Bypass navigation and go to content

Metrolinx Accessibility Plan 2011 - 2012

Table of Contents

1. Executive summary

In agreement with the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA) 2001 and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) 2005, all public organizations within the Province are required to prepare and post an annual accessibility plan that must be made available to the public by September 30, 2011.

A final copy of this Accessibility Plan will be posted on the Metrolinx and GO Transit public websites and will be available in alternate accessible formats upon request.

Metrolinx, including its operating divisions GO Transit, PRESTO and the Air Rail Link (ARL), is committed to making the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area’s (GTHA) transportation system fully accessible to people with disabilities by 2025. Planning for universal access is essential to the Regional Transportation Plan, The Big Move.

In addition to continuing to enhance the accessibility of the GO Transit system, Metrolinx has started to work toward The Big Move’s strategic objective of universal access including a coordinated approach to specialized transportation throughout the region.

Metrolinx will also be working with other transit agencies to develop new rapid transit services, which are being designed in accordance with accessibility standards.

The 2011-2012 Accessibility Plan demonstrates an ongoing commitment to improve accessibility in the GTHA transportation system.  It highlights many projects that Metrolinx has completed in 2011, including plans to improve the accessibility of transportation services in 2012. 

Some of the 2011 highlights include:

  • The procurement of accessible conventional and specialized transit vehicles on behalf of transit service providers in Ontario, under the Transit Procurement Initiative (TPI) program
  • The final Mobility Hub Guidelines was made available on the Metrolinx website in February 2011
  • The development of a Generic Travel Training Program for persons with disabilities and seniors that will assist people in using accessible conventional transit service
  • Implementation of the PRESTO fare system at GO stations on July 13, 2011, and GO Buses and associated facilities (e.g., terminals) on August 22, 2011, which incorporates some accessible features
  • In the spring of 2011 three Ticket Vending Machines were installed at GO locations and internal trials are underway
  • Metrolinx’s public website www.metrolinx.com, GO Transit’s public website, www.gotransit.com, and PRESTO’s web site www.prestocard.ca are now compliant with the most current version of the internationally accepted Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2AA
  • GO Transit participated in the People in Motion and Connections 2011 events as exhibitors
  • Malton and Clarkson stations will be designated accessible by the end of 2011
  • GO Transit developed a Static Signage Catalogue and implementation guidelines
  • Station and Railcar Static Signage Standards were completed to increase the use of internationally recognized pictograms and reduce the use of text. These new standards will assist people with reduced vision and cognitive disabilities.
  • Three additional accessible railcars were added to GO’s train fleet
  • GO Transit replaced 19 of its buses with the same quantity of new lift-equipped highway buses. Also, 31 additional lift-equipped highway coaches were added to accommodate ridership growth in 2011.
  • Bus routes 37 Orangeville (train-meet trips), 68 Barrie, and 88 Peterborough were made accessible in 2011
  • Completed a review of AODA compliance as a basis for future planning.

Some of the 2012 highlights (and beyond) include:

  • Construction of the accessible Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown rapid transit service will be initiated in late 2011 and completed in 2020
  • A Cross-Boundary Accessible Transit Project will produce a practical plan of action for improving cross-boundary accessible transit services
  • The accessible Air Rail Link (ARL) will provide a premium express rail shuttle service between Union Station and Toronto’s Pearson International Airport and will be in operation by 2015
  • Additional self service PRESTO fare system kiosks will be explored in partnership with transit service providers
  • System-wide installation of the next generation TVMs will occur in two phases (rail followed by bus locations) commencing in the fall 2011
  • GO Train service status information will be provided on additional electronic signs at stations, on GO Transit’s public website and delivered to mobile devices by winter 2011/12
  • GO Transit mobile companion application will provide customers rail and bus schedules and Union station (rail and bus) departure information on all major smartphone devices
  • New accessible GO stations in Acton, Guelph, Kitchener and Allandale Waterfront will be constructed in 2012.
  • Yorkdale and York Mills GO Bus Terminals will be made accessible in 2012
  • Six remaining GO stations and the Scarborough Town Centre GO Bus Terminal will be made accessible by 2016/17
  • Three additional accessible railcars will be added to the fleet.
  • Up to 20 additional lift-equipped highway coaches were added to accommodate ridership growth

Compliance status with AODA regulations:

  • Metrolinx is fully compliant with the Accessible Standards for Customer Service and approximately 65% compliant with the Integrated Accessibility Standards
  • Development of a plan for reaching 100% AODA compliance or better

2. Introduction

The “Ontarians with Disabilities Act (ODA), 2001” and the “Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005” require that Metrolinx, a public transportation agency, prepare an annual Accessibility Plan and consult people with disabilities and others in preparing the plan. The intent of the Accessibility Plan is to improve accessibility opportunities for all people.

The 2011-2012 Plan describes the measures that Metrolinx has taken in 2011 and will undertake in 2012 to identify, remove and prevent barriers to people with disabilities. The long-term plan for the remaining non-accessible stations is noted in Appendix 1.

2.1    Metrolinx

The Big Move, Metrolinx’s plan for transportation in the GTHA , addresses universal access as one of 10 key strategies.  Priority actions to support the strategy include:

  • Creating a regional body to advise Metrolinx on matters related to universal access
  • Developing a region-wide strategy and local implementation strategies to improve specialized transit coordination and delivery

As a basis for implementing this strategy, Metrolinx has adopted the following corporate accessibility policy:

“Metrolinx is committed to ensuring that its services and operations are accessible to all Ontarians, in accordance with provincial requirements. To meet these commitments, Metrolinx will incorporate enhanced accessibility in all additions and improvements to the services and operations it provides.”

Metrolinx’s overall corporate direction for planning an accessible service has been developed to provide the “same level of service for all people,” disabled or ambulatory, in an integrated environment, to the greatest degree possible.

Metrolinx provides policy and planning for the GTHA. Transit services in this area are delivered by 9 conventional and 9 specialized municipal service providers.
  
Fulfillment of Metrolinx’s corporate direction is achieved and sustained through operational policy, regulations and through staff training and awareness programs implemented throughout the organization.  Regionally, Metrolinx provides leadership and targeted technical support to the service delivery agencies in the GTHA.

