In 2016-2018, TTC plans to achieve the remaining objectives in the 2014-2018 TTC Accessibility Plan, as outlined below:

Stations and Facilities

New Station Entrances

Our commitment: Work with property developers to create new accessible entrances to stations, where opportunities arise.

How we will meet our commitment: In 2015, new accessible entrances with elevators were completed at Queen's Park and Sheppard-Yonge Stations. In addition to making it easier for all customers to enter these stations, this elevator redundancy helps to eliminate long detours for customers when other station elevators are out of service for maintenance.

Work is planned to begin on the St Patrick Station Easier Access project in 2016. A new accessible entrance through an adjacent property development will replace the existing sidewalk staircase entrance on the northwest corner of University Avenue and Dundas Street West, which will be a key part of making this station accessible.

Preliminary design work is progressing to replace the existing elevator at the main entrance of Sheppard-Yonge Station with a new accessible entrance and elevator integrated into the adjacent shopping centre. The elevator is proposed to be moved indoors and no longer directly exposed to the outdoor elements, which would help to improve the reliability of this device.

TTC is also working with property developers at Bay and Lawrence Stations to provide elevators from street level to concourse level at these locations, in conjunction with upcoming Easier Access work at these stations. In the future, TTC will continue to work with property developers, whenever opportunities arise.

Elevators and Barrier-Free Paths

Our commitment: Complete accessibility retrofits at nine additional stations by 2018.

Why we will not meet our commitment: Work is underway to make more subway stations accessible as part of the TTC’s “Easier Access” station accessibility retrofit program. We currently expect to complete accessibility retrofits at six additional stations by 2018, which is short of our original commitment made in 2014 to complete nine additional stations by 2018.

Review the latest Easier Access schedule.

The original schedule as published in the 2016 Accessibility Plan Status Report Link opens in a PDF.

Construction began at St Clair West, Woodbine, Coxwell and Ossington Stations in 2014. Construction at Ossington Station has progressed well, and the station is now expected to be completed in 2016. Easier Access construction at Woodbine and Coxwell Stations is expected to be completed in 2017.

At St Clair West station, significant delays have occurred due to property acquisition. Therefore, the timeline for completion of the elevator between street level and the bus/streetcar platform remains unknown at this time. Construction of the elevators from the subway platforms to the bus/streetcar platform are on schedule for completion in 2016.

The design process for Royal York, Wilson, Runnymede, King, and Yorkdale stations has fallen behind schedule as these stations are very challenging for many reasons, including property acquisitions, complex design elements, limited access, utilities, operational constraints, etc. Construction work at these stations is now expected to be completed in 2019. However, in order to maintain a commitment to continue making stations accessible, the design and construction schedules for Dupont and St Patrick Station have been advanced, and these stations are now expected to be completed in 2018.

Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE)

Our commitment: ACAT to review TYSSE construction, prior to project completion, to ensure all required accessibility features have been implemented as designed.

How we will meet our commitment: This will be reported on in a future Accessibility Plan Status Report.

Metrolinx Rapid Transit Lines

Our commitment: Collaborate with Metrolinx to ensure all major transfer points between rapid transit lines and TTC services are accessible.

How we will meet our commitment: In 2014, TTC consulted with ACAT on preliminary Metrolinx designs for Eglinton West, Eglinton-Yonge, and Kennedy interchange stations on the Eglinton-Crosstown LRT line. TTC and Metrolinx will continue to collaborate to ensure all interchanges between rapid transit lines and TTC are accessible and provide seamless connections for all customers.

Elevator and Escalator Reliability

Our commitment: Replace five escalators to improve reliability by 2018.

How we will meet our commitment: TTC plans to replace five escalators at subway stations by 2018 to improve reliability and reduce unplanned outages for our customers who rely on these devices. The status of this project will be reported on in a future Accessibility Plan Status Report.

Our commitment: Implement escalator and elevator real-time monitoring system in mid-2016.

How we will meet our commitment: The TTC’s new escalator and elevator monitoring system is on schedule for implementation in 2016. This new system will reduce elevator and escalator downtime during unplanned outages by immediately alerting maintenance staff to outages, allowing response personnel to be dispatched faster. When fully operational, this system will enable TTC to provide more timely notifications of elevator and escalator outages to customers, allowing customers to plan alternate routes in advance.

Vehicles

Low-Floor Streetcars

Our commitment: Install new curb ramps or modified platforms, as required, at all streetcar stops by 2018.

How we will meet our commitment: The TTC will modify platforms and install curb ramps, where required, at virtually all streetcar stops by 2018. In 2014, the streetcar platform at Spadina Station was modified to better interface with the new streetcars. New curb ramps have already been installed along Bathurst Street, Queen Street, and elsewhere along streetcar routes to ensure that customers using mobility devices, strollers, and any other customers who require the streetcar ramp, can reach the new low-floor streetcars when they begin service on each route. Curb ramps or modified platforms will be installed along St. Clair Avenue, College Street, Carlton Street, and Gerrard Street prior to the launch of the new streetcars on routes 512 and 506.

Our commitment: All streetcar routes accessible by end of 2019.

How we will meet our commitment: TTC continues to work with the manufacturer to ensure that the complete order of 204 new low-floor accessible streetcars will be delivered by the end of 2019, as planned.

