Status Update: Accessibility Improvement Plans, 2016-2018
Many projects to improve TTC accessibility are in progress
In 2016, one objective of the 2014-2018 TTC Accessibility Plan was fully completed. To-date, 24 objectives are now complete. Work to complete the remaining outstanding objectives is ongoing, as described below.
Stations and Facilities
Elevators and Barrier-Free Paths
Our commitment in 2014: Complete accessibility retrofits at eleven stations between 2014 and 2018.
Status Update: Work is underway to make more subway stations accessible as part of the TTC’s “Easier Access” station accessibility retrofit program. We currently expect that a total of eight stations will be made accessible between 2014 and 2018, which is short of our original commitment made in 2014 to complete eleven stations in this timeframe, for the reasons noted below.
Review the latest Easier Access schedule.
The original schedule as published in the 2017 Accessibility Plan Status Report .
Accessibility upgrades were completed at Dufferin and Lawrence West Stations in 2014, while construction began at St Clair West, Woodbine, Coxwell and Ossington Stations the same year.
In 2016, accessibility improvements were completed at Ossington Station, which is now accessible with two elevators providing access from street to concourse to subway platforms, accessible sliding entrance and bus bay doors, new signage and wayfinding, and a designated Wheel-Trans bus bay.
At St Clair West station, significant delays occurred due to property acquisition; however, construction began on the elevator from street to the bus/streetcar platform in 2016 with an expected completion date of late 2017. Construction of the elevators from the subway platforms to the bus/streetcar platform was completed in 2016 and these two elevators are now open for customer use. Easier Access construction at Woodbine and Coxwell Stations is on-schedule and expected to be completed in 2017.
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. 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. Also, the conceptual design phase has now been initiated for all the remaining stations (with the exception of Islington Station, which is subject to re-development).
Refer also to an update to the TTC Board in October of 2016, Feasibility of Acceleration – Easier Access Phase III , for additional information on the project.
New Station Entrances
Our commitment: Work with property developers to create new accessible entrances to stations, where opportunities arise.
Status update: 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.
In conjunction with the St Patrick Station Easier Access project, work is now underway on a new accessible entrance through an adjacent property development which will replace the existing sidewalk staircase entrance on the northwest corner of University Avenue and Dundas Street West. This new entrance is a key part of making this station accessible.
Construction work is now underway 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 new elevator will be located indoors and no longer directly exposed to the outdoor elements, which will help to improve the reliability of this device.
TTC is 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. New third-party accessible entrances are also planned at York Mills and Dundas Stations, which will enhance accessibility at these stations. In the future, TTC will continue to work with property developers, whenever opportunities arise.
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.
Status update: It is expected that ACAT will review all TYSSE stations in 2017 once all station accessibility features are fully functional.
Metrolinx Rapid Transit Lines
Our commitment: Collaborate with Metrolinx to ensure all major transfer points between rapid transit lines and TTC services are accessible.
Status update: TTC staff and Metrolinx continue to work closely to ensure all interchanges between rapid transit lines and TTC are accessible and provide seamless connections for all customers. In 2014, TTC consulted with ACAT on preliminary Metrolinx designs for Eglinton West (Cedarvale), Eglinton, and Kennedy interchange stations on the Eglinton-Crosstown Light Rail Transit (ECLRT) line. In 2016, ACAT met jointly with the Metrolinx Accessibility Advisory Committee to provide advice on more advanced designs for ECLRT stations and stops.
Elevator and Escalator Reliability
Our commitment: Rebuild 5 elevators to improve reliability by 2015.
Status update: 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 at Dundas West and Finch Stations, we now expect the elevators at Kennedy Station to be rebuilt by 2018. Overhaul of the elevator at Bathurst Station has been deferred to later years with the elevator at the TTC’s Inglis office building advanced in the priority list due to its age and condition. Failure of obsolete components of the Inglis elevator would require engineered solutions requiring prolonged downtime whereas any issues with the Bathurst Station elevator can and will be managed to ensure the elevator continues to operate safely and reliably for customers.
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.
The next phase of the elevator rebuild project will involve two elevators at Kennedy Station in 2017-18. TTC plans to remove only one elevator from service at any given time and will provide alternate accessible service, if required.
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.
Status update: The TTC’s new escalator and elevator monitoring system is now scheduled for implementation in 2019. Implementation has been delayed due to budget and resource constraints. 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, and will assist with implementation of the Family of Services component of the Wheel-Trans 10-Year Strategy.
Our commitment: Install new curb ramps or modified platforms, as required, at all streetcar stops by 2018.
Status Update: The TTC will modify platforms or install curb ramps, where required, at nearly all streetcar stops, to provide easy access to low-floor accessible streetcars. 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. In 2016, platforms were modified along St Clair Avenue to provide an accessible ramp area; at the same time, the opportunity was taken to install tactile attention indicators at all platform ramps to street level, and a new lower railing to improve accessibility for customers with vision impairments. By end of 2018, curb ramps are expected to be installed at the remaining stops along College Street, Carlton Street, and Gerrard Street. Work to modify platforms on Roncesvalles Avenue has been rescheduled to 2019 to better coordinate with other necessary track and intersection work along the route.
Our commitment: All streetcar routes accessible by end of 2019.
