Minutes of Meeting

Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit 
Meeting No. 316

Meeting Date

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Location

1900 Yonge Street
7th Floor Boardroom

Present

Debbie Gillespie, Chair
Angela Marley, Co-Vice Chair
Raymond Dell’Aera, Co-Vice Chair
Louise Bark
Mary Burton   
Joan Jordan
Margaret Hageman
Desrianne McIlwrick
Craig Nicol
Thomas Richardson
Lauri Sue Robertson
Valdo Tammark

Pool Members

Jessica Geboers
Anita Dressler
Igor Samardzic

Regrets

Lynn McCormick
Howard Wax
Jaspreet Dhaliwal 

TTC Representatives

Matt Hagg, Senior Planner, System Accessibility
Lodon Hassan, Assistant Manager-Customer Service, Wheel-Trans
Aislin O’Hara, Project Lead, Wheel-Trans Customer Service

Copies

Andy Byford, Chief Executive Officer
Richard Leary, Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
Chris Upfold, Deputy CEO & Chief Customer Officer
Kirsten Watson, Deputy Chief Service Officer, Service Delivery
Susan Reed Tanaka, Chief Capital Officer
Vince Rodo, Chief Financial & Administration Officer
Brad Ross, Executive Director – Corporate Communications
Mike Palmer, Chief Operating Officer
Jacqueline Darwood, Head of Strategy & Service Planning
Cheryn Thoun, Head of Customer Communications
TTC Board Members 

Items Discussed    

  1. Call to Order / Attendance
  2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest
  3. Approval of Agenda
  4. Remarks from ACAT Chair
  5. Review and Approval of March 30, 2017 Minutes
  6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items
  7. Deputation – Nil
  8. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update
  9. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
  10. ACAT Subcommittee Meeting Highlights for the next TTC Board Meeting
  11. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters
  12. Report on Customer Liaison Panel
  13. CEO Update
  14. Review of Correspondence
  15. People in Motion Show – May 26 and 27, 2017
  16. Other / New Business
  17. Next Meeting
  18. Adjournment 

1. Call to Order / Attendance    

Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Chair, called the meeting to order and attendance was taken.

2. Declaration of Conflict of Interest    

Nil.

3. Approval of Agenda    

On a motion by Lauri Sue Robertson, seconded by Joan Jordan, the agenda was approved.

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair, Debbie Gillespie    

Debbie Gillespie reported that Wheel-Trans completed five public consultations and thanked all ACAT members who were in attendance.

She also stated that 24 of 41 accessibility objectives stipulated in the TTC 2014-2018 Accessibility Plan have been completed. This was reported in the 2017Accessibility Plan Status Report.

ACAT members were encouraged to volunteer at the ACAT booth for the People in Motion Show scheduled for May 26 and 27, 2017.

Back to Items Discussed

5. Review and Approval of March 30, 2017 Minutes    

On a motion by Thomas Richardson, seconded by Louise Bark, the minutes were approved with the following amendment.

  • Item 15, 1st sentence under Questions and Comments from Committee Members - should read, “Louise Bark suggested that when implementing the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy, extra consideration must be given to ensuring that the APS systems exist near the stops where passengers with disabilities plan to alight from the bus.”

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items    

  • Item: PRESTO Accessibility Features – Craig Nicol reported that the Fare Media Vending Device is in the design phase and a meeting to review the audio scripts was attended by Debbie Gillespie, ACAT Chair and Craig Nicol.

7. Deputation - Nil.    

8. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update    

Aislin O’Hara, Project Lead, Wheel-Trans Customer Service reported on the following:

  • Five public consultations held by Wheel-Trans were successfully completed.
  • Thanks to ACAT Chair, Debbie Gillespie for her contribution on the speaking panel at the consultations and for answering questions relating to accessibility issues.
  • Changes to the cancellation and no-show policies are in the research stage. These will be tabled before ACAT for review.
  • Ten (10) ACAT members have volunteered for the Family of Services pilot. The formal launch is planned for May 30, 2017. This is to ensure that all necessary operational details to support customers are in place.
  • Wheel-Trans is working on having a dedicated phone line for the Family of Services.
  • A Request for Proposals (RFP) has gone out to market for the construction of the mobility transfer hubs.
  • Ninety percent (90%) of Wheel-Trans Operators have completed the new AODA sensitivity and awareness training. All of the contracted taxi training staff have also completed their training and they will train their taxi drivers.
  • Wheel-Trans is starting its travel training partnership project, which is focused on persons with cognitive disabilities. This will be brought to ACAT for further discussion.
  • A Request for Information (RFI) has been released on the market for the design of the scheduling and dispatch system, and 26 vendors have downloaded it so far.

