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Metrolinx Accessibility Status Report – 2013

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This 2013 Metrolinx Accessibility Status Report provides an annual update on the Metrolinx Multi-Year Accessibility Plan published in December 2012.

This status report, in conjunction with the December 2012 Metrolinx Multi-Year Accessibility Plan, fulfills Metrolinx’s legal obligations for 2013 under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), to publish an annual accessibility plan; and also under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), to publish an annual status report on its multi-year plan.

The December 2012 Metrolinx Multi-Year Accessibility Plan can be referenced on the Metrolinx Website at the following link: www.metrolinx.com/en/aboutus/accessibility/. In accordance with the AODA, it must be updated every five years.

Metrolinx and its operating divisions are fully compliant with the AODA and its regulations. It continues to make improvements and remove barriers from aspects of its operations, in order to improve the convenience of service for all customers, including those with disabilities and other special needs. Activities are also underway to ensure that all newly launched services comply, and that Metrolinx will be in compliance with future regulatory requirements when they come into effect.

2. Accessibility Accomplishments: 2012-2013

Metrolinx accessibility initiatives in the 2012-2013 fiscal year included responding to the Integrated Accessibility Standard Regulation (IAS) of the AODA, and continuing customer service-driven activities throughout the organization. Metrolinx, GO Transit and PRESTO made improvements to existing services, while the UP Express (formerly Air Rail Link) and the Rapid Transit Implementation programs worked to ensure that accessibility was included as an integral part of design and planning for new services still to be fully launched.

In December 2012, the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation was amended with the addition of Part IV.1 – Design of Public Spaces Standards (Accessibility Standards for the Built Environment), taking effect for all projects by 2016 and applying to new construction and major redevelopments that have entered into a contract after December 31, 2012. Metrolinx is responding to ensure that it complies with the new regulation, which has its most significant impact on the number of accessible parking spaces supplied.

Metrolinx

  • Metrolinx held its second set of annual public accessibility meetings in June and July of 2013, to gain public input for this first accessibility status report
  • Metrolinx updated its accessibility policy to reflect the current scope of the AODA and its regulations. The new policy includes the following corporate commitment statement:
    Metrolinx is committed to ensuring that its services and operations are accessible to all customers and employees in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), and to working with partners in the GTHA to plan, build and operate an integrated accessible transportation system. The organization will work diligently to remove existing, and avoid creating, barriers to access and will demonstrate leadership, consulting widely and incorporating best practices to enhance accessibility in its services.
  • During 2013, Metrolinx approved a new accessibility governance structure, including an expanded Accessibility Advisory Committee with specialized internal and external subcommittees for all of Metrolinx, in order to:
    • accommodate a broader Metrolinx mandate;
    • respond to the increasing volume of work both underway and planned;
    • ensure a consistent organization-wide approach to accessibility; and
    • provide a more formal committee structure with appropriate representation, renewal and continuity.

GO Transit

  • Facility design standards were enhanced, including changes to comply with the new Public Spaces (Built Environment) component of the Integrated Accessibility Standard.
  • Acton GO Station was constructed and introduced into revenue service as an accessible facility in January 2013.
  • Progress continued on making GO Train service accessible from the remaining six inaccessible GO stations, including the following.
    • Bloor Station – Construction started on a new tunnel with elevators and platform.
    • Long Branch Station – Preliminary design studies commenced for a new tunnel with elevators and platform.
    • Eglinton Station – Detailed design work began.
    • Mimico Station – Detailed design work for a new tunnel and elevators began.
    • Georgetown Station – Work on a detailed station improvement design, including accessible services needs began.
    • Kipling Station – Options were investigated to move this project forward as a new inter-regional bus terminal, including barrier-free access to GO Train service.
  • Accessibility improvements were made on two GO Transit bus terminals, including the following.
    • Yorkdale Bus Terminal – Elevator installation began, to make the terminal accessible by fall 2013.
    • Scarborough Centre Bus Terminal – Metrolinx worked with the owner of the facility, the TTC, to design interim accessibility improvements. The design is complete and will be constructed by the TTC.
  • All GO Transit Bus routes became accessible as of April 2013.
    • Not all bus stops are accessible, but, if a stop is not accessible, an alternative boarding location will be identified for a customer who contacts GO Transit in advance of their travel.
    • In order to save more than half the time typically taken during the boarding and alighting processes using the lift, one set of sliding seats has been permanently removed on all GO Transit highway coaches (accommodating one small wheeled mobility aid).
    • Improvements have been made at Yorkdale and York Mills terminals permitting accessible operations.
  • The lift on GO Transit highway buses can now be used for any passenger having difficulty using the front door steps (whether they use of a wheeled mobility aid or not), thus improving accessibility for ambulatory passengers.
  • Development continued on the Computer Aided Dispatch and Automated Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL) system, which will provide automated visual and audible next stop information on buses. This system is currently being tested on a few GO Transit buses in revenue service.
  • Two accessible supervisor’s vehicles were procured in March 2013. They may be used to provide accessible transportation in an emergency situation when suitable local transit or accessible taxis are not available.
  • A communication program has been initiated on GO Trains reminding customers to give priority to customers with disabilities.

UP Express

  • The design of the UP Express train coaches and stations is now substantially complete, with certain aspects still being re-visited in order to optimize them.
  • The UP Express website is now WCAG 2.0 AA compliant.

Rapid Transit

  • Design of the Light Rail Vehicle has progressed, incorporating Accessibility Advisory Committee and other stakeholder input, including:
    • An active leveling system, which is intended to minimize the vertical difference between the vehicle and platforms;
    • An additional stanchion in the area of the “pillar” between the windows that can be used by passengers to stabilize themselves; and
    • Driver access to a camera view of the mobility aid area whenever the designated mobility aid area stop request is activated, ensuring that ample time is given for the passenger to exit the vehicle.

PRESTO

  • The new generation PRESTO fare payment equipment installed at Ottawa rail stations includes accessible features such as an audio jack.
  • A system upgrade was completed to improve ease of use, including the following items highlighted by public accessibility feedback, but benefitting all customers:
    • Registered card “overdrafts” cleared when card is reloaded.
    • Up to 10 cards can now be administered on one account.
    • Customer login to manage registered cards.
  • An agreement was signed with the TTC and development of detailed requirements (including accessibility) is underway for full PRESTO deployment on the TTC system by 2016.
3. Planned Accessibility Activities: 2013-2014

Metrolinx is continuing to make accessibility enhancements in all areas of its operations throughout the 2013-2014 fiscal year, following the work schedules established in the 2012 Metrolinx Multi-year Accessibility Plan for its various operating divisions. This approach ensures that the organization continues to improve service for customers and continues to be fully compliant with all regulatory requirements in the years to come.

Metrolinx

  • In implementing the new accessibility governance structure, a new recruitment initiative for the advisory committee will be introduced, and several external accessibility advisory subcommittees will be created to provide input on specific topic areas.
  • Work will progress to achieve WCAG 2.0AA compliance for all existing websites by December 2014.
  • Human Resources policies and procedures will be completed and implemented to ensure regulatory compliance by December 2013.