Status Update: 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, and 509 Harbourfront in early 2017. 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 work.
In 2016, a new streetcar route was launched, 514 Cherry, providing new accessible service along King Street between Dufferin Gates Loop and Distillery Loop, earlier than initially planned. By mid-2017, we expect to operate 514 Cherry entirely with low-floor accessible streetcars. All streetcar routes will be designated as accessible by the end of 2019.
It is important to note that up to 30 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, which are subject to change, 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.
Our commitment: Upgrade as many stops as possible by 2018.
How we will meet our commitment: The TTC is working to widen sidewalks or install concrete pads at bus stops throughout Toronto in order to allow sufficient room for bus ramp deployment. In 2016, 36 bus stops were widened to improve accessible services for our customers. Going forward, $20,000,000 has been included in the TTC Capital Budget to continue to make bus stops accessible. In addition, more stops will be made accessible through a separate program to upgrade bus stops to better serve articulated buses. It is important to note that there will still be transit stops that cannot be made accessible due to a lack of space available at or around the stop location, physical constraints, etc.. 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.
Our commitment: Revise Wheel-Trans eligibility criteria to introduce “conditional eligibility” by 2017.
How we met this commitment: The AODA IASR required 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 with disabilities are able 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 must be accommodated on Wheel-Trans if they cannot use the conventional transit system. In 2016, a new application form and eligibility processes were developed, and these were implemented effective January 1, 2017. Extensive consultation was held with internal and external stakeholders to ensure that the new processes best met the needs of current and future customers.
Customer Service Initiatives
Next Stop and Pre-Boarding Announcements
Our commitment: Improve the next stop announcements on express bus routes.
Status Update: Given that the distance between express bus stops can be lengthy, the TTC is planning to revise the next stop announcements on express bus routes to include a second audible reminder of the upcoming stop closer to the vehicle’s arrival at that stop, as part of the new VISION communications system.
Our commitment: Provide electronic pre-boarding announcements by 2017 on TTC vehicles.
Status Update: Automated pre-boarding announcements are now provided on all TTC buses and streetcars to improve accessibility for customers who are blind or who have low vision, especially where multiple routes serve the same stop. Work is underway to provide these announcements on subway trains as soon as possible.
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.
Status Update: 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, signage in and around the elevators at Queen Station was updated to modern standards. Staff will continue to pursue replacement of other associated elevator signage for consistency with modern standards.
Our commitment: Launch a pilot project for tactile signage at bus platforms.
Status Update: This item will not be proceeding due to practicality challenges with the concept; however, staff intend to take advantage of recent technological developments in the area of electronic wayfinding to provide a similar customer experience, if a business case for further development of this concept is approved. More information will be reported on in a future Accessibility Plan Status Report.
Customer Information Screens
Our commitment: Post notifications of localized elevator and escalator outages on Station Information Screens.
Status Update: 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 (SIS) 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 in section 3.1) is now underway. In the interim, elevator outage notifications are now made available on SIS displays, as soon as Transit Control becomes aware of the outage. The background colour of these notifications has also been changed to blue with the International Symbol of Access added, to better distinguish elevator alerts from other service alerts.
PRESTO Fare Card System
Our commitment: Future PRESTO devices will be accessible.
Status Update: 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.
Status Update: The TTC has now upgraded its public address system in nearly all subway stations to ensure that service announcements are easy to hear and understand. This includes replacement of speakers and amplifiers where required, and re-orientation or addition of speakers to improve coverage and clarity of announcements. The TTC plans to upgrade the public address system in the remaining two subway stations by 2018.
Accessibility Standards Compliance
The TTC is committed to meeting provincially-legislated accessibility requirements, including those set out in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR).
In 2016, the requirements of the AODA’s Accessible Customer Service Standard were updated and merged into the IASR. The TTC’s Accessible Customer Service Policy has been revised accordingly, and are available in the Accessibility Policies section.
The following three requirements of the IASR took effect on January 1, 2017 for large public sector organizations, including the TTC: revised eligibility criteria/categories for specialized transit; electronic on-board next stop announcements, and electronic pre-boarding route/destination announcements.
- Revised Wheel-Trans eligibility criteria/categories and new application and appeal processes regarding these were developed in 2016 in consultation with internal stakeholders, including ACAT, and over 50 external stakeholders, ranging from local, provincial and national agencies to medical and legal communities. The revised eligibility criteria/categories were implemented on January 1, 2017; therefore, TTC is in compliance with this requirement.
- Electronic on-board next stop announcements have been on all TTC conventional transit vehicles for several years; therefore, TTC is in compliance with this requirement.
- As of January 1, 2017, electronic pre-boarding route/destination announcements are on all buses and streetcars. Implementation of electronic pre-boarding route/destination announcements on all subway trains has been delayed due to procurement, supply chain, and technical challenges. Work is underway to provide these announcements on all subway trains as soon as possible; therefore, TTC is working towards full compliance with this requirement.
Remaining requirements of the IASR that are applicable to the TTC deal with accessible websites and web content, and take effect in 2020. The TTC is already in compliance with these requirements.
TTC Handbook for Accessible Travel
Learn how to travel safely and independently on Toronto’s transit system. Download the TTC Handbook for Accessible Travel
Support Person Assistance Card
Learn about the support person assistance card.
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