In 2015, TTC accomplished 5 of 6 objectives planned for the year in the 2014-2018 TTC Accessibility Plan. These achievements are outlined in detail below:

Stations and Facilities

We did not meet our commitments to adding Elevator and Escalator Reliability 

Our commitment: Rebuild 5 elevators to improve reliability by 2015.

Why we did not meet our commitment: Due to a major increase in the scope of work of the elevator overhaul project, we did not meet the original commitment to rebuild five elevators by the end of 2015. While overhauls of two elevators were completed by the end of 2015, we now expect the remaining three elevators to be rebuilt by 2017.

The scope and timelines of the elevator overhaul project have changed due to advanced deterioration of the elevators at Dundas West and Finch Stations, as a result of the challenging outdoor environments in which these elevators are operated. Consequently, the scope of work for the rebuild of these elevators has expanded to include complete removal and replacement of all elevator components, including the entire elevator cabs, hall doors, and all related equipment. The overhaul work involves replacing existing elements with new more robust waterproof, and/or corrosion resistant materials, suitable for the conditions. This will extend the life of these elevators and provide more reliable service in the future.

At Dundas West Station, the elevator between street level, concourse level, and the westbound platform was taken out of service in early March 2015 and was returned to service at the end of June 2015, in time for the Pan Am and Para Pan Am Games. During the closure, TTC operated an accessible shuttle bus every 20 minutes between Dundas West and Dufferin Stations to ensure continuity of service for customers who rely on the elevators at Dundas West Station.

At Finch Station, the elevator between street level and the fares concourse level was taken out of service in October 2015 and returned to service at the end of December 2015. During the closure, alternative access was available between street and the fares concourse level at the GO Transit bus terminal, on the east side of Yonge Street.

The next phase of the elevator rebuild project will involve two elevators at Kennedy Station in 2016, followed by one elevator at Bathurst Station in 2017. TTC plans to remove only one elevator from service at any given time and will provide alternate accessible service, if required.

The inside of an elevator

Figure 1:  Modernized Elevator at Finch Station

Vehicles

We met our commitment to  Conventional Buses

Our commitment: Replace all high-floor lift-equipped buses with new low-floor buses by 2016.

How we met our commitment: The last high-floor lift-equipped bus was retired on December 4, 2015. All TTC buses are now low-floor and equipped with ramps, which are easier for customers to use and have significantly-improved reliability when compared to lift-equipped buses. All future TTC bus purchases will be low-floor models.

We met our commitment to  Toronto Rocket Subway Trains

Our commitment: Determine feasibility of audible notification of the side of the train on which doors will open at each station.

How we met our commitment: The visual announcement screens on the Toronto Rocket trains feature arrows pointing to the side of the train on which the doors will open at the next station. In 2015, work began to implement audible door opening side announcements on these trains, to complement the arrows. All Toronto Rocket train sets will be modified to introduce these audible announcements in 2016.

Wheel-Trans Services

We met our commitment to  Policies and Procedures

Our commitment: Develop a service integration plan in 2014-15 to transition some Wheel Trans customers to the conventional system.

How we met our commitment: A Ten Year Wheel-Trans Strategy was developed in 2015, in consultation with ACAT, and was presented to the Board in February 2016. This plan includes fundamental changes to the Wheel-Trans service model, most importantly a transition to a “family of services” model. This new service delivery model will transition those customers categorized as conditionally eligible to the conventional system on a trip-by-trip basis for part or all of their transit trip, depending on their ability to use conventional transit.

A key component of the Wheel-Trans Strategy is revised eligibility criteria for Wheel-Trans customers. Refer to Ongoing Accessibility Improvement Plans for additional information.

Our commitment: Implement a new policy to discourage repetitive late cancellations and no shows.

How we met our commitment: Effective December 2015, Wheel-Trans began calling customers with an automated message to alert them when they receive a no-show or have a late cancelation. The goal is to remind customers of these important policies so that we can reduce these occurrences.

Customer no-shows and late cancellations affect our ability to provide customers with trips, and represent a considerable cost to the TTC. A no-show occurs when a driver arrives at the scheduled destination at the scheduled time, waits an additional five minutes, and is unable to locate the customer. A late cancellation is any trip that is cancelled on the actual day of service instead of the day before. When a late cancellation occurs, it is unlikely that a different customer will request a trip with similar origins and destinations on the same day that would fit into the time slot vacated by the late cancellation, thus, this capacity is usually lost for the day.

The current policy allows up to a maximum of four days with late cancellations and/or no-shows each month. Service will be temporarily suspended after the fifth late cancellation and/or no-show. The automated call-out will alert customers when they receive their first and fourth no-show or late cancellation.

Customer Service Initiatives

We met our commitment to  PRESTO Fare Card System

Our commitment: PRESTO Self-Serve Reload Stations (previously referred to as Add Value Machines) will be accessible when introduced in subway stations starting in 2014-15.

How we met our commitment: PRESTO Self-Serve Reload Stations entered service at PRESTO-equipped TTC subway stations in Q4 2015. These machines were delivered with accessibility features similar to the Fares and Transfer machines, including all components at an accessible height, audio mode, and Braille labels.

Two green PRESTO machines inside a TTC subway station.

Figure 2:  New PRESTO Self-Serve Reload Devices at Finch Station