GO Transit

  • Progress will continue on retrofits to provide access to GO Train service at the remaining six inaccessible GO Train stations:
    • Bloor Station – Construction continues (as the station operates) and is scheduled to be completed by late 2014. A new tunnel with elevators and platform will provide access to train service by early 2014.
    • Long Branch Station – Preliminary design studies needed to accommodate elevators on the platforms are nearing completion with detailed design to be completed in summer 2014. Construction will run from fall 2014 until late 2016 (as the station operates) with a new tunnel with elevators and platform complete by late 2015.
    • Eglinton Station – Detailed design is underway with construction anticipated to commence in June, 2014 with a completion date of late 2015. Construction will be staged to allow tunnels to be completed early, providing accessibility prior to December 2015.
    • Mimico Station – Detailed design for a new tunnel will be completed by late 2014. Construction will run from early 2015 until mid 2017, with the new tunnel with elevators ready by spring 2016, providing accessible train service.
    • Georgetown Station – A detailed station improvement design, including accessibility features will be completed by late 2014. Construction will then run until late 2017, with the first new tunnel with elevators providing access to trains being ready by spring 2016.
    • Kipling Station – Metrolinx is conducting a feasibility study for a new inter-regional bus terminal at Kipling Station, the design and construction of which will include accessibility upgrades to Kipling GO Station. A more specific timeline for Kipling will be provided once the timing of this significant station expansion/redesign is confirmed.
  • GO Transit is converting as many as 150 non-accessible municipal bus stops in 2013 to accommodate the lifts on its highway coaches as part of a multi-year program. Work will start with eastern GTHA to coincide with bus stop enhancements due to the launch of Durham Region Transit’s Pulse Bus Rapid Transit service.
  • Low-floor buses are continuing to be investigated as an alternative to highway coaches, for faster boarding.
  • GO Transit is continuing to work toward providing next stop and service status information in both visual and audio formats.
    • The Service Status Communications Strategy identified the range of formats that will be provided for service updates, as a basis for development of each communication system.
    • Next stop announcements on electronic displays and audible announcements will be introduced on all buses in 2014, as part of the CAD/AVL system.
  • A new mobile website is being developed by the end of 2013 to provide personalized scheduled and real time service information in both visible and audible forms. It will focus on visual clarity and use consistent iconography, incorporating features to assist people with sensory and manual dexterity disabilities as well as compatibility with assistive technologies such as “VoiceOver”.

UP Express

  • UP Express design of stations, wayfinding, information systems, and vehicles will be finalized to ensure features such as level boarding for passengers at all stations and visual and audible next stop information. Construction and implementation will be completed in time to allow for UP Express to be in operation by 2015.

Rapid Transit

  • Accessible Bus Rapid Transit is under construction in Mississauga with the section between Hurontario and Dixie scheduled for completion in late 2013.
  • York Region Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on Highway 7, Yonge to Warden will begin services in 2014.
  • The Toronto Light Rail Transit (LRT) program will progress. Design of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line infrastructure, including passenger facilities, will be taking place through procurement and implementation of a single design-build-maintain contract. Specifications addressing accessibility, including reference materials, will be prepared to guide design, and reviews will take place throughout the design process to ensure compliance with accessibility requirements. Cooperation with agencies such as the TTC is occurring to develop consistent accessibility standards and requirements, ensuring a seamless passenger experience between the various modes of transportation (e.g. buses, subways, LRTs and GO Trains).

PRESTO

  • Work will continue to improve the accessibility of customer-facing PRESTO devices used by GO Transit including:
    • Changing the audible tones emitted by balance checking devices and ticket processing devices, so that customers with low vision can differentiate between the two
    • Incorporating raised lettering and braille to specify the name of the device, the location of user functions and the name of the user functions; and
    • Incorporating tactile cues to identify the card “target areas” of the devices.
  • Self-service equipment being designed for TTC will include a variety of accessible features and will start to appear April 1, 2014
  • PRESTO’s public website will become WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.0 AA compliant by end of 2013 to ensure that all contents and customer functions are accessible using screen reader software.
  • An accessibility review of PRESTO is occurring at existing GTHA transit systems, to identify improvements for fall of 2013.
  • A feasibility study for delivering PRESTO “Support Person” fares will result in a plan and schedule by the end of 2013.
  • A feasibility study for implementing PRESTO on paratransit will result in a plan and schedule by the end of 2013.
  • PRESTO card format accessibility requirements for the card itself are to be established by the end of the 2013-2014 fiscal year, targeting card replacement in late 2014 or early 2015.
4. Accessibility Compliance Status Update

Metrolinx’s GO Transit and PRESTO operating divisions are currently providing service to customers while its UP Express and Rapid Transit Implementation teams are actively undertaking design, contracting and construction activities to allow them to provide service to customers in the coming years. This section of the document outlines the approach being taken to ensure compliance with AODA clauses for both projects currently in service and those projects not yet fully in service within the appropriate timeframes.

Metrolinx Projects in Service

Exhibit 1 in Appendix A of this document shows Metrolinx’s accessibility work schedule for those AODA clauses where the legal requirements have not yet already been fully met. In all cases, Metrolinx is committed to becoming fully compliant in advance of the compliance date.

Metrolinx Projects Not Yet In Service

UP Express

The design work for both UP Express trains and stations is now substantially complete, with certain elements currently being finalised. Accessibility is being considered in all aspects of design work. The production of trains and the construction of stations are both underway, with all project elements on schedule to be completed as planned for launch of the UP Express service in spring 2015.

Work is also underway, in the earlier stages, for the UP Express technology program and overall communications (including signage and wayfinding for people with varying degrees of vision loss), as requirements are currently being finalized and procurement is proceeding.

Exhibit 2 in Appendix B of this document shows the work schedule for those AODA clauses applying to the UP Express service. In keeping with its elevated brand and commitment to superior customer service, and given that the train is being designed from the ground up, the UP Express service will employ best practices (including GO Transit’s experience) as applicable to meet or exceed accessibility requirements and provide a high level of accessible convenience.

Rapid Transit Projects

Design work for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) projects in Toronto is continuing. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT project achieved a major milestone in June 2013 when tunnel boring from Black Creek Drive began. Accessibility requirements are an integral part of all design work. The Eglinton Crosstown LRT Request for Proposals (RFP) for the remainder of the project including stations, stops and other infrastructure work is expected to be released by fall 2013. The preliminary design and engineering are progressing as necessary to meet the delivery schedule of the project. As the engineering design of the Light Rail Vehicles nears completion, building of the two prototypes will commence with planned delivery for evaluation in mid-2015.

Exhibit 3 in Appendix B of this document shows the accessibility work schedule for Metrolinx’s four LRT projects, which are anticipated to launch as follows.

  • Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown LRT: 2020
  • Scarborough Rapid Transit: 2020
  • Finch West LRT: 2020
  • Sheppard East LRT: 2021

The clauses applying to these projects are as defined in Exhibit 3 of this document.

Commissioning activities to prepare the first VivaNext Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) segment along Highway 7 (between Bayview and Highway 404) for revenue service proceeded diligently and enabled an August 2013 opening. This first operating segment will open a year early and is on budget.

As part of Metrolinx’s Master Agreement with York Region and the York Region Rapid Transit Corporation, York Region staff has developed the Access and Operations provisions that govern BRT in the Region of York. Accessibility requirements are an integral part of the project and are being addressed through agreement, applying York Region’s accessibility standards. The Design-Build (DB) procurement for the Yonge Street Rapidway is also advancing. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for design builders closed in March 2013, and three respondents were shortlisted to proceed to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage in August 2013.

Exhibit 4 in Appendix B of this document shows the accessibility work schedule for the VivaNext Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system being undertaken by Metrolinx in conjunction with York Region. The expected in-service dates for VivaNext BRT are as follows.

  • Davis Drive: 2014
  • Enterprise Drive:
    • Warden to Birchmount: 2010
    • Birchmount to Kennedy: 2018
  • Highway 7:
    • Yonge to Warden: 2014
    • Edgeley to Bowes: 2016
    • Helen to Edgeley and Bowes to Yonge: 2018
  • Yonge Street:
    • Highway 7 to Major MacKenzie: 2017
    • Mulock to Davis: 2017
    • Major MacKenzie to 19th Avenue: 2017
5. 2013 Accessibility Consultations

Metrolinx held its second annual series of public accessibility meetings across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) in 2013 in order to review and discuss its accessibility planning and activities. The meetings were held in June and July in the western (Oakville), northern (Markham), central (Toronto), and eastern (Whitby) parts of the GTHA. These meetings provide a valuable opportunity to interact directly with the customers who use these services, as well as fulfilling Metrolinx’s legal obligation under the AODA to hold at least one public meeting annually.

Input received through comments at these public meetings, as well as through emails, phone calls and a feedback form available on the Metrolinx website, have been summarized and incorporated as Exhibit 5 in Appendix C in this document. A response provided by Metrolinx to the issues raised is also included.