Metrolinx’s accessibility goals, including those of its operating divisions (GO Transit, PRESTO and the Air Rail Link) are to:

  • Improve methods of assisting passengers with disabilities in a way that maintains their dignity and demonstrates the organization’s respect for them
  • Promote self-reliance and dignity for all members of its workforce, as it does with passengers

Metrolinx provides equal employment opportunities without discrimination in the job competition process and adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code. 

Metrolinx also provides accessible workplace accommodations for employees with disabilities on a case-by-case basis through individual ergonomic assessments, building and modifying work areas, and/or modified work duties.

2.2    GO Transit

GO Transit, a division of Metrolinx, provides equipment and station features (see Appendix 2), as well as policies and staff training, that enable people with mobility disabilities (for example, passengers who use wheeled mobility aids [WMAs] such as wheelchairs or scooters) to use GO Transit services on a self-serve basis, either independently or with the assistance of a travelling companion.

This self-serve approach is designed to allow passengers with disabilities to use the system at their own convenience with independence and dignity. This approach is consistent with the ODA, AODA and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

GO Transit monitors passenger feedback and conducts periodic reviews of existing accessible services and facilities. Any required enhancements or improvements are implemented as quickly as resources allow.

GO Trains and GO Buses serve a population of more than five million in an 8,000-square-kilometre area extending from downtown Toronto to Hamilton, Niagara Falls, Milton, Guelph and Waterloo to the west; Orangeville, Barrie and Beaverton to the north; Stouffville, Uxbridge, Port Perry and Peterborough to the north-east; and Oshawa and Newcastle to the east. GO connects with every municipal transit system in the GTHA, including the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).

GO’s seven train lines are: Lakeshore West, Milton, Georgetown, Barrie, Richmond Hill, Stouffville and Lakeshore East. At peak rush-hour periods, train service is available at all stations. Where possible, accessible rail and bus service is being expanded.

The number of people with mobility issues and/or hidden disabilities who use GO Transit is difficult to determine. On average, GO Transit passengers using WMAs typically take up to about 50 trips per weekday on GO Train services system wide, and up to about 20 trips per weekday on GO’s existing accessible bus routes.

A broad indicator of GO Transit use by persons with a disability is the high utilization rate of designated accessible parking spaces at GO Transit stations. As awareness of these services grows, ridership may increase for people using WMAs. People with various disabilities are increasingly using GO Transit for daily commuting, recreation, shopping and personal appointments.

It is estimated that approximately 20 per cent of people in the GTHA will have a disability within the next two decades. As a result, reliance on public transportation will grow as more people with disabilities use it because of its availability and ease of use rather than using other forms of private or personal transportation. GO Transit, through its Accessibility Plans, will work to ensure that this demand is accommodated.

2.3    Air Rail Link (ARL)

The Air Rail Link is an operating division of Metrolinx. In July 2010, the Ontario Government asked Metrolinx to build, own and operate the ARL from Union Station to Pearson Airport. The Air Rail Link (ARL) will provide a premium express rail shuttle service between Union Station and Pearson Airport and will be in operation by 2015.

All ARL stations will be equipped with a variety of easier access features, similar to GO Stations. In addition, vehicles will be equipped with two designated seating areas to accommodate passengers using wheeled mobility aids, similar to GO Buses.

2.4    PRESTO

PRESTO, an operating division of Metrolinx, is an electronic fare system that allows transit users to move within and between participating transit systems with a single reloadable smart card. The PRESTO fare system acts as a central service bureau that provides eTransit fare and information management systems that improve client service while enabling revenue collection and efficient operations for Ontario transit agencies.

3. External and internal committees

3.1    Metrolinx Accessibility Advisory Committee

In February 2009, the Metrolinx Board of Directors approved the establishment of an Accessibility Advisory Committee (AAC). The AAC replaced the Accessibility Advisory Working Group, which provided advice during the development of The Big Move regional transportation plan.

The focus of the Metrolinx AAC is of a regional nature related to accessibility including the implementation of The Big Move; cross-boundary service and fare coordination; implementation of the AODA; and initiatives to enhance accessible regional transportation.

The Metrolinx AAC is composed of individuals with expertise and experience related to accessible transportation, with representation from across the region. Members include both consumers and providers of specialized and accessible conventional transit services, and also include senior citizens and people with a range of disabilities. Metrolinx staff act as a resource to the AAC.

3.2    GO Transit Accessibility Advisory Committee

This committee is comprised of people with various disabilities from various locations across GO Transit’s service area. The committee representatives have extensive experience and involvement with public and private sector advisory boards and standards and guidelines development committees. The committee also includes representatives from parallel transit services (regional/municipal transit carriers for people with disabilities), as well as participants from the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), the CNIB and the Canadian Hearing Society.

The External Advisory Committee has provided valuable direction through its review of and comment on the components of GO Transit’s rail and bus accessibility program. The program encompasses facilities, equipment, service design, policy-related issues, staff training and passenger information guides. The committee’s input has been extremely useful in verifying the practicality and/or necessity of planned measures for providing accessibility.

GO Transit’s External Advisory Committee currently includes persons with a range of disabilities including:

  • Non-ambulatory
  • Partially ambulatory
  • Visual impairments
  • Hearing impairmentsGuide or skills dog users

3.3    Metrolinx/GO Transit Internal Accessibility Coordinating Committee

The Metrolinx/GO Transit Internal Coordinating Committee undertakes the development of facility and service accessibility improvements and the detailed development of the Annual Accessibility Plan. This committee includes staff representatives from the following divisions/departments:

  • ARL
  • Bus Services
  • Capital Infrastructure
  • Customer Service
  • Fare Systems
  • Human Resources
  • Rail Services
  • Policy, Planning and Innovation
  • PRESTO
  • Strategic Communications

The above representatives collectively have an understanding of:

  • Metrolinx’s services, facilities, equipment, by-laws, legislative policies, procurement programs and practices.
  • Metrolinx’s annual business and capital-planning cycles to ensure that accessibility planning is incorporated into annual planning as required.

