TTC Board endorses new communications approach to construction projects

Commissioners approved a report outlining a new approach to communications, community relations and property acquisition for construction projects. The TTC recognizes that greater attention and resources are required to improve communications and address community concerns related to construction projects. Actions have already been implemented to address recommendations in the Ombudsman Report to City Council dated October 2012.

That report, Tunnel Vision: An Investigation into the Toronto Transit Commission Second Exit Project at Donlands and Greenwood Stations, was received by the TTC Board and referred to the CEO to report back at the February 2013 Commission meeting on the ability to implement four recommendations brought forward by members of the affected community. Those recommendations are: that the project budget be suspended until an appropriate solution has been reached; that a project mandate be introduced that articulates the need for a balance of engineering and community needs; that a revised process receive oversight by a third party with the appropriate engineering, urban design and community-issue expertise; and that any decision about a location of a second exit be brought back to the Commission before it is finalized.

Review of Wheel-Trans services

Commissioners received a report and presentation by the City's Auditor General titled, Review of Wheel-Trans Services – Sustaining Level and Quality of Service Requires Changes to the Program. The audit assesses the effectiveness and efficiency of the paratransit operation and contains 22 recommendations for improvement.

The TTC Board referred the report to the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit and the TTC's Audit Committee for a review to be completed by the April 2013 Commission Meeting, before being forwarded to the City's Audit Committee.

Commissioners also moved that the CEO be requested to include in the review of Community Bus routes a public consultation process, which includes current users and other stakeholders and that consultation be accessible in its methods, location and times to accommodate current users.

Wheel-Trans taxi contracts timeline update

Commissioners voted to direct TTC staff to undertake a new RFP (Request For Proposal) for taxi contract services, and that the process have oversight provided by a Fairness Commissioner. The motion also directed that the TTC CEO be authorized to extend the current contracts, if necessary for a period of up to six months, and that the current upset contract limits be adjusted proportionately, subject to satisfactory discussions with existing contractors on the extension period.

CEO Report: milestones in modernizing the TTC

The CEO Report noted two significant milestones were recently achieved. On Nov. 15, the TTC officially unveiled its first next-generation streetcar test vehicle. The new vehicles will transform the customer experience and make the streetcar network wheelchair and scooter accessible. On Nov. 28, the TTC and Metrolinx signed two master agreements: one agreement that enables the TTC to operate Toronto's four future LRT lines and one agreement that adopts the Presto farecard system across the transit system.

New members named to advisory committee

The Commission named six new members to the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT): Susan Davidson, Fay Fuerst, Craig Nicol, Tim Rose and Sam Savona. They will begin their three-year terms on Jan. 1, 2013. Adam Cohoon also joined for a one-year term. The board thanked outgoing members: Mazin Aribi, Scott McArthur, Carol Anne Monet, Anna Noviss and Angela Rebeiro.

ACAT is comprised of Toronto citizens who advise members of the TTC on difficulties faced by people with disabilities and seniors, and recommends the elimination of barriers to accessible public transit.