Questions and Comments from Committee Members

Debbie Gillespie asked if the Trip Planner on the TTC website would be upgraded. Aislin O’Hara noted that this would be worked on and would be referred to the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee.

Back to Items Discussed

9. Subcommittee Reports and Updates    

Design Review Subcommittee (DRS) – Craig Nicol, Chair

A DRS meeting was held on April 5, 2017. The items discussed were:

  • Wheel-Trans Mobility Transfer Hub

Yuval Grinspun, Wheel-Trans Transformation Project Manager, provided a follow-up update to the Subcommittee. A pilot of the hub is planned to be installed in Fall 2017 at Meadowvale Loop. Discussions took place regarding the benefits and drawbacks of installing doors.

DRS recommended the following:

- Install clearly visible markings on the glass walls
- Two-way communications with Wheel-Trans are necessary
- Wheel-Trans would need a loading area separate from conventional transit
- In a no-door scenario, build the entrance to provide wind baffling.

  • Platform Gap Motion

In response to the 2016 ACAT motion on platform gaps, TTC staff collected data and are preparing a report which is planned to be submitted to the TTC Board in June. Matt Hagg and Aleksandar Urosevic reviewed the data with DRS. Improvements suggested in the report include:

- Platform edge modifications for vertical gaps
- Gap fillers for horizontal gaps
- Signage indicating the best train entrances to board

DRS recommended that it is important to communicate with customers on what has been done, what can be done, and what is not possible to be done.

  • Other Items

A response was received regarding the bus pre-boarding announcement questions from DRS. Education on use of the system will be included in a one-day training session for all TTC Operators to make them aware and report system outages.

Back to Items Discussed

PRESTO Fare Media Vending Device audio jack position concerns have been forwarded to PRESTO for action.

Wheel-Trans vehicle review was discussed and it was recommended that WTOS be the primary reviewers and DRS can be invited when appropriate.

The next DRS meeting is scheduled for May 3, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Communication Subcommittee (CS) – Margaret Hageman, Chair

A CS meeting was held on April 13, 2017.

CS reviewed the video scenarios provided by Deborah Brown for the getting on and off the streetcar video, providing advice based on lived experience, identifying those points in the video planning which should be clarified:

- A name for the video emphasizing everyone’s responsibilities (People using mobility and other assistive devices and supports and all TTC customers), “Low-Floor Streetcars:  Inclusion of Mobility Devices”, and “What Everyone Needs to Know About Boarding and Exiting the Vehicle.”
- Step-by-step procedures for boarding and de-boarding
- Modelling smooth and respectful ways for customers with and without disabilities to share space and allow people using mobility devices to enter and exit their designated areas from the door.

Handout materials will be prepared for the ACAT Booth at the People in Motion show on May 26 and 27, 2017:

- Wheel-Trans Newsletter
- Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy pamphlets
- How-To Guide on Responsible Use of the Support Person Assistance Card
- ACAT brochure
- Tips for Persons with Disabilities using Conventional TTC. Members were encouraged to provide these tips by email to Margaret Hageman by May 12, 2017.

Back to Items Discussed

More accessibility tips are needed for the 24 Hours newspaper Connecting Toronto and members were encouraged to forward these tips to Margaret Hageman who would edit and submit them to Deborah Brown.

CS discussed the tools or messaging to encourage appropriate language for support that is respectful, dignified, and encourages kindness. Deborah Brown noted that a courtesy campaign is coming up in May.

There are ongoing improvements on the TTC website. CS members were requested to check them out (i.e. long-term construction, more graphics, and subway station description updates are being phased in).

The next CS meeting is scheduled for June 8, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.

Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee (WTOS) – Lynn McCormick, Chair

A WTOS meeting was held on March 31, 2017. In Lynn McCormick's absence, Angela Marley chaired the meeting on March 31, 2017 and provided the report to ACAT.

Bruce Peters, Manager - Lakeshore Garage, presented an update on the Family Bus. Twenty (20) gasoline-fuelled buses are being delivered in 2017 and 2018.

On April 4, 2017, ACAT members reviewed the new bus at Lakeshore Garage. There are two positions for mobility devices, six seats (three side-facing behind the driver and three forward-facing which have a step to access them) and a space to stow rollators, luggage, etc. There are ramps at the side and rear doors.