The role of the Internal Coordinating Committee is to identify transit accessibility opportunities and plan and recommend a feasible range of measures, solutions and policies.

3.4    Joint Committee meetings

The External Advisory Committee and GO Transit’s Internal Coordinating Committee meet annually to review each annual Accessibility Plan. The Accessibility Plan is essentially based on the updates provided during this meeting.

4. Accessibility Plan reporting

Each of the Accessibility Plan’s key initiatives is reported in two parts: past and future. The first part summarizes the initiatives of the current year (2011), including changes to identified measures and additional information. The second part identifies the planned initiatives for the coming year (2012).

5. Measures taken to enhance universal accessibility and services in 2011

This section addresses the status of the initiatives that were documented in the Metrolinx/GO Transit Accessibility Plan for 2010 and 2011. Many of the initiatives from the 2010 and 2011 Plan have already been completed or will be completed before the end of the year with relatively few exceptions.

5.1    Metrolinx initiatives

5.1.1    Joint procurement of accessible transit vehicles under the Transit Procurement Initiative (TPI) Program

On behalf of 12 participating transit service providers in Ontario, Metrolinx has facilitated the joint procurement of 287 12-metre low-floor conventional transit vehicles that will be delivered between 2011 and 2013. This follows the previous TPI procurement of 12 and 9-metre low-floor buses that helped deliver 263 buses to 14 municipalities.

Metrolinx has also organized joint procurements for 8-metre high-floor and low-floor specialized transit vehicles, resulting in the procurement of 37 vehicles for 13 transit service providers and non-profits, with the vehicles to be delivered in the second half of 2011.

Vehicles procured under the TPI program incorporate features designed to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities and seniors. The TPI program has resulted in procurement and unit cost savings for conventional and specialized transit vehicles, as well as improved product quality.


Conventional transit vehicle


Specialized transit vehicle

5.1.2    Mobility Hub Guidelines

As outlined in Strategy #7 of Metrolinx’s Regional Transportation Plan, The Big Move, key transit stations across the GTHA will become mobility hubs, where transportation modes, including rapid transit, local transit service, cycling and accessible pedestrian networks come together seamlessly.

Mobility hubs are focal points for major destinations such as offices, hospitals, educational facilities and government services. They offer amenities to travellers such as heated waiting areas, traveller information centres, cafés or restaurants, and services like daycares, grocery stores or post offices.

The Mobility Hub Guidelines are intended to shape planning and development at mobility hubs in the GTHA. The guidelines focus on creating successful mobility hubs, and address topics such as transit station design, station circulation and access, transit passenger information and wayfinding, land use and urban design surrounding rapid transit stations, and funding and implementation. 

The users of these guidelines will include Metrolinx employees, municipal land use and transportation planners, transit operators, real estate developers and other professionals in the fields of land use and transportation.

Accessibility and barrier-free design is an important part of the scope of the guidelines, and the Metrolinx Accessibility Advisory Committee was consulted in their development. The guidelines directly treat accessibility not only as a crucial component of transit station design, but also in transfers between modes, and overall movement of people throughout mobility hubs. 

Examples of accessibility related guidelines and approaches in the document include:

  • Build and retrofit the pedestrian environment to meet or exceed accessibility guidelines and standards
  • Create understandable and accessible transit stations through consistency and clarity in station entrances and interfaces, spaces, layout and visual cues connected by barrier-free movement spaces
  • Provide accessible wayfinding features throughout transit stations to assist persons with disabilities
  • Create clear, direct and short transfers between transit modes and routes, including accessible, conventional and specialized transit
  • Consider the provision of facilities for specialized transit services to assist in the coordination of inter-regional travel for persons with disabilities

5.1.3    Generic travel training program

Travel training programs are used by transit service providers and other agencies to prepare people to safely and comfortably use accessible conventional transit services on their own.

Travel training assists people who are new to accessible conventional transit services but are able to use conventional transit with little to no assistance. By introducing them to the service and addressing their specific requirements, people can begin travelling on transit with greater confidence, and reduced likelihood of encountering unexpected challenges. People who are able to use accessible conventional transit achieve a greater level of independence, and are able to travel more spontaneously, than when using specialized services.

Based on strong consensus from municipal and non-profit stakeholders, Metrolinx is leading the development of a generic travel training program for the GTHA and beyond. Metrolinx hired a consultant, who is working with the guidance of a steering committee including representatives of the accessibility community and service providers. GO Transit Accessibility Advisory Committees are also involved in the development of the program.
The completed program will be available to municipal transit agencies to tailor with specific local information. The program may then be delivered directly by the transit agency or through partnerships with community organizations.

5.2    PRESTO initiatives

PRESTO Card The Government of Ontario, GO Transit, eight municipal transit systems in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and Ottawa, have partnered to introduce PRESTO – a new electronic fare system. PRESTO uses the latest technology to make it easier to pay fare while traveling within and between transit systems by the simple tap of a card. The system calculates the trip’s fare and deducts it from the balance stored on the card – all in less than a second.

In 2011, PRESTO was successfully implemented on the entire GO Transit network. More specifically, implementation of the PRESTO System was completed at GO stations on July 13, and on GO Buses and at associated facilities, such as bus terminals, on August 22. PRESTO is also available on municipal transit systems in Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville, Mississauga, Brampton, TTC (12 Stations), York Region and Durham Region.

Having PRESTO widely available enables GO passengers to take advantage of discounted co-fares when transferring to or from a municipal transit agency to the GO Transit system.

One of the accessibility features of the PRESTO fare system is a self-service kiosk pilot project at Union Station. This kiosk allows passengers to pay a fare, check their e-purse balance and reload the card with a cash value. The PRESTO project team convened an accessibility advisory group test panel which was made up of passengers who have a range of disabilities. The group was provided with a value loaded PRESTO card for use in the live transit environment. The recommendations from the test panel provide important input for the future development of PRESTO and the next generation of devices.

5.2.1    PRESTO accessibility features

PRESTO was designed with a focus on customer service and accessibility. With PRESTO, managing fares on public transit has become more accessible with more options, alternatives, and convenience.

