diversions.
2. New Business
The increasing misuse of partner passes - Staff indicated that this issue was being addressed through the Travel Training Program. Further investigation may be required in the future.
The issue of educating the public and Operators regarding the First On, Last Off Policy was brought forward with the general agreement that this issue be referred to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee for further discussion.
The next SPS meeting will be on December 5, 2018
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) - Lynn McCormick
WTOS meetings were held on October 4 and November 15, 2018.
October 4, 2018 WTOS Meeting
John Boucher, Manager of Lakeshore Garage, provided the update on the new buses. There are now 54 buses on the property, with 48 in service, and 6 with a Pre-delivery Inspection (PDI) in process. Modifications are halfway completed, with spacers being added to the suspensions. Solutions are in place for Buses #529 and up, while buses prior to 529 are still in process.
Feedback was provided that Buses #540 and #543 are working well; however the L bracket is allowing belts to turn sideways. This item will be checked as it could mean that bolts are loosening.
An overview of the GIRO Internet Trip Booking beta system was provided, which covered the login page, landing page, trip bookings, trip history, occasional and regular trips, profile settings, as well as views from multiple devices. Another review session with volunteers will be held at a later date when the current version has been updated.
Training for new booking website has been completed for all Wheel-Trans Reservationists and Customer Service employees.
WTOS members provided further feedback of various lengths for call backs, which do not reflect positions in the queue. Generally, the system should give the position in queue, but variations in service are affected by the time of day, resources, and call volumes. WTOS members were also informed that the vendor is working to put in place the queueing feature. Until that occurs, there are manual processes in place to match the position of the person in line to the time they will be called. It was recommended that, in the meantime, to reduce the risk of customers not using the callback feature, the messaging should be changed to remove any reference to the queue and timeline expectations.
Dwayne Geddes was introduced as the new Divisional Manager of Customer Service. The role has been created to enhance customer service. Members were invited to call or email Dwayne with recommendations.
November 15, 2018 WTOS Meeting
A WTOS meeting was held on November 15, 2018.
John Boucher, Manager of Lakeshore Garage, reported that two remaining ProMaster buses are left to be delivered by end of November 2018. Buses are experiencing temperature issues and this is currently being addressed. Staff is looking at ways to measure the temperature properly. WTOS members will be kept updated on this issue.
Comments Regarding Vehicle Restrictions were raised. Restrictions based on mobility devices need to be assessed on an individual case by case basis. It was noted that individuals require a medical reason for why they cannot be accommodated in a particular vehicle. Vehicle accommodation is no longer based on personal preference.
Comments were made that the Wheel-Trans Handbook creates confusion that Family of Services and Wheel-Trans are being treated as two separate services. A suggestion was made to review and try to integrate the conventional system into the current document.
The next WTOS meeting will be held December 14, 2018, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 580 Commissioners Street.