510 Spadina was designated as accessible in January, 2016. 509 Harbourfront will follow in Spring 2016 and 511 Bathurst by the end of 2016. This means that the majority of vehicles on these routes will be accessible; however, due to maintenance and operational requirements, it is possible that a small number of streetcars operating on these routes will not be accessible at times of the day. All stops on these routes will be accessible, except for the westbound stop on Fleet Street at Bathurst Street on routes 509 and 511, which is pending City of Toronto sidewalk extension construction work. All streetcar routes will be designated as accessible by the end of 2019.

It is important to note that up to 40 high-floor Articulated Light Rail Vehicle (ALRV) streetcars will remain in the TTC streetcar fleet until 2024 to accommodate increasing ridership on the streetcar route network, until additional low-floor streetcars can be acquired. The ALRV streetcars are not accessible. Current plans are for the ALRV streetcars to be mixed among low-floor vehicles and allocated to the busiest streetcar routes, at busier times of the week only, to ensure minimal wait times before an accessible vehicle arrives.

Conventional Buses

Our commitment: Work with City of Toronto Transportation Services to upgrade as many stops as possible by 2018.

How we will meet our commitment: The TTC is working with the City to widen sidewalks or install concrete pads at bus stops throughout Toronto in order to allow sufficient room for bus ramp deployment. $200,000 per year has been included in the TTC 2016-2025 Capital Budget through 2024 for this purpose. It is important to note that there may still be stops that cannot be made accessible due to a lack of space available at or around the stop location. In these cases, customers will need to board at the preceding or following stop, or at the next available safe location, as determined by the bus Operator.

Wheel-Trans Services

Service Integration

Our commitment: Revise Wheel-Trans eligibility criteria to introduce “conditional eligibility” by 2017.

The AODA IASR requires all Ontario specialized transit providers, including the TTC, to update their eligibility requirements for paratransit services (e.g., Wheel-Trans), to introduce conditional eligibility for customers who have the ability to use conventional transit for some of their trips, or a segment of their trips. Additionally, other customers with disabilities beyond those with physical mobility challenges will be accommodated on Wheel-Trans if they cannot use the conventional transit system. These changes will be reported separately to the Board in 2016.

Customer Service Initiatives

Next Stop and Pre-Boarding Announcements

Our commitment: Improve the next stop announcements on express bus routes.

How we will meet our commitment: In 2017, the TTC is planning to revise the next stop announcements on express bus routes to include arrival information, once resources are available to complete this work.

Our commitment: Provide electronic pre-boarding announcements by 2017 on TTC vehicles.

How we will meet our commitment: Pre-boarding route and destination announcements are currently available on request on the TTCs older streetcars and on all buses. Automated pre-boarding announcements are provided on the TTC's new low-floor streetcars to improve accessibility for customers with vision impairments, especially where multiple routes serve the same stop. Work is underway to provide these announcements on buses and on subway trains by 2017, with funding approved at the November 23, 2015 Board meeting.

Signage and Wayfinding

Our commitment: Replace tactile and braille, and other associated elevator signage, for consistency across all TTC elevators over the next five years.

How we will meet our commitment: In 2015, elevator buttons dating from the installation of the TTC’s first elevators were upgraded at twelve TTC stations to make them easier to use and understand, and for consistency with modern design standards. In 2016-18, staff will pursue replacement of other associated elevator signage for consistency with modern standards.

Elevator panel with worn-out buttons. Elevator panel with new buttons.

Figure 3: Original and Modernized Elevator Control Buttons

Our commitment: Launch a pilot project for tactile signage at bus platforms.

How we will meet our commitment: This item is contingent on approval of a business case for further development and implementation of this concept and will be reported on in an upcoming Accessibility Plan Status Report.

Customer Information Screens

Our commitment: Post notifications of localized elevator and escalator outages on Station Information Screens.

How we will meet our commitment: Funding for the necessary information technology upgrades to complete this objective was approved as part of the 2015 TTC budget process. This project aims to provide improved notifications of elevator and escalator outages on Station Information Screens in subway stations, before customers pay a fare. Development of a strategy to deploy these notifications, using the information provided by the future elevator and escalator real time monitoring system (described above) is now underway.

PRESTO Fare Card System

Our commitment: Future PRESTO devices will be accessible.

How we will meet our commitment: PRESTO and the TTC continue to work closely to ensure that all PRESTO devices are accessible when introduced into the TTC system. This item will be reported on in greater detail in a future Accessibility Plan Status Report, when the PRESTO rollout has completed.

Subway Station Public Address System Upgrade

Our commitment: Upgrade the public address system in all subway stations by 2018.

How we will meet our commitment: The TTC upgraded its public address system in seven additional stations in 2015 to ensure that public address announcements are easy to hear and understand. The TTC is on-track to upgrade the public address system in all remaining subway stations by 2018.

Accessibility Standards Compliance

The TTC is committed to meeting the requirements of Provincial accessibility legislation, including the AODA Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR). TTC is in compliance with all requirements of the IASR that are in effect to date.

One requirement of the IASR takes effect in 2016 for large public sector organizations, including the TTC: maintenance of accessible elements of exterior public spaces. TTC’s procedures regarding these maintenance activities are available in the Accessibility Policies section. These procedures were developed in consultation with ACAT.

Planning is well underway to implement the IASR requirements that will come into effect in 2017, namely Wheel-Trans eligibility changes and external pre-boarding announcements, as described above.