ACAT Meeting


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, November 26, 2020
Start Time:1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Location:Virtual meeting via Webex
Meeting No:359
  • 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
  • Igor Samardzic, Co-Vice Chair
  • Margo Brodie
  • Anita Dressler
  • Carmen Galvan
  • Jessica Geboers
  • Debbie Gillespie
  • Sean Hollingsworth
  • Angela Marley
  • Bobbi Moore
  • James Pyo
  • Sam Savona
  • Mahendan Sivabalasundaram
  • Chris Stigas

Pool Members

  • Anne-Marie Cole
  • Hans Winther

Regrets

  • Mary Burton
  • Jessica Geboers

TTC Representatives

  • Milly Bernal, Customer Communications Specialist
  • Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans
  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager – Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
  • Dean Milton, Manager – Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans
  • Cameron Penman, Manager – Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
  • Charlene Sharpe, Acting Divisional Manager, Wheel-Trans
  • John Boucher – Manager, Lakeshore Garage, Wheel-Trans
  • Lema Salaymeh – Senior Community Liaison
  • Ian Dickson, Manager – Design and Wayfinding
  •  Loris Dametto – Planning and Operations
  • Nitin Pardal – Diversity & Human Rights
  • Charles Habbaky – Senior System Engineer
  • Lloyd Livingstone – Diversity and Human Rights
  • Kim Veller – Human Rights Consultant, Diversity & Human Rights

Guests

  • Commissioner Julie Osborne, TTC Board Member
  • Jan Richards – Manager, Customer Experience Strategy, PRESTO Metrolinx

1. Call to Order / Attendance

The meeting was called to order at 1:10 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On a motion by Angela Marley, seconded by Bobbi Moore, the agenda was approved.

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair

ACAT Chair Mazin Aribi expressed his appreciation to Grace Powell, Administrative Assistant of the Head of Wheel-Trans for her contributions as she retires in the new year. Mazin wishes her the best in her future endeavours and recites a poem on behalf of ACAT.

To Grace Powell from ACAT, November 26, 2020

GRACE,

You’re Wonderful! You’re marvelous!
You have been the heart of ACAT
You guided us from applicants, to being new members, through our growth in providing advice to the TTC

You kept us on track, following TTC policies and procedures
You know all kinds of stuff, and how to get things done 
You always supported us, doing your work in the background for ACAT.
You're simply the best!
Thank you!

You’re simply the best, better than all the rest
Better than anyone, anyone we ever met
We’re stuck on your heart, we hang on every word you type
Your leaving tears us apart. We have to let you go. 

Grace,
We wish you the best, enjoy your retirement.
We wish you the best of health, zest for life events.
You’re in our heart, in a warm embrace.
Now we let you go, Share your Graciousness!

You're simply the best!

On November 20 2020, the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee (TAAC) had their virtual meeting. Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans gave an update on public consultation and COVID-19 response.

After the discussion, the committee members moved two motions to the Executive Committee that:

  1. City Council request the Toronto Transit Commission Board to request Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Transit Commission to deploy and schedule larger fleet vehicles when providing Wheel-Trans ride share to facilitate physical distancing and other public health guidelines where needed and to incorporate verbal and visual announcements requesting passengers practice physical distancing while riding the TTC and report back to the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee in the first quarter of 2021.
  2. City Council request the Toronto Transit Commission Board to request Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Transit Commission, to consult with accessibility stakeholders on options for remote participation in the Wheel Trans appeals process as well as establish public guidelines, in compliance with current Toronto Public Health recommendations, to promote in-person and remote appeals and to ensure accommodations are available as requested, and report back to the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee in the third quarter of 2021.

    The other item is TAAC’s request for an update on the suspension of the Fair Pass Transit Discount Program. They recommended that City Council request the Executive Director, Social Development, Finance and Administration to present an update on the suspension of the Fare Pass Transit Discount Program to the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee no later than the end of the first quarter of 2021.

The next and final ACAT meeting for 2020 will be this December 17, 2020 from 1pm to 4pm via Webex.

5. Review and Approval of the October 29, 2020 Minutes

On a motion by Debbie Gillespie, seconded by Jessica Geboers, the October 29, 2020 Minutes were approved.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes/Outstanding Items

  • 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. No updates.
  • Item: GTHA Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) Joint Meeting – Ongoing. No updates.
  • Item: Motion – Need for Dual Elevators at Finch West Interchange Station to the LRT Platform Level – Ongoing. The motion was presented by Julie Osborne, Commissioner at the November 16, 2020 TTC Board Meeting and approved by the Board.
  • Item: Motion – TTC Second Elevator at Subway – LRT Interchange Stations – Ongoing. The motion was presented by Julie Osborne, Commissioner at the November 16, 2020 TTC Board Meeting and approved by the Board.
  • Item: Update on the New TTC Website and Updated Station Descriptions which have been on hold – Ongoing. No updates.
  • Item: PRESTO Card Registration and Whether it can be Activated without an Email/Online Process – Ongoing. Milly Bernal sent a document to all members and invited Jan Richards from Metrolinx to speak for this item.
    • Jan Richards, Manager of Customer Experience Strategy from PRESTO gave an update regarding the PRESTO card registration process to ACAT members.
      Jan Richards explained the numerous benefits of registering a PRESTO card. Although the online and paper registration forms both label email as a “mandatory” field, customers who register their PRESTO card by mail and do not include an email address are still able to have their card registered.
      Customers who register their PRESTO cards receive/be able to:
    • Balance protection: If their personal card is lost or stolen they can block it, either through their online account, by calling the PRESTO call centre or by using the web chat feature on the PRESTO website.
    • Transfer funds or transit passes onto replacement cards: Using either an existing card and providing the card number to an agent via phone, or purchasing a replacement card online for $6, which is mailed to customers.
    • Overdraft protection: If customers have a positive balance that does not have enough funds to cover a fare, they can go into overdraft once. If the card is not registered, the transaction will be declined.
    • Save payment method: Registered cards can have a preferred credit card or debit card stored as part of the customer’s account to facilitate reloading the card online or by phone quickly.
    • Autoload: Allows customers to set up a threshold. If a customers' balance falls below that threshold, the balance will be reloaded by an amount that is previously set.
    • Autorenew: Allows customers to automatically buy the next month's transit pass, which is billed to their credit card or debit card.
      If the account is set up with an email address, customers will receive transactional emails. These emails are automatic and sent out for example, for order confirmations of purchasing / loading funds onto the PRESTO card, autoload or autorenew notifications. There are also notifications on when concession fare types are about to expire such as Student concessions.
      Online accounts have additional exclusive features such as the ability to check transactions and can manage up to 10 PRESTO cards. If customer’s do not wish to check balances online, they can also use the PRESTO fare vending machines throughout the TTC or speak to a PRESTO agent. Wheel-Trans customers also have the ability to ask drivers to do a query about their most recent transactions.
      Occasionally there may be incidents where PRESTO will need to reach out to customers, therefore in these circumstances an email address would be useful. An email address is also used to set up a pin number for the telephone menu.
      An email address is not required to enjoy the benefits of registration.

Questions and Comments from ACAT

Members stressed the fact there is a 24-hour turnaround time to get the fund transferred to customers’ cards was too long.

Staff explained they are in the process of replacing the old system with a turnaround time that will take 6 to 8 hours. PRESTO mobile app has an autoload feature.

The app has upgraded its IOS version and is now available to both iPhones and Androids phones. To verify their eligibility and change the card to concession fare, they have to go to a Shoppers Drug Mart or a GO Station.

Members suggested an option to tap the fare directly through their phones.

Staff explained the various options, one being the open fare payment technology which will allow customers to tap their credit card or debit card directly on to a reader. Open fare payment will be rolled out in the first public pilot project in Q1 2021.

PRESTO team is also exploring the ability to put a virtual card into the Apple Pay or Google Pay wallet. The work will have to be done alongside Google and Apple and is being explored.

For customers that do not travel frequently, there is the new PRESTO tickets application. This new PRESTO application allows customers to buy a ticket for a single ride on their phone, and then show it to the inspector.

Coming soon there will be a barcode verification.

7. Deputation

Nil.

8. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update

Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans gave an update on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy.

The mobile app is still currently being tested by members of ACAT and other Wheel-Trans customers. The mobile app needs to be refined before it gets rolled out to customers.

Loris Dametto, Program Manager – Vehicle Programs provided a presentation on the status of the 7m ProMaster pilot vehicle.  The team has worked alongside Charlene Sharpe, the Wheel-Trans maintenance team and ACAT on the delivery of the 7m ProMaster pilot vehicle. Overall, the feedback given by ACAT was very positive and the vehicle was seen as an upgrade from the previous vehicle. The presentation included a summary of the activities completed to date, a summary of the ACAT questionnaire that was completed by the members during their ride alongs completed in the first week of November and the engineering results of the noise study.  In summary, the ACAT response to the ride alongs was very positive, however the following concerns were identified:

  • It was thought that the side ramp length of the 7m was longer than the 6m.  This was shown in the presentation that the 7m is in fact shorter and has a better slope than the 6m.
  • The strip call buttons between the window wells were difficult to depress.  Discussions with ACAT indicated that they preferred the larger call buttons similar to the ones on the New Flyer bus.
  • The slope of the rear ramp is too steep.  Staff indicated that they are aware and are working with the vendor to ensure that the slope is similar to the 6m.  It was noted that although it is steep it still meets the AODA requirement ratio of 1:4.
  • The ramps are to include a high visibility strip on the sides and down the middle.  Staff indicated that these will be done.
  • ACAT would like a warning device system (flashing lights) when the side ramp is deployed.  Staff indicated that they will look at solutions and provide more details to ACAT.
  • Some comments were regarding the noise levels.  Staff completed a noise study and this was included in the presentation, all levels were well below the 80dBa standard.

Next steps

The Engineering department is completing the testing on the lighting levels and staff are compiling the results of the customer surveys and both of these will be presented at the December ACAT meeting.

Charlene Sharpe, Acting Divisional Manager – Operations presented an update on Wheel-Trans customers survey. To date, 36 customers participated in the survey and positive comments have been received. The only negative comment received was concerning the single seat. Customers who have tested the vehicle found the ride to be nice, quiet and very comfortable.

TTC will be seeking endorsement for the procurement of the 7m ProMaster vehicle at the December meeting.

Questions and Comments from the Subcommittee

Members commented that they preferred to have the same style call button as the 40 foot bus vs the strip style call button currently on the 7m bus. The model that the ACAT committee agreed to have was the model from the New Flyer bus. Staff explained that this is possible however the locations of the call buttons on the bottom of the flip fold seats may not be in the best position for the customers. These call buttons and locations will be reviewed with ACAT.

Members commented that the side ramp had a hand print loss on it and that the flat surface could potentially cause slip and is a tripping hazard. Staff mentioned the grated style was an opportunity for pinch point and might include a material to avoid the slippery aspect of the ramp. Staff indicated that the hand print will have a textured material for anti-slip.

Members noted that the postural belt could not be secured in the middle seat position. Staff explained the problem might have originated in the fact that the mobility device had been placed in an improper position. Drivers will be trained on how to properly use the belt.

Members found the rear ramp to be steeper than on the 6M vehicle. Staff are aware of this and are working with the vendor to ensure that the rear ramp slope on the 7m ProMaster will be similar to that of the 6m ProMaster.

Members had suggested to have a stop sign similar to what's on the back of the streetcars.  Staff indicated that a stop sign has legal consequences under the Highway Traffic Act, but will propose a solution to ACAT. The intent is to make cyclists and others aware that the side ramp is being deployed.

Members regretted to have been involved too late in the review process of the vehicle. Staff explained that the team has been working with ACAT since January 2020. This included a site visit of the vehicle in January, ride alongs in February. Incorporating all of their comments from these meetings into Wheel-Trans design review meetings with the vendor, and updating ACAT monthly on the progress of the pilot vehicle. The pilot vehicle was subsequently delivered to TTC in September, commissioned in October, and ACAT ride alongs took place on the pilot vehicle in November.

9. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Bobbie Moore, Chair

A CS meeting was held on November 5, 2020 via Webex.

The September 3, 2020 minutes were approved with one amendment and the October 8, 2020 minutes were approved with no amendments.

Station Descriptions on TTC Website

Alicia Fowlie, Senior Digital Communications Specialist will present an update on the station descriptions at the next CS meeting.

Interchange Station Announcements

Jeff Thurston, Communications Engineering Project Manager, provided an update on interchange station announcements on subways.
For trains, it is difficult to make changes to announcements with existing equipment because of the risk of losing data that currently exists. Thus, it was recommended by the TTC Communications Engineering Department that this item be put off until replacement to new hardware in the next two years.
Jeff Thurston also provided background on the project to improve the quality of subway train announcements. The train radio upgrading has been completed this year except on Line 3.

The quality of radio announcements, announcements from Transit Control or by the operator has improved and the TTC has received positive feedback from customers.

Wayfinding Terminology

Ian Dickson, Manager of Wayfinding and Design, presented Wayfinding terminology in relation to train direction.

Wayfinding terminology aims to provide the simplest and clearest information so that customers can navigate the system by themselves. The wayfinding team has considered options to complement what TTC’s regional transit partners are using.

Historically cardinal direction was used to help people navigate through the system because for the most part, the TTC subway follows the grid configuration of Toronto’s streets. It made sense for TTC to use the terms northbound, southbound, eastbound and westbound for train direction.
In the future, new subway lines will be multi-directional with twists and turns. Terminal stations will be used to show train direction, instead of cardinal directions. For example, in the future, maps on the platform will start to indicate “Finch” at the top of them rather than “northbound”.

Future Transit System

Line 3 – The number three may be repurposed to represent the new Ontario subway line, which begins at the Science Centre station.
Line 4 – Is the Sheppard line. The line runs from Sheppard-Yonge station going eastward to Don Mills and the colour is cranberry red.
Line 5 – Is the Crosstown line. The line will run west from Kennedy and will run east-west for a portion and north-south to Pearson Airport. Its colour is orange. The first phase will terminate at Mt. Dennis.
Line 6 – Is the future Finch West line. The line will begin at Finch West station, which is currently on Line 1 and will run westward towards Humber College. Its colour is grey. It will do a south turn terminating at Humber College.

The TTC is in the process of implementing train direction using terminal stations slowly throughout the system. The project will be completed by 2025. The TTC is also working on major wayfinding updates that have been proposed in the budget for 2021-2024, but have not been approved yet by the TTC Board.

The TTC has updated its wayfinding sign standards so that all design teams working on expansion projects are aware of the new standards and are taking that into account for any designs they are producing.

The GO system is using the new wayfinding signs for all their trains and as TTC integrates the system with Metrolinx’s system it will use it across the GTA.

Wheel-Trans Eligibility Video

Lema Salaymeh, Senior Community Liaison and team received feedback from members for the video on new eligibility self-portal and the script has been edited to include everyone’s feedback.

News Release on 50th Accessible Station

Lema Salaymeh provided a verbal update regarding the 50th accessible station completion. Staff advised that due to Covid-19 restrictions there is a plan to have a news release sent out. The TTC is going to contact all the City Councillors and the Mayor to let them know about the 50th accessible station in the hopes of getting the word out through social media.

Corporate “we” Language

There was a lengthy discussion about this issue. Members were concerned that the use of “we” in communications would exclude people unintentionally. Staff advised that they were using it more when announcing positive news or when necessary due to word or character count restrictions. The new style guide has become a high priority and it should be done by the end of 2020.

Closed Captioning in ACAT meetings

The issue of inconsistent closed captioning for meetings was discussed. Members wondered if a meeting should be cancelled if there was no closed captioning. Every year, members are asked to advise of any accommodation needs they may have.

Members agreed that all ACAT General Meetings should use closed captioning.

ACAT members suggested that Ian Dickson be invited to make the presentation on Wayfinding terminology to an upcoming ACAT General Meeting.

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Chris Stigas, Chair

A DRS meeting was held on November 18, 2020 via WebEx.

This meeting focussed on two topics – Easier Access Phase 4 Study and the Easier Access Phase 3 design for Old Mill Station.

Easier Access Phase 4 Study

An update presentation was presented by Josephine Macharia regarding Easier Access Phase 4. This study will rank and prioritize secondary accessible routes in key stations. This study began back in the summer where DRS members at the August 18 meeting provided feedback and a sample of which key stations will be prioritized in the study.

The initial stations evaluated included consisted of:

  • Kipling
  • Osgoode
  • St George
  • Sheppard West
  • Downsview park

The remaining stations will be added next.

Questions and concerns from DRS members were as follows;

In regards to Kipling Station, the reason behind it scoring high on the priority list is because it connects and services two other municipal public transit systems, is far away from the next accessible station, and serves a high number of customers.

In regards to St. George Station the main reason is the sheer amount of traffic at that station and only having one accessible elevator. That station also has the largest senior population within a few kilometres.

In regards to Osgoode station, this station uses a third-party elevator and if in fact this third-party locked the doors such as what happened during the first wave of Covid-19 the station is essentially not accessible. It also has a very high ridership potential because of its location and also ranks high based on future considerations as it’s been identified as an urban growth area by the city.

Staff explained that this process is intuitive and allows stations to move up and down this priority list based on the context of the community as it grows and changes.
DRS members recommended the following stations receive a site visit to ensure that the priority assigned reflects real world conditions:

  • North York Centre
  • York Mills
  • Yorkdale

DRS suggested revisiting the list every time a station becomes accessible in order to accommodate new Wheel-Trans trips going to that station. Other suggestions were to add the frequency of elevator failure at a particular station to the list for consideration, and also identifying stations having centre platforms versus side platforms for priority ranking.

Easier Access Phase 3 – Old Mill Station

Saeid Hamedi, Project Manager, presented the Easier Access Phase 3 designs for Old Mill station. This station will receive two elevators one on each side from street to track level. Bus platform and station entrance are currently accessible. 

DRS suggested having a waiting area at the bus entrance since it will now be serving Wheel-Trans. Staff confirmed that all wayfinding signs would be replaced in that station highlighting accessible paths and features.

DRS suggested that the buttons for the elevator to be added on the sides of the corridor instead of the front of the elevator where it might be difficult because of clearance for wheelchair users to access the buttons.

Streetcar Stops

In order to improve street car consistency with service times along the King St. corridor, streetcar platforms were moved east and west respectively in order to accommodate two street cars stopping at a TTC stop and not encroach on the intersection.  This caused ramps from the sidewalk down to the street to end up in locations that directly blocked the only accessible door to the streetcar.

Chris Stigas completed a site visit with TTC’s Alex Miller from the Transit Stops Planning team and assessed intersections on King Street between John Street and Church Street.  All ramp relocation measurements were recorded by Alex and submitted to TTC’s engineering department and then over to the city to expedite changes over the next month or so.

The next DRS meeting is December 2, 2020.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Anita Dressler, Chair

A SPS meeting was held on November 4, 2020 via Webex.

The main agenda items referred to E-scooters and E-bikes, Support Person Cards, and issues impacting frontline staff identifying persons in mental health crisis.
The members of the committee had a lengthy discussion and recommended a motion, regarding e-scooters and e-bikes causing safety concerns and hindrance, to pedestrians and people with disabilities at transit stops.

The issue of e-scooters and e-bikes should be treated the same as bicycles with a proposal to update the by-law rules accordingly.

The following proposed motion was moved by the Service Planning Subcommittee for ACAT endorsements and to be presented to the TTC Board at the next meeting:

As e-scooters, e-bikes and such have grown in popularity, it has become a safety concern of ACAT. These devices could be operated and left on TTC properties, in a manner that is an impediment to accessibility. It is a safety issue for customers with disabilities, seniors and pedestrians near and on TTC properties. ACAT recommends that the TTC Board ban the operation of e-scooters and e-bikes on TTC properties and that the definition and rules for bicycles be expanded to include e-scooters and e-bikes.

Another item of concern related to applications for support persons.

Members suggested that since the application is two pages and the pages can get separated, an additional box be placed at the top of each page with the applicant's name.

Also, recommended was to change the card validity from three to five years similar to drivers' licences.

There is a concern regarding obtaining photos for these cards. Presently, there are two options to accommodate the process of the application.

  1. Attend the TTC, Photo ID Centre, or
  2. A passport style photo taken at a passport studio

Members suggested a third option, which is to take a self-photo near a blank wall and follow the guidelines set forth in the application. This would apply a similar process to some Universities on how they take photos.

Lastly, members discussed Mental Health Support training for frontline workers and suggested that new procedures and messaging be given on how to identify persons in crisis. It was identified that some frontline staff do not understand certain situations that require attention.

This item will be for discussion at a future Service Planning Subcommittee meeting.

The next SPS meeting is December 2, 2020.

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

A WTOS meeting was held on November 12, 2020 via Webex.

Marco Iorfida, Scheduling and Policy Specialist, along with Angela Marley, provided an update on all of the subway landmarks on the landmark system. This work is ongoing.

Stephanie Gobin, Project Co-ordinator, explained how customers opt into how they receive information on Wheel-Trans. She said that Wheel-Trans was initially using the GIRO scheduling system for sending emails to customers. Recently, Wheel-Trans received a lot of bounce-back emails and decided to switch to Customer Relationship Management System (CRM). The advantages of CRM are that it can both send emails and store and save email addresses.

Most customers who have an online account or have registered to the Wheel-Trans Self-Booking site will have their email accounts saved in CRM. This will be used for creating a list to send out the Access newsletter or email blasts. Customers have the option to opt-in or opt-out of receiving emails. For customers who have an email address but would prefer to receive physical mail, Staff will make a notation of that in GIRO. The mailing address list gets created and physical copies are sent out.

Members suggested to provide the option to choose the communication preference upon registration on the Wheel-Trans Self-Booking website.
Stephanie Gobin explained that customers can indicate their communication preference when calling Wheel-Trans Customer Service. Customers can also opt-out of email communications by clicking the unsubscribe link on the bottom of the marketing email. Their preference will be updated in CRM, and they will no longer get emails.

Staff explained that during Phase 3, self-booking customers will be able to add an email address, phone number or mailing address.

Ross Visconti, Project Manager – GIRO, provided an update on the newest features available on the Wheel-Trans Self-Booking website. These are some of the features:

  • Ability to Start Regular Trip Requests on the Same Day
    Even though regular trip bookings (location you go to on a regular basis) are not currently available because of COVID-19, the feature has been added in the background.
  • Automated Scheduling of Regional Trip Requests to Transfer Points
    Currently, customers are able to book trips to and from transfer points. The new feature will allow customers to book directly from their home address in Toronto to their destination address, outside of Toronto. However, customers will only be able to schedule the Wheel-Trans portion of their trips on the Wheel-Trans Self-Booking site. The GTA part will have to be booked separately on a different website.
  • Selecting Locations by a Droppable Pin on a Map
    The option will allow customers to select 10 addresses from their recent list.
  • Ability to Select Different Notification Options such as Phone, E-mail and Mobile App.
    Mobile app users will also have the option to receive mobile app notifications as an alert on their phones.
  • More FOS Routes and Stops and more FOS trips Offered
    With more route and more stops available, more FOS trips will be available to customers.
  • Scheduling Improvements of FOS Trips to Reduce Total Travel Times
    In order to offer customers, the most efficient trip, FOS trip will be calculated on the time of trip rather than its length.
  • Wording Changes Recommended by ACAT
    A few of the wording changes previously recommended by ACAT have been implemented. The rest will be implemented during Phase 3 with a tool that was requested from the vendor.

The following features are available in the app background mainly for internal Wheel-Trans purposes.

  • On-Time Performance Dashboard
    This feature will be implemented for Dispatchers and Managers in order to maintain on time service. It will indicate which trips are running late and display all modes including taxis and buses. Dispatchers and Managers will be able to also locate vehicles on the map.
  • Scheduling Optimization Improvements
    By using vehicles more efficiently, it will create more space on buses and reduce the taxi contractors cost for the share riding of trips.
  • Adding Routes and Stops for FOS Trips
    A feature allowing users to quickly add a route and quickly either add or subtract the stop along that route was implemented for FOS trips. Wheel-Trans will no longer need to rely on the vendor to add routes and stops for FOS trips.
  • New Warning Messages for Dispatch and Service Support
    When Dispatch or staff is trying to do a function that could have a negative result to the customer, they will get a warning message. For instance, if a Dispatcher is manually putting too many customers at the same time, the warning message will indicate that the vehicles is over capacity.
    Charlene Sharpe, Acting Divisional Manager – Operations, and Loris Dametto, Vehicle Procurement Program Manager, presented an update on the 7M Pro Master vehicle. Nine (9) ACAT members took a test ride on the 7m Pro Master bus. The feedback was mostly positive and all members indicated that the interior brightness, lighting and temperature regulation were good. The white interior of the new vehicle will help for a better visibility. Regarding the rear ramp, ACAT members had concerns about it being too steep.
    The vehicle did its first ride with customers. Until December 4, 2020, Wheel-Trans customers will be asked to provide their feedback after their ride. Following their ride, Customer Service will solicit generic feedback through a survey.
    7m Bus Operators are trained to explain the new features to customers. Two Operators per week are provided with training. A discussion among ACAT members with staff regarding the feedback on the vehicle was held on November 24, 2020.

Cameron Penman, Manager – Customer Service, Wheel-Trans presented an update on the Contact Centre for the month of October.

Cameron reported that the average speed of calls answered in the Reservation queue was 7 minutes and 14 seconds which is below the current target of 15 minutes.

In September, the average speed of calls answered was 1 minute and 31 seconds.

Cameron also reported on the Wheel-Trans applications for Wheel-Trans service and customer service complaints.

New Applications

  • 509 new applications came in October.
  • 239 were conditional
  • 81 were unconditional
  • 181 were temporary
  • 8 were ineligible

Eligibility Decisions

  • 560 eligibility decisions were made and half of them were conditional
  • 23% were unconditional
  • 27% were temporary and 1% were ineligible

A total of 178 customer service complaints were received, as follows:

  • 65% - Vehicle Operations complaints
  • 16% - Contact Center complaints
  • 19% - Service Delivery complaints
  • 19% - Accommodations complaints

Recently awarded contract, TELUS Communications began at the end of November to handle overflow calls in Reservations.  The target is to alleviate Wheel-Trans customers’ wait time from 15 minutes to 2 minutes. TELUS Communications team will be held accountable. Wheel-Trans Customers are advised when they are transferred to TELUS agents through a pre-recorded greeting message.

The next WTOS meeting will be held on December 11, 2020.

10. Proposed Motion to the TTC Board Re: E-Scooters and E-Bikes

The Service Planning Subcommittee proposed the following Motion, recommending the TTC Board regulate E-Scooters and E-Bikes on the TTC.

Motion: As e-scooter, e-bikes and such have grown in popularity, it has become a safety concern of ACAT that these devices could be operated and left on TTC properties in a manner that is an impediment to accessibility. It is a safety issue for customers with disabilities, seniors and pedestrians near and on TTC properties.

ACAT recommends that the TTC Board ban the operation of e-scooters and e-bikes on TTC properties and that the definition and rules for bicycles be expanded to include e-scooters and e-bikes.

The Motion was moved by Jessica Gebeors and seconded by Anita Dressler. Carried.

The ACAT Chair will present this recommendation to the TTC Board at the next meeting.

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

CS:

  • The wayfinding terminology
  • 50 stations accessible

DRS:

  • Easier access Phase 4 study to identify in order of priority stations to receive a secondary elevator and accessible route
  • Easier Access Phase 3 making Old Mill station accessible

WTOS:

  • The newest features available on the Wheel-Trans Self-Booking website.
  • Wheel-Trans contract with TELUS Communications to handle the overflow of Wheel-Trans reservations calls which will greatly improve wait times.

12. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

The approved ACAT minutes for September 25th, 2020, were received by the Board.

On behalf of ACAT, the ACAT Chair Mazin Aribi welcomed the return of the TTC Chair Jaye Robinson to the TTC Board meetings and wished her full recovery.

He also welcomed the new elected councillor Cynthia Lai and encouraged her to be informed and support ACAT and the accessible transit initiatives.

The TTC Board members approved staff recommendations on:

  1. The appointment of five ACAT candidates for a term starting on January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023.
    • Gwyneth Dalzell
    • Jonathan Marriott
    • Laurie Sue Robertson
    • Craig Nicol
    • Janice Shachter
  2. The appointment of four ACAT candidates for a term starting on January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021, to re-establish a pool to draw from in the event one of the fifteen members does not accept or complete their 3-year term.
    • Kim Pearson
    • John Rae
    • Rhonda Solomon
    • Howard Wax
  3. Authorize the public release of the names of the appointed candidates.
  4. Authorize an increase of $9,800 for the honoraria paid ACAT members for a total of $13,600.
  5. Authorize an increase of $36,000 for captioning services for all ACAT meetings for a total of $48,000.

TTC Board adopted staff recommendations for the approval to amend the contract of Consultant Design Services to continue with their consultation for Old Mill and Spadina Stations Easier Access Phase III (EAIII), Warden Station Redevelopment and EAIII, and Yorkdale Station skylight repair projects. This amendment to the consultant design services contract will ensure completion of those projects in order to fulfil the provincially-legislated requirements in the 2005 Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) for all TTC subway stations to be accessible by 2025.

The TTC Board passed Commissioner Julie Osborne’s motion and was seconded by Vice Chair Joanne DeLaurentiis regarding the accessibility on future designs and was originally generated by ACAT.

It is recommended that the TTC Board:

  1. Direct TTC Staff to draft a letter to Metrolinx outlining expectations related to the design of future grade separated rapid transit stations. The letter should specify the following:
    1. All future TTC operated station designs, including those with third party entrances follow current TTC accessibility standards;
    2. All interchange and terminus stations must have two accessible paths to platform; elevators located at different locations and providing two separate paths to platform and all customer serving levels, including street level.
  2. Direct staff to request the budget for the design and construction of second elevators at Finch West and Kennedy Stations in a future capital budget submission.

ACAT members were encouraged to review the TTC Board Meeting agenda, reports, and presentations made at the November 16, 2020 Board Meeting by clicking on this link:
https://www.ttc.ca/public-meetings/board/2020/Board-Meetings-November-16

Also, ACAT members may access the recorded video of the whole meeting by clicking on this link:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2XBSGxX6ilw

The chair informed TTC Commissioners of the next ACAT general virtual meeting on November 26th, 2020, via WebEx.

Next TTC Board Meeting is on Tuesday, December 15, 2020.

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

Deferred to the next ACAT meeting in December.

14. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

15. Other Items / New Business.

Nil.

16. Next Meeting – December 17, 2020

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, December 17, 2020 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. via Webex.

17. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m. by Bobbi Moore. Valentine Benichou Recording Secretary

18. Other / New Business

19. Next Meeting

20. Adjournment

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