In 2014, TTC accomplished 16 of the 18 objectives planned for the year in the 2014-2018 TTC Accessibility Plan. These achievements are outlined in detail below:

Stations and Facilities

We met our commitment to  Facility Design Standards

Our commitment: Review TTC design standards in 2014 and implement changes to incorporate new legislative requirements.

How we met our commitment: In 2014, TTC continued to review and update internal TTC design standards, to incorporate new Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) requirements, and emerging accessibility best practices. In particular, standards for accessible parking spaces at the TTCs commuter parking lots and standards for washrooms at subway station terminals and interchanges were reviewed and updated to improve accessibility for customers with disabilities.

We met our commitment to providing  Elevators and Barrier-Free Paths

Our commitment: Complete accessibility retrofits at Dufferin and Lawrence West stations in 2014.

How we met our commitment: Three new elevators at Dufferin Station entered service on November 24, 2014 as part of the Dufferin Station Modernization project. One new elevator at Lawrence West station entered service on December 19, 2014. There are now 34 accessible TTC subway stations, out of 69 stations total (49%), as shown in the Accessible Subway Map.

We did not meet our commitments to adding New Station Entrances

Our commitment: Open a new accessible entrance at Queen’s Park Station in 2014.

Why we did not meet our commitment: The entrance did not open in 2014 as planned due to delays commissioning the entrance connection; however, the entrance did open in January, 2015.

Our commitment: Open a new accessible entrance at Sheppard-Yonge Station in 2014.

Why we did not meet our commitment: The entrance did not open in 2014 as planned due to delays commissioning the entrance connection; however, the entrance did open in February, 2015.

Vehicles

We met our commitment to  Low-Floor Streetcars

Our commitment: Launch the first accessible streetcar route in 2014.

How we met our commitment: The first two accessible streetcars began operation on route 510 Spadina on August 31, 2014. At year-end, three accessible streetcars were operating on 510 Spadina. In 2015, The TTC plans to replace all of the older streetcars on 510 Spadina with accessible low-floor vehicles, and expects to start the rollout of these vehicles on 511 Bathurst and 509 Harbourfront.

Customers are seen boarding a new TTC streetcar.
Figure 1: Low-Floor Accessible Streetcar on Route 510 Spadina

We met our commitment to  Conventional Buses

Our commitment: Review all inaccessible bus stops in 2014 to determine if these can be made accessible.

How we met our commitment: In 2014, 273 additional bus stops were made accessible, either by extending the sidewalk space, relocating the stop, or through our new practice of marking the stop accessible as long as there is an accessible area within 3 metres (10 feet) either before or after the bus stop pole/marker. At the end of 2014, 7,618 of the 8,726 bus stops within the City of Toronto were accessible. While TTC reviewed all 1,108 inaccessible bus stops in 2014 to determine existing conditions, further work is required with the City to determine the exact modifications that are required at these stops to make them accessible.

We met our commitment to  Toronto Rocket Subway Trains

Our commitment: Begin to install exterior door chimes at all train doors in 2014.

How we met our commitment: The Board approved installing exterior door chimes at all Toronto Rocket train doors at its meeting on July 23, 2014, in order to improve safety for customers with visual disabilities. Exterior chimes were installed on one pilot train in September, 2014, prior to proceeding with the remainder of the approved project. Once parts and materials are procured, work will resume in March, 2015 to retrofit exterior door chimes on all Toronto Rocket trains, with completion of the project expected in 2016.

Our commitment: Begin to install improved intercar barriers on all trains.

How we met our commitment: Improved inter-car barriers were installed on all Toronto Rocket subway trains in 2014 to improve safety for customers with visual disabilities. This inter-car barrier consists of an additional lower cane-detectable bungee cord between all Toronto Rocket subway train cars.

Wheel-Trans Services

We met our commitments to  Easier Trip Booking

Our commitment: Increase the number of staff available to answer reservation request calls in 2014.

How we met our commitment: Seven additional staff were hired in mid-2014 to answer reservation request calls, and reduce the waiting time and number of abandoned calls. Wait times were reduced on average by three minutes, and the abandonment rate reduced by 6%.

Our commitment: Upgrade the Wheel-Trans website in 2014 to enable customers to add new addresses online.

How we met our commitment:
The Wheel-Trans website was upgraded in mid-2014 to enable customers to add new addresses/destinations online and resolve this highly anticipated customer feature request, as shown in Figure 2. This means that customers are no longer required to call the Wheel-Trans reservation line when booking a trip to a new destination, and will also assist with reducing telephone wait times for all Wheel-Trans customers.


