Access - Spring 2016
Message from Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans
First up are the upcoming changes to Wheel-Trans’ eligibility criteria. The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requires the implementation of new categories for eligibility for the TTC's Wheel-Trans service by January 1, 2017. There will be three categories:
- Unconditional eligibility: a person with a disability that prevents them from using conventional transportation services
- Temporary eligibility: a person with a temporary disability that prevents them from using conventional transportation services
- Conditional eligibility: a person with a disability where environmental or physical barriers limit their ability to consistently use conventional transportation services
Customers with visual, sensory, cognitive and/or physical disabilities may be eligible for Wheel-Trans service and the eligibility could be short or long-term. Disability alone won't create eligibility; the decision will be based on the applicant's ability to use conventional transit and it will not be based on the applicant’s income or age.
We're in the process of developing new application forms and assessment tools. I’ll update you on our progress in the summer after we have presented to the TTC Board.
A large part of the transformation strategy is the movement to a Family of Services model. Under this service model, it’s possible that for customers with conditional eligibility, Wheel-Trans would only be used for part of the customer’s trip. The balance of the trip would include conventional transit services. For example, Wheel-Trans might pick a customer up at home and take them to
an accessible subway station, where the customer would board the subway and ride to the station closest to their destination.Wheel-Trans could be waiting at the destination subway station to take the customer to their appointment.
We will be conducting a Family of Services pilot late in 2016 with volunteers who are able to use more than one mode of the service. There will be more information to come on this later this year.
We're developing a robust communication and public consultation plan as we are committed to keeping you informed as we move through this process. Through the use of this newsletter and other communication vehicles, we'll let you know about public meetings or other opportunities for input.
And finally, we’re working with our regional partners in York, Peel and Durham to create better cross-boundary services for our customers. Stay tuned for more information.
As I’ve said before, we’re committed to keeping you informed every step of the way through this transformation. It's an exciting time for us and we look forward to working with all of you to create a better, more spontaneous customer journey.