Low-Floor Streetcars

Goal Objectives
Goal All streetcars and streetcar stops accessible, where possible. Objectives
  • Launch the first accessible streetcar route in 2014.
  • Install new curb ramps or modified platforms, as required, at all streetcar stops by 2018.
  • All streetcar routes accessible by end of 2019.

The TTC has ordered 204 new low-floor accessible streetcars to replace the existing streetcar fleet. These vehicles will be a major step forward for the TTC towards making all of its conventional transit services accessible. The second module of each new streetcar will be accessible, including a ramp at the wide double door, two mobility device positions, accessible stop and ramp request buttons, two-way driver intercoms, and fare payment devices.

As of year-end 2013, three low-floor streetcars have arrived on TTC property. These streetcars are undergoing a series of performance, reliability, and safety tests before entering revenue service. One of these vehicles has been returned for retrofit to production condition.

510 Spadina is scheduled to receive the TTC’s first low-floor streetcars in 2014. Additional low-floor streetcars will be gradually introduced into the system, with all streetcar routes accessible by 2019. The current rollout schedule for the new streetcars is shown below.

Route First New Streetcar
Route 510 Spadina First New Streetcar 2014
Route 511 Bathurst First New Streetcar 2015
Route 509 Harbourfront First New Streetcar 2015
Route 505 Dundas First New Streetcar 2015
Route 501 Queen First New Streetcar 2016
Route 508 Lakeshore First New Streetcar 2017
Route 504 King First New Streetcar 2017
Route 512 St Clair First New Streetcar 2018
Route 502 Downtowner First New Streetcar 2018
Route 503 Kingston Road First New Streetcar 2018
Route 506 Carlton First New Streetcar 2019

Note: Schedule is subject to change.

Over the next five years, TTC will continue to prepare for the new low-floor streetcars and improve accessibility by modifying existing streetcar platforms and working with the City to install new curb ramps at streetcar stops. In 2014, this work will include the platforms on The Queensway and along Roncesvalles Avenue, the platform at Spadina Station, and curb ramps on Dundas Street, King Street, and parts of Queen Street. All curb ramp and streetcar platform accessibility work will be completed by 2018. Fare-vending machines will be installed at high-demand streetcar stops as part of this work to allow customers to purchase their fares before boarding.

Conventional Buses

Goal Objectives
Goal All buses and bus stops accessible. Objectives
  • Replace all high-floor lift-equipped buses with new low-floor buses by 2016.
  • Review all inaccessible bus stops in 2014 to determine if these can be made accessible.
  • Work with City of Toronto Transportation Services to upgrade as many stops as possible by 2018.

The TTC’s high-floor accessible buses are now approaching the end of their 18-year service lives and will be replaced with new low-floor buses by the end of 2016, as shown in Figure 7.

The TTC has committed to purchasing only accessible low-floor buses for all future orders.

Figure 7: High-Floor Lift-Equipped Bus Retirement Plan

High-Floor Lift-Equipped Bus Retirement Plan; number of buses at year end: 2013: 240, 2014: 51, 2015: 51, 2016: 0. 

The TTC will also work with the City’s Transportation Services Department to increase the number of accessible bus stops. Currently, 20% of bus stops are not accessible. For TTC to designate a stop as accessible, it must have a hard-surfaced pad at least 2.2-metres-wide for existing stops, or 2.4-metres-wide for newly-constructed stops, and at least 2.0-metres-long to accommodate bus ramps/lifts. At some stops, especially where sidewalks are narrow and adjacent buildings extend to the sidewalk, this may be difficult or impossible to achieve without relocating the stop. At other locations, street furniture or other barriers may need to be removed or relocated – such as poles, newspaper boxes, or shelters – or the sidewalk may need to be widened. Where stops cannot be made accessible, Operators are trained to pick up and drop off customers with disabilities at the closest available safe location. TTC staff will continue to look for ways to make even the most-challenging stops accessible.

Toronto Rocket Subway Trains

Goal Objectives
Goal Provide additional accessibility features for Toronto Rocket subway trains. Objectives
  • Begin to install exterior door chimes at all train doors in 2014.
  • Begin to install improved intercar barriers on all trains.
  • Determine feasibility of audible notification of the side of the train on which doors will open at each station.

The initial public response to the Toronto Rocket trains, including the TTC’s customers with disabilities who use the subway system, has been positive. However, based on ACAT and customer feedback, design work is now underway to implement additional modifications to further improve the level of accessibility provided by these trains, including exterior chimes at each door and an improved guide/barrier external to the train at inter-car locations.

It is currently estimated that an exterior door chime retrofit program will commence in mid-2014. A timeline has yet to be determined for intercar barrier modifications, which will consist of an additional bungee cord angled towards the platform at foot height.

Trials are underway to determine the feasibility of audible notification of the side of the train on which doors will open at each station.

Wheel-Trans Services

Easier Trip Booking

Goal Objectives
Goal Improve the options available for customers to book Wheel-Trans trips. Objectives
  • Increase the number of staff available to answer reservation request calls in 2014.
  • Upgrade the Wheel-Trans website in 2014 to enable customers to add new addresses online.

In order to reduce wait times for Wheel-Trans customers to book a trip, seven new customer service staff will be added to book customer trips in 2014.

Based on customer and ACAT feedback, Wheel-Trans will also work to upgrade its online trip booking website to make it easier for customers to book trips. A key component of this work will enable customers to input new destination addresses directly into the online booking system, which can currently only be done over the phone or by mail. When implemented, this change should reduce the demand for booking by phone by allowing customers to book trips to new addresses independently, and reduce phone wait times for all customers.

Service Integration

Goal Objectives
Goal Increase use of the conventional transit system by seniors and people with disabilities. Objectives
  • Develop a service integration plan in 2014-15 to transition some Wheel-Trans customers to the conventional system.
  • Revise Wheel-Trans eligibility criteria to introduce “conditional eligibility” by 2017.

As the conventional system becomes more accessible, it will become possible for many Wheel-Trans customers to transition some or all of their trips to the conventional transit system. A service integration plan will be developed to facilitate this objective.

As part of this plan, TTC will work to develop programs and incentives. This may include integrated conventional and Wheel-Trans trip planning and booking, conventional service travel training for customers, and/or other initiatives. To facilitate the implementation of the service integration plan, and as part of compliance with AODA accessibility regulations, the Wheel-Trans eligibility criteria will be revised to introduce “conditional eligibility”. This means that customers who are eligible for Wheel-Trans, but who have the ability to use conventional transit for some of their trips, may be required to use conventional transit for those trips. The implementation of this requirement will occur on or before January 1, 2017, as required by the AODA accessibility regulations.

Policies and Procedures

Goal Objectives
Goal Decrease the number of late cancellations and no-shows. Objectives
  • Implement a new policy to discourage repetitive late cancellations and no-shows.
  • Reduce the number of no-shows for eligibility assessment interviews.

As recommended by the 2012 Auditor General’s Report, in 2014 Wheel-Trans will work to update its policies regarding repetitive late cancellations and no-shows. Reducing late cancellations and no-shows will allow Wheel-Trans to provide more trips for its registrants. Wheel-Trans will also seek to reduce the number of no-shows for eligibility assessment interviews.

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