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 $261.5 million. Additionally, other projects, such as procurement of the TTC’s current fleet of low-floor buses 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, several major projects worth $670.7 million in total have been budgeted in the 2017-2026 TTC Capital Budget, representing over 7% of the TTC’s overall capital requirements in the next 10 years. These projects, described in Table 1, will improve the accessibility of TTC facilities and vehicles for all customers.

Table 1: Accessibility Projects in 2017-2026 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): $512.9
Project Name: Route and Destination Announcements Description: Vehicle upgrades to ensure automated external pre-boarding route / destination announcements on all TTC vehicles. Cost (millions): $3.8
Project Name: Elevator Overhaul Description: Complete removal and replacement of elevator units at three subway stations with more dependable and robust equipment to ensure reliable service for customers with disabilities. Cost (millions): $3.4
Project Name: Purchase of 400 Wheel Trans Buses Description: New buses to replace the existing “Friendly” bus fleet. Cost (millions): $86.7 ($10.2 currently unfunded)
Project Name: Wheel-Trans 10-Year Transformation Program Description: A comprehensive program to deliver on the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy, composed of 13 wide-ranging initiatives from eligibility changes to fleet replacement planning. Cost (millions): $42.5
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): $21.4
Total Total: $670.7 ($10.2 currently unfunded)

It is important to note, that full funding was 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 will require funding in a future capital budget cycle. This will be similar to work completed in 2011 at Victoria Park Station.