ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, June 27, 2019
Start Time:
Location:7th Floor Boardroom 1900 Yonge Street
Meeting No:344
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes

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

Present

  • Mazin Aribi, Chair
  • Marian McDonell, Co-Vice Chair
  • Angela Rebeiro, Co-Vice Chair
  • Margo Brodie
  • Mary Burton
  • Anita Dressier
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Craig Nicol
  • James Pyo
  • Lauri Sue Robertson
  • Igor Samardzic
  • Sam Savona

Pool Member

  • Ian Payton

Regrets

  • Jessica Geboers
  • Thomas Richardson

TTC Representatives

  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager - Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
  • Heather Brown, Manager - Customer Communications
  • Dean Milton, Manager-Strategic Initiatives
  • Desrianne McIlwrick, Lead Travel Trainer
  • Cameron Penman, Division Manager - Customer Service, Wheel-Trans Jim Ross, Chief Operating Officer
  • Ricardo Couto, Division Manager, Bus Transportation
  • Tony Clunies, Project Management, ITS
  • John Beynon, Chief Instructor, OTC
  • Stephan Boston, Chief Instructor, OTC
  • Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans (Acting)

Copies

  • Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Deputy CEO – Operations
  • Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, Chief Customer Officer
  • Orest Kobylansky, Executive Director - Operations
  • Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
  • Josie La Vita, Chief Financial Officer
  • Susan Sperling, Executive Director – Corporate Communications (Acting)
  • James Ross, Chief Operating Officer
  • Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans
  • Deborah Brown, Head of Customer Communications
  • TTC Board Members

1. Call to Order / Attendance

Mazin Aribi, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, July 25, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Bobbi Moore and seconded by Anita Dressler, the agenda was approved with amendments.

  • An agenda item was added, “Presentation - Stop Calling.”
  • An addition under New Business - Two Motions regarding Elevators at Interchange Stations.

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair Raymond Dell’Aera

Chair Mazin Aribi thanked all the ACAT members who volunteered to work at the ACAT Booth at the Access Expo held on June 6 and 7, 2019. He also thanked the TTC and Wheel Trans staff for making all the arrangements to make the expo a success.

The Chair also thanked the members who volunteered for a photoshoot on June 11, 2019 at the new Humber College Access Hub; attendance at the accessibility training for Scarborough City Taxi on June 22 and 23, 2019; and for assisting staff to TTC standards for accessible bus stops on June 24, 2019.

On June 22, 2019, ACAT Chair, Mazin Aribi attended the 2019 APTA International Rail Rodeo Family Event and reception in response to TTC CEO Rick Leary’s invitation.

On June 4, 2019, Mazin Aribi attended the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC) meeting as an observer. The following items were discussed: Accessibility Feedback on Preparing the City of Toronto for Automated Vehicles; Update from the Accessibility Team, People, Equity and Human Rights; Accessibility Feedback on Official Plan Review – Transportation; Request for Presentation to Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee on the Poverty Reduction Strategy; and Accessibility in Dog Off-Leash Areas.

The next TAAC meeting will be held on July 12, 2019, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

The ACAT Executive received an email from TTC Chair Jay Robinson regarding two important motions passed unanimously at City Council meeting on June 18, 2019. The two motions are:

That:

  1. City Council direct the City Manager to include accessibility as a key focus of ongoing transit responsibility alignment discussions with Metrolinx and the Government of Ontario.
  2. City Council direct the City Manager to request the Minister of Transportation and the Chief Executive Officer, Metrolinx to consult the Toronto Transit Commission's Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit in the planning of future transit expansion projects.

Mazin Aribi reminded the ACAT members about a public meeting concerning transit responsibilities between Toronto and the province today at City Hall at 6:30 p.m.

5. Presentation – Stop Calling

Jim Ross, Chief Operating Officer, Ricardo Couto, Division Manager, and Tony Clunies, Project Management provided a presentation.

An audit was conducted in June 2019 showing that automated next stop announcements on buses were correctly made 93.3% of the time, which is the lowest rating in the last six years. Some of the problems were the bus stops being announced prematurely, too late, or not at all by the geofences that prompt the bus to call the stop automatically. This does not affect the streetcar system, only buses.

