Minutes of Meeting

Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit
Meeting No. 313

Meeting Date

Thursday, January 26, 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
Lynn McCormick
Desrianne McIlwrick
Craig Nicol
Lauri Sue Robertson
Thomas Richardson
Valdo Tammark
Howard Wax

Regrets

Jaspreet Dhaliwal

Pool Members

Anita Dressler
Jessica Geboers
Igor Samardzic

TTC Representatives

Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans
Ricardo Couto, Division Manager, Streetcar
Mark Mis, (Acting) Manager – Service Planning  

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, (Acting) 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 December 22, 2016 Minutes
  6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items
  7. Deputation - Nil
  8. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update
  9. Announcement of 2017 Subcommittee Membership
  10. Subcommittee Reports and Updates
  11. ACAT Meeting Highlights for the TTC Board Meeting
  12. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters
  13. Report on Customer Liaison Panel
  14. Report on Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services
  15. Review of Correspondence
  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 Howard Wax, seconded by Joan Jordan, the agenda was approved.

Back to Items Discussed

4. Remarks from ACAT Chair, Debbie Gillespie   

ACAT held an in-camera meeting on January 18, 2017 to hold the ACAT Executive elections. Debbie Gillespie was elected as ACAT Chair. Angela Marley and Raymond Dell’Aera were elected Co-Vice Chairs. Margaret Hageman was also elected as the ACAT Representative to the Customer Liaison Panel. Debbie also mentioned that Valdo Tammark is the representative to the Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services (AAPTS) and Lynn McCormick is the representative to the Platform Edge Door Advisory Committee.

Debbie Gillespie welcomed all to the first ACAT meeting of 2017 and specially welcomed the new members of the Committee together with the 2017 Pool members.

5. Review and Approval of December 22, 2016 Minutes   

On a motion by Louise Bark, seconded by Howard Wax, the minutes of December 22, 2016 were approved.

6. Business Arising Out of Minutes / Outstanding Items.   

Angela Marley updated the Committee members regarding the Memorial Plaque presented by Andy Byford, TTC CEO, at the December 22, 2016 ACAT meeting. The Plaque is currently in the process of being finished and members will be informed when it will be mounted. The first name on the Plaque is Susan Davidson, ACAT Chair 2014/2015.

The Plaque has the TTC logo and the inscription:

“The Plaque is in recognition of all those Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit volunteers who have provided leadership in removing barriers and advancing the accessibility of the TTC towards full inclusion.”

ACAT members reviewed the Outstanding Items of January 2017 and noted the following:

  • Item: PRESTO Accessibility Features – Ongoing.
  • Item: Accessibility at Bus Bays – Ongoing.
  • Item: Accessibility at Transit Stops – Ongoing
  • Item: Gap between Subway Trains and Platforms – Ongoing.
  • Item: Legends on Maps over TR Train Doors – Staff reported that the Downsview station will be officially renamed on May 7, 2017 and the Maps are expected to be updated at that time.
  • Item: Tracking of Reduced Fares – Completed
  • Item: Travel Assistance Card – On hold until the Wheel Trans 10-Year Strategy becomes operative.
  • Item: Suggestion that Wheel-Trans Buses be permitted to use the GO bus reserved lanes (DVP Bus By Pass Lanes) – Eve Wiggins reported that the training of Wheel-Trans Operators is expected to commence at the end of February. Once Operators complete their training and the TTC has the legal sign off, they are authorized to use the lanes.

Back to Items Discussed

7. Deputation   

 Nil.

8. Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy Update   

Eve Wiggins, Head of Wheel-Trans, reported on the following:

  • Provided a brief history and background of the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy for the benefit of the new ACAT members
  • The Family of Services pilot program has progressed. The conventional bus routes are being selected and the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee will discuss these routes further before presenting it to ACAT.
  • The new eligibility application form has been launched.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed with other GTHA Transit partners so that there is better inter-region transit structure for customers.
  • A consultant has been hired to complete an Accessibility Audit on Accessible stations.
  • Sensitivity training has commenced for W-T call centre staff.

Questions and Comments from Committee Members

A member expressed concerns about ride schedules for customers that need to use both the conventional buses and Wheel-Trans. Eve Wiggins responded that the pilot routes that have been selected have shorter wait times and discussion will be held on operational details which includes connecting riders from Wheel-Trans to conventional buses with ease.

A member asked if only the accessible stations are being audited or all stations. Eve Wiggins noted that the audit is for accessible stations and this includes looking into the wayfinding signage in these stations.

A member stated that many changes are coming to the northwest part of the City with the opening of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension later this year and these changes have to be integrated into the TTC routes in those areas. Eve Wiggins noted that this change in transit service is already being considered and that ACAT’s input is welcome.

ACAT Vice Chair Raymond Dell’Aera thanked Eve Wiggins for her update and asked what items will be tabled before ACAT from Wheel-Trans in 2017. Eve Wiggins responded that the 2017 work plan would be tabled before the Wheel-Trans Operations Subcommittee; this will then be brought before ACAT at the next General meeting.

Back to Items Discussed

9. Announcement of 2017 Subcommittee Membership   

The list of the 2017 assignment of ACAT members to the Subcommittees were read by Raymond Dell’Aera. Debbie Gillespie noted that the Chair of each Subcommittee will be selected at their initial meeting.