Appendix A: Metrolinx AODA Compliance Work Program

Exhibit 1: Metrolinx AODA Compliance Work Program

Reg. Clause Number Accessibility Requirements Regulatory Compliance Date Estimated Completion Time of Work to Meet Requirements Description of Issue and Metrolinx’s Action Plan Status Update
INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD REGULATION
> Part I General
7 Training Jan. 1 2014 December 2013 All employees and others delivering services must receive training on AODA and the Human Rights Code, with records of dates and number of individuals trained maintained – while this is currently done in practice, a formalized policy or process is still required. Metrolinx recently implemented mandatory training during each new employee’s first day of employment, which complies with this regulatory requirement. Records are maintained for all training provided. Prior to January of 2014, a process will be developed to ensure that requirements are met for third party service delivery agents. Metrolinx will ensure that it incorporates any new legislation.
> Part II Information and Communications Standards
12 Accessible formats and communication supports Jan. 1 2015 December 2014 Not all information is currently available upon request in a range of accessible formats – Metrolinx is working on establishing a central point of contact within the organization to receive requests, and a process to ensure that all online and offline materials, such as PDF files, maps, timetables etc., can be delivered upon request in a format accessible to the requester in a timely fashion. Metrolinx has defined a central point of contact and process for receiving requests, and work will continue to ensure that appropriate vendors and resources are identified as necessary to properly position the organization to handle a variety of request types.
14 Accessible websites and web content:
- all content
Jan. 1 2021 December 2014 For all web pages, the goal is to ensure full compliance to WCAG 2.0 AA standards by the end of 2014. Procedures will also be implemented to ensure ongoing compliance. Web page and content authoring guidelines and tools to ensure compliance have been made available on the Intranet for all content authors.

An accessibility checklist, check feature and verification tools have been made available to Web Developers to ensure compliance.

Work to convert all existing materials including pdf files, timetables, etc. to existing formats continues.
> Part III Employment Standards
21 Schedule Jan. 1 2014 December 2013 Metrolinx must meet all of the requirements in the “employment standards” section of the AODA – while many are already being implemented in practice, not all have been formalized through policies and procedures. Once this task has been completed by the end of 2013, this requirement will be met. Work is underway, on schedule for completion before the compliance date.
22 Recruitment, general Jan. 1 2014 November 2013 Metrolinx intends to have standard operating policies and processes in place to notify potential applicants about the availability of accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment process, with appropriate notification of employees and the public by November 2013. All Metrolinx job ads contain a statement notifying applicants about the availability of accommodation. Language in Standing Applications (i.e. internal postings) will include accommodation provisions informing applicants that this is available to them.
23 Recruitment, assessment or selection process Jan. 1 2014 November 2013 Although Metrolinx currently notifies job applicants chosen for a selection process that accessibility accommodations are available upon request, this must still be formalized through policies or processes before the Metrolinx target deadline of November 2013. The organization intends to fully comply by implementing formal policies and processes as well as a Standard Operating Procedure reflecting the policy revisions by fall 2013.
26 Accessible formats and communication supports for employees Jan. 1 2014 December 2013 Metrolinx shall consult with the employee to provide accessible formats upon request by December 2013. Some content areas which Metrolinx is still working on to make them more accessible for employees, as well as the public, include online forms, surveys, timetables and maps displayed in PDF or other formats (which are not optimal for screen reading software for people with vision loss).
> Part IV Transportation Standards
51 Pre-boarding announcements:
- electronic
Jan. 1 2017 Buses Spring 2014

Trains by end of 2016
The Metrolinx CAD/AVL system will be fully deployed to allow GO Transit to meet the requirement of automated audio and visual pre-boarding announcements, in advance of the compliance deadline. CAD/AVL design and development well underway – installed on selected GO Transit buses for testing in July 2013.

Pre-boarding audio and visual announcements on trains are being explored.
52 On-board announcements:
- electronic
Jan. 1 2017 Buses Spring 2014

Trains Fall 2014 (audible only, visual to follow by 2017)
The Metrolinx CAD/AVL system will be fully deployed to allow GO Transit to meet the requirement of automated audio and visual on-board announcements, well in advance of the compliance deadline. CAD/AVL design and development well underway – installed on selected GO Transit buses for testing in July 2013.

Visual next stop announcement solutions for GO Transit trains are being explored.
> Part IV.1 Design Of Public Spaces Standards (Accessibility Standards For The Built Environment)
80.23-80.29,
80.34-80.37,
80.39,
80.41,
80.43,
80.90
Exterior paths of travel, access aisles, minimum number of accessible parking spaces, signage, on-street parking spaces, service counters, waiting areas, trails Jan. 1, 2016

(Standards apply only to new construction and major retrofits, where contracts have been entered into after December 31, 2012, and will apply to all projects by 2016.)
Requirements already implemented for all new construction and major retrofits that have entered into contracts after December 31, 2012. All projects will be in compliance by 2016. Many of the accessible features outlined in this amendment are currently part of the Metrolinx easier access features. Those that are new or more stringent will be updated and included in the Design Requirements Manual. Metrolinx is working closely with all stakeholder groups and governing body to ensure our standards are in line with accessibility and our customers’ needs. Requirements already implemented for all new construction and major retrofits that have entered into a contract after December 31, 2012. All projects will be in compliance by 2016.
Appendix B: AODA Compliance Work Programs For Projects Not Yet In Service

