Customer Service Initiatives

The TTC’s renewed focus on customer service over the past five years has included many initiatives related to accessibility, ranging from customer focus groups to enhanced training, and better customer information.

Customer Liaison Panel

In March 2012, the TTC formed its first Customer Liaison Panel (CLP), which was recommended in the 2010 report of the Customer Service Advisory Panel. The CLP acts as an ongoing customer focus group and includes one member representing ACAT. The ACAT representation on the CLP ensures that advocates for people with disabilities and seniors are involved in all new TTC customer service initiatives.

Daily Customer Service Report and E-Alerts Improvements

TTC is committed to improving the reliability of our elevators and escalators through improved maintenance and design. To reflect this, the TTC is now producing a Daily Customer Service Report which provides the latest information about the TTC’s system performance, including information on elevator and escalator availability. In January 2013, the TTC increased its target for elevator availability from 97% to 98% of the time, based on achievements in 2011-12 in improving the reliability of these devices.

Recognizing that there will still be elevator outages from time to time, the TTC has worked to improve the information available to customers about these occurrences. In 2012, the TTC expanded its e-Alerts subscription service, allowing customers to be automatically notified by email about elevator outages and elevators returned to service after repairs. This information is also available on Station Information Screens in subway stations, on the TTC website, via the dedicated LIFT-line phone number, and on the @TTCNotices Twitter feed.

Training

All TTC employees have completed an AODA Customer Service Standard training course. Additional training on disability issues is integrated into refresher training sessions that all frontline employees must attend every 3-to-5 years. ACAT members attend some of these sessions to ensure that employees are aware of the most common accessibility issues faced by TTC customers. Operator compliance with TTC customer service standards, including accessibility requirements, is also regularly assessed by “plain clothes” supervisors and “secret shoppers”.

The TTC has also developed a new training program to address the requirements of the IASR. TTC employees received this training by January 1, 2014, and the information has been integrated into training programs for new employees.

Customer Information Screens

The Next Vehicle Information System (NVIS) currently provides automated next bus arrival/departure or streetcar arrival times on LED displays in 104 on-street shelters, eight LED sign displays installed in six bays within five stations, and on 37 large LCD screens in 20 stations. Customers can also send text messages, use the Nextbus.com website, or third-party smartphone apps to determine in real-time when their next bus or streetcar will arrive.

Station Information Screens (SIS) have been installed at station entrances to provide pertinent information to customers on the operating status of the subway and surface routes and other important information needed before paying a fare. These screens also include information on TTC elevator outages. Currently, TTC has 44 SIS screens installed in 35 stations.

Platform Video Screens (PVS) are displayed at the platform level of subway stations. These screens provide next train arrival times, service/delay information, and elevator outage information, in addition to news and weather information. Currently, 292 screens have been installed in TTC subway stations.

Website

The TTC website currently complies with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AA (AAA for colour) and meets the schedule set for large public organization websites in the IASR. New features and content on the TTC website will continue to follow established and evolving web standards.

ACAT members, working with TTC staff, have created “Station Descriptions” which are located on all subway station pages on the TTC website. These descriptions contain detailed information for all customers about the layout of each subway station, including entrances, levels and the means of moving between levels, and bus transfer points. The subway station descriptions are fully accessible to customers using screen readers and customers who cannot use maps.

Support Person Fares

TTC implemented a program, effective January 1, 2014, to allow people with disabilities to travel with a support person on a single fare. Any person with a disability who requires a support person to accompany them to assist with communication, mobility, personal care, medical needs, or with access to goods, services, or facilities may apply for a TTC Support Person Assistance Card. Card holders may travel with one support person for a single fare on any TTC service. Additional companions or escorts must pay a fare.

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