Questions and Comments from Committee Members

A member asked for clarification what ACAT Chair Designate to the Subcommittee means. Debbie Gillespie explained that the ACAT Chair’s attendance is required at all Subcommittee meetings and, given that other engagements may also need the Chair’s attention, the ACAT Co-Vice Chairs act as designates at the Subcommittees. The purpose is to aid in continuity. Executive members who are not assigned to a Subcommittee may attend those Subcommittees but cannot vote.

10. Subcommittee Reports and Updates   

Nil.

11. ACAT Meeting Highlights for the TTC Board Meeting   

Debbie Gillespie explained that the Subcommittee Chairs select two highlights from their report, to be included in the ACAT Chair’s Report which is verbally given at the TTC Board meetings, when the Board receives the ACAT minutes. These highlights assist the TTC Board to understand the contributions of ACAT.

12. Report on TTC Board Meeting and Accessibility Matters    

The TTC Board held a meeting on January 18, 2017.
 
Debbie Gillespie stated that Mazin Aribi, 2016 ACAT Chair, presented to the TTC Board on January 18, 2017, the highlights from the November 24, 2016 ACAT Meeting.

  • SPS received a presentation from the City of Toronto staff regarding the Seniors Strategy project and the development of the next version of the Seniors Strategy version 2.0
  • DRS reviewed two design options considered for the bus terminal of the new Scarborough Centre Station bus terminal on the Line 2 Scarborough Subway Extension and made some recommendations.
  • ACAT members expressed concerns regarding the removal of bus schedules information at bus stops, stating that many seniors and people with disabilities rely on these postings as they do not have cell phones to access schedule information. Removal of the bus schedules from stop poles was also an issue identified by the Customer Liaison Panel members.

Mazin also informed the TTC Board Members of the election of the 2017 ACAT Executive, introducing Chair Debbie Gillespie and Vice Chair Angela Marley. He reported that Raymond Dell'Aera was also elected Vice Chair.

Debbie Gillespie informed ACAT members about two accessibility-related items with deputations that supported these requests:

  • Request to TTC to permit Durham Region Transit access to the transit hub at Scarborough Town Centre and access to Metro Zoo for the purposes of transporting passengers to and from Durham Region and Scarborough, and
  • Request to TTC for bus service to continue south of Kingston Road on Brimley Road to reach Bluffers Park to provide visitors with public transit service to access the park. 

Both requests were referred to staff.

Back to Items Discussed 

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

Angela Marley attended the January 25, 2016 CLP meeting on behalf of 2017 ACAT Representative Margaret Hageman and reported on the meeting.

Cheryn Thoun, Head of Customer Communications, and Mark Cousins, Head of Transit Enforcement, presented the proposed anti-harassment campaign to raise awareness and combat harassment on the TTC.

Members reviewed the draft of the 2017 TTC Customer Charter which contains several accessible service commitments. ACAT members are familiar with these items because they provided advice during development and anticipated these services coming into fruition this year.

To increase input from youth to the TTC, members approved amending the CLP Terms of Reference to create a minimum of two positions on the Panel for youth members aged 13-24. This is the same age range as the TTC Youth Fare eligibility. Regarding membership, Angela pointed out that any CLP member may have a disability, that the designated ACAT representative on CLP may not have a disability because a maximum of three ACAT members are people who have expertise/knowledge regarding disability and may not have a disability themselves.

Member observations: A member asked about using the “Please Give Me a Seat” badge that was piloted by Transport in London England. It is used by people with disabilities, especially invisible or hidden disabilities, to request a seat on transit. CLP members discussed the pros and cons and referred it to ACAT for investigation for use on the TTC. 

Questions and Comments from Committee Members

A member asked if the badge would be on the bus or it would be worn by the individual. Angela Marley explained that it would be worn on the person so others can see that the individual is asking them to offer a seat.

A member noted that ACAT members have previously discussed having these buttons and decided to monitor the pilot in London. Given the Family of Services is being rolled out, this badge may also assist those Wheel-Trans riders to access seats on conventional vehicles.

A member suggested that consideration be given to including this badge with the discussion about the Travel Assistance Card. This item was referred to Communications Subcommittee.

Back to Items Discussed

14. Report on Accessibility Advisory Panel for Transportation Services – Valdo Tammark, ACAT Representative   

Nil.

15. Review of Correspondence   

Nil.

16. Other / New Business   

  • AODA Standards on Onboarding Announcements - Craig Nicol raised concerns about TTC being in violation of the AODA standards on onboarding announcements on streetcars. Matt Hagg will report on this at the next meeting.
  • Eglinton Crosstown LRT Project - Craig Nicol raised concerns about the lack of adequate input from ACAT on the design of the project. Even though the Design Review Subcommittee has met with Metrolinx in two consultation meetings in 2016, ACAT still needs to push for more involvement in this project.

Debbie Gillespie suggested that this should be referred to Staff, to prepare a report to ACAT on how to move forward on this.

  • Drop-off Zone at the TTC Headquarters - Lauri Sue Robertson reported that there is usually a car/truck at the Wheel-Trans passenger drop-off zone at the TTC Headquarters. Wheel-Trans staff will follow-up on this.

17. Next Meeting   

The next meeting of ACAT will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at 1900 Yonge Street, 7th Floor Boardroom.

18. Adjournment   

On a motion by Howard Wax, the meeting was adjourned.

Temi Omope
Recording Secretary