To date, substantial funds have been spent on TTC accessibility initiatives, including the three phase “Easier Access” program to retrofit subway stations for accessibility in the amount of $249 million. Additionally, other projects, such as procurement of the TTC’s current fleet of low-floor buses, modern Wheel-Trans vehicles, Sheppard Subway, and new fleet of low-floor streetcars, have facilitated the overall accessibility of the TTC transit network.

TTC continues to work to provide a barrier-free transit system, in support of the AODA’s goal of an accessible Ontario by 2025. To advance this important goal, six major projects, worth $462.8 million have been budgeted in the 2016-2025 TTC Capital Budget, representing 5% of the TTC’s overall capital requirements over the next 10 years. These six projects, described in Table 1, will improve the accessibility of TTC facilities and vehicles for all customers, including those with disabilities.

Table 1: Accessibility Compliance Projects in the 2016-2025 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): $429.0
Project Name: Route and Destination Announcements on Subway Fleet Description: Subway communication system upgrades to enable visual announcements onboard trains for people with hearing impairments, and automated external pre-boarding route / destination announcements. Cost (millions): $11.3
Project Name: Route and Destination Announcements on 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: Route and Destination Announcements on Buses Description: Vehicle upgrades to enable automated external pre-boarding route / destination announcements, including an external speaker on all buses and destination sign interface modifications. Cost (millions): $7.4
Project Name: Elevator Overhaul Description: Complete removal and replacement of elevator units at four stations with more dependable and robust equipment to ensure reliable service for customers with disabilities. Cost (millions): $3.9
Project Name: Bus Stop Improvements for Accessibility Description: New concrete pads at approximately 70-80 bus stops each year to make these stops accessible for customers who use mobility devices. Cost (millions): $1.8
Total Total: $462.8

It is important to note, that full funding has been restored to the “Easier Access” accessibility retrofit program in the 2016-2025 Capital Budget. This means that accessibility improvements are now funded for all subway stations. However, Easier Access work at Islington and Warden Stations is contingent on budget approval of station re-development work, which is not yet funded. This will be similar to work completed in 2011 at Victoria Park Station.

Ongoing accessibility improvement initiatives may result in additional accessibility-related projects being considered as part of future Capital Budgets. As an example, expanded functionalities of the subway fleet pre-boarding announcement system (of which the initial scope of work was approved by the Board in November, 2015) may require additional capital funding in future years.