Screenshot of Wheel-Trans booking website
Figure 2: Screenshot of Address Search Feature on Online Booking Website

 
We met our commitment to  Policies and Procedures

Our commitment: Reduce the number of no-shows for eligibility assessment interviews.

How we met our commitment: As per the City of Toronto Auditor General’s 2012 report, Wheel-Trans has introduced new policies to attempt to reduce the number of no-shows for eligibility assessment interviews. In 2014, reminder phone calls were introduced resulting in approximately 0.5% fewer no-shows for assessment interviews when compared to 2013. Further improvement to these numbers is not anticipated given that there are very few customers who repeatedly do not attend scheduled interviews.

Customer Service Initiatives

We met our commitments to  Priority Seating

Our commitment: Install new priority seating decals on all TTC vehicles in 2014.

How we met our commitment: New “Priority Seating” decals were installed on all TTC vehicles by the end of 2014, replacing the previous “Courtesy Seating” decals. As part of this initiative, the number of dedicated priority seats was increased on many TTC vehicles. For example, priority seats increased from six seats to nine seats on TTC’s 1,550+ Orion VII buses, which comprise the majority of the TTC’s bus fleet.

Our commitment: Launch a new priority seating public education campaign in 2014.

How we met our commitment:  A new priority seating public education campaign was launched on September 22, 2014. This campaign is ongoing and consists of advertisements and take-one brochures on TTC vehicles, posters and public address announcements in the subway system, information on the TTC website, news releases, and advertisements in the Metro newspaper, as depicted in Figure 3.

A graphic showing a person giving up their seat to someone else with a disability.
Figure 3: Priority Seating Advertising Campaign

Our commitment: Introduce blue seat fabric in priority seating areas starting in 2014.

How we met our commitment: Blue fabric seats were introduced in priority seating areas in 2014, as shown in Figure 4, and installation is progressing well across the TTC’s fleet of subway cars, streetcars, and buses. The plan is to complete the installation of blue fabric seats on 40% of our vehicles by the end of June, 2015, and 90% of vehicles by the end of December, 2015.

A set of six blue Priority seats A set of three blue priority seats
Figure 4: Blue Fabric Seats on a TTC Orion VII Bus and Toronto Rocket Subway Train

We met our commitment to  Signage and Wayfinding

Our commitment: Introduce a new concept for the representation of subway lines in 2014 and continue to work towards consistent wayfinding signage in all subway stations.

How we met our commitment: A new concept of line numbers was introduced at Bloor-Yonge station in early 2014, and at St George Station in mid-2014, as depicted in Figure 5. Customer and ACAT feedback on the new concept is being reviewed as we work to expand the concept to all stations. The revitalized Union Station will feature the new line numbering throughout on completion of the second platform project in mid-2015.

Sign copy reads: Elevator to Southbound Yonge Street, Bloor Street


Figure 5: New Directional Signage to Elevators at Bloor-Yonge Station

We met our commitment to  Customer Information Screens

Our commitment: Install 28 large Next Vehicle Arrival Screens (NVAS), 33 Station Information Screens (SIS), and 23 small NVAS LED screens at subway stations in 2014.

How we met our commitment: TTC exceeded this commitment by installing over 60 NVAS and SIS LCD customer information displays in 2014. Due to a scope change in the project after the 2014-2018 TTC Accessibility Plan was published, the LED displays at subway station bus bays will be installed in 2015, rather than 2014. In addition, TTC plans to install over 50 additional LCD customer information displays in subway stations in 2015.

These customer information screens enable visual display of delay, detour, and emergency information that was previously provided only audibly over the public address system. This benefits all customers, including those with hearing impairments.

Info screen with time, poster graphic and promotional copy.
Figure 6: New Station Information Screen at Dupont Station

We met our commitment to  PRESTO Fare Card System

Our commitment: Fare vending machines will be accessible when introduced on new streetcars and busy streetcar stops in 2014.

How we met our commitment: PRESTO Fares and Transfer machines were introduced in November, 2014. These machines were developed with significant input from the TTC's ACAT, and include several accessibility features such as operating features within accessible reach ranges, tactile and braille features, and an audio mode for people with vision impairments. We continue to work with ACAT and PRESTO to further enhance the machine’s accessibility features.

We met our commitment to  Subway Station Public Address System Upgrade

Our commitment: In 2014, upgrade the public address system in 20 subway stations to make announcements easier to hear and understand.

How we met our commitment: TTC exceeded our commitment by upgrading the public address system in 23 subway stations in 2014 in order to make public address announcements easier to hear.