ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, January 31, 2019
Location:7th Floor Boardroom, 1900 Yonge Street
Meeting No:339
  • 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 Dressler
  • Jessica Geboers
  • Bobbi Moore
  • Craig Nicol
  • Thomas Richardson
  • Lauri Sue Robertson
  • Igor Samardzic
  • Sam Savona
  • Chris Stigas
  • Shindujan Yogaratnam

Pool Members

  • Ian Payton
  • James Pyo

TTC Representatives

  • Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager-Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • Heather Brown, Manager - Customer Communications
  • Kathleen Barret, Wheel Trans
  • Mark Cordy, Program Manager, WT Transformation Program
  • Dwayne Geddes, Manager - Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
  • Seth Irvine, Manager Curriculum Development and Education, Training
  • Naomi Marubashi, Acting Head, Training and Development
  • Paul Maglietta, Head, Training and Development
  • Radamiro Gaviria, Diversity & Human Rights
  • Dean Milton, Wheel Trans
  • Catalina Parada, Wheel Trans
  • Alicia Sgromo, Wheel Trans

Copies

  • Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer
  • Kirsten Watson, Deputy CEO - Operations
  • Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, Chief Customer Officer
  • Collie Greenwood, Chief Service Officer
  • Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
  • Dan Wright, Chief Financial Officer
  • Susan Sperling, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
  • James Ross, Chief Operating Officer
  • Eve Wiggins, 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 1:07 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Mazin Aribi provided the definition of conflict of interest.

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On motion by Anita Dressler and seconded by Craig Nicol, the agenda was approved.

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair

Mazin Aribi introduced and welcomed the new members to ACAT, namely  Margo Brodie, Igor Samardzic, Sam Savona, Chris Stigas, and Shindujan Yogaratnam, as well as Ian Payton and James Pyo as 2019 Pool members.

Angela Rebeiro, Co Vice-Chair, reviewed the responsibilities of ACAT members.

5. Review and Approval of December 20, 2018 Minutes 

On motion by Craig Nicol and seconded Bobbi Moore, the minutes of the December 20, 2018 meeting were approved.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

  • Item: Lack of Tactile Information on Poles for Shared Bus Stops – Staff will have an update at the next Communications Subcommittee meeting in February.
  • Item: Access to Subway Stations and Wheel-Trans Stops at Entrances – Referred to Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee

Craig Nicol noted that this issue still needs to be resolved as bike lanes continue to interrupt access to subway stations. More Wheel-Trans signage is required so that the Wheel-Trans stops are clearly marked.

  • Item: Pre-Boarding Announcement on Subway Trains – An update will be provided in the Spring 2019 and will target implementation at that time.
  • Item: Give Higher Priority to Resolving Inconsistencies with Wheel-Trans Pick Up and Drop Offs at Subway Stations in support of Family of Services – Referred to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee
  • Item: Concerns regarding Wheel Trans Pick-Ups and Drop-Offs and Cellular Communication at St. Clair West, Don Mills, & York Mills stations – Referred to Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

Wheel-Trans pick-ups at St Clair West Station are both outside and inside and drivers do not always seem to be clear as to where to pick up customers. When rides are late, there is no way to phone the Priority Line due to a lack of telephone reception. Committee members suggested to use the passenger assistance intercom to contact the Collector who should be able to contact Transit Control for assistance. It was also suggested that the pick-up stop on the street should be eliminated since sedan taxis are not to be used for trips to subway stations.

There was a query as to how will Transit Control know how to respond once connected via intercom and what happens when there are no more Collectors. Staff responded that Transit Control and/or Customer Service Agents (CSA's) can act as the liaison.

A member stated that intercom systems are not always close to the Wheel-Trans stop. Drivers can leave after 5 minutes, and it may take more than 5 minutes to walk to the intercom and back, which causes anxiety to the Wheel-Trans customer when they have to wait for a ride. Therefore, a better way of direct communication is necessary.

7. Deputation

Nil.

8. Training for Streetcar Operators

Paul Maglietta spoke about the training to be provided to Streetcar Operators. For more than 10 years, the primary focus for ACAT member participation has been on Bus Recertification training.  Training and Development would like to transition this over to Streetcar Recertification training instead. Forty classes would be scheduled each year, with 20 to 25 Operators participating in each class. Bus Recertification training will now become a 1-day in-class program.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

Committee members expressed concern that removing ACAT participation in Bus Recertification classes would directly impact the customer service and Human Rights training that Bus Operators receive, and that Operators would become complacent. Paul Maglietta replied that Bus Operators will continue with their accessibility and sensitivity training and will not sacrifice the needs of any passengers.

A member asked how long will the 40 classes take. Paul Maglietta stated that it is a 3-year recertification program.  There will be 250 classes for the streetcar recertification each year. Putting more participants in each class would put too much pressure on the scheduling of Streetcar Operators. Paul Maglietta stated that there will be a return to the current bus recertification in three years and updates will be provided by the end of 2019, and that in class training will continue.

Mazin Aribi stated that material for training previously available for ACAT members was helpful, and if material for Streetcar Operator Training can be made available once again. Paul Maglietta replied yes, and Mazin Aribi suggested this matter be referred to the Service Planning Subcommittee.

A member asked if feedback for the negative behaviour of drivers is relayed by TTC Customer Service. If these complaints are frequent this might be a training piece falling by the wayside. Paul Maglietta responded that there is frequent feedback from Customer Service on Operators.

At streetcar stops, the curb ramp is often clean and salted, but the curb lane has snow, and the streetcar ramp is not able to get close enough to the curb under these conditions. A member asked if the TTC or the City is responsible for this. Paul Maglietta replied that he was not sure, but would report his findings once he looks into this matter further.

9. Announcement of 2019 Subcommittee Membership

The 2019 Subcommittee membership was announced.

10. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update

Kathleen Barret provided high level description of the Wheel-Trans Transformation Program and what it involved. There are 16 projects within the Transformation Program - 14 business projects, 2 infrastructure, and 6 information technology projects.

The updates for today’s meeting will be on Customer Experience (business project), Family of Services (business project), Access Hubs (infrastructure project), and Eligibility (business project).

Customer Experience

Last year, 14 customer policies were rolled out. Six additional policies have been drafted and are being reviewed by Staff. The Implementation of these policies is still to be determined.

The new Customer Handbook will be sent to all customers before the end of first quarter 2019.

Travel training has been conducted with over 250 customer education sessions which include Vehicle explorations. 49 customers have received personalized, one-on-one travel training.

Family of Services

Wheel-Trans customers are taking approximately 4,500 Family of Services trips per week. The target is 8,300 so additional effort needs to be made to increase the numbers.

The Program Team is continuing its work on ranking routes and evaluating bus/streetcar for use as transfer points. The target is to have these additional connections live in February or March. An update will be provided to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee in February

Access Hubs

Humber College should be operational by end of February. Meadowvale Loop was opened in 2018. The target is to have 10 access hubs by the end of 2019.

Eligibility

Reclassification work continues and updates will be provided later in the year. Stantec (consulting company) will be making recommendations on the existing application and supporting processes as well as the development of a quality assurance program.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

ACAT Chair Mazin Aribi asked for data to help understand and clarify how Family of Services trips are counted and what locations have the highest volume of trips.  Catalina Parada shared that the data shows that, up to last week, North York Centre station has the most trips, and Lawrence East, Coxwell, and Union station also rank quite high. 

Family of Services trips are restricted to one transfer for this release of the scheduling and dispatch software. Algorithms choose the closest stations to pick up and drop off customers.

Dean Milton advised that a customer can craft and define their own trips. A member asked if booking a trip on conventional transit through Wheel-Trans was desired.  Kathleen Barret noted that, while it may be nice to get the trip details, the customer should do what is most convenient.

The ACAT Chair stated that identifying transfer points on conventional routes that are bus stops is valuable information, and asked when the system would be upgraded. Kathleen Barret said that the entire project involves many phases. Many more transfer points will be added with additional releases.  Phase 2 should be rolled out in March or April.

The ACAT Chair stated that Family of Services results do not make sense to many users of Wheel-Trans, since they are not aware of the phased implementation of Family of Services routes and transfer points. Kathleen Barret responded that the Communications Subcommittee will discuss solutions on February 7, 2019. 

Alicia Sgromo agreed that the fact that it would be limited in parameters was not highlighted, and believes that reaching customers through website updates to explain “Family of Services” and travel training was of the utmost importance. Not complicating the message is key. She noted that in the near future, the addition of Senior Communications resource for Wheel-Trans would be beneficial as she is currently handling this workload by herself.

A member asked why a program with so many phases to come would be rolled out and confuse so many riders, noting that the likelihood of losing customers was high. Kathleen Barret responded that the scheduling and dispatch software is very complex and implementing through multiple releases is a best practice to mitigate risk.

The ACAT Chair stated that a phone number to call for advice and solutions for customer trips would be helpful.

The ACAT Chair noted his disappointment with this process, but is hopeful that the future will yield better results.

11. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

No subcommittees met since the last ACAT meeting. 2019 Subcommittees will have their first meetings in February.

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

Nil.

13. Report on Customer Liaison Panel

Two TTC Board meetings were in January.

January 10, 2019 TTC Board Meeting

An Introduction was made of the new TTC Board Members and Oaths of Office followed by nominations for electing the TTC Vice Chair position. Mr. Allan Heisey was acclaimed.

The approved ACAT minutes for (June 28, July 26, August 30, September 27, and October 25, 2018) were received by the Board.
The TTC Board approved the appointment of five new ACAT candidates (Margo Brodie, Igor Samardzic, Sam Savona, Chris Stigas, and Shindujan Yogaratnam) for a term starting on January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2021. The TTC Board also approved the appointment of two Pool members for a term starting on January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019, namely Ian Payton and James Pyo.

The TTC Board thanked and presented the 5 retiring ACAT members (Raymond Dell’Aera, Louise Bark, Debbie Gillespie, Angela Marley, and Lynn McCormick) with and in-appreciation plaques and a transit pass in line with the number of years served in their term as recognition of their contribution.

The TTC Board received Notice of Award of contracts for making Runnymede and Wilson Stations accessible, as well as for the Purchase of 48 Low-Floor Wheel-Trans Mini Buses.

January 24, 2019 TTC Board Meeting

The TTC Board congratulated the newly elected ACAT Chair Mazin Aribi and the two Co-Vice Chairs Angela Rebeiro and Marian McDonell.

The TTC Board received the updated ACAT Minutes for November 29, 2018 since it was originally posted. ACAT Chair Mazin Aribi resubmitted as correspondence the updated ACAT minutes for November 29, 2018 with a revision to include the background of the motion passed in November 29, 2018, and he emphasized the importance of the full motion. Councillor Shelly Carroll asked for clarification and Susan Reed Tanaka responded that the TTC Engineering department will discuss the elevator control location issue further with Metrolinx.

The TTC Board received a report from TTC staff regarding the Strategy for Future Service Contracts for Wheel-Trans taxi services and seeking the approval for a one-year extension to the Accessible Taxi Service Contracts and the Sedan Meter-Based Service Contracts to July 4, 2020. After a lengthy discussion, the Board approved staff recommendations.

TTC staff provided the Board with a report that sets out operating and capital financial results for TTC Conventional and Wheel-Trans for the nine-month period that ended September 29, 2018.

 A comprehensive presentation with Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability in mind was given to the TTC Board entitled, “TTC 15-Year Capital Investment Plan & 2019 – 2028 Capital Budget & Plan.”

There were some Deputations from the public outlining accessibility priorities needed such as: the importance of installing barriers at platform edge in subway stations, the lack of communications tools (intercoms) for people with disabilities to communicate with Staff in subway stations, and lastly the inability to hear and understand announcements by some customers in TTC vehicles and subway trains.

The TTC Board received a report and presentation for the 2019 TTC and Wheel-Trans Operating Budgets. This was approved.
The next TTC Board meeting is on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at City Hall.

Comments and Questions from Committee Members

Mazin Aribi encouraged all ACAT members to review these reports and presentations. Below are the links to the TTC website.
For the TTC Board Meeting on January 10, 2019, the link is: http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Commission_reports_and_information/Commission_meetings/2019/January_10/Agenda/index.jsp
The recorded video of the whole meeting can also be seen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWyJfUBvNb0

For the TTC board meeting on January 24, 2019, the link is: http://www.ttc.ca/About_the_TTC/Commission_reports_and_information/Commission_meetings/2019/January_24/Agenda/index.jsp
The recorded video of the whole meeting can also be seen on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vprTryzeEM

ACAT member suggested that the platform edge doors should be a priority, especially at stations with narrow platforms like Davisville Station.

It was noted that there is a safety concern regarding overcrowded platforms and that operating a mobility device in the middle of a crowd is exceptionally difficult.  This issue should not be forgotten. ACAT members referred this issue to the Service Planning Subcommittee. 

14. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

Anita Dressler noted that there is no new information, and that the Panel appears to be on hold. Craig Nicol will provide the contact information when it becomes available.

15. Review of Correspondence

Mazin Aribi stated that ACAT has been approached by Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC) staff and that the ACAT Chair or a delegate will attend TAAC meetings going forward as an observer. TAAC members will also be invited to attend ACAT meetings.

16. Other / New Business

Nil.

17. Next Meeting –  February 28, 2019 

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on February 28, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom. 

18. Adjournment    

On a motion by Lauri Sue Robertson, the meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Ori Belmont
Recording Secretary 

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