Several new accessibility projects were underway in 2015 beyond those originally included in the 2014-2018 Accessibility Plan. These include:

Platform Edge Improvements – Eglinton Station   

In response to ACAT advice and customer feedback from the 2014 Public Forum on Accessible Transit, TTC staff designed, tested, and implemented improvements to the subway platform at Eglinton Station, to make it easier for customers using mobility devices to board subway trains at this location. In mid-2015 the platform edge was modified at the south end of the centre subway platform, in the vicinity of the elevator, to better align with the height of subway trains. Customer feedback on these improvements has been overwhelmingly positive. TTC staff are now working to see if similar improvements can be made at other stations.

Subway platform Subway platform

Figure 4:  Before and After Photos of Platform Edge Improvements at Eglinton Station

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PRESTO Fare Gates at Subway Stations   

Starting in 2016, new PRESTO-enabled fare gates will be deployed to all TTC subway stations as part of the rollout of the PRESTO Fare Card system. These fare gates will completely replace all existing entry and exit turnstiles at main entrances, high entry and exit turnstiles at automatic entrances, Easier Access Portal Units (EAPUs) at automatic entrances, and accessible entry doors at Line 4 (Sheppard) automatic entrances.

In addition to several standard width fare gates, most subway stations will be equipped with two wide accessible fare gates at the primary station entrance, an improvement from the single accessible fare gate at most stations today. Automatic entrances currently equipped with EAPUs or accessible entry doors will also be equipped with two accessible fare gates. All other automatic entrances will include one wide fare gate, improving access for customers with bicycles, strollers, or other large items.

A silver coloured, metalic fare gate. 

Figure 5:  New PRESTO-Enabled   Fare Gates

Currently, only customers paying with tokens or Metropasses can use automatic entrances. Once PRESTO is fully deployed at the TTC, customers paying with all types of fares and fare concessions (senior, student, child, etc.) will, for the first time, be able to use any station entrance by tapping their PRESTO card.

The replacement of the current EAPUs with fare gates will also be a significant accessibility improvement for customers. The EAPU devices currently accept payment by token and Metropass only, and have not proven to be as reliable as our customers expect.

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Line 3 (Scarborough) Accessibility Upgrades   

In 2016, work will begin to retrofit Line 3 (Scarborough) trains for improved accessibility, as an interim measure until the Scarborough Subway Extension opens. This work will include removal of eight seats on each train car to implement multi-purpose seating areas that can accommodate customers using mobility devices, new pull down handholds at the multi-purpose areas, and improved lighting and aesthetics throughout.

Transit Fare Equity   

TTC and ACAT members are participating on the City of Toronto’s Transit Fare Equity Advisory Committee. As per the report received by the Board at its November 18, 2013 meeting, it is beyond the mandate and expertise of the TTC to effectively resolve broader social and community issues related to income distribution. In July 2014, City Council directed staff from various City departments to work together to prepare a Transit Fare Equity plan to make the TTC more affordable for low-income Torontonians. This will complement ongoing transit expansion throughout Toronto. The TFE plan is due in 2016, and will include eligibility criteria, costs, and options for pursuing funding partnerships.

Customer Education on Accessibility   

TTC has heard from our customers with disabilities that a stronger emphasis is needed on public education regarding accessibility matters. In addition to ongoing customer education about the TTCs Priority Seating program, the TTC is working with the City of Toronto on a “Stay Focused. Stay Safe” safety campaign. In January, 2016, two new advertisements were launched as part of this campaign, which emphasize the proper procedures for customers to follow when people using mobility devices are boarding and alighting buses. The campaign aims to educate the public that people using mobility devices should board buses first and exit last, and that customers should be careful and stand clear when the ramp is deploying. A customer education video is also planned for 2016.

Customers baord a TTC bus while not paying attention to a individual in a wheel-chair. The copy reads: Stay Focused. Stay Safe.  People using mobility devices board TTC vehicles first and exit last. 

Figure 6:  “Stay Focused. Stay Safe” Advertising Campaign