  • A contact-less card that does not need to be taken out of a wallet, purse or bag to be read by devices
  • Three different message channels when interacting with a system device -  screen messaging, lights and clearly audible sounds
  • The ability to load a card or check a card balance in four different ways - autoload, PRESTO website, Call Centre and in-person with customer service agents
  • The PRESTO website was originally designed to meet  Web Content Accessibility (WCAG) 1.0 and has since been improved to WCAG  2.0 AA standards
  • American Sign Language videos with audio commentary are on the PRESTO website to assist customers in using their PRESTO card

PRESTO and its transit partners have worked closely with leading accessibility experts, transit authorities, municipalities and customers in developing the PRESTO fare card system. The following improvements were made based on feedback collected from these groups:

  • Raised the height of buttons and tactile embossed symbols
  • Graphic sizing was increased to meet accessible standards
  • Card "tap" area now protrudes from the device itself
  • Improved device screen contrast
  • Device messaging displayed longer
  • Text is provided in short messaging, featured in a font and size that meet accessibility standards
  • Clearer and differentiated sound bites with confirmation from the Canadian Hearing Society

5.3    GO Transit initiatives

5.3.1    GO Ticket Vending Machines

In early 2010, Metrolinx approved a new project to install 120 new GO ticket vending machines (TVMs). The new devices will replace the existing TVMs and offer a significantly improved customer experience allowing riders to purchase full trips across the GO Transit service area. These devices will also be equipped with some of the most comprehensive accessibility features available in the industry.

In the spring of 2011, three TVMs were installed at Metrolinx offices in preparation for internal field trials. An opportunity for a subset of the GO Accessibility Advisory Committee to interact with the TVMs will occur following the completion of field trials. Systemwide installation of the TVMs will occur in two phases (rail followed by bus locations) commencing in the fall 2011. 

In 2011, design feedback from the Customer Service Advisory Committee (CSAC) and AAC in late 2010 has been integrated into the TVM solution and will be available for launch.

Below are some of the key accessibility features of the new TVMs:

  • Text synthesis (text to speech reading) through audio jack in French and English
  • Mid-frequency sound queues for those with hearing loss
  • Four-corner touch screen operation with audio aid
  • Tilted screen
  • Bright screen for better usability in outdoor lighting
  • Tactile PIN pad
  • User interface with buttons in consistent locations screen to screen
  • Operation without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist
  • Cabinet designed to be held onto or leaned upon with no sharp edges or corners
  • No obstructions around the screen
  • Screen viewable in standing and sitting positions
  • Can be operated from a wheelchair from the side or head-on
  • Receipt tray for use with limited motor control

The images below illustrate TVM compliance with both the ADA and CSA standards for optimal height.
(Note: the final device will look slightly different)


Sample image of the TVM Audio Jack
(Located between touch screen and ticket/change return tray)


Sample TVM welcome screen below
(Note: low-vision mode selection button located in bottom right corner)


Sample low-vision TVM screen illustrating four-corner touch navigation

5.3.2    Customer information

Website accessibility
The Metrolinx and GO Transit websites are fully compliant with the most current version of international accessibility design developed by the World Wide Consortium (W3C), referred to as Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Version 2AA. Electronic materials have been made available in multiple formats to ensure better access for persons with disabilities.


Metrolinx website homepage (www.metrolinx.com)


GO Transit website homepage (www.gotransit.com)

Accessibility page on gotransit.com
The accessibility page on gotransit.com will be updated by the end of 2011 to include new content and updated information regarding accessible services customers can expect across the GO system.

Priority seating communications campaign
Priority seating decalIn April 2011, a communications campaign was launched to re-acquaint GO Train passengers with how priority seating works. New decals and signs were mounted on the accessible railcars requiring passengers to make a seat available to a passenger with a disability or a physical limitation.
 
The new priority seating decal is larger and easier to see. It lets passengers know where priority seats are on trains. The decals and signs are for passengers using wheeled mobility aids. Priority seating is available on all GO Trains and GO Buses.
 
An E-News message was sent out about the new decals, CSA announcements were made on trains and new information was added to the Accessibility web page on gotransit.com.

5.3.3    Public Events

GO Transit participated in the annual Connections 2011 event held at the Mississauga Convention Centre and the annual People in Motion event, held in the Queen Elizabeth building at Exhibition Place.
 
During both events, GO employees were present to answer questions and demonstrate the accessibility features of the MCI highway bus and available to answer questions and promote GO Transit accessible services. 
 
Accessibility Guides and public timetables were distributed at both of these events and GO was promoted as an accessible public transportation option for customers with disabilities. The two events had a very good public turnout.GO Transit will be delivering two presentations at the CNIB Fall Conference in October 2011. Topics include GO’s new mobile application and the enhanced accessibility features of the new ticket vending machines.

5.3.4    GO Infrastructure

Completed and planned work for the following new and existing stations will enable them to be designated accessible before the end of 2011.
 
New accessible GO Stations

Clarkson - Lakeshore West corridor
The first phase of this project, which focused on north platform improvements and included platform rehabilitation, new tunnel and elevators, was completed in March 2010. Although the centre rail platform is now accessible from the north parking only, the next phase (south platform improvements) is planned for completion in winter 2011/12, at which time the station will be designated as accessible.

Malton - Georgetown corridor

This project involved the construction of a new south platform, new west tunnel, new platform canopies and shelters, and an elevator and staircase from the east tunnel to the new south platform. These improvements were originally expected to be completed in fall 2009, however due to the constraints and unpredictability of winter construction and other unforeseen circumstances (such as electrical deficiencies, and delays in elevator commissioning and longer than expected lead-times for the delivery on platform/tunnel signage) the project was completed in January 2011.
 
Accessibility improvements to existing accessible GO Stations
Brampton - Georgetown corridor
The projects at this station, completed in June 2011, include a new accessible south platform, snowmelt system, canopy and shelters, a new west tunnel and the reconfiguration of the existing east tunnel to provide elevator access to both platforms.
 
Mount Joy - Stouffville corridor
A parking lot expansion is scheduled to be completed in fall 2011, which will result in additional barrier-free parking spaces.
 