Exhibit 2: UP Express AODA Compliance Work Program

Reg. Clause Number Union Pearson Express Accessibility Requirements Regulatory Compliance Date Estimated Completion Time of Work to Meet Requirements Description of Work Involved Status Update
ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARD
4 Use of service animals and support persons Jan. 1 2010 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Appropriate policies and training for all front-line staff will be in place to ensure that access is provided to service animals and support persons. This is on schedule.
5 Notice of temporary disruptions Jan. 1 2010 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Procedures for temporary Union Pearson Express disruptions, ensuring the public receives appropriate information about any disruptions, will be in place and available in accessible formats upon request. This is on schedule.
9 Format of documents Jan. 1 2010 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Procedures will be in place to ensure that Union Pearson Express documents provided to a person with a disability will be delivered in a format that takes into account that person’s disability. This is on schedule.
INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD
6 Self-service kiosks Jan. 1 2014 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express service will make use of the PRESTO card via ticket vending machines which will be designed with an array of accessibility features. This is on schedule.
14 Accessible websites and web content:
- new content
Jan. 1 2014 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The new Union Pearson Express website is currently under design and will comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA standards when launched, well in time for the launch of the Union Pearson Express service. This is on schedule.
- existing content Jan. 1 2021 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
No Union Pearson Express website currently exists, and as such no existing website content must be modified to meet AODA requirements. This is on schedule.
34 Availability of information on accessibility equipment etc. Jan. 1 2012 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
When it is launched, the Union Pearson Express website will provide current information on accessibility equipment, routes, and vehicle features in an accessible format, and alternate accessible formats will be provided upon request. This is on schedule.
35 Non-functioning accessibility equipment July 1 2011 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express will have in place procedures to assist customers with disabilities if an elevator or any other piece of accessibility equipment is out of service. This is on schedule.
37 Emergency preparedness and response policies Jan. 1 2012 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express will have on its website and in relevant locations on trains and stations, information on using the passenger assistance alarm and emergency procedures for evacuating customers (including people with disabilities) from trains and stations. This is on schedule.
38 Fares, support persons Jan. 1 2014 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express service will have in place appropriate policies and training to ensure that no fare is charged for the support person of a person with a disability. This is on schedule.
39 Transition, existing contracts July 1 2011 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express does not have any existing contracts for vehicles that do not meet AODA requirements. This is on schedule.
40 Transition, existing vehicles July 1 2011 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express currently has no existing vehicles in its fleet, so does not need to retrofit any existing vehicles. This is on schedule.
44 General responsibilities Jan. 1 2012 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express’s level boarding system is passive and does not require any lifts, ramps or portable bridge plates for boarding. The Union Pearson Express will also provide assistance with safe securing of mobility aids for people with disabilities. A vehicle-mounted platform extension is being employed to minimize the gap between vehicle door and station platform. This is on schedule.
45 Alternative accessible method of transportation Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express will provide accessible service when it opens in 2015. Pre-booked WheelTrans service and accessible taxis are also available between all points served by the Union Pearson Express, as potential alternate accessible services. This is on schedule.
46 Fares July 1 2011 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express service will have in place appropriate policies and training to ensure that a higher fare will not be charged to a person with a disability than one without. Alternative fare payment options will also be made available to those who require it. This is on schedule.
47 Transit stops Jan. 1 2012 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express stops at specific stations with level boarding. Alternative stopping locations will not be required or available, as it would be unsafe to board between stations. This is on schedule.
48 Storage of mobility aids etc. July 1 2011 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Each Union Pearson Express vehicle will have one or two areas designated for passengers using wheeled mobility aid (WMA)s. There will also be ample storage for the luggage of all passengers. This is on schedule.
49 Courtesy seating Jan. 1 2012 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
In addition to offering clearly marked “priority” seating for people with disabilities, “courtesy” seating will be offered for other people that will benefit from it (e.g. expectant mothers, seniors, and adults travelling with small children). This will include supporting information for the benefit of customers and employees in accessible formats upon request. This is on schedule.
50 Service disruptions Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Appropriate procedures and training will be in place to ensure that, during disruptions, the Union Pearson Express rail service is supplemented by alternate accessible services until Union Pearson Express services are restored. This is on schedule.
51 Pre-boarding announcements:
- verbal
July 1 2011 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express will have automated announcements as part of station public address systems providing route direction, destination and next stop information. This is on schedule.
- electronic Jan. 1 2017 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express will have electronic displays as part of its station designs and train exteriors to provide the route direction, and destination and next stop information. This is on schedule.
52 On-board announcements:
- verbal
July 1 2011 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express will have automated announcements as part of train public address systems providing approaching station, current station and other information. This is on schedule.
- electronic Jan. 1 2017 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express will have electronic displays as part of its train interior designs providing approaching station, current station and other information. This is on schedule.
53 Requirements re grab bars, etc. Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express vehicle design will address the requirement for grab bars, handholds, handrails or stanchions. This is on schedule.
54 Floors and carpeted surfaces Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
The Union Pearson Express train design will ensure that floors produce minimal glare and are slip resistant, and that any carpeted surfaces have a low, firm and level securely fastened pile or loop. This is on schedule.
55 Allocated mobility aid spaces Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Union Pearson Express trains will include two designated seating areas to accommodate passengers with WMAs and space for service animals, with companion seats nearby. This is on schedule.
56 Stop-requests and emergency response controls Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Union Pearson Express trains do not need stop-request buttons as it will stop at each station along its route. It will have an alarm intercom located appropriately throughout the train, including within reach of allocated mobility aid spaces. This is on schedule.
57 Lighting features Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Union Pearson Express trains will include lights above or beside each passenger access door that are evenly lit. No lifting devices or ramps are required on Union Pearson Express trains, and as such, they do not require lights. This is on schedule.
58 Signage Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Union Pearson Express trains will have external destination displays showing the destination, visible from the boarding point. This is on schedule.
59 Lifting devices, etc. Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Union Pearson Express vehicles will not require lifting devices, ramps or portable bridge plates, as they are being designed for level boarding. A vehicle-mounted platform extension is being employed to minimize the gap between train door and station platform. This is on schedule.
60 Steps Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Union Pearson Express trains are being built with no steps, so the treatment of steps does not apply. No steps are necessary as the access is by level boarding between platform and train. This is on schedule.
61 Indicators and alarms Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Union Pearson Express trains will not have ramps, lifting devices or a kneeling function so visual and audible warning features for them does not apply. This is on schedule.
62 Accessibility, rail cars Jan. 1 2013 April 2015
(Union Pearson Express Launch)
Every Union Pearson Express train will be accessible and will feature an accessible washroom. This is on schedule.

Exhibit 3: LRT AODA Compliance Work Program

Reg. Clause Number Light Rapid Transit Accessibility Requirements Regulatory Compliance Date Estimated Completion Time of Work to Meet Requirements Description of Work Involved Status Update
ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARD
4 Use of service animals and support persons Jan. 1 2010 See various in-service dates in section 4 of this document. Standards to be determined as part of the Operating Agreement. This is on schedule.
5 Notice of temporary disruptions Jan. 1 2010
9 Format of documents Jan. 1 2010
INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD
6 Self-service kiosks Jan. 1 2014 See various in-service dates in section 4 of this document. Kiosks to be provided by PRESTO. This is on schedule.
14 Accessible websites and web content:
- new content
Jan. 1 2014 Jan.1 2014 Any new website content will be accessible. This is on schedule.
- all content Jan. 1 2021 December 2014 Website is currently under review for compliance. This is on schedule.
34 Availability of information on accessibility equipment etc. Jan. 1 2012 See various in-service dates in section 4 of this document. Standards to be determined as part of the Operating Agreement. This is on schedule.
35 Non-functioning accessibility equipment July 1 2011 Standards to be determined as part of the Operating Agreement. This is on schedule.
37 Emergency preparedness and response policies Jan. 1 2012 Standards to be determined as part of the project specifications. This is on schedule.
38 Fares, support persons Jan. 1 2014 Standard to be determined as part of the Operating Agreement. This is on schedule.
39 Transition, existing contracts July 1 2011 Not Applicable These projects do not have pre-existing contracts or vehicles. This is on schedule.
40 Transition, existing vehicles July 1 2011
44 General responsibilities Jan. 1 2012 See various in-service dates in section 4 of this document. Standards to be determined as part of the project specifications. This is on schedule.
45 Alternative accessible method of transportation Jan. 1 2013
46 Fares July 1 2011
47 Transit stops Jan. 1 2012
48 Storage of mobility aids etc. July 1 2011
49 Courtesy seating Jan. 1 2012
50 Service disruptions Jan. 1 2013
51 Pre-boarding announcements:
- verbal
July 1 2011
- electronic Jan. 1 2017
52 On-board announcements:
- verbal
July 1 2011
- electronic Jan. 1 2017
53 Requirements re grab bars, etc. Jan. 1 2013
54 Floors and carpeted surfaces Jan. 1 2013
55 Allocated mobility aid spaces Jan. 1 2013
56 Stop-requests and emergency response controls Jan. 1 2013
57 Lighting features Jan. 1 2013
58 Signage Jan. 1 2013
59 Lifting devices, etc. Jan. 1 2013
60 Steps Jan. 1 2013
61 Indicators and alarms Jan. 1 2013
62 Accessibility, rail cars Jan. 1 2013

Exhibit 4: VivaNext AODA Compliance Work Program

Reg. Clause Number VivaNext Bus Rapid Transit Accessibility Requirements Regulatory Compliance Date Estimated Completion Time of Work to Meet Requirements Description of Work Involved Status Update
ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARD
4 Use of service animals and support persons Jan. 1 2010 See various in-service dates in section 4 of this document. Standards will be consistent with the York Region Accessibility Plan and AODA compliant. This is on schedule.
5 Notice of temporary disruptions Jan. 1 2010
9 Format of documents Jan. 1 2010
INTEGRATED ACCESSIBILITY STANDARD
6 Self-service kiosks Jan. 1 2014 See various in-service dates in section 4 of this document. Requirements are included as part of the delivery of the projects and will be AODA compliant. This is on schedule.
14 Accessible websites and web content:
- new content
Jan. 1 2014 January 1 2014 New content will be WCAG 2.0 AA compliant. This is on schedule.
- existing content Jan. 1 2021 Compliant since August 2011 Completed This is on schedule.
34 Availability of information on accessibility equipment etc. Jan. 1 2012 See various in-service dates in section 4 of this document. Requirements are included as part of the delivery of the project and will be AODA compliant.

