Public forum spotlights TTC’s accessibility
They are some of the TTC’s most vulnerable riders. They are also the TTC’s toughest audience.
Hundreds of seniors and persons with disabilities attended the Public Forum on Accessible Transit last night (Sept. 16) at the Allstream Centre. Each year for the last eight years, TTC staff and members of the Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit (ACAT) have met one-on-one and held a question-and-answer town hall to hear directly from the public regarding ways to improve the accessibility of TTC services and facilities. This year, the Q&A was live-streamed online.
Facing the audience were: CEO Andy Byford, Deputy CEO Chris Upfold, Strategy and Service Planning Head Mitch Stambler, Wheel-Trans Acting Head Eve Wiggins and ACAT Chair Mazin Aribi. TTC Chair Josh Colle made opening remarks.
The audience voiced both compliments and concerns on a range of issues, such as: platform edge gaps, online trip booking, customer and employee courtesy, accessible taxis and senior fares. All responses to questions will be posted on ttc.ca.
The TTC is committed to improving access to the conventional system for all riders. Last year, accessible streetcar service was launched for the first time in Toronto history, two more stations became accessible and priority seating was completely revamped.
Over the past 25 years, the TTC has made huge strides in building a conventional system that’s as accessible as possible and relieves pressure off Wheel-Trans, which now has close to 35,000 registrants. The system has changed dramatically since the early 1990s:
- The entire subway fleet is accessible and can be boarded by people using wheelchairs, scooters or other mobility devices. The entire Line 1 (Yonge-University) subway operates with the newest Toronto Rocket trains – each car is equipped with two multi-purpose areas.
- All buses routes are wheelchair and scooter friendly – that includes more than 30 Blue Night routes and five Community Bus routes. By year-end, the entire bus fleet will be exclusively low-floor.
- Nearly half of subway stations are accessible with elevators that make travel easier for people using wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, other mobility devices or baby strollers.