Pickering - Lakeshore East corridor
This station rehabilitation project includes additional accessibility features such as accessible ticket counters, elevator access to both tunnels from the station building and barrier-free washrooms. The project was completed in March 2011.
 
Improved Transit Integration
 
Kipling Inter-Regional Bus Terminal
 Kipling Inter-Regional Bus Terminal is a planned new joint facility for use by GO Transit, TTC and Mississauga Transit. The plan includes a new terminal building with accessible ticket booths and washrooms, elevators, barrier-free parking and Kiss & Ride lanes. A new project completion date has yet to be determined.

New accessible GO Train stations

By the end of 2012, it is anticipated that 57 out of 63 (or 90 per cent) of all GO Transit train stations will be designated accessible. Please see the accompanying table and map for details.

Accessible GO Transit train stations
Lakeshore
East
Lakeshore
West
Milton Georgetown Barrie Richmond
Hill
Stouffville
Oshawa Exhibition Dixie Weston York University Oriole Kennedy
Whitby Port Credit Cooksville Etobicoke North Rutherford Old Cummer Agincourt
Ajax Clarkson Erindale Malton Maple Langstaff Milliken
Pickering Oakville Streetsville Bramalea King City Richmond Hill Unionville
Rouge Hill Bronte Meadowvale Brampton Aurora   Centennial
Guildwood Appleby Lisgar Mount Pleasant Newmarket   Markham
Scarborough Burlington Milton Acton East Gwillimbury   Mount Joy
Danforth Aldershot   Guelph Bradford   Stouffville
  Hamilton GO Centre   Kitchener Barrie South   Lincolnville
        Allandale Waterfront    

Station names in bold font and highlighted in green are were/will be designated accessible in 2011.

Station names in bold font and highlighted in red are planned to be designated accessible in 2012.

** Areas within Union Station that are used by GO Transit (i.e., GO Concourse, ticket sales and customer service centre, elevators to access train services, train platforms, building entrances and washrooms) are accessible (see www.gotransit.com for further accessibility details).


2011 and 2012 accessible GO Train stations

On-street bus stop upgrades
Concrete pads were constructed at Keele Street and Great Gulf Drive stops to improve accessibility. All on-street stops on Route 65 Barrie will also be made accessible by the end of 2011.
 
GO Transit will continue to work with municipal transit agencies to expand accessible service on bus routes and at bus stop locations that are currently listed as not accessible.
 
Static signage
 
Standard (static) signage catalogue
A project to address the development of a new standard signage catalogue, complete with accompanying guide within the corporate brand standards for placement and installation of static wayfinding/signage, was completed in January 2011.
 
The catalogue is comprised of a consistent family of products for application across all station types and is intended to ensure that all signs be maintainable, durable and cost effective
 
The catalogue was developed with the following considerations in mind:

  • Address the needs of customers with reduced vision and cognitive disabilities.
  • Compliance with existing regulations (ODA, AODA, Ontario Building Code (OBC), French Language Services Act) and corporate brand standards
  • Reduce/consolidate existing signs
  • Categorization of sign types by colour (e,g., regulatory signage is red; accessibility signage is blue; warning is yellow; customer information is pink etc. )
  • Use of internationally recognized and/or standard pictograms
  • Reduce, and where possible, simplify text
  • Consistent appearance and placement
  • Conform to Canadian Standards Association (CSA) and CNIB recommendations for use of colour contrast (minimum 70 per cent contrast between background colour and sign graphics), character height/viewing distances, capitalization of text (upper/lower case) and simplified graphics.

System-wide station signage replacement is scheduled to commence in 2012/2013 and priority will be given to stations with the greatest needs based on existing signage conditions.
 
Union Station
Static signage in Union Station will be replaced as part of the station infrastructure improvement program. The new signs will address GO Transit customer needs as well as heritage requirements and the needs of VIA Rail and the City of Toronto. Design of signage and wayfinding requirements associated with GO Transit and VIA concourse areas, as part of Union Station Revitalization project, has commenced in summer 2011.
 
GO and York Region Transit (YRT) bus stop sign conversion project
Combination bus stop signs (signs shared by YRT and GO Transit) have continued to be replaced with separate bus stop signs which share a common pole. Additionally, this project has involved the conversion of flag bus stop locations into regular service locations. As a result, customers will no longer need to flag GO Transit Buses, eliminating a barrier to service use.

New GO Bus stop sign (on right)

5.3.5    Rail and bus equipment

Accessible railcars
GO Transit currently operates a fleet of 47 accessible railcars with three more on order for delivery in late 2011, bringing the total to 50.

The fifth coach from the locomotive on a GO Train is always a fully wheelchair-accessible coach and can accommodate up to eight mobility devices.

At an accessible station, it is positioned adjacent to the mini-platform to enable level boarding with the use of a manually positioned platform bridge plate across the gap. A Customer Service Ambassador (CSA) is also stationed in this coach.

Accessible bi-level railcar

New-generation standard railcars
By the end of 2011, GO Transit expects to acquire an additional 20 new-generation standard bi-level railcars, increasing the number of these vehicles to 38 per cent of the total railcar fleet (196 out of 515 railcars). All new railcars will be equipped with the additional easier-access features as noted on pages 23 to 29 of this report.

Of all the 20 railcars currently on order, three are accessible cars, bringing the total number of accessible cars in the fleet to 50. All the new cars will have automatic end doors, allowing them to be opened at the push of a button, making it easier to move between coaches in the train.

Railcar refurbishment program
Older coaches in the fleet go through a periodic refurbishment program to extend their life and renew worn-out components, including the interior furnishings.

During this process, the following accessibility features are added:

  • Non-slip colour contrast flooring and photo-luminescent markings on floors, walls, stairs and doors
  • Yellow photo-luminescent stair edge mouldings and markings throughout the railcar (as described above)
  • Door recycling function
  • Brighter glare-free general interior lighting
  • Brighter interior stairwell and exterior door step lighting
  • Additional low-level emergency alarm strips in the accessible washroom

As of December 2010, 114 coaches have gone through the refurbishment program since 2004.

Railcar signage review
This signage initiative is intended to effectively reduce and simplify signs in train coaches, making the signs easier to read and understand, and using pictograms to replace words where possible. In addition, signs will be bilingual.