For more information please see the York Region Accessibility Plan at the following internet link.
This is on schedule.
35 Non-functioning accessibility equipment July 1 2011
37 Emergency preparedness and response policies Jan. 1 2012
38 Fares, support persons Jan. 1 2014
39 Transition, existing contracts July 1 2011
40 Transition, existing vehicles July 1 2011
44 General responsibilities Jan. 1 2012
45 Alternative accessible method of transportation Jan. 1 2013
46 Fares July 1 2011
47 Transit stops Jan. 1 2012
48 Storage of mobility aids etc. July 1 2011
49 Courtesy seating Jan. 1 2012
50 Service disruptions Jan. 1 2013
51 Pre-boarding announcements:
- verbal
July 1 2011
- electronic Jan. 1 2017
52 On-board announcements:
- verbal
July 1 2011
- electronic Jan. 1 2017
53 Requirements re grab bars, etc. Jan. 1 2013
54 Floors and carpeted surfaces Jan. 1 2013
55 Allocated mobility aid spaces Jan. 1 2013
56 Stop-requests and emergency response controls Jan. 1 2013
57 Lighting features Jan. 1 2013
58 Signage Jan. 1 2013
59 Lifting devices, etc. Jan. 1 2013
60 Steps Jan. 1 2013
61 Indicators and alarms Jan. 1 2013
Appendix C: 2013 Metrolinx Public Feedback Summary

Exhibit 5: 2013 Metrolinx Public Feedback Summary

PUBLIC FEEDBACK METROLINX RESPONSE
STATIONS
Stations: General Design
Whitby GO Station just had some major re-working which completely ignored the need for accessible access from the Brock Street entrance. The sidewalks leading in dead-end abruptly with no warning signage. GO has begun a station improvement project at Whitby GO Station which will explore options to resolving this non-accessible path. The project also includes reconfiguration of the existing station building and a new station building next to the new parking garage.
The availability of parking spots at some stations does not seem to be better even though improvements have supposedly been made. GO has been adding a significant number of parking spaces throughout the system (over 2000 in 2012 and more than 4000 new spaces are under construction currently). As parking lots expand we also increase the number of barrier-free spaces to meet requirements. The use of barrier-free spaces is monitored by our Operations group and more are added if demand warrants.

As our ridership grows parking demand also increases. We are continuing to work towards ensuring our system has adequate capacity. The recently completed Parking and Station Access Strategy identifies future parking expansions with 24,000 new parking spaces anticipated within the next 20 years. It also includes other measures designed to encourage customers to find other ways to get to stations.
Can you put intercoms on or near the mini platforms so we can contact someone for assistance? Yes, this will be added to our Design Requirements Manual by the end of 2013, so that whenever work is being done on mini platforms, they will be upgraded to include this feature. The intercoms will be similar to the ones we currently have around elevators.
Seating at stations is poor – there are minimal benches at Union Station. They have taken more benches away. All station amenities and devices are being updated and increased where required to address customer needs at Union Station. You will start to see this with the renovation work currently underway at Union Station. For example, when the York teamway at Union Station opens in 2014, there will be approximately three times more benches than before the renovations began. During the renovation work, some benches have been relocated to other areas as necessary, but none have been removed from Union Station entirely.
There should be more Transit Safety Officers in all stations and particularly at Union. We take the safety of all our passengers seriously, and provide Transit Safety services to work with other staff and ensure the safety of our customers while on the system.

Our staffing levels are based on analysis of incident locations and the need to maintain visibility. While GO hired additional Transit Safety Officers in 2011 and 2012 we are not able to provide complete coverage of all stations. We target areas of concern and routinely bring in extra staff for major events to manage crowds.

If a customer feels vulnerable or is experiencing a safety-related issue they can contact police by calling “911” first, followed by a second call to Transit Safety Dispatch toll free at 1.877.297.0642.”
Numerous concerns were mentioned about the accessibility standards (e.g. loose toilet seats present a safety hazard and make accessible access difficult) and the poor level of cleanliness in station bathrooms. Station Operations are in the business of addressing this type of work as part of their daily work.

These concerns are operational and are easily solved by reporting the deficiency/concern to either the station staff (Station Attendant) on duty or by contacting Customer Relations at 416 869-3200.
There are still two stations along the Lakeshore West line that have not been made accessible – Mimico and Long Branch. When will work begin to retrofit those stations with elevators and other access features? Work to improve the accessibility of Mimico and Long Branch is underway:

Mimico

A preliminary design study has been completed late in 2012. Conceptual design for the new tunnel is being finalized. Detailed design is scheduled to be completed by late 2014. Construction will run from early 2015 until mid-2017. It will be completed in stages to ensure the station remains in service and to ensure that accessibility requirements are brought online as soon as possible. The first new tunnel with elevators will be constructed by March 2016 providing accessible train service from Mimico.

Long Branch

The preliminary design study including a recently added track redesign (needed to accommodate elevators on the platforms) is nearing completion. The detailed design will be completed in Summer 2014. Construction will run from fall 2014 until late 2016. It will be completed in stages to ensure the station remains in service and to ensure accessibility requirements are brought online as soon as possible. The first new tunnel with elevators and platform will be constructed by late 2015 providing accessible train service from this station.
At Light Rapid Transit (LRT) stations, please use a unique color scheme for each station, to make it easier to identify and to help direct riders. This suggestion will be taken into account as part of the design excellence that will be applied to the station design.
At LRT stations, please be sure to employ visible staff (have roaming station attendants). This suggestion will be taken into consideration as part of the contract with TTC for the operation of the LRT lines.
For people wanting to use UP Express, who do not live near the Weston GO Station (those north of the City), they would be back tracking to get to the station itself and then head to the airport. Why not just take Mississauga Transit? UP Express will be one of several transit options to reach the airport. The TTC, Mississauga Transit and GO all have bus services that can connect you to various parts of the region.
Stations: Union Station
Why does the connection from Union Station to the TTC subway have outside stairs with no covering for winter? No stair edge markings? And very few railings to hold onto? The connection between Union Station and the TTC is in transition, as part of the City of Toronto’s work on the Union TTC and rail stations. The completed project will provide a covered transition between Union Station and the subway, however there is no plan to have temporary protection over the area noted during the construction period. The current temporary stairs are equipped with railings and contrast stair edge markings.
What is the status of the ramp between GO Transit and the TTC Subway? The ramp went into service during the long weekend in May 2013, along with the stairs to the new TTC concourse. These stairs are only temporary and will be removed once construction is completed, as the floor of Union Station will be lowered as part of the City’s work in about two years. When complete, the Union Station entrance, TTC concourse, and PATH network will all be at the same level.
What is the strategy for passenger movement at Union Station during rush hour? The station is very crowded and congested during that time. The City of Toronto carried out simulations to ensure smooth passenger flow as part of the process for designing the Union Station renovations. The current Union GO Concourse will be replaced by two new concourses at the east and west ends of the station, increasing the waiting area. Customers will be able to access platforms using stairs and elevators from both the east and the west sides of the station and as a result vertical access to platforms will be improved. TTC is also adding a second TTC platform and GO is rebuilding the train shed area.
What can be done to remove vendors from the busiest traffic flow points at Union station? Their presence makes way finding more difficult. This challenge will be eliminated once the Union Station revitalization has been completed. The revitalization underway will separate vending and other retail activity from pedestrian flow routes and other commuter services.
Although I do not require an elevator at Union station, sometimes I travel with a friend who does (and her guide dog). With the track work and crowding at Union station, it is very confusing to find elevators. Even though I can see well, I cannot find the elevators for track 27 from the concourse level. Better signage might help. GO Transit is aware of the situation regarding wayfinding signage to the elevator in question. Due to ongoing construction, signage for routes to this elevator signage requirements for this area are under review and will be improved shortly.
At LRT stations, could you provide mobility device charging stations? There are no plans to provide charging stations for mobility devices. In these stations where there is limited space, smooth passenger flow for all our customers is our primary concern.
Consider road space/bus bays for Wheel-Trans passenger drop off at each LRT station. Where we are providing bus terminals for TTC bus operations, specific bays will also be allocated for Wheel Trans operations. Where drop-off locations are provided, they will include a location for accessible vehicles.
Stations: Platform Design
Presently going to Union Station Track 5 to board the Georgetown line is dangerous. There is not enough room on platform to accommodate people. I was walking over the yellow line. I was bumped and shoved. I had to wait until all people boarded accessibility coach before I could get on. It is just one massive crowd that shoves onto the train trying to get a seat. When on tracks 5 and 6 both sides of the train should open to accommodate the mass of people. All of the Georgetown trains, now board from both platforms 5 and 6 for customer safety, convenience and flow.
Can train platforms have shelters that are accessible? The only way I can get into one is if fellow passengers offer to open doors for me. Relying on that isn't optimum. Currently all platforms should have at least one shelter that is accessible, with the doors equipped with auto-door operators and push buttons. This accessible shelter is typically positioned between the station building and mini-platform and the one closest to the mini-platform.
What is Metrolinx strategy for immediate shelter of the GO Transit platforms? Our current standard requires the accessible mini platform to be covered by a canopy roof, however, clearances required for train traffic and pedestrian flow do not allow for the mini platform to be enclosed with walls.

Increased canopy coverage will be provided as part of new and renovation construction.
There is very limited space to maneuver wheelchairs on accessibility ramps, especially when so many ambulatory customers are on them at the same time. Although our ramp widths meet or exceed design codes, we are restricted by site constraints in increasing them further. We maximize ramp widths within space constraints.
At Light Rapid Transit (LRT) stations keep layouts the same/consistent (i.e. choose one or two platform designs to be consistently used throughout all stations). Currently all underground stations will be a center platform. For the surface stops, the configuration might vary from a center platform to side platforms due to the configuration of the intersection, space limitations and for other technical reasons. All station designs will aim for consistency, depending on the space available.
For LRT buses, please work with the local municipality to redesign/relocate the sidewalk ramps and infrastructure so it is not in conflict with the bus entrances/exits. Or buy a vehicle that fits the standards that the city already has. New dedicated stops are being designed for the LRT. They will be removed from the regular street sidewalk, so there will not be conflict with existing items on the sidewalks. Stop platforms will be raised to the height of the vehicle floor for convenient level boarding.
Elevators at GO Stations: Location
Elevator positioning at stations is inconsistent. Elevators should be located in the same location at every station. There are many factors that need to be considered when determining elevator locations, including: tunnel locations, the overall configuration of the station, and the location of parking lots and nearby streets. These considerations play a significant role in determining the best locations for elevators.
At Light Rapid Transit (LRT) stations, efforts should be made to have an elevator at each end of the station, to maximize rider use and pedestrian flow between both ends of the station and to reduce crowding. All underground stations will have a minimum of one fully accessible path of travel from the station's main entrance including, automatic sliding doors, barrier free access and fully glazed, flow though elevators from street level down to the concourse and ultimately down to the platform level. It should be noted that unlike existing TTC subway stations, which have platform lengths of 150m LRT stations will have much shorter lengths of approximately 95m.
Elevators at GO Stations: Location
The Braille on the elevator buttons is not correct. GO Transit will investigate this comment and have this addressed.
The button panel in the elevators at Union Station is grey on grey which makes it difficult for visually impaired people. Not all visually impaired people are blind. GO Transit will investigate this comment and have this addressed.
You should be able to hear station announcements in the elevators. GO Transit will investigate this comment and have this addressed.
At Light Rapid Transit (LRT) stations, every effort should be made to provide immediate notification about elevators that are out of service, update customer service signage and advice employees of alternative routes for customers. The arrangements to let customers know, and provide alternative routes will be addressed in both the design and the operating contracts with TTC and Metrolinx’s project maintainer.
VEHICLES
Vehicle Design: GO Transit
What would the update be, regarding the securement of wheelchairs to allow all people in wheelchairs to use the systems rather than restricting usage to only those who can travel in the reverse position? Wheeled mobility aids are not secured on GO Trains and customers may travel facing forwards or backwards.

All GO Buses are designed with forward facing wheelchair positions. The mobility device must be secured while riding the bus and the user must wear a seatbelt, as required by law.

This reply may not apply to some municipal transit services which are subject to different safety laws.
Has there been any thought to making accessible cars larger? All GO railcars are a standard size and structure and our facilities have been designed to accommodate these cars. While we recognize concerns about the accessible capacity of trains, enlarging the accessibility coach is not a feasible solution.
When will there be an automated ramp on the GO Trains? We have tried different automated ramp designs in the past but none have worked as efficiently as our current practice. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration with respect to using any type of ramp or bridge plate. These include: safety, time available to load and unload passengers, the reliability of the equipment and the space available in which to use it.
Complaints about bus design were raised:

§ Claim that people in wheelchairs cannot reach overhead lights

§ Concern about lack of space for a service dog
We will consider available options in order to incorporate accessible LED reading lights at wheelchair locations in future bus procurements.

Recently, Bus Operations removed one set of two passenger seats from all buses. This added space provides added room for a service dog. This Priority Seating location should be used by customers with a service dog.

Double Decker buses have the same priority seating. The aisle width accommodates a service dog and operational policy does not permit standees in this area.
Vehicle Design: LRT
In LRT vehicles, reduce the barriers to boarding to improve boarding times by doing things such as minimizing the gap between platform & vehicle. Minimizing gap width is being taken into account as part of the design and will be specified as part of the performance criteria for the contractors.
In LRT vehicles, do not flip up seats for the areas designated to be wheel chair accessible (this will avoid passenger conflict). Make this area standing room only. The vehicle currently has four mobility aid designated areas (two with flip-down seats and two with perch seats). This layout was reviewed and supported by various accessibility committees throughout the vehicle design stage and during the mock-up review. The natural resting position of the flip-down seat will be the folded position.
With respect to LRT vehicles, seating and safety should be looked at further. For example, having arm rests, hand rails, large size seats, extensions to grab on to would provide better safety. These features should be added. The currently approved seating arrangement has been thoroughly reviewed by various accessibility committees and the general public. The Light Rail Vehicles do provide hand rails, stanchions and grab bars that are ergonomically spaced at all locations for the safety consideration of passengers. As well our design includes some larger size seats (4 per vehicle).
Train Design: UP Express
In UP Express trains, will there be a lower level luggage compartment for those who cannot reach the top? Yes, there will be two levels, higher and lower, to allow for accessibility.
How wide will the aisles be in UP Express trains and will there be reserved seating? The aisles will be wide enough to allow a mobility aide, such as a wheelchair, to move and turn freely. They are not wide enough to allow two wheelchairs to pass simultaneously. This is because of safety compliance.

Priority seating will consist of 8 spots per car. There will be wording and visual indicators above the specified seating.
What maximum capacity will the UP Express trains be able to handle? What happens once that limit is reached? Each train, consisting of two or three railcars, will be able to carry approximately 120 or 180 people, with a train every 15 minutes. If one train is at capacity, there will be another waiting to load behind it. We anticipate passengers will opt to board the next train.
Will there be dedicated standing areas on the UP Express trains? We will provide enough capacity on this service that we do not expect many customers to need to stand. For this reason we are not providing dedicated space for standing.
Will there be overhead clearance in each compartment--nothing projecting out? Yes, that is correct. The storage compartments will be recessed.
Vehicles: Overcrowding
When boarding the accessibility coach often all seats are taken and the GO Transit Customer Service Ambassador has to announce that someone has to give up their seat. This is embarrassing. Usually people look out the window or down, pretending to ignore the announcement. Eventually someone gets up.

The accessibility car is getting fuller and fuller as time goes by and those that don't need this car are making it difficult for those of us that do. Can't the CSR tell them "sorry get on a regular car"? I hate having to beg for a seat! When will multiple cars be accessible?
We are aware the accessible car is becoming more crowded as a result of increasing ridership. While Customer Service Ambassadors cannot intervene directly and ask someone to move, they do make general announcements when required.

GO has also increased communications aimed at reminding customers to give priority access to people with disabilities in the accessible car.

We are unable to provide a second accessible car for several reasons:

• Due to the need to set-back the accessible platform so freight trains can pass, we require the Customer Service Ambassador to place a bridge plate (a small portable ramp) for boarding. Since there is only one Customer Service Ambassador on each train we are not able to provide a second accessible car.
• The accessible platform is only long enough to accommodate one accessible rail car. The accessible platform must be located at the same location (currently by the 5th, accessible, car) at every station. There is not room (due to locations of stairways, elevators, etc.) at all stations to extend the accessible platforms, or to provide a second accessible platform to accommodate two accessible cars.

We are continuing to work on ways to ensure that space is available on the accessible car for customers that need it.
Opening all doors on the accessible side of the train, instead of opening only the one at the accessibility ramp would make it easier to quickly reduce crowd size and would help passengers with certain accessibility needs (e.g. those who cannot walk long distances). As a general practice all doors are opened on the scheduled accessible side of the train when it is at Union Station. At times during very cold or hot weather conditions, doors may be placed on “standby” to conserve the interior temperature of the rail car for the comfort of all customers. A green illuminated light displayed by the entrance door to the rail cars indicates that the doors are on standby; at which time a customer can depress the green illuminated button for entrance. It is our practice to open all service doors of the train and not just the accessibility car.
SERVICES & PROCEDURES
GO Bus Services
The GO Bus service still has serious access problems. Why is it that some stops are not designated accessible by Go Transit, but they are considered accessible by local transit services? (The specific example I can point to is the Brampton GO Bus, and the stop on Main at Nanwood, but there are others). The lifts on GO highway coaches operate on the outside of the bus and require a large flat space to operate and provide safe boarding. For this reason, many stops (such as the ones mentioned by the customer) are accessible for municipal buses but are not accessible for GO Buses.

We are working with municipalities on a multi-year program to make additional bus stops accessible. In 2013, we will be making improvements to approximately 150 bus stops across the GTHA. In the meantime, we are asking customers traveling to a location for the first time to contact us in advance so that, if their stop is not accessible, we can provide service to the nearest safe accessible boarding location.
The GO Bus wheelchair tie down straps are difficult for customers to use independently to secure themselves on the bus. Our bus drivers are responsible for ensuring that all passengers using a WMA are properly secured on the bus. While some passengers can use the straps to independently secure themselves, we do encourage passengers to allow the bus driver to assist them with the securement process. This maximizes comfort for WMA passengers and assists in preventing possible injury while on the bus.
Service Planning
Can you put the Georgetown trains on another track to create sufficient time between trains instead of having them arrive back to back (Richmond Hill, Georgetown)? While waiting for the Georgetown train to arrive I noticed that there were no people waiting on tracks 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 etc. These two trains are actually separated by 15 minutes. The trains open on both sides to make it easier for passengers to board on Platform 5 & 6.

These trains use a platform on the north side of Union Station Corridor so they do not need to cross the path of other trains to reach the tracks to Richmond Hill and Georgetown.

Tracks 6 & 7 are for Lakeshore East service. Tracks 8, 9 and 10 are for VIA service which is why they do not appear busy during rush hours.
Why does the 6:20 train from Bronte go to a track without an elevator or escalator? I cannot do stairs.

GO passengers arriving at Union Station do not know the platform they will be using in advance. As the elevator to platform 24 at Union is out of service, GO should take the outage into consideration when dispatching platform stops.
Due to the amount of construction at Union Station, and the labour action by elevator technicians, trains have had to be reassigned temporarily to tracks that do not have a working elevator. Trains are directed to tracks that have working elevators whenever possible.

Train crews are advised when an elevator is not available so announcements can be made to update customers before they arrive at the station. If you require elevator access to leave the platform at Union, please speak to the Customer Service Ambassador, who will make arrangements for assistance when the train arrives at Union.
Why does it seem that bus schedules for Brampton are changed at least once or twice a year? GO Transit is constantly reviewing our schedules to make sure they provide the most convenient service to customers while being a true reflection of the travel times required. In this case the times were changed to reduce the amount of time customers had to wait between the bus arrival at the Brampton station and the train departure time.
Making every bus stop accessible does not make sense. In rural or sparsely populated areas, there are stops that are not close to streetlights, making them unsafe to access. Bad weather will also make it very hard to use them. GO Transit is currently prioritizing which bus stops will be upgraded first to meet accessibility standards and have better customer amenities. Stops are being prioritized according to whether they are part of the longer term GO network, or are located in areas of high ridership. We are striving for an even distribution of accessible locations along a bus route and ensuring that rural areas are served by accessible stops in selected built-up communities. Other rural stops may not be practical to make accessible.
How long is the ride on the UP Express? It will take 25 minutes to travel between Union Station and Pearson International Airport.
Why not expand the UP Express service to include more stops? The UP Express service is specifically designed to provide a fast service to the airport. Additional stops would increase the travel time for the majority of customers who will be travelling between the airport and downtown.

Additional stops on the this corridor will be served by GO Transit’s Kitchener trains – more service will be added to this line after the UP Express construction is completed.
What are the deadlines for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)? The Mississauga BRT segment between Hurontario to Dixie will be completed by December 2013. The two ends of the corridor to Winston Churchill and Renforth will be completed by the end of 2015.
Are the Customer Care Ambassadors trained to address those of us with accessibility issues? My experience with my current CCA is that he ignores us and helps as little as possible. I have had to put in a complaint about mine and he has improved somewhat but not enough.

I notice the lack of assistance in getting on/off trains when it is clear that I require help.

Customer Service Ambassadors (GO Train) do not to comply with AODA with respect to: INVISIBLE or less visible disabilities. Bus drivers’ failure to announce bus stops. Issues surrounding passengers with INVISIBILITIES.

Staff members will escort customers sometimes, and sometimes not. Passengers need and demand consistency in terms of the availability of assistance provided to them.
Training for front-line staff that interacts with customers is developed to ensure they are able to provide a comfortable travel experience for all our customers and respond to the AODA Customer Service Standard. It addresses various disabilities including hearing loss, deafness and oral deafness. Training covers both barriers within the environment and barriers from the stigma associated with disabilities.

Customers with invisible disabilities may wish to identify their needs and request assistance from GO staff. Many customers prefer to navigate independently, and staff may be reluctant to presume their assistance is needed.

If customers still experience challenges or concerns, they are encouraged to contact us to tell us about their experience and help us to address any lapse in the quality of customer service.

GO Customer Care, can be reached at 416-869-3200 or 1-888- 438-6646, or via TTY teletypewriter at 1-800-387-3652.

Customers can also contact us by mail, at:
Attention: Customer Relations
GO Transit, A Division of Metrolinx
20 Bay Street, Suite 600
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2W3
When providing LRT services, please ensure that all staff are trained to be helpful. As well, protect employee rights by giving them the freedom and ability to assist riders. LRT services will be operated by the TTC in a contractual partnership with Metrolinx. The contract will emphasize customer service. It will require appropriate training so staff will be able to respond to customer needs.
COMMUNICATIONS
Information Formats: Visible and Audible
The GO Accessibility Guide can be improved by adjusting font styles and colours (to enhance colour contrast) and by removing background graphics. An updated and revised version of the Accessibility Guide will be completed in December 2013. The graphics team will adhere to accessibility best practices when preparing this next version of this document.
There are no track departure numbers on your mobile apps.

It is sometimes difficult to trust the mobile app. I feel that in-person assistance is better.
The GO Mobile App does not provide platform information with train schedules. Train departure platforms may need to be changed for operational reasons, so any platform shown in a schedule could be incorrect on a particular day. This is why platforms are announced only 10 minutes prior to departure.

The GO Mobile Union Departures information does provide platform information as soon as it is announced.

The information provided through the app is the best available information at the time. In person information will also continue to be available by phone and at staffed stations.
Communication about station construction should be improved. When a sign directs passengers to pay fare on another side of the station, the sign should give detailed instructions about how to get there using an accessible route. We are currently re-evaluating what the construction notices look like, so we can include additional information as requested in this comment.

We will try to provide more detail on arrangements during construction in an “On the GO” alert and/or the station website.
Concern regarding the accuracy of implementation timelines – “How do we trust the timelines released by Metrolinx now, when previous timelines have been misleading?” Timelines for projects reflect our best current information on the status of plans. Station accessibility retrofits are typically combined with other work to minimize disruption to customers and manage costs. Occasionally these projects may be affected by factors beyond our control. The annual Accessibility Status Report will track the current progress and outlook for these multi-year projects.
Information Formats: Service Related
There is insufficient time to get to my train at Union after the track number is posted. 10 minutes is NOT enough to locate the appropriate elevator, access it and wait for it to come down, go up, and get to the train, by which time it's already full. Platform announcements are scheduled to ensure that all customers have time to reach the platform once the announcement is made, while minimizing the possibility that a train platform will need to be changed after an announcement has been made.

We are working on improved signage to elevators for all platforms. The station improvements currently under construction will also simplify navigation and make the elevators easier to find. If you are concerned about being able to reach the platform within the time provided by the announcement, feel free to request staff assistance as early as possible before your train departure (you can also call ahead to the GO Transit contact centre). Staff will do their best to guide you to the platform.
GO should make sure that all CSAs consistently make announcements both when leaving and arriving at a station. This is a part of the roles and responsibilities of a Customer Service Ambassador (CSA). The CSA will announce the next station stop upon departure from any station and again just prior to arriving at the next station.
In LRT stations, please ensure that way finding information is put in a visible position (i.e. at eye level). Accessible wayfinding, including placement of signage is being incorporated into the design work for LRT facilities.
How will UP Express way finding information be relayed to visitors from various foreign countries? Wherever and whenever possible, visual wayfinding will include internationally recognized pictograms. The UP Express service will also have Guest Services Representatives at our stations and on-board who will have access to a translation service via telephone or mobile device should translation be required. Technology will also be leveraged where available to help in translation of information.
Service Coordination / Integration
A seamless system is needed to allow transportation across all communities in the GTA. Milton has made all its buses accessible, but then the passenger reaches a transfer point expecting an accessible carrier and often there is none.