Ricardo Couto said that increasing failures are technical issues within the system. These could be caused by stop moves due to construction, incorrect vehicle odometer values, incorrect route patterns, etc.

Staff are currently taking steps to address the issue. Bus Transportation is providing daily reminders to Operators that stops announcements must be made manually if the automatic announcement fails, and Operators have been reminded about procedures to accommodate customers with vision loss if they miss their stop due to announcement issues.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

ACAT members expressed many concerns such as construction and its impact on the accurate calling of bus stops, and some Operators turning off the automated announcements that announces the stops because it is disruptive. Staff clarified that Operators do not have the ability to turn off the automated announcements and that if announcements are not being made it is due to technical issues with the system.

Staff advised that they are working closely with the City of Toronto, and discuss the upcoming and current construction operation once a month with Toronto Mayor John Tory. Staff mentioned that if road work is needed, the City tries to align it with water line maintenance and other construction that is needed in that area.  Operators are informed early on about the road work. Unless there is an emergency, Operators might not have the information and are unable to assist the passengers in announcing a moved stop in advance. In this case, the Operator should call the stop manually.

Staff ensured that the Operators have a procedure to follow. Operators must call the stops if needed. If they do not, Staff recommends people to report the behaviour through the Customer Service help line.

The Committee pointed out that, although calling afterwards may help fix the problem in the future, for now it remains a safety issue. The Committee asked if it is possible to reinforce stop announcements during Operator training.

Staff proposed a new protocol for ACAT members to report any stop announcement issues by phone or email to help TTC resolve this issue faster. Once Staff are aware of the situation, they can investigate the bus Operator location, ask the Bus Division for the technical data, and investigate the Operator at the time of event. ACAT will receive the direct phone number to report bus stop calling incidents within the week. It was stressed that the number is for ACAT members only, and only for stop calling issues.

Staff requested a follow-up meeting with ACAT at the end of September 2019 in order to report back on progress to resolve the technical issues.

The Committee reminded TTC staff that it is not only affecting people with vision and/or hearing impairments, but also people with cognitive problems who need to know where they are, as well as tourists and people who are new to the city.

6. Review and Approval of May 30, 2019 Minutes

On motion by Margo Brodie and seconded by Bobbi Moore, the minutes of May 30, 2019 were approved.

7. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items

  • Item: Lack of Tactile Information on Poles for Shared Bus Stops - work is still ongoing and to be completed in the Fall. 
  • Item: Review of the Impact of Curb Side Bike Lanes on Wheel-Trans Customers and Operators in Accessing Certain Pick-Up / Drop-Off Locations – Ongoing. SPS April 3, 2019 minutes were sent to the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee.
  • Item: GTHA Accessibility Advisory Committee Joint Meeting – Ongoing. Meeting place on May 14, 2019. York Region has offered to host the next meeting in the Fall of 2019, which is to be confirmed.
  • Item: Subway Platform Gap (Vertical and Horizontal Gap) – Ongoing. The project team will attend the DRS meeting in July to provide an update on the gap measurement study.
  • Item: Motion – Staff to work with the ACAT Executive to revise the Application Process for 2021 Membership – Ongoing. Staff to report back in August 2019.
  • Item: Need for Elevator Redundancy at Finch West Interchange Station to the LRT Platform Level - ACAT to propose a motion and bring it to the Committee.

Members brought forward a concern regarding the wording of “Elevator Redundancy” and how it can be misinterpreted. It was explained that the item is about elevator alternatives, not a redundancy. The rewording is to be discussed thoroughly when the motion is presented in August 2019.

 

8. Deputation

Nil.

9. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

DRS held two meetings in June.

A DRS meeting was held on June 5, 2019. 

  • PRESTO Sedan Taxi and Support Person Cards.

PRESTO-enabled Support Person Assistance Cards will be issued to replace the existing cards. The cards would have a photo and the customers’ information to connect that card to the person needing support.

PRESTO on sedan taxis will use existing taxi tablets with a special PRESTO app and card reader. The app will display the fare collected and balance, it will also be possible to see the transaction history. There will be an option to have audio output of the data; no sensitive personal information, for example names or addresses, will be spoken.

  • Interchange Station Motion

DRS discussed and decided upon two interchange station elevator motions to be presented at the June ACAT General Meeting.