Upon completion of the initial signage concepts package, a full mock-up of an accessible car was completed in April 2010 at the Willowbrook Maintenance Facility. Members of the GO Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Customer Service Advisory Committee were invited together with GO Management and relevant stakeholders within the organization for an opportunity to view and comment on the proposed new signage.

In general, the new designs were well received with constructive comments and suggestions from all parties. All of the signs were thoroughly assessed and where practical, suitable design changes were carried out.
The process began February 2011, and is anticipated to be completed by spring 2013.
 
New lift-equipped buses

In 2011, GO Transit replaced 19 of its buses with the same quantity of new lift-equipped highway buses.  Also, 31 additional lift-equipped highway coaches were added to accommodate ridership growth. This increased the total accessible bus fleet size to 412 - 390 highway buses and 22 double decker buses.

Double-decker (highway) buses

GO Transit’s existing double-decker buses are equipped with two wheelchair positions and a hydraulic folding ramp and incorporate all the same accessibility features as the existing accessible fleet, including:

  • Powder-coated yellow handrails
  • Yellow step tread nosing
  • Exterior door flood light
  • Grab handles located at both wheelchair locations
  • Customer “stop request” touch tape located at both wheelchair locations
  • Large LED front and side destination signs
  • Public address system

Highway coach equipment improvements
A new lift will be installed on 31 highway coaches by the end of 2011 and 27 additional coaches by the end of 2012.  In addition to the features that are available on our existing lifts, these lifts offer a longer (one piece) roll stop, longer hand rails and integrated side enclosures.  They also perform with a greater reliability, and as such will be installed on future highway coach bus purchases.

Existing lift

New lift

Existing roll stop

Hinged roll stop extension

As a result, existing Ricon lifts on our highway coaches are being retrofitted with a hinged roll stop extension that will allow customers using the lift to board and deboard with greater ease at bus stops and platform surfaces that over time become uneven.

By the end of 2011 it is anticipated that approximately 100 of these lifts will receive this modification and by 2012 the remainder of the highway coach fleet using this lift will be completed.

Track covers:

Existing track cover

The track covers are needed to prevent dirt and debris from collecting inside the tracks which could prevent the Priority Seats to be folded and moved by the driver to clear the wheeled mobility aid securement area.

The existing covers must be manually removed using a flat screw driver and later replaced when the seats are restored to their standard position. The covers are sometimes misplaced or not reinserted.

Slide-on track cover

The slide-on track cover, which fastens to the Priority Seating frame is automatically pulled out of the track as the seats are moved to access the wheeled mobility aid securement area and are similarly repositioned into the tracks when the seats are moved back to their standard position. This new slide cover will be installed on all GO highway coaches by the end of 2011.

Priority seating:

Priority seating decal location

To increase customer awareness regarding the existence of Priority Seating the phrase “Please vacate on request” was stitched onto the upper portion of the seat backrests using high contrast colours.

Complementary Priority Seating information on seat back rest (curb-side view)

Complementary Priority Seating information on seat back rest (driver's side view)

A yellow overhead light was also placed above each of the two Priority Seating areas to draw further attention to Priority Seating.

Overhead lights (curb-side view)

Overhead lights (driver’s side view)

It is anticipated that approximately 50 highway coaches will be equipped with these additional Priority Seating features by the end of 2011.

Accessibility and lift information decals

It is anticipated that approximately 50 highway coaches will be equipped with these additional Priority Seating features by the end of 2011.

5.3.6      Bus Services

Accessible bus routes
Currently, GO Transit operates a total of 42 bus routes; 24 (57 per cent) are accessible while 18 (43 per cent) are non-accessible. The overall number of routes may vary slightly due to seasonal service demands across the network.  
This represents over 70 per cent of all GO Bus trips, including weekdays, weekends and holidays. Routes 37 Orangeville (train-meet trips), 68 Barrie and 88 Peterborough were made accessible in 2011.

The following is a listing of GO Bus routes that are currently accessible:

  • Niagara Falls GO Bus (bus stops include: Niagara Falls - St. Catharines – Grimsby - Stoney Creek - Burlington) Route 12
  • Hamilton QEW GO Bus (bus stops include: Hamilton – Toronto Union) - Route 16
  • Oakville Highway 403 GO Bus (bus stops include: Oakville – Square One - Yonge and Sheppard - Finch) - Route 19
  • Milton GO Bus (bus stops include: Milton – Lisgar – Meadowvale - Streetsville – Square One – Dixie – Toronto Union) - Route 21
  • Waterloo GO Bus (bus stops include: University of Waterloo – Kitchener- Aberfoyle – Milton – Square One) - Route 25
  • Milton Highway 401 GO Bus (bus stops include: Milton – Meadowvale – Yonge and Sheppard – Finch) - Route 27
  • University of Guelph GO Bus (bus stops include: University of Guelph – Aberfoyle – Square One) - Route 29
  • Georgetown GO Bus (bus stops include: Georgetown – Mount Pleasant - Brampton – Bramalea – Malton – Toronto Union) - Route 31 (non-train meet trips only)
  • Orangeville GO Bus (bus stops include: Orangeville – Brampton) - Route 37
  • Pearson Airport – Richmond Hill Centre GO Bus (bus stops include: Richmond Hill Centre – Toronto Pearson International Airport) - Route 40
  • Highway 407 West GO Bus Streetsville to York University (bus stops include: Streetsville – Square One – York University) - Route 45
  • Highway 407 West GO Bus Streetsville to York University (bus stops include: Oakville – Sheridan College -- Square One  – Bramalea – York University) - Route 46
  • Highway 407 West GO Bus Hamilton to York University (bus stops include: Hamilton – McMaster University – Burlington – Bronte - Oakville – Square One – Bramalea – York University) - Route 47
  • Highway 407 West GO Bus University of Guelph to York University (bus stops include: University of Guelph – Aberfoyle – Meadowvale – Bramalea – Vaughan - York University) - Route 48
  • Highway 407 East GO Bus -  Mount Joy GO Station to York University (bus stops include: York University – Unionville –  Markham GO Station – Mount Joy GO Station) - Route 54
  • Richmond Hill GO Bus (bus stops include: Richmond Hill – Oriole – Old Cummer – Toronto Union) - Route 61
  • King City GO Station to Union Station (bus stops include: Maple GO Station – Rutherford GO Station - Union Station) - Route 63
  • Newmarket Terminal to Union Station (bus stops include: East Gwillimbury GO Station - Newmarket GO Station - Aurora Carpool Lot – Union Station) - Route 65
  • Barrie – Bradford GO Bus (bus stops include:  Barrie – Stroud – Churchill – Bradford – Newmarket GO Bus Terminal) - Route 68
  • Uxbridge to Union GO Bus (bus stops include: Lincolnville - Stouffville – Mount Joy - Markham – Unionville – Toronto Union) - Route 71
  • Peterborough to Oshawa GO Station (Bus stops include: Trent University - Peterborough Bus Terminal - Peterborough carpool lot - Cavan/Millbrook carpool lot - Clarington North carpool lot - Oshawa GO Station) – Route 88
  • Oshawa to Yorkdale GO Bus (bus stops include: Oshawa – Whitby – Ajax –North Rouge) - Route 94
  • Oshawa to Finch GO Bus - (bus stops include: Oshawa – Whitby – Ajax – Yonge and Sheppard - Finch) - Route 95
  • Oshawa to Finch GO Bus - (bus stops include: Oshawa – Whitby – Ajax – Yonge and Sheppard - Finch) - Route 96

