Access - Spring 2017

Newsletter of the Wheel Trans Community

Message from Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel Trans

Listen to an audio version of Message from Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans (MP3, 1.5 MB)

Hello everyone! We've got a lot on the go this year as we continue our work towards making the TTC a barrier-free accessible transit system by 2025.

In April, we're hosting public meetings for customers and organizations to tell them how we've done and that we met our AODA eligibility requirements as of January 1, 2017. I'm really looking forward to hearing what our customers and their communities think about the changes we've put in place and for sharing what lies ahead this year.

This spring, we're kicking off a six-month Family of Services pilot to test a new model for delivering service to customers. This model is designed to increase your spontaneity of travel as the conventional TTC system is made more and more accessible. Wheel Trans will support participating customers to access the TTC's accessible bus or subway system for some or part of their trips. You can read more about this in this edition of Access, but if you're interested in participating in this pilot, please email to learn how you can volunteer.

I'm happy to report that for the third year in a row, your satisfaction with TTC Wheel Trans service continues to be very high, at 88%, a significant increase from a high score of 85% in 2015 and 2014. This is consistent across all vehicle types including Wheel Trans buses, accessible minivans, and sedan taxis. Such a positive Wheel Trans customer satisfaction score has had a similar impact on perceptions of pride - the majority of Wheel Trans customers (89%) are proud of the TTC and what it means to Toronto. These findings encourage everyone on my team - and across the TTC - to keep focused on our goal of creating the most accessible system possible, and to make the TTC a transit system that makes Toronto proud.

Employee Profile

Listen to an audio version of the Employee Profile (MP3, 1.7 MB)

Meet Lodon Hassan, new Assistant Manager for TTC Wheel Trans Customer Service

My name is Lodon Hassan, and I support the success of our Customer Service, Reservations and Customer Ability Liaison departments. I've been hired to take over for Dean Milton, while Dean focuses exclusively on the Wheel Trans 10-Year Strategy. My goal is to improve the customer service experience by working with our staff to ensure that customer satisfaction remains our top priority and I welcome every opportunity to provide a positive experience to customers. Before joining the team at TTC Wheel Trans, I worked in contact centres in the financial and telecommunications industries. My current and previous positions have always been customer service focused, and my responsibilities have consistently been to provide front line support to my team while they deliver effective communication with customers.

What I find the most rewarding about TTC Wheel Trans is that I'm given the chance to provide solutions to the problems that our customers face. There's no better feeling than permanently resolving an issue for a customer, but when we're in a position to help a group of people with one great idea… count me in! Every day I'm surrounded by hard working people who are thinking outside the box to find new solutions to our challenges, all in the hopes of creating tangible change that will benefit our customers and our staff.

Outside of work, it's safe to say that I'm a huge Toronto Raptors fan. Coaching and playing basketball take up most of my leisure time. I use basketball as a tool to coach kids valuable skills such as accountability, punctuality, discipline, team work, leadership and communication.

Easier Access Program Update

Listen to an audio version of the Easier Access Program Update (MP3, 850 KB)

With Ossington station's transformation completed on schedule in December 2016, 35 subway stations, or more than half of the subway network, is accessible. Construction will begin this year at Royal York station and will continue at Dupont and St. Patrick stations.

This year elevators, automatic doors, signage and other station accessibility improvements will be completed at three more stations, St. Clair West, Woodbine and Coxwell. With the opening of the Line 1 extension to York Region in December of this year, TTC's network of barrier-free stations will grow to 44 out of 75 stations. Stay tuned for more about the Line 1 extension in a future edition of Access!

People in Motion

Listen to an audio version of People in Motion (MP3, 600 KB)

Canada's largest disability exhibition.

Exhibition Place - Queen Elizabeth Building, Toronto
May 26 to 27, 2017
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • Career Fair
  • Government Programs
  • Transportation and Mobility
  • Family Fun Activities
  • Disability Product and Service Providers
  • Family of Services Update

Family of Services Update

Listen to an audio version of the Family of Services Update (MP3, 1.5 MB)

The Family of Services model will provide our customers with more spontaneity and greater independence of travel and at the same time, it will make sure we can continue to provide door-to-door service to those who need it.

A Family of Services trip is when a TTC Wheel Trans customer uses conventional bus, streetcar or subway for all, or a part of their trip. The TTC is working to make conventional transit more accessible for a seamless experience.

A six-month pilot with volunteer customers is planned to begin in April/May 2017, and we're currently defining the strategy and operational procedures on the best way to carry this out on our subway system as well as identified conventional routes:

  • 29 Dufferin
  • 85 Sheppard East
  • 84 Sheppard West
  • 97 Yonge
  • 95 York Mills

Customers who want to be part of this exciting pilot can email with your full name and registration number. Staff will connect with you to see if your travel patterns would be a good fit with this pilot. This pilot is a critical element of our 10-Year Strategy to make the TTC accessible for all our customers. By volunteering, you can help us define what an accessible customer journey would look like.

PRESTO: Now available on TTC Wheel Trans

Listen to an audio version of Presto on Wheel-Trans (MP3, 2.85 MB)

The PRESTO electronic fare payment system is now available on all Wheel Trans vehicles, accessible taxis, buses, streetcars and at least one entrance of every subway station. The contracted sedan taxis should have PRESTO later this year. Until this happens, PRESTO card customers must carry cash, tickets or tokens in case the vehicle that shows up doesn't have PRESTO.

While much has been accomplished with the PRESTO rollout on the TTC to date, there's still more to do over the next year. Upgrades have been made to the card readers on our vehicles, new fare gates and to the Self-Serve Reload Machines in our stations to improve their reliability. The TTC's fare card team and PRESTO continue to work closely together and additional upgrades will occur throughout the year. The remaining subway station entrances that don't yet have the new paddle-style fare gates with PRESTO will get them. New TTC pass products, such as monthly and weekly passes, will also be introduced. Finally, new self-serve machines will be installed at each subway station entrance. Metropasses, tickets and tokens will continue to be available for sale and use during the transition.

When monthly passes are introduced on PRESTO, they will cost the same as a Metropass and provide the same unlimited travel for a month. You will initially be able to buy the monthly pass on PRESTO online at More locations to purchase the pass will become available throughout the year.

Additional information about TTC pass products on PRESTO will be shared when it's available.

Until PRESTO is available on all TTC Wheel Trans vehicles, including the contracted sedan taxis, you may want to wait to transition to PRESTO. We'll let you know with plenty of notice when you will no longer be able to use tickets, tokens, or Metropasses and must begin using PRESTO. We'll stop selling these products before we stop accepting them so you will have time to transition.

PRESTO cards can be purchased:

  • Online:
  • Telephone: 1-877-378-6123 (follow options 7-1-1 for TTY)
  • In person: At 61 Gateway Newstands in various TTC subway stations, as well as at TTC's Customer Service Centre, 1900 Yonge Street.
    Find up-to-date information at Gateway Newstands locations and online at PRESTO on the TTC.

More information about PRESTO on TTC Wheel Trans is also available on the hooks of all Wheel Trans vehicles and from the drivers of the accessible taxis.

TTC Wheel Trans: Eligibility update

Listen to an audio version of the Wheel-Trans Eligibility Update (MP3, 1.95 MB)

We're very excited to report that on January 1, 2017 we met the AODA eligibility requirements for accessible transit. The AODA is Ontario's accessibility law, and our new eligibility process has been modernized to allow people with various types of disability to apply to use TTC Wheel Trans service. This is a major milestone that TTC Wheel Trans has been working towards for quite some time. After a lot of hard work and excellent support from our customers and stakeholders, we've now introduced a new eligibility application form and a new process for persons with disabilities who are interested in becoming TTC Wheel Trans customers.

Those applying to Wheel Trans since January 1 have been completing the Wheel Trans eligibility application form with their health care professional. After we receive the form, the new Wheel Trans Customer Ability Liaisons review it to determine the best level of eligibility to meet the applicant's transit needs. If the Customer Ability Liaison is unable to determine eligibility, then the applicant is asked to attend a functional assessment to further assess their accessibility needs. This is a major win, since prior to changing the eligibility application, everyone had to attend an assessment. Now, we can focus our resources more efficiently.

The TTC Wheel Trans Customer Service department here has processed over 1000 applications with less than 5% appeals. This tells us our process is working, and we're still working to reduce the appeal rate and improve the process every day.

The most exciting part of this change is that we're now accepting customers with various types of disabilities. Gone are the days when a person must be using a mobility aid to qualify for specialized transit. Now, TTC Wheel Trans serves customers with mobility, sensory, cognitive and mental health disabilities.


Listen to an audio version of Appointment (MP3, 550 KB)

Naeem Chughatai has successfully secured the position of Reservations Supervisor with TTC Wheel Trans.

During his tenure with the TTC, Naeem has served as an invaluable asset to our Wheel Trans team and has positively impacted multiple facets of our organization. In his main role as a Reservationist, Naeem stood out by often going the extra mile for our customers to provide world class service.

Join us in congratulating Naeem in his new role!

Community Bus Service

Listen to an audio version of Community Bus Service (MP3, 565 KB)

Did you know?

All Community Buses serve local bus stops, but they can also be flagged down at any point along the route.

Spotlight: The 405 Etobicoke Community Bus operates through the Eglinton Avenue West area, between Scarlett Road and Kipling Avenue, generally in an east-west direction. Service operates from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., from Monday to Friday only.

TTC Wheel Trans Public Consultation

Listen to an audio version of TTC Wheel Trans Public Consultation (MP3, 2 MB)

TTC Staff will provide an update on the recently implemented Wheel Trans eligibility and policy changes. Details will also be available on the Family of Services Pilot Program, Mobility Transfer Hubs and the proposed Community Bus Routes. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide input on each of these initiatives. 

View our schedule of events, services and locations for the Wheel Trans Public ConsultationReview a copy of the 10-year strategy presentation.

A Message from ACAT

Listen to an audio version of A Message from ACAT (MP3, 1.5 MB)

The Advisory committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) is comprised of 15 volunteers representing seniors and people with disabilities. ACAT provides advice and recommendations to the TTC on matters pertaining to accessible public transit in Toronto.

My name is Debbie Gillespie and I'm honoured to be the ACAT Chair for 2017. I first joined ACAT in 2012, so some of you may know me already. I've lived in three different cities in Ontario and experienced the transit challenges of each from a vision-loss perspective. I believe that being able to travel by public transit provides everyone the opportunity to make the choices they need to fully participate in activities that enrich one's daily life and experience.

I'm pleased to say that ACAT continues to be very involved in the roll-out of the TTC Wheel Trans 10-Year Strategy. We're actively working with TTC Wheel Trans staff to make sure there's a seamless transition to the Family of Services model, while at the same time, minimizing impact to existing riders.

The updated Customer Charter includes 11 commitments for 2017 that directly address accessibility initiatives. You can learn about these initiatives under the 2017 Customer Charter commitments. I look forward to keeping you updated on ACAT initiatives throughout the coming year.

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