  • VISION System Update

TTC installed a new VISION system on all buses to centralize data collection and control of accessibility announcement / display information. An update was provided on the installation status and capabilities of the system.

DRS members raised concerns about early stop announcements, missing or inaudible exterior route and destination announcements. Staff responded that the early announcement problem is being investigated for correction and the exterior announcement problem will be investigated.

The issue of exterior route and destination announcements timing out when at rest in a station was raised. Staff replied that the time would be extended.

DRS asked that the issue of bus lighting, displays and announcements no longer functioning when the engine is turned off for emission control be resolved, such that these items remain active in revenue service. Staff responded that these concerns will be reviewed to seek a solution.

  • Bus Platform Tactile Wayfinding Pilot Project

Staff reviewed a pilot project for York Mills station to establish stop identification poles, mobility device waiting areas, and tactile wayfinding paths on bus platforms. The objective is to make it easier for stop identification and boarding. The pilot is to run for six to 12 months with a starting date to be determined

A DRS meeting was also held on June 26, 2019.

Mosaic Transit and Metrolinx presented the 60% design for the Finch West Humber College station. This is a partially open air station with entrance buildings at each end. The station features redundant elevator access, accessible washrooms, tactile attention and direction indicator flooring.

Subcommittee members raised issues including stair configuration, lack of escalators, location of platform wayfinding, and lack of a Wheel-Trans lay-by.

The next DRS meeting will held on July 3, 2019.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) - Anita Dressler, Chair

A SPS meeting was held on June 5, 2019.

Barbara Battistuzzi, Manager – Training, gave a presentation regarding customer service and training of TTC Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) and Customer Service Agents (CSAs). The CSRs are now in subway stations to help customers with the transition period regarding PRESTO.

Also discussed was that the role of Station Collectors will transition to that of CSAs. These staff will be positioned outside of the booths in subway stations to assist customers.

The CSRs attend a one day, 7-hour comprehensive course. Daily debriefs are given to CSRs regarding location, accessibility issues, and general customer service information. SPS members recommended that improvements be made to Customer Service Representatives’ and Agents’ level of knowledge regarding accessibility to support the Family of Services (FOS) initiatives.

SPS members were advised that, at the Access Expo, the ACAT booth will be staffed by ACAT members during the two-day event at Variety Village on June 7 and 8, 2019.

SPS members were also informed that the TTC Public Forum will be held on September 25, 2019, at the Beanfield Centre, Exhibition Place.

SPS brought to the attention of staff that service announcements in subways are extremely loud and distracting especially to people with vision loss who are sensitive to sounds. Sounds are one of the senses used for independent mobility. SPS members would like this issue to be brought forward to the Communications Subcommittee.

Further discussion ensued regarding bike lanes and lay-bys. TTC staff to follow up.

Streetcar training using ACAT members will be scheduled later in 2019.

The next SPS meeting will be held on July 3, 2019.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Sam Savona, Chair

A WTOS meeting was held on June 13, 2019.

Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager - Customer Service, introduced Cameron Penman who has been appointed as Acting Division Manager - Customer Service, Wheel-Trans.

Ross Visconti, Project Manager, provided an update on the security passwords for the Self Booking website and app. Security passwords must be a combination of a minimum of six characters with a maximum of 10 including one uppercase letter. This is to make passwords more complex with a higher level of security.

WTOS members were concerned that if the password has to have multiple characters plus an upper and lowercase letter and number, it might be too difficult for customers to remember and/or type in. Ross Visconti clarified that it is acceptable to use numbers and symbols with a minimum of 6 characters, regardless of upper and lowercase sensitivity; however, one of those characters must be a number. He explained that there will be an option to change passwords if forgotten or if the reset button is pressed by accident. The user is also able to maintain the same password as before, and would not have to create a new one.

WTOS members discussed the impact of bike lanes for Wheel-Trans to pick-up and drop-off riders. This is an ongoing matter and more discussion is needed.

Dean Milton, Manager – Strategic Initiatives, explained that, in late Fall / early Winter 2020, the process for re-registration of the 24,000 riders, pre-2017, will commence. These customers will be required to go through the re-registration process, and will begin with customers that travel most frequently on Wheel-Trans and who would benefit most from more travel options. It will take several years to complete. Dean explained that there would be more information to be provided to customers at the July 23, 2019 Public Meeting.

Dean Milton also reported that customers will be provided with ample lead time to re-register and an end-date of service will be placed on their file. Should the customer fail to re-register prior to the service end date, they will be able to call Wheel-Trans Customer Service to extend service end date to accommodate the customer.

Dean Milton informed WTOS members about a Public Meeting on July 23, 2019 at Metro Hall which will be focused on conditional trip matching and the re-registration of 2017 customers. All members are invited to attend.

Lodon Hassan provided WTOS with the top four complaints received thus far in 2019 are as follows:

  1. Concerns about Re-certification process; will the process be fair/equitable, and customers’ concerns about not being able to use FOS
  2. Call volumes in Reservations
  3. Contacted Operators not having specific details about pick up/drop off locations; leading to customers being no showed
  4. Scheduling trip in progress – customers wanting to know their trip details right away.

WTOS will monitor these concerns.

The next WTOS meeting will be held on July 11, 2019. 

10. Photo ID Cards for Wheel-Trans Customers

Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager Customer Service, received a recommendation from the Auditor-General regarding photo ID cards for all Wheel-Trans customers in order to use Wheel Trans services. This was brought to WTOS for review and to provide feedback regarding its implementation.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

Staff explained that the recommendation of the photo ID is a way to reduce fare evasion, with added measures to safety and security for people using the Wheel-Trans service. The photo ID would be to ensure that no one else is taking advantage of another person’s Wheel-Trans service. The idea would be to make sure that, at pick-up, the passenger is eligible to use the Wheel-Trans service and should they be able to ride it with proper ID. For now, the TTC does not require any photo ID for Wheel-Trans users. This would be a new process.

In response to members’ query, Staff stated that fraud is happening but are not sure as to what extent. An investigation has not been done and Staff wanted to bring it forward to ACAT beforehand. Currently, TTC Operators will flag if people other than the appropriate customer are using the system.

There was an in-depth discussion between Staff and ACAT members about the positive and negative aspects of having a Wheel-Trans Photo ID card.

Some of the positive aspects is that the photo ID could work as a form to help passengers get the right transit service as well as any safety issue regarding passenger fraud, and also prove that the passenger is in need of Wheel Trans service.

Some of the negative aspects is that TTC customers who use the conventional system solely do not require a photo ID card to use the service and, therefore, this would be inequitable. Also, a concern was raised about having another photo ID card which add to the number of cards needed to travel on the TTC.

Staff will further investigate this matter and report back in July.

ACAT’s general consensus for photo ID is to move that they do not agree. Sam Savona brought forward the motion to reject the photo ID.

Motion: ACAT to reject the idea of photo ID for Wheel-Trans customers.

The motion passed with two members abstaining.

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

DRS:

  • PRESTO sedan taxi fare collection & support person cards
  • VISION Project update and shortcomings
  • Finch West Humber College Station review

SPS:

  • Presentation received from TTC Training regarding training of Customer Service Representatives and Agents for better customer service especially during the transition into PRESTO
  • Ongoing discussion regarding the volume of service announcements on the subway system
  • Discussion on Bike lanes and lay-bys, and the safety of bike riders and Wheel-Trans customers at pick and drop off locations

WTOS:

  • Security Passwords for the Self-Booking site and app
  • Process of Re-Registration of Wheel-Trans customers
  • Discussion on impact of bike lanes for Wheel-Trans to pick-up and drop-off locations

12. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update 

Dean Milton, Manager - Strategic Initiatives, presented an update.

  • Communications

Wheel-Trans has contracted an email marketing vendor to allow email communications to customers more frequently and not having to rely just on seasonal newsletters. It offers more flexibility with information dissemination. By using email, Staff can more effectively communicate with the diverse customer base, by using larger font, visuals and graphics, embedded links for more information.

Wheel-Trans is working on updating the ACAT tip sheet for customers, a Travel Handbook and brochure, all of which will be vetted through the Communications Subcommittee. The items are managed by Alicia Sgromo, Communications Consultant, alongside Desrianne McIlwrick, Lead Travel Trainer.

Information will also be posted in every Collector Booth with specific instructions as to where the Wheel-Trans pick-up / drop-off stop is, and which phone numbers to call if a customer receives a no-show, or requires a ride to be scheduled from the subway station.

The review of  the Wheel-Trans and TTC website and other print materials is ongoing.

  • Customer Experience

Six remaining customer-facing policies are under review. Four are ready for review by the Communications / WTOS subcommittees, and the remaining two are still being reviewed by TTC Legal and Diversity and Human Rights.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

The Chair requested data regarding Wheel-Trans no shows within certain stations.

Staff answered that, year-to-date, there are 198 no-shows. The majority of the no-shows are happening at the following stations:

  • Union Station being the number one most recorded no-shows
  • Pioneer Village
  • Pape
  • York Mills
  • Dufferin
  • Bloor/Yonge

Most stations have a few no-shows; however, Union Station has 42.

The Chair asked if it is possible to note exactly where the pick-up is located, if a no-show were to occur then Wheel-Trans could know exactly where the miscommunication is. Staff stated that the Operator will leave a no-show slip on the designated board; however, it is not possible to determine if the customer went to the wrong location at the station, or simply failed to show up all together.

Members wanted to confirm that the no-shows occurred primarily for trips scheduled on Wheel Trans buses or contracted service. A further analysis by staff would be required to capture this.

  • Family of Services (FOS)

Staff reported that, last week, a total of 100 scheduled trips to subway station or to the designated stops, of those 100, 87 were to a subway station.

A member raised that it is important that the access hubs have some way of communicating with the TTC in case someone was there to pick up and no one showed up. Meadowvale was used as an example that had no communication.

Staff stated that they are currently exploring the possibility of installing close circuit cameras in the access hubs and possibly a mechanism to allow for customer communication. One of the issues that needs to be clarified is who exactly would the customer be communicating with at the TTC. It also was noted that at the majority of transfer stops along routes there will be no means to communicate with TTC staff.

Dwayne Geddes stated that conventional bus service to Meadowvale Access Hub runs frequently, so customers would not be waiting long for their bus.

Dean Milton advised that the next 20 routes and transfer stops have been evaluated and will be implemented in time for phase two in early Fall 2019, further expanding the Family of Services routes.

  • Eligibility (Re-Registration Update)

Customers registered prior to January 1, 2017 will be required to have their eligibility re assessed under the new criteria. This will be discussed at the July 23, 2019 public meeting. Customers will continue to receive the same level of service up until their re-registration is complete, and they will have an opportunity to appeal the decision if they disagree.

  • Access Hubs

Staff reported that the access hub construction schedules are on track on Jane and Eglinton Southwest and Northeast, as well as for Neilson and Ellesmere Southwest and Victoria Park and Ellesmere Southwest.

  • Travel Training

Desrianne Mcllwrick, Lead Travel Trainer, presented that 589 customers have expressed interest in travel training. Out of the 589 customers, 221 customers have participated in an event (information session, vehicle exploration day, or station orientation day). 74 customers have received one-on-one training, and 21 customers currently have appointments booked or in the process of booking. Staff are waiting to hear back from the remaining 273 customers.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

Members asked that out of the 589 customers who reached out for travel training, if they did it themselves or through a caregiver. Desrianne explained that the majority of customers expressed interest themselves. In few cases, when someone is asking to sign up their mother, further questions are asked to determine if the individual is appropriate for the program. It is always best practice to communicate directly with the customer when possible.

Staff explained that they are now hosting Station Orientation Days, which is travel training in small groups, starting at stations with three modes: bus, subway, streetcar. The first event took place at Broadview Station. Nine customers responded and three attended. Dundas West Station is being considered for the next event in the third week of July.

Members asked, if during the travel training session, if there have been customers that have been unsuccessful with the training, and what happens. Staff explained that they would never want to encourage people to use the system if they feel unsafe, and only encourage customers that have the skills to travel safely and independently.

A member mentioned that she participated in one of the travel training events and wondered how Wheel-Trans informs someone that they are incapable. Staff answered with strategies to address the issue at hand:

  • Not to give vague information, by saying “maybe one day in the future”. Be straightforward, honest, and realistic
  • Giving the person constructive criticism and giving them feedback on how they can improve. Talk it out
  • Encourage the person to try, but be aware of the limits. If travel training is not appropriate for the customer, encourage them to not give up on their goal. Give suggestions of how they can keep working on it.

Members suggested that Wheel-Trans should consider reaching out to the customers that have no-showed their Wheel-Trans rides at Union station to see if any of them were repeat customers and offer travel training.
 
Members reminded staff that Dundas West station has a lot of construction and are not sure if it is suitable for the next Station Orientation Day. Staff stated that the construction at Dundas West station will be used as a teaching opportunity to teach customers how to safely navigate these areas. Construction is a constant in the city, and these are valuable skills to learn.

 

13. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) – Tom Richardson, ACAT Representative

No CLP meeting was held since the last ACAT meeting.

14. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

A TTC Board Meeting was held on June 12, 2019 at City Hall.

The approved ACAT meeting minutes for April 25, 2019 were received by the TTC Board.

Staff presented reports to the TTC Board which is of interest to ACAT:

Auditor General’s Report – Toronto Transit Commission – 2019 Results of Follow-up of Previous Audit Recommendations

  • Dupont Station Easier Access III – Status Update was given to the TTC Board.
  • 5-Year Service Plan & 10-Year Outlook – Status Update
  • Automated Transit Shuttle Pilot Project
  • PRESTO Implementation Update – June 2019

The TTC Board approved contracts to make Bay, Keele, and Sherbourne subway stations accessible as part of the Easier Access program.

Mazin Aribi, once again, invited and encouraged the TTC Board members to attend ACAT meetings.

The Next TTC Board meeting will be held on July 10, 2019 at City Hall.

15. Report on ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with CEO and Chair

The ACAT Executive Quarterly meeting was held on June 6, 2019 which was attended by TTC Vice-Chair Alan Heisey; Kirsten Watson, TTC Deputy CEO – Operations; Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans (Acting), with 2 Staff members from TTC Chair Jaye Robinson’s office, and the ACAT Executive.

  • Communications between the TTC and Metrolinx for Future Projects

There have been some improvements in communication with Metrolinx, as the ACAT Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) has been receiving updates and presentations on the building of the Finch West LRT. ACAT, however, would like the TTC Board to continue to monitor and improve ongoing communication between Metrolinx and the TTC.

TTC staff recommended that ACAT use its minutes which are sent to the TTC Board to identify a list of specific improvements its members would like to see and to open discussion with the TTC Board. Sharing best practices with Metrolinx and using ACAT’s long history of knowledge has proven to be invaluable.

  • Elevator Redundancy at Interchange Subway Stations

ACAT is requesting that the TTC consider installing a second elevator from the concourse to the platform level at Finch West subway station to provide elevator redundancy option for better transfer access between Line 1 and Line 6 (Finch West).

The ACAT Chair stated that the TTC should let Metrolinx know that the right design for interchange stations is to have elevator redundancy, and that Metrolinx is advised to build two elevators instead of one for every interchange station at platform level.

ACAT was asked to raise this issue with the TTC Board with better justifications and statistics for there to be a resolution to implement these elevator redundancies at interchange stations. ACAT will be recommending the need for the Easier Access Phase 4 study to include the need for these elevators to be built in these stations.

  • Impact of Curb Side Bike Lanes on Wheel-Trans Customers and Operators

The ACAT Service Planning Subcommittee sent their April 3, 2019 minutes to the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC) to express ACAT’s ongoing concerns. At their April 11, 2019 meeting, TAAC members also expressed their concerns that some of the designs do not ensure the safety of Wheel-Trans customers and more consultations and suggestions need to better accommodate persons with accessible needs. This issue had also been referred to the ACAT Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee to review with Wheel-Trans Operations staff.
 
The On-street Bikeway Design Guidelines guide is supposed be completed by June 2019. TTC Vice Chair Alan Heisey commented that if on-street parking is included in the discussion, he would be in favor of that and would support it.

ACAT wants to make sure that Wheel-Trans customers connecting to the subway are treated as a priority. Wheel-Trans customers on a Family of Services trip need to feel safe when transferring between the Wheel-Trans vehicles and certain subway stations.

  • ACAT’s Concerns Regarding the Slow Pace of the Construction of Fixes for the Vertical Gaps on Subway Platforms

After many years that ACAT has requested the TTC fix the vertical gaps on specific subway platforms, actions were started in 2018. It has been almost a year and the implementation has been slow; only St. George Southbound, Eglinton Southbound, and half of Eglinton Northbound have been resolved and St Clair to follow.

There are still few more stations that need to be done and ACAT finds this situation not acceptable. Soon it will be mandatory for Wheel-Trans customers with conditional eligibility to use the subway as part of the Family of Services. Wheel-Trans customers need to feel safe when using the subway without fearing injury or being stuck in the gap.

Staff recommended that ACAT receive an update in July and ACAT can make their recommendation to speed up the process.

  • Follow Up with the May 14, 2019 GTHA Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) Meeting

The ACAT Chair stated the GTHA AAC meeting on May 14, 2019 was well attended. A motion was moved to create AAC working groups from other municipalities. Three AAC working groups were identified, namely Standard Design, Cross Boundary Travel, and Communications.

The next meeting will be hosted by York Region Transit. The AAC working groups will work with their staff liaisons to provide consistent advice to their respective advisory committees and municipalities.

  • Outstanding Items

Staff asked for a list from ACAT that TTC Chair Jaye Robinson would consider and raise with their provincial counterparts.

The ACAT Chair concluded the meeting by emphasizing the issue of accessibility and elevator redundancy as it disrupts customers’ trips if an elevator is not working. Another factor with interchange stations is that elevators are needed most due to the amount of people travelling there including people using baby strollers.

The next ACAT Executive Quarterly meeting is scheduled for September 16, 2019.

 

16. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

17. Other / New Business

  • Two Motions Regarding Elevators at Interchange Stations

Two motions were brought by DRS. One motion to address the issue of interchange stations where new LRT lines intersect the existing TTC subway system. The other was related to the Metrolinx LRT station at Finch West where they show one elevator between their concourse and the LRT platform level.

TTC Second Elevator at Subway - LRT Interchange Stations

Subject: Ensuring Maximum Transit Accessibility for ALL CUSTOMERS, Including Those Using MOBILITY DEVICES.

As part of ongoing efforts to expand and improve transit services Metrolinx is constructing LRT lines which intersect with TTC subway lines. When interchanges are created, they need to be designed and constructed for maximum accessibility for all customers. Any design feature that may compromise accessibility will affect the attractiveness of TTC travel for customers using mobility devices (i.e. wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers).

ACAT is concerned that single elevator connections within existing TTC stations will become a bottleneck to accessible transfer between lines, i.e. a barrier within the TTC’s rapid transit network.

Background:

ACAT through the Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) has been engaged in an accessibility review of LRT designs as presented by Metrolinx and their contractors. With respect to Subway - LRT interchange stations, there are several elevator connections from concourse to street level; however, in the TTC portion of some interchange stations only one elevator is installed between concourse and subway platform level.

It is critical to accessibility that the greatest number of riders can consistently, safely, and independently use the system. Elevators are installed in stations to ensure accessibility for riders with limited mobility. Elevator service that may be inconsistent due to breakdown or maintenance will, in some cases, prevent customers from reaching their destination by preventing transfer between LRT and Subway. To, by design, not consider breakdown or overhaul is a violation of the very precept of accessibility upon which elevator equipment is provided in the first place.

We also note that the TTC, as part of its mission to provide barrier-free, accessible service that is efficient, reliable and in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), is currently transforming the way customers use accessible transit services via the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy. A key component of this strategy is promoting the “family of services” concept to customers, meaning those who are able to use conventional transit modes do so, ensuring the availability of Wheel-Trans service for those who need it.

This means that an increasing number of customers with disabilities will be asked to use the mass transit system for all or part of their journey. As this places more pressure on the conventional system to accommodate customers with varying needs, it will be more important than ever that those who use mobility devices can expect to use in-station elevators consistently, especially when these stations are marked “accessible”.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

A member questioned if additions can be made to the LRT contract at this late date.

DRS members said that the contract is not between the City or the TTC, rather the contract is between Metrolinx and the developer. DRS mentioned that they raised similar issues for Eglinton Crosstown station elevator control panels.

Motion: In the interest of removing physical barriers for customers with disabilities ACAT recommends the following to the TTC Board regarding the issue of TTC elevator service:

  1. That for the Finch West subway station, the TTC undertake to install a second elevator between concourse and subway platform levels;
  2. That for the Kennedy subway station, the TTC undertake to install a second elevator between concourse and subway platform levels;
  3. Alternately, that the TTC consider including Finch West and Kennedy second elevators between concourse and subway platform as part of the Easier Access Phase 4 study.

Unanimously approved.

Metrolinx Finch West LRT Second Elevator

Subject: Ensuring Maximum Finch West Light Rail Transit (FWLRT) Line 6 Accessibility for ALL CUSTOMERS, Including Those Using MOBILITY DEVICES.

As part of ongoing efforts to expand and improve transit services, Metrolinx is constructing the FWLRT which is expected to be operated by the TTC. As a new build, the FWLRT needs to be designed and constructed for maximum accessibility for all customers. Any design feature that may compromise accessibility will affect the attractiveness of TTC travel for customers using mobility devices (i.e. wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers). Based on material presented to ACAT by Metrolinx, ACAT is concerned that planned designs for the Finch West LRT station lack elevator redundancy potentially introducing a barrier into the TTC’s rapid transit network.

Background:
 
ACAT through the Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) has been engaged in an accessibility review of FWLRT designs as presented by Mosaic Transit and Metrolinx.

With respect to the Finch West LRT station, there are several elevator connections from concourse to street level; however, only one elevator is indicated to be installed between concourse and LRT platform level. At this point, Mosaic Transportation have agreed to incorporate a protected area for a second elevator between concourse and platform level; however, a second elevator is not included in the project specifications.

It is critical to accessibility that the greatest number of riders can consistently, safely, and independently use the system. Elevators are installed in stations to ensure accessibility for riders with limited mobility. Elevator service that may be inconsistent due to breakdown or maintenance will in some cases prevent customers from reaching their destination by:

  1. Preventing transfer between LRT and Subway;
  2. Breaking the link between LRT and bus that will be necessary to make a trip along Finch Avenue West; this is currently a seamless accessible bus trip.

To, by design, not consider breakdown or overhaul is a violation of the very precept of accessibility upon which elevator equipment is provided in the first place.

We also note that the TTC, as part of its mission to provide barrier-free, accessible service that is efficient, reliable and in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), is currently transforming the way customers use accessible transit services via the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy. A key component of this strategy is promoting the “family of services” concept to customers, meaning those who are able to use conventional transit modes do so, ensuring the availability of Wheel-Trans service for those who need it.

This means that an increasing number of customers with disabilities will be asked to use the mass transit system for all or part of their journey. As this places more pressure on the conventional system to accommodate customers with varying needs, it will be more important than ever that those who use mobility devices can expect to use in-station elevators consistently, especially when these stations are marked “accessible”.

Motion: In the interest of removing physical barriers for customers with disabilities ACAT recommends the following to the TTC Board regarding the issue of FWLRT elevator service:

  1. That for the Finch West LRT project, the TTC request Metrolinx to follow the practice of providing redundant elevators at interchange stations as established for ECLRT Line 5;
  2. That the TTC request Metrolinx revise requirements for the Finch West LRT station to provide a second elevator connecting the platform and concourse levels;
  3. That the TTC request that any FWLRT stations containing elevators have more than one accessible means connecting the entry with the train platform.

Unanimously approved.

  • Other Business

A member asked about Operators being required to wear a mask when sick as it would be in the best interest of the customers to avoid getting them sick. Lodon Hassan replied that the TTC does not have a policy in place for people to wear a mask if they are sick. This will be discussed during the WTOS meeting.

Dwayne Geddes added that in relation to sicknesses, TTC encourage Operators who are not well to not come into work. Every operator is seen by a supervisor and if they look under the influence or sick, the Operator is asked to go home.

In response to ACAT’s query. staff stated that they expect contractors to have the same level of supervision before their drivers go out to work.

Members suggested that Operators have a box of masks in case a passenger or the Operator is experiencing symptoms of sickness.

The Chair brought up that Wheel-Trans customers are only able to book up to seven days in advance for a service and wondered if there is a system that allowed them to book earlier than that. Wheel-Trans customers directly approached him to see if there is a way to get an earlier booking. Staff stated that they would consider this suggestion as they are re designing the system.

 

18. Next Meeting

19. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:56 p.m.

Elaine Genest
Recording Secretary
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