Map of accessible GO Transit bus services

5.3.7      Continued front-line staff* training

Accessibility refresher training for Bus Drivers and other front-line staff*
The accessibility refresher training program for all GO Transit bus drivers and route supervisors covers the same topics and content as the initial accessibility training program. This includes a review of accessible features, policies and procedures, such as the operation of the lifts on all types of lift-equipped buses, and the securement of customers using WMAs along with their WMAs.

All existing drivers have completed the initial training session, and ongoing refresher training will take place on a three-year cycle.

Accessibility refresher training for all other front-line staff and supervisors takes place every three to five years depending on the level of expected direct interaction with customers and/or employees with disabilities. This training program is also provided as individual training needs are identified.

*NOTE: Front-line staff include: station attendants, transit safety officers, customer attendants and customer contact staff (i.e. telephone information guides and supervisors).

Accessibility re-familiarization training for bus drivers
Onsite accessibility refresher training is conducted several days prior to the launch of any new accessible bus route at the garage where the route originates. Training is conducted with the specific type(s) of lift-equipped bus(es) that will be used on the route.

All accessibility-related procedures and equipment are reviewed with the drivers and route supervisors, with particular emphasis on customer boarding, deboarding and securement.

Sensitivity training program
All front-line Metrolinx employees receive a half-day sensitivity training session from the Special Needs Module contained within the Customer Service Program Excellence (Transit Ambassador) course.

In addition to the above training bus drivers also receive a further half-day session on accessibility training related to lift equipped buses, lifts, securement and sensitivity awareness.

Metrolinx employees who are responsible for or have an impact on any policies or programs that may affect customers with disabilities are required to take a Ministry endorsed customer service, hosted, online program.

6. Measures planned to enhance universal accessibility and services in 2012

6.1      Metrolinx initiatives

6.1.1      Regional Rapid Transit Service

Under a new delivery model, regional rapid transit systems, currently the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown light rail train in the City of Toronto, are being constructed in close partnership with the local municipality. 

These facilities are being funded and overseen by Metrolinx, while the municipality provides the design, construction, and ultimately the operation of service in accordance with Memoranda of Understanding with Metrolinx. 

It is anticipated that the ECLRT will be initiated in 2011 and completed in 2020.

The vehicles are being designed in general accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accessibility Specifications for Transportation Vehicles and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Regulations.

Partial profile view of LRT vehicle

The following are some of the accessibility features of these vehicles:
Wheelchair accessibility

The Wheeled Mobility Aid space is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) at 30” x 48” (760mm x 1220mm), and each LRT vehicle is able to accommodate four wheelchairs.
Signage will be posted to identify the wheelchair or mobility aid seating locations. Flip seats are provided to provide more space within the wheelchair area.

Wheeled Mobility Aid (WMA) locations

Close up of WMA locations

Passenger emergency intercom (PEI)
The PEI is located beside the WMA and the switch is fully accessible. When the PEI switch is activated due to an emergency the passenger could request for assistance from the operator. Please see the diagram below.

Stop request
A passenger stop request system will be provided to the passenger to alert the operator that a stop has been requested. The stop request is being confirmed audibly and visually to the passenger that a stop request was made.

Passenger alarm strip
Passenger alarm strips are located over the length of the vehicle. The strips are different from the stop request devices. The touch sensitive strip is located out of the way enough to prevent accidental use, but remain within access to all passengers, including passengers using WMAs.

Emergency exits
The vehicle doors are the primary means of exit for the operator and passengers as well as for first response personnel, such as Emergency Medical Services, firefighters and police. Each side door is equipped with a sealed emergency release mechanism. The door release is easily visible and within reach of standing and passengers using WMAs.

Simple bilingual (English/French), Braille instructions and easy to understand symbols are provided at each emergency door release mechanism location along with emergency exit instructions.

6.1.2      New joint procurement of specialized transit vehicles

As described in the previous section of this Accessibility Plan, Metrolinx has facilitated joint procurements for eight-metre high-floor and low-floor specialized transit vehicles for transit service providers and non-profit agencies around Ontario. Metrolinx will initiate a new procurement of eight-metre high-floor and low-floor specialized transit vehicles in late 2011.

It is expected that a wider choice of low-floor vehicles will be available from current manufacturers.  Additionally, the new procurement will result in a longer contract duration, which will mean less time spent in the procurement process.

6.1.3      Generic Travel Training

Metrolinx will complete the development of a Generic Travel Training program for persons with disabilities and seniors, as described in the previous section of the Accessibility Plan. Metrolinx will continue to work with other agencies, and the Metrolinx and GO Transit Accessibility Advisory Committees, in the completion of the program. Once the program is fully developed in late 2011, it will be made available to transit agencies in Ontario.