How can riders best coordinate paratransit services across the regions (e.g. York Region Mobility Plus, TTC Wheeltrans)?

My concerns revolve around making a trip on public transit a seamless process. Once a person begins a trip, they should know they will be able to complete it without unusual levels of difficulties.
To help address issues such as these, the Metrolinx regional Cross-boundary Specialized Transit Improvement Project is working with transit systems across the region to address identified barriers to cross-boundary travel on specialized transit services and to develop a practical plan of action where feasible.

Increasing the use of accessible conventional transit by connecting with specialized services is one aspect of the project that is being examined.

For example, the entire GO Transit network is accessible, and GO encourages transfers with municipal transit. While some transfer bus stops are not yet accessible, these are being given priority in our bus stop retrofit program.
FARE SYSTEMS
PRESTO: Para transit
When and how will PRESTO be in use on paratransit vehicles? PRESTO is currently making plans by the end of this year for development of a Para Transit solution. This is a high priority project, and a schedule will be established to implement this among PRESTO’s other activities. Implementing the solution will then need to be coordinated with the participating transit agencies.
If you go ahead with handheld card readers on sedan taxis contracted to paratransit is there a risk that personal data such as customer banking information will be available to the drivers? No. The drivers will only receive an indication whether the fare has been paid or not using the PRESTO card.
PRESTO: Usage Limitations
The location of PRESTO readers is quite high. Are you considering installing more accessible readers? Yes, the locations of card readers are being reviewed to help make them more easily used by people with disabilities. PRESTO is working with municipalities to standardize card reader locations. Based on this review, the transit agencies may choose to modify their readers to improve their accessibility.
What happens if you tap your PRESTO card, you can’t hear if it worked so you tap again? The first time you tap to pay, the fare will be deducted, you will get a sound, a coloured light, and a statement on the display that says: “Fare Deducted $___” and “Card Balance $___”. If you tap again, no fare will be deducted, and the device will make a different noise.
What accessibility features are there for those with limited hand use, for instance voice recognition? For people with limited hand/limb use we are looking at accessible device designs which minimize/reduce the need for the customer to engage in physical interaction with the device. For example, we are looking at device reader placement/orientation which may allow a customer to go through an accessible turnstile gate to “tap” their card without having to remove it from a pouch on the side of their wheelchair. We are also trying to simplify the amount the customer interactions for activities like loading value to a card.
PRESTO: Vision Loss
How do people who are visually impaired read their balance? Staff at the call centre, on buses, or at stations can assist the customer by providing that information. The website will be enhanced by the end of 2013 to provide another accessible tool for checking card balances.
Right now, CNIB clients travel for free; will that change on the PRESTO system? Fare policies are set by the municipality. If Toronto decides that CNIB customers will continue to ride free of charge, then those people will still use a PRESTO card to tap on and off, but no fare will be deducted.
PRESTO: Not-For-Profit Fare Payment
An issue exists for social service agencies that want to make use of PRESTO, with respect to the minimum value you can put on the card. We need a one trip card. The PRESTO system will provide a practical solution for social service agencies providing transportation for regular clients, or in situations where a card can be used and returned. For single trips, social service agencies should contact the transit agencies directly to arrange a solution. For example, GO Transit arranges with agencies to accept “warrants” issued to clients as credit for their travel.
PRESTO: System Design
Is it possible to have one PRESTO card that can be used by all the members of one family? The PRESTO card may be shared by people who all pay a certain type of fare- either adult, or child, or student or senior. For example, a card holder who is a senior tapping his/her card always pays a senior discount fare; this person’s card may be used by another senior, but cannot be used to pay for other travellers who are not seniors.
Will the PRESTO card be able to indicate when a customer needs to travel with a support person? Effective ways to help fare enforcement officers identify support persons are being considered. In the future, PRESTO cards will contain an identifier indicating that a customer travels with a support person.
How will you make including support persons on PRESTO cards seamless if each service provider has different policies regarding support persons? PRESTO will work to develop a card that identifies a customer who travels with a support person. Each municipality may still have their own policies concerning fares paid by customers and the support person who is travelling with them. GO Transit currently provides a “Support Person” sticker to identify a card holder who travels with a support person.
Can I use the PRESTO devices in Ottawa with my GTHA PRESTO card? Not currently. However, PRESTO is planning for this functionality to be available in late 2013. At that time, PRESTO cards will be able to be used in both the GTHA and Ottawa.
You have voice recognition but the screens aren't accessible – some colours are more difficult to see and so aren’t accessible. The Self Service Kiosks currently installed at Union Station are prototypes. The accessibility of this device, including the colour contrast, is being assessed as input to the design of the next generation vending device. This new self-serve kiosk is scheduled for deployment as part of the TTC system, and will provide more functions.
Why are PRESTO signs only in English (we’re in a bilingual country, multicultural region)?-people with hearing problems aren't only English also you need to use plain English and less terminology. The display signage on PRESTO is in the language that is used by the agency for all their fixed signage.

On the system itself, English is used as the primary default language based on current audience size. Customer cards can be set to French as the primary communication language when a customer interacts with any PRESTO device or interactive service such as the PRESTO Website. The communication level is set to a grade eight level to ensure clarity in the communication.

The TTC has requested the ability to communicate to customers in multiple languages. Extensive use of universal graphic/visuals will be used in device messaging to help in multi-lingual communication.
How is PRESTO complying with the AODA? PRESTO, like other operating divisions of Metrolinx, is committed to being fully compliant with the AODA.

• We are currently addressing our website to bring it into full compliance by the end of 2013
• Our contact centre is fully compliant with AODA requirements.
• All design and procurement of self-serve equipment including kiosks incorporate accessibility features and responds to existing standards and best practice.
The fare structure needs to be marketed. People think they’re paying more than they should be. It appears that people are paying per ride – with no cut off, making Presto very expensive. Fare structures and “loyalty” programs are developed and communicated by the transit agencies. For example, GO Transit fares are set based on the cost of the former monthly pass: Each month after certain numbers of trips have been taken, the cost of the ride decreases until the cost of trips taken reaches the value of the old monthly pass. Any rides taken after that time are free until the end of that month.
For Light Rapid Transit services, what type of fare system will be in place? Fare collection will be an extension of the TTC PRESTO fare collection system. There will be fare vending machines and fare payment devices at each stop.
MISCELLANEOUS
Modal Preference
My concern is with above-ground, versus below-ground transportation systems. Those of us with disabilities do much better with above-ground services, where we are not in enclosed, small spaces, such as subway tunnels, and where we are not reliant on mechanical means to access the system, so NO elevators. Access to stations is one of many factors to be considered in comparing above ground and below ground transportation solutions. If a solution that requires elevators is selected, the design must ensure that customers with disabilities have an alternative practical way of reaching their destination for times when the elevator is out of service.
Funding for Accessibility
Funding is currently provided by Ontario government, according to the specific accessibility needs of each municipality. Promoting your transit plans to the municipalities in order to obtain approval for your additional tax measures jeopardize our current funding base. Please don't play around with accessibility. The Investment Strategy recommended by Metrolinx in May 2013 would provide transportation facilities and programs in addition to the facilities and programs being funded now. These additional programs would benefit people with disabilities throughout the region.

The new transit lines (light rail, bus rapid transit or subway as applies to each line) included in the plan would be designed from the start to be accessible, and provide an additional accessible transportation option for travel in those corridors.

More people using accessible transit may provide some relief to the municipal paratransit services, many of which are unable to meet the demand in their communities for specialized transit.

The recommended program would also provide some additional funding for municipal transportation activities. The tools introduced to implement the Investment Strategy will not have negative impacts on existing municipal or provincial programs.