Communications Subcommittee (CS) – Angela Marley, CS Chair
A CS meeting was held on February 4th, 2021 via Webex.
The first item was the election of the CS Chair. Angela Marley was nominated and acclaimed Chair for 2021.
Heather Brown, Manager of Customer Communications, provided an overview of the 2021 priorities for Customer Communications. The focus will continue to be on COVID-19 communications, reminding customers about wearing masks, how to properly wear them, and outlining the exceptions that exist.
Celebrating Black History Month in February, the TTC launched a new campaign recognizing prominent Black Canadians who have played instrumental roles in the public sector. The TTC will be celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2021. Various activities will be planned and more information will be shared at a later date.
Ian Dickson, Manager of Design and Wayfinding presented a comprehensive project about improving wayfinding on the TTC. He shared a new initiative the TTC is working on called virtual reality station models, that was presented to the Design Review Subcommittee. The TTC is actively advocating for ACAT involvement in TTC expansion projects that Metrolinx is planning. Members asked about potential design challenges when Metrolinx is leading the design and construction of TTC operating facilities. Staff explained that since the TTC standards for construction and design wayfinding exceeds the Ontario and National Building Codes, in terms of what is required for accessibility, it was challenging to convince partners to align with TTC standards.
There was a discussion of the impact of the increased ridership, that customers are having difficulty maintaining physical distancing on vehicles and that some are disregarding the COVID-19 decals on seats. In addition, members explained that customers with low vision cannot see the decal signs to follow the directions.
Alicia Fowlie, Senior Communications Specialist, Digital Communications, provided an update on the new TTC website. Members of Digital Communications team are working with both the user experience and Information Technology Services teams on the content and migration of the current TTC website to the new one. An accessibility checker tool was purchased in addition; a third party was contracted for another level of accessibility check on the website. A Special Communications Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for March 18, 2021.
Lema Salaymeh, Senior Community Liaison provided the Wheel-Trans Communications update. The self-serve portal video once complete will be sent to members. The Access newsletter will be sent out to members for review by mid-April 2021.
Highlights for the meeting are:
- New TTC website updates
- Communication regarding masks
- Decal signs regarding seating on vehicles
The next meeting is scheduled for March 4, 2021.
Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, DRS Chair
A DRS held a meeting on February 3, 2021 via Webex.
The first item was the election of the DRS Chair. Craig Nicol was acclaimed Chair for 2021.
The second item on virtual reality station models was presented by Manager of Design and Wayfinding, Ian Dickson. These models will allow customers the ability to preview public areas of the stations stopping along the way to pan around their environment. The link will be on the TTC subway stations page and would be linked to Google Street View where users can enter from that platform. The internal link from a TTC stations page would provide additional features permitting links to other TTC data such as the systems map.
Members expressed concern that linked data would not be kept up to date. Customers are advised to check subway station pages for elevator and escalator status. DRS recommended incorporation of station descriptions and support for wayfinding the accessible route within the station including text based route description.
The next item on platform gap update was presented by Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility. Matt provided the status of GAP remediation to date and provided a schedule for work in 2021. Remediation involves bringing horizontal and vertical gaps at subway platforms within TTC standards.
Members raised issues of signage on streetcar platforms to identify the waiting location for the accessible entry. Transit Stops Planning and Wayfinding teams will be invited to an upcoming meeting to discuss this item.
DRS recommends that as soon as possible the subcommittee be involved in the TTC planning process for operation of Line 5, Eglinton Crosstown.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 3, 2021.
Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Carmen Galvan, SPS Chair
The SPS meeting was held on February 3, 2021 via Webex.
The first item was the election of SPS Chair where Carmen Galvan was elected.
The second item was discussion on the subway entrance connection policy for third party developments. The report members received did not include specific requirements for third party entrance connections and these will be developed as part of the next phase. Once the policy is approved by the Board, the next phase is an update to the TTC entrance connection guide, which the TTC provides to developers. There is also an enforcement component to this policy which ACAT had brought up previously as something that was needed. Going forward all entrance connection proposals would need to go to ACAT for review and input for accessibility requirements, including if developers make a proposal for entrance connections that are not accessible (and not possible to be made accessible in the developers' opinion). All entrance connections will have to go through a technical review which is a process that has not been changed.
For next steps, members discussed that following Board approval from the February 10 meeting an engineering update is scheduled to be presented to ACAT at a later date. Members did ask about third party buildings where their hours of operations and the responsibilities of opening and closing building doors. Members have witnessed that some buildings are closed at times when the TTC is still operational. Staff explained that this is agreed on through a construction agreement, and the agreement varies on a number of factors so members also come into this sometimes the opening and closing of doors were decided by security guards who had time or closing doors when it was cold and so they asked about enforcing this construction agreement as well.
The third item discussed was the upcoming 2021 TTC Accessibility Plan Status Report, which will update the Board on the status of the TTC’s 2019-2023 Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. The subcommittee discussed some of the things that have been completed so far, which include making all TTC streetcars accessible, beginning the study phase for the fourth phase of the Easier Access Program, trial of tactile signs at various locations and also PRESTO that has completed their rollout on Wheel-Trans taxis.
The TTC is upgrading centre platform wayfinding tiles, has opened an accessible TTC Photo ID Facility at Bathurst subway station and by the end of 2021 will complete an accessibility audit of transit stops and make TTC Lost Articles Office at Bay subway station accessible. Changes to Community Bus service will also be implemented. The TTC will launch an on-demand automated shuttle pilot in collaboration with Metrolinx.
Members had questions related to equity focused consultations, what they were and what they meant. The TTC hired Youth Ambassadors to consult with their communities. More information is available in the 2021 Annual Service Plan report to the Board from December 2020. The report has been set out and the members asked for clarification on what transit audits were and that is just the purpose of auditing to see if all bus stops are accessible.
Highlights for the meeting:
- 2021 Accessibility Plan Status Report
- Updates on the third party entrance policy
The next meeting is scheduled for March 3, 2021.
Questions and Comments from the Subcommittee
Members inquired about TTC public reminders in the subway system about the first-on, last-off procedure which has not adapted to people with disabilities who have difficulty getting on and off the transit system.
Staff explained that the item has been discussed in the past but that it was long before COVID-19. Since then, the focus has been mainly on COVID-19 but the TTC is currently working on a multi-transit agency campaign that the Communications Subcommittee saw and provided feedback. The Communications team will finalize the materials but one of the pieces of feedback that was brought up was regarding a poster that alluded to first on and last off, but it did not go so far as to discussing the use of that terminology. Staff will take this item back for additional reminders to go out into the system.
Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Sam Savona, WTOS Chair
The WTOS meeting was held on February 11, 2021 via Webex.
The first item was the election of the WTOS Chair. Sam Savona was nominated and acclaimed Chair for 2021.
Marco Iorfida, Wheel-Trans Scheduling and Policy Specialist provided an update on the subway landmarks on the landmark system. Five new subway stations became accessible: Runnymede, Wilson, Chester, Dupont and Bay.
Lodon Hassan, Wheel-Trans Assistant Manager of Customer Service presented an update on the Contact Centre for the month of January.
Lodon reported that the average speed of calls answered in the Reservation queue was 2 minutes and 17 seconds. Customer Service current average wait time was 7 seconds due to the lower calls during COVID-19.
Lodon also reported on the Wheel-Trans applications for Wheel-Trans service and customer service complaints and commendations.
- 337 applications received
- 179 were conditional
- 88 were unconditional
- 102 were temporary
- 3 were ineligible
- 48% were conditional
- 24% were unconditional
- 27% were temporary and 1% were ineligible
A total of 210 customer service complaints and commendations were received, as follows:
- 2% – Telus Call Centre complaints
- 45% – Vehicle Operations complaints
- 2% – Vehicle complaints
- 17% – Service Delivery complaints
- 25% – Commendations
Second Sourcing Update
Cameron Penman, Wheel-Trans Manager of Customer Service presented the second source call centre update.
Cameron reported a three-and-a-half-minute wait time threshold when a customer calls Wheel-Trans Reservations and if the call is not answered past the threshold it will be automatically be rerouted to Telus Call Centre.
Performance tracking for Telus Call Centre is now set up. In December, Telus Reservationists answered calls approximately 13 % of all Wheel-Trans calls. In January, it was 16 % and in early February, Telus was up to approximately 30 % of the calls. Average calls per day prior to Telus launch in November was 1,178. Post launch and pandemic, in December the average calls was 966 and in January was 905.
Cameron reported the abandonment rate in January lowered drastically in comparison to pre-launch in November abandonment rate was 26 %, in December abandonment rate was 4.73 % and in January abandonment rate was 2.25 %.
Average wait time in November was 9 minutes 22 seconds, in December, 1 minute 33 seconds and in January, a slight raise but maintained at 1 minute 47 seconds under the new target of 2 minutes hold.
For the next steps, Wheel-Trans has been in communication with Telus and their dashboards and reporting tools. They have set up weekly and monthly meetings to discuss performance level agreement. The first measurement was abandonment rate, the second was wait time and both measurements were under 1 percent. The average wait time was between 1 to 3 percent. This has helped Reservations Centre lower the abandonment rate and achieving improvement.
Questions and Comments from the Subcommittee
Members inquired on the guidelines and standards to follow to determine what makes a Wheel-Trans stop and which department should be involved in that process.
Staff will report back at the next meeting.
Members suggested to not include commendations under complaints.