Back to Items Discussed

ACAT members commented on the steepness of the ramp and the need for grab bars.

Another review of the bus is planned and members were encouraged to attend.
Aislin O'Hara, WT 10-Year Strategy Lead presented WT Strategy update.
- Stakeholder Engagement - Staff continue to hold community outreach sessions. The Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy brochure has been updated and the video is completed.

- Family of Services Pilot – Aislin requested members to reach out to their networks to encourage Wheel-Trans customers to volunteer to participate in the pilot.

- Mobility Transfer Hubs - These are shelters where customers can wait when transferring between Wheel-Trans and conventional vehicles. The first one is to be located at Meadowvale and Sheppard Avenues, at the Meadowvale Bus loop.

- AODA Staff Training - Wheel-Trans and conventional transit Operators are receiving training regarding the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

- The Request for Information (RFI) for the new scheduling and dispatch system for Wheel-Trans has been released.

Lodon Hassan provided the following report on the new eligibility applications from January 1, 2017 to March 23, 2017:

- 2,282 Applications received
- 2,178 Applications processed
- 931 Applications pending
- 98 Applicants sent for Functional Assessment
- 319 Applicants approved unconditional
- 1,078 Applicants approved conditional
- 642 Applicants approved temporarily
- 30 Applications ineligible

The next WTOS meeting is scheduled for May 4, 2017 at Leslie Barns.

Questions and Comments from Members

Raymond Dell’Aera asked if the capacity of the buses is being tested vis-a-vis the different kinds of mobility and ambulatory devices of riders. Joan Jordan noted that the capacity of the bus was tested and the contractors were made aware of the modifications needed in time for the next review.

Craig Nicol suggested that the next review of the buses should be outside at a real bus stop so that the steepness of the ramps can be tested.

Service Planning Subcommittee (SPS) – Valdo Tammark, Chair

A SPS meeting was held on April 5, 2017.

Dan Pekic, Senior Project Engineer, reported on the upcoming Kennedy Station Elevator Overhaul project. Two elevators will be overhauled: the elevator from subway platform to concourse level and the elevator from street level to concourse level. The overhaul of the first elevator is planned to start in July and the second one is planned to start in October. Only one elevator will be taken out of service at a time.

When the elevator from the concourse level to the subway platform is out of service, the alternate routes will be the 113 Danforth Bus or the 20 Cliffside Bus to Main Street Station. When the street to concourse elevator is out of service, customers can use the GO Transit elevator at the east end of the concourse level to enter the station, or they can board a bus from one of the nearby bus stops into the station.

SPS members asked whether the bus frequencies would change on Routes 113 and 20 to provide for the increased number of customers.

SPS members also wanted to know how the public would be informed about these elevator overhauls. Staff noted that notices would be put up in the stations as well as on the TTC website, newsletter, and 24-Hours newspaper. It was suggested that the notices should also include the alternate routes.

SPS received a draft copy of the 2017 Accessibility Plan Status Report which was reviewed at the meeting. This status report updates the 2014-2018 TTC Multi-Year Accessibility Plan which was approved by the TTC Board in April 2014. In total, there are 41 accessibility improvement objectives in the plan. Twenty-four objectives have been completed, while sixteen are in progress. The elevator real time monitoring system project has been delayed. 

New initiatives include: Platform Gap Improvements, PRESTO Fare Gates installation, Transit Fare Equity, Customer Education on Accessibility, Wheel-Trans Family of Services and Community Bus Pilot.

Back to Items Discussed

10. ACAT Subcommittee Meeting Highlights for the next TTC Board Meeting    

DRS:

  • Wheel-Trans Mobility Transfer Hubs ongoing review
  • The subway gaps report responding to ACAT 2016 Motion to the TTC Board

CS:

  • Reviewed scenarios for the new Streetcar Education video
  • Discussions on tools or messaging to encourage rider courtesy

WTOS:

  • Report on the new eligibility applications from January 1, 2017 to March 23, 2017
  • Review of the new Wheel-Trans buses

SPS:

  • The upcoming Kennedy Station Elevator Overhaul project
  • Review of the 2017 Accessibility Plan Status Report

11. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters    

The TTC held its monthly Board Meeting on April 20, 2017. The following items relating to accessibility were discussed.