6.1.4      Cross-Boundary Accessible Transit Project

Strategy #8 from The Big Move is a Plan for Universal Access. One of its Priority Actions (8.2) is to “develop a region-wide strategy and local implementation strategies to improve specialized transit coordination and delivery.” 

Several earlier studies have investigated the challenges to cross-boundary travel on specialized transit services, including a 2009 Metrolinx document titled, “Service Coordination for Specialized Transit in the GTHA – Status Report.”  These documents provide an overview of current specialized transit services, and identified items such as differences in booking arrangements, eligibility criteria, transfer locations and inconsistent policies as difficulties facing the cross-boundary traveller.

This project will work to reduce or remove these barriers to cross-boundary travel on specialized transit services, and will produce a practical plan of action and begin implementation where feasible. The process will include extensive involvement of transit service providers and the Metrolinx and GO Accessibility Advisory Committees. This project will also work to develop improved coordination between the existing specialized transit services and accessible conventional services where appropriate, throughout the GTHA.

6.2      Air Rail Link (ARL) initiatives

The Air Rail Link is an operating division of Metrolinx. In July 2010, the Ontario Government asked Metrolinx to build, own and operate the ARL from Union Station to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. The Air Rail Link (ARL) will provide a premium express rail shuttle service between Union Station and Pearson Airport and will be in operation by 2015.

When fully completed, the ARL stations will include a station building with a passenger waiting area and accessible washrooms within the GO stations, (except at Pearson International Airport where they will be in the nearby Terminal 1). The stations will also include barrier-free platforms (shared with GO services) with heated shelters, a canopy and a snowmelt system. The platforms will be accessed via elevators and ramps. It is expected that the Bloor GO Station will include an interconnection with the Bloor/Dundas TTC Subway Station (via a tunnel with elevators).

The ARL vehicles will comply with the Canadian Standards Association “Accessible Design for the Built Environment” (CAN/CSA-B651-04) as applicable to rail vehicles, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 49 CFR 38, amongst other standards. 

Some of the accessibility features of the vehicles include: two-wheeled mobility aid (WMA) tie-down locations per rail car (adjacent to an entry door), space for service animals, large print and Braille instructions. The passenger seats closest to the WMA locations will have adequate access to allow a passenger to transfer between a WMA and the seats, and will accommodate companion seating.

The vehicle floor will be level, without interior steps or ramps to change elevation, and will provide level boarding with high-level station platforms.

Each doorway will include illuminated pushbuttons on the inside and outside of the vehicle to permit passengers to open the doors at Bloor and Weston GO stations under certain operating conditions. The door pushbuttons and surrounding bezels will be colour-coded with raised lettering to permit sensing by a person with a visual impairment.  A bright visual door closing warning will flash, accompanied by an audible warning, on both sides of each doorway. The visual indicators will be located on the side of the door frame, and can be seen inside and outside the vehicle regardless of door position.

At Airport Terminal 1 Station and Union Station, platform screen doors will be provided to work in synchronization with the doors on the vehicles for better climate control and safety.

Vehicles will have a Public Address (PA) system to make audio announcements via the interior and/or exterior speakers. An Automatic Announcement System will also be provided to inform passengers of the approaching station, current station, and other pertinent audio or visual information. Station announcements, audio and text, will be triggered automatically, and based on GPS (Global Positioning System) position.

Rendering of an Air Rail Link vehicle

6.3      PRESTO initiatives

PRESTO is committed to continued improvement to its e-fare payment system so fare payment is accessible and inclusive for all Ontarians and visitors to the province.
 
PRESTO has completed the rollout of first-generation devices and has been fully implemented on GO Transit and seven transit systems. Ottawa will start its rollout in early 2012. PRESTO will continue to develop next-generation PRESTO functionality and capabilities.  Future development and the fare system’s overall success requires feedback from customers and accessibility organizations. PRESTO is encouraging feedback on the following:

  • Existing services
  • Service enhancements
  • Customer communications (web, email, marketing materials)

PRESTO provides more options and convenience to customers in managing public transit fare payments compared to existing fare media. Loading one-card for public transit use is a clear example of the multi-channel approach used by PRESTO to provide equivalent services to disabled customers. 
 
In the future, there will be other options as well to provide this service such as self-service kiosks and mobile phone applications. In 2012, the PRESTO project team will continue to make accessibility initiatives a priority.
 
Consultations with experts and accessibility organizations will be ongoing to ensure PRESTO meets AODA standards and the expectations of disabled customers. 
 The deployment of devices in Ottawa will see additional features which include an audio ear jack on unattended PRESTO devices. Additional self-service kiosks will be explored in partnership with transit service providers. Once PRESTO has been successfully rolled out on conventional transit the project team will be working with the transit agencies to develop solutions to make PRESTO available on specialized transit systems.

6.3.1      Self-service kiosk

The self-service kiosk (SSK) is an off-the-shelf device used as a proof of concept to solicit customer feedback and inform the design of future SSK devices.  The PRESTO project team will be installing the SSK at Union Station in September 2011. Accessibility consultants have provided ongoing advice on the accessibility features of the SSK to ensure the device both meets AODA standard and will provide equivalent service which is convenient for customers with disabilities.

Functionality
The SSK enables customers to independently manage their PRESTO account at a kiosk location. When a card is interfaced with the SSK, the customer is able to view the card transaction history and the customer profile through a touch screen machine interface.

The customer profile consists of:

  • Card number; Concession status
  • Fare class (adult, senior, student)
  • e-Purse balance
  • GO Transit default trip (if applicable)
  • Period pass details (if applicable)

From the profile screen customers can proceed to the load e-Purse option or the transaction history option. If the transaction history option is chosen, the screen will display the customer’s card history.
The card history includes:

  • e-purse load transactions
  • Purchase history
  • Travel history

From the e-purse option, a customer can select to load a pre-determined value of $10, $20, $50 or $100. Once the value is selected you confirm the amount and choose either debit or credit card transaction. A debit or credit card is inserted and pin pad instructions are displayed to complete the transaction. Once the value is loaded onto the card, