ACAT Meeting - February 25, 2021


Meeting Info

Date:Thursday, February 25, 2021
Start Time:1:00 p.m.
Location:Webex
Meeting No:363
  • Agenda
  • Meeting Minutes
    1. Call to Order / Attendance
    2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
    3. Approval of Agenda
    4. Remarks from Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer
    5. Remarks from ACAT Chair
      a. TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters
      b. ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with TTC CEO and TTC Chair
    6. Review and Approval of January 28, 2021 Minutes
    7. Outstanding Items
    8. Deputation: Nil
    9. Review of Correspondence: Nil
    10. COVID-19 Updates
    11. Terms of Reference Update
    12. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
       Communications
       Design Review
       Service Planning
       Wheel-Trans Operations
    13. Wheel-Trans Transformation Updates
    14. Other / New Business
    15. Next Meeting – March 25, 2021
    16. Adjournment

Present

  • Igor Samardzic, Chair
  • Debbie Gillespie, Co-Vice Chair
  • Chris Stigas, Co-Vice Chair
  • Margo Brodie
  • Gwyneth Dalzell
  • Carmen Galvan
  • Sean Hollingsworth
  • Angela Marley
  • Jonathan Marriott
  • Craig Nicol
  • James Pyo
  • Lauri Sue Robertson
  • Sam Savona
  • Janice Shachter
  • Mahendan Sivabalasundaram

ACAT Pool Members

  • Kim Pearson
  • John Rae
  • Rhonda Cheryl Solomon
  • Howard Wax

TTC Representatives

  • Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer
  • Jim Ross, Chief Operating Officer
  • Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans
  • Stephan Boston, Chief Instructor, Operations Training Centre
  • John Boucher, Manager – Lakeshore Garage, Wheel-Trans
  • David LoPresti, Manager – Contracted Taxi Services, Wheel-Trans
  • Heather Brown, Manager – Customer Communications
  • Loris Dametto, Program Manager – Bus & Wheel-Trans Procurement, Vehicle Programs
  • Dean Milton, Manager – Strategic Initiatives, Wheel-Trans
  • Charlene Sharpe, Manager – Divisional Manager, Wheel-Trans
  • Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager – Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
  • Radamiro Gaviria, Human Rights Consultant
  • Matt Hagg, Senior Planner – System Accessibility
  • Desrianne McIlwrick, Travel Specialist, Wheel-Trans
  • Lema Salaymeh, Senior Community Liaison

Invited Guests

  • Commissioner Julie Osborne, TTC Board Member

1. Call to Order / Attendance

ACAT Chair Igor Samardzic called the meeting to order at 1:16 p.m. and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda

On a motion by Sam Savona, seconded by Craig Nicol, the agenda was approved.

4. Remarks from Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer

Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer congratulated the ACAT Chair Igor Samardzic and Co-Vice Chairs Debbie Gillespie and Chris Stigas that were introduced at the February 10, 2021 Board meeting.

He wished everyone to stay warm and safe during the pandemic. Rick mentioned two exciting developments in Wheel-Trans service, the improvements of wait times for Reservations with the Telus third party contract and the 7m ProMaster vehicles. A few years back there were problems with the system that lead to customers waiting hours to get through to Reservations. He thanked ACAT members working with TTC together to improve the system for everyone. Rick also thanked ACAT members for the positive feedback on the 7m ProMaster vehicles as well as from individuals who have used and tested it. A few modifications are in progress as a result.
 

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Members strongly emphasized the need for the integration of accessibility issues throughout the upcoming Five-Year Corporate Plan which was agreed upon by Rick Leary, Chief Executive Officer. He advised work will be done in collaboration with ACAT.

Members expressed concerns regarding the accessibility of the new TTC website.

Staff explained that the website was brought up at the last Communications Subcommittee meeting and members will be provided access to the beta version of the new website set to be tested in the second week of March. A Special Communications Subcommittee meeting is scheduled for March 18, 2021. Members of the Digital Communications team and Information Technology Services will be present at the meeting to hear the committee’s feedback prior to the launch of the new TTC website. Previous feedback from the Communications Subcommittee from an earlier beta version of the website was incorporated and the new website is getting close to public launch. The Special Communications Subcommittee meeting will be the final opportunity to test the website from all levels including accessibility design and ease of use before it goes live.

Members expressed concerns about accessibility with the integration of LRT and TTC.

Staff explained that the budget related to the Crosstown was approved by the City Council. The budget will enable the TTC to hire staff at the end of 2021 in order to start with commissioning in early 2022. Other expansion projects are the Line 1 North, the Line 2 East, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT West extension and the Ontario Line. Monthly meetings have been setup for the past several months to go over the roles and responsibilities of the TTC in these expansion projects as well as from an accessibility standpoint.
 
Members inquired about the quality of training for Telus representatives in comparison to Wheel-Trans Customer Service Agents.

Staff explained the Telus representatives are provided the training with the same level of expertise and awareness on accessibility issues.

Members inquired about the Fair Pass Discount Program that is aiming at improving economic gaps and were wondering if that was going to be addressed in the new Corporate Plan going forward.

Staff explained that new applications to the Fair Pass Discount Program were paused due to the pandemic but has been recently reactivated by City Council who made the recommendation to expand that program through a motion. The Program is going to be reexamined at the Board meeting in May for future recommendations. There will be future opportunities for roundtable discussions and TTC will be sharing information on its website and social media regarding the item. Future presentation will be offered at an upcoming Service Planning Subcommittee meeting.

Members noticed a lack of awareness from TTC staff regarding disability issues with the example of the TTC Head Office where accessible washrooms have been used by TTC staff. Members have also witnessed TTC vehicles parked in front of an accessible entrance or designated accessible zones.

Staff will work on enforcing the policies regarding accessibility and create a reminder for staff.

5. Remarks from ACAT Chair

ACAT Chair Igor Samardzic remarked that the ACAT Executives have received feedback to make ACAT meetings accessible to the public again. These meetings were held in person at TTC Head Office, 1900 Yonge Street and were open to the public for anyone to attend. Since the pandemic, ACAT meetings have been held virtually and inaccessible to the public. TTC staff have taken this issue away and will explore potential solutions such as using Webex Events feature. The experience should be similar to the actual Webex platform that is currently used with a slight change that allows for a link to be posted on the TTC website where individuals from the public can view the meeting. The new system is not implemented for the present meeting but will tested prior to the next ACAT General meeting. A reminder email will be sent out regarding privacy since the meetings will be open to the general public.

ACAT Executives have been working with TTC staff to compile a list of TTC and Wheel-Trans acronyms for new and returning members. ACAT members are reminded to limit their use of acronyms or to spell them out when using them.

At the January 28, 2021 ACAT General meeting members expressed a desire to organise a virtual social gathering due to the limitations of virtual meetings. ACAT members do not experience the same type of interaction as in person meetings. A virtual ACAT social gathering is scheduled for March 5, 2021. Both TTC staff and ACAT members have been invited with the intention to get to know each other better through sharing experiences, stories and meaningful conversations.
ACAT Chair reminded that each subcommittee has a Chair who provides a report back to all members of what took place at their specific meetings. The ACAT Executives will provide a template to ACAT Subcommittee Chairs once completed. The goal is to streamline and make the report back process easier in terms of distilling information that is critical to include and who is to be included in emails.

a. TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters

The TTC Board met on February 10, 2021. Chief Executive Officer Rick Leary gave an extensive presentation on a variety of different performance measurements and scorecards, including ones on ridership numbers that are gradually increasing. The data on mask compliance is quite high, and other data within the presentation referred to wait times for Wheel-Trans Reservations.
 
The Reservations average wait time has been brought down to 2.4 minutes, a significant improvement from previous wait times. Wheel-Trans continues to be used for essential trips during COVID-19 lockdown.

Chair Jaye Robinson and Board members remarked on the e-scooter motion TTC passed a couple of months ago and the TTC Corporate Plan which ACAT looks forward to working with TTC staff to ensure there is an accessibility focus within the Corporate Plan for the next couple of years. There was a Waterfront LRT consultation separate from the Board meeting. ACAT members attended the meeting and provided questions.

Members who are interested can view the TTC Board meeting via the YouTube page, as well as the TTC website. Both full and past presentations are available.
 
The next TTC Board meeting is scheduled on April 14, 2021.

b. ACAT Executive Quarterly Meeting with TTC CEO and TTC Chair

The ACAT Executives meet quarterly with the TTC’s Chief Executive Officer as well as other TTC Board members and TTC Staff to discuss high level issues that are of concern. ACAT members are encouraged to reach out if they would like to bring issues at these meetings. The next ACAT Executive Quarterly meeting with TTC CEO and TTC Chair is scheduled on March 9, 2021.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Members have noticed that people using screen readers can only access Webex meeting through their browsers which could potentially be an issue.

Members suggested creating 2 generic email addresses: one for the ACAT Executives and one for the ACAT committee to encompass all 18 members for easier contact.

6. Review and Approval of January 28, 2021 Minutes

On a motion by Janice Shachter, seconded by Lauri Sue Robertson, January 28, 2021 Minutes were approved with no amendments.

7. Outstanding Items

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 since October 29, 2020.
  • Item: Update on the New TTC Website and Updated Station Descriptions which have been on hold – Ongoing. No updates. Staff has provided an update at the February Communication Subcommittee Meeting. A second meeting is scheduled.
  • Item: ACAT Terms of Reference - Staff liaison, ACAT Exec and ACAT to review for appropriate amendments meeting current and relevant standards, procedures and terminology. Item was recently added.

Future Items

  • Item: GTHA Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC) Joint Meeting – Ongoing.
    Deputants - Meenu Sikand and Dennise Carrasco- Service on Kilgour Road as it relates to Holland Bloorview Children Rehabilitation Centre - This item will be addressed when Line 5 is almost operational.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Members suggested reorganizing outstanding items and separating them from future items that do not require regular updates.

8. Deputation

Nil.

9. Review of Correspondence

Nil.

10. COVID-19 Updates

Heather Brown, Manager of Customer Communication presented the new item 10. COVID-19 Updates. She explained this was an opportunity to explore current issues and updates in the TTC system from a COVID-19 related perspective.

Mask Distribution Program

A mask distribution program is currently underway. Customers who do not have masks upon entering the system will now be offered a mask at any subway station. They can pick one up from the Collector or Customer Service Agent at TTC subway stations. In addition, other TTC staff such as TTC Supervisors that work at Transit Control, Bus Transportation, Streetcar Transportation, the Fare Inspector team and Special Constables are helping to distribute masks in key hotspots across the transit network such as busy bus stops and in Neighborhood Improvement Areas.

The mask campaign started last summer when the TTC first initiated the mandatory mask policy. The mask campaign will continue until COVID-19 vaccinations are completed and the TTC is able to ease its restrictions. Wheel-Trans also has masks available for customers on its vehicles.

New Mask Campaign

On March 1, 2021, the TTC will be launching a new mask campaign. This campaign will focus on reminders about the importance of wearing your mask, covering your nose mouth and chin. The imagery that the TTC has been using to date with graphic people has been changed to real photography based on stock images of people wearing masks with reminder messages on their masks. Although TTC mask compliance from customers is quite high across the system, with a 97% compliance rate, feedback remains that either customers or TTC staff may not be wearing masks. Some people may be wearing masks but they pull them under their chin to eat or drink while they are on the system. The campaign is thus a further reinforcement of the safety measures that are in place.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Members suggested involving law enforcement officers in order to enforce the mask policy on TTC transit vehicles.

Staff explained that for now the mask policy was not enforced and that the TTC was rather focusing on educating the public on that matter.

Members suggested to request streetcar or bus drivers to trigger the pre-recorded announcement regarding the mask policy when they witness customers entering the system without a mask on.

Members also suggested to remind TTC operators about mask exemptions and to include people wearing a TTC "I am unable to wear a mask" button/card in the new mask campaign.

11. Terms of Reference Update

Staff and the ACAT Executive are considering updates to the ACAT Terms of Reference to reflect that ACAT meetings can now take place virtually. Other updates will be considered and ACAT members can make suggestions to staff and the ACAT Executives who will review and prepare a revised version before bringing it to ACAT for a vote.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Members inquired if other documents that are part of the ACAT manual would be updated as well. ACAT Chair explained for now updates would be on the Terms of Reference but it would be profitable to update other documents as well.

Members suggested having more time to revise the Terms of Reference which was agreed upon.

A member suggested revising the process for approving minutes when fewer members than needed for quorum are present at the meeting.

12. Subcommittee Reports and Updates

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.

New Applications

  • 337 applications received
  • 179 were conditional
  • 88 were unconditional
  • 102 were temporary
  • 3 were ineligible

Eligibility Decisions

  • 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.

13. Wheel-Trans Transformation Updates

Dwayne Geddes, Head of Wheel-Trans and Loris Dametto, Vehicle Programs Manager – Bus & Wheel-Trans Procurement presented the item.

Dwayne reported Wheel-Trans has extended the 12 months’ inactivity window for Wheel-Trans customers to 24 months. This means if customers have not used Wheel-Trans service their status will become inactive after 24 months and customers will have to call Wheel-Trans Customer Service for reactivation. An email has gone out regarding the update and the information will also be posted on the TTC website.

7M ProMaster Vehicle Update

Loris Dametto, Vehicle Programs Manager – Bus & Wheel-Trans Procurement, provided an update to the item. The last presentation to ACAT was done in December 2020. Presentation was presented again for the benefit of new ACAT members that detailed the major milestones completed to date on the progress of the 7m ProMaster Pilot vehicle.

Decision History

In February of 2020 at the TTC Board meeting, the Board authorized the following:

  • The procurement of 91 7m ProMaster buses, including one pilot vehicle. The 90 7m ProMaster vehicles were subject to ACAT approval of the one pilot vehicle.

At the December ACAT meeting, ACAT endorsed the procurement of the 7m ProMaster vehicle with the following configuration items to come back to ACAT for final review:

  • the rear ramp slope to be similar of the 6m ProMaster vehicle
  • side ramp deployment indicator to notify other riders that ramp is being deployed
  • the location of call buttons

Staff will report back to the committee on the final configuration items when they become available.

A brief summary of the activities completed to date are listed below:

In January 2020, ACAT reviewed the 7M ProMaster prototype vehicle. The TTC created a decision log on all the items that needed to be changed. A ride along was also set up with ACAT members.

In February 2020, shortly after the Board meeting, the TTC awarded a contract to Creative Carriage for the procurement of the pilot vehicle. Weekly meetings were set up with Creative Carriage on the vehicle development and stakeholder feedback was shared.

In September 2020, the pilot bus was received. It underwent commissioning activities at Lakeshore Garage which also included a review with the local Joint Health and Safety Committee. Engineering tested the vehicle to the parameters that were set out in the contract, including noise and lighting levels.
 
In November and December 2020, ACAT members and customers were invited to take solo rides on the pilot vehicle and were given questionnaires following the ride. The questionnaire results were compiled and presented to the ACAT General meeting and the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee.

In December 2020, ACAT endorsed the 7m ProMaster vehicles for procurement with three final configurations.

Next Steps

ACAT endorsement of the 7m ProMaster vehicle included ensuring the final configuration of the three items below:

  • Rear ramp
    • The rear ramp of the 7m ProMaster vehicle was slightly steeper than the 6m. The team has been working with the vendor to ensure that the ramp is similar to the 6m. Vendor stated the change is possible.
  • Side door alert system
    • ACAT members wanted a feature when the side ramp or side doors were opened, as an alert mechanism to identify to other people on the roadway or cyclists that the ramp is going to be deployed. Currently the team is investigating a system that will activate once the side doors are open. In addition, the lights at the back will be activated once the side doors open. Once the vendor has a prototype ready, a video will be brought to the ACAT General meeting.
  • Call button configuration
    • The location and the style of the call button. Currently in the pilot vehicle, 15 locations in the vehicle have call buttons. Regarding the style of the call button a meeting had recently been held with ACAT on the e-bus program. ACAT recommended to use city bus style features on the 7m ProMaster vehicle. That type of call buttons usually more geared to being placed on a pole so it is contoured. Vendors have been requested if they have a flat style button so as to mount on the wall or on the bottom of a seat. Regarding the former strip buttons that are currently located on the pilot vehicle, the team asked vendors what the pressure points are compared to the stop button on the city bus. The vendor is looking at solutions.  In March, an update will be presented with more detailed technical information.

Questions and Comments from the Committee

Members suggested using a ‘Do not pass’ sign similar to ones located on the streetcars instead of the lighting system to stop traffic as it could cause confusion to both pedestrian and riders. Members advised the precedent already exists with school buses and could be crucial in saving lives.

Staff explained they have scheduled a meeting with Ministry of Transportation regarding if the ‘Do not pass’ sign would be allowed under the Highway Transportation Act.

Members suggested having a person with a disability attend the meeting with the Ministry of Transportation.

Members suggested creating a share the road and share the bike lane campaign.

14. Other / New Business

Members suggested preparing a user guide on riding the LRT.

Members suggested including Land Acknowledgment to ACAT virtual meetings.

Staff will be discussing the item at the next Agenda Review meeting.

15. Next Meeting – March 25, 2021

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, March 25, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. via Webex.

16. Adjournment

The meeting was adjourned at 3:47 p.m. on a motion by Angela Marley.

Valentine Benichou
Recording Secretary

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