To-date, substantial funds have been spent on TTC accessibility compliance initiatives. Primarily, this includes the three-phase “Easier Access” program to retrofit subway stations for accessibility in the amount of $227 million. This amount is exclusive of funds spent on other projects that have also included elevator installations and station accessibility improvements, such as Downsview Station and the Sheppard Subway. In addition, other projects, such as procurement of the TTC’s current fleet of low-floor buses, modern Wheel-Trans vehicles, and new fleet of low-floor streetcars, have facilitated the overall accessibility of the TTC transit network.

TTC continues to work to achieve the provincial mandate of a barrier-free transit system, consistent with the AODA’s goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025. To complete this important work, six major projects worth $461 million have been budgeted for in the 2015-2024 TTC Capital Budget, representing 5% of the TTC’s capital requirements over the next 10-year timeframe. These six projects, described in Table 1, will improve the accessibility of TTC facilities and vehicles for customers with disabilities, and enable the TTC to meet its obligations under the AODA and/or IASR.

Table 1:  Accessibility Compliance Projects in the 2015-2024 TTC Capital Budget

Project Name Description Cost (millions)
Project Name: Easier Access Phase 3 Description: Accessibility retrofits at subway stations, including elevators, power operated / sliding doors, fare gates, ramps, and signage, and associated architectural, structural, mechanical, and electrical modifications. Cost (millions): $431.8
Project Name: AODA Compliance Upgrades (Communications) Description: Subway communication system upgrades to enable visual announcements in subway stations and onboard trains for people with hearing impairments, and enable automated external pre-boarding route / destination announcements, as required by the IASR. Cost (millions): $8.1
Project Name: AODA Requirements – TTC Buses Description: Vehicle upgrades to enable automated external pre-boarding route / destination announcements, as required by the IASR, including an external speaker on all buses and destination sign interface modifications. Cost (millions): $5.7
Project Name: AODA Requirements – Streetcars Description: Vehicle upgrades to ensure CLRV and ALRV streetcars are in keeping with standards established under the IASR. Cost (millions): $9.4
Project Name: T1 Announcement System Description: Visual next stop announcement screens for T1 subway trains, to comply with the IASR. Cost (millions): $4.0
Project Name: Bus Stop Improvements for Accessibility Description: New concrete pads at approximately 700 bus stops to make these stops accessible for customers with disabilities. Cost (millions): $2.0
Total Total: $461.0

It is important to note that “Easier Access” accessibility retrofits at 13 subway stations are currently not funded due to a $164 million shortfall in capital funding, but have been included in the capital budget in accordance with the AODA.  The TTC and the City continue to search for ways to fully fund this work.

In 2014, the Board advised the Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment that, owing to a capital funding shortfall, the TTC could not meet the AODA’s requirement that all subway stations be made accessible by 2025. The Board also requested that the Chair and CEO, as part of the City-TTC Transit Funding Task Force, seek reinstatement of full funding for the TTC’s accessibility (Easier Access III) program. The Task Force was established and met in 2014 with senior provincial staff as well as MPs in Ottawa.