  • New Streetcars - Given the latest schedule for delivery of the new accessible low-floor streetcars, and other service and construction issues, the roll-out schedule for the new streetcars has recently been revised. The most significant change in the new roll-out schedule is to move 512 St Clair up the list, so that it will now be the fourth route to be fully converted to the new streetcars, once the 514 Cherry route is fully converted. The first new streetcars should be introduced on St Clair in September 2017, and the route should be fully converted to the new streetcars in February 2018. The roll-out of new streetcars to 504 King will also be advanced to support the City's pilot project of Transit Priority on King Street for this fall.
  • Accessibility Plan Update - The TTC Board moved the staff report, which describes, in detail, the TTC’s progress towards meeting the objectives of the 2014-2018 TTC Multi-Year Accessibility Plan. That plan outlined 41 objectives relating to improving the accessibility of TTC services and facilities over the five-year period from 2014-2018. In total, 24 of the 41 objectives have now been completed. Work to complete the remaining objectives is ongoing.
  • Metrolinx Joint Meeting - The TTC Board noted that there are various Metrolinx projects that will be operated by the TTC or directly impact TTC customers in other ways, and underscored the importance of working together with the Metrolinx Board. The TTC Board subsequently passed a motion requesting that the TTC Chair contact the Metrolinx Chair to make arrangements for a further Joint Meeting of TTC and Metrolinx Boards to be hosted by the TTC. This should prompt ACAT to ensure that accessibility is one of the topics discussed if and when such joint meetings take place.
  • Doors Open Toronto - This year the TTC will be participating in the Doors Open event, which provides the public the opportunity to see inside more than 150 architecturally, historically, culturally, and socially significant buildings across the city. The TTC will be opening the public areas of York University and Downsview Park subway stations, which will be the first time that the public will get a chance to see inside stations on the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE).

Back to Items Discussed
 

12. Report on Customer Liaison Panel (CLP) – Margaret Hageman, ACAT Representative    

CLP held a meeting on April 12, 2017. Margaret Hageman provided the following report:

Suzanne Cayley led a discussion regarding the subway retail experience and future opportunities/expansion and sought feedback from the panel. 32,000 square feet of retail space provides substantial revenue to the TTC but the TTC is looking to make a change.

Jennifer Reynolds and Arthur Borkwood went over photo ID changes with concessions under PRESTO. Arthur Borkwood advised that there are inconsistencies with other transit agency checks and the TTC is currently in talks to align this in regards to Youth card.

- Children 6-12 years of age will require a PRESTO card.
- Children 10-12 years of age will require photo ID, change because there is no current requirement
- Photo ID required for Youth 13-19 years of age and an updated ID required at 16.

Margaret Hageman asked if there was a cost associated with this and Arthur Borkwood advised that the Customer Experience group is trying to balance the customer experience, access to discounted fares and revenue control. Two moving parts that need to be brought together are concession setting and photo ID. PRESTO is working on a policy of requiring a minimum of $10 being loaded on a PRESTO card; this will be a problem for the child PRESTO cards.

Margaret Hageman inquired about people on social assistance and she was informed that the TTC has already started talks with school boards.

Regarding strained relations among TTC riders, Arthur Borkwood advised that the TTC started the next 5-year Corporate Plan with promises around respect as a key commitment.

Back to Items Discussed

13. CEO Update    

Nil.

14. Review of Correspondence    

ACAT received an email from City of Toronto Media Relations, highlighting the decisions from Toronto City Council meetings on March 28 and 29, 2017. The following highlights are relevant to ACAT.

  • Scarborough Subway Extension - Toronto City Council approved the McCowan alignment for the extension of the Bloor-Danforth subway (Line 2) from Kennedy Station to Scarborough Centre, and approved an approach to procurement for the subway project. Council also endorsed a concept for a 34-bay bus terminal at the Scarborough Centre station and called for the encouragement of private-sector involvement in that project. ACAT had previously reviewed the bus terminal design at the Design Review Subcommittee.
  • Making meeting rooms accessible - Toronto City Council voted to ask staff to pursue interim measures to make sure the council chambers and committee rooms at Toronto City Hall and the Civic Centres are accessible and comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act.

Back to Items Discussed

15. People in Motion Show - May 26 and 27, 2017    

ACAT members were encouraged to attend and volunteer at the ACAT Booth.

16. Other / New Business    

Angela Marley noted that it was Volunteer Appreciation Week and thanked ACAT members for their work in advancing accessible transit in Toronto.

17. Next Meeting    

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, May 25, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

18. Adjournment    

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Temi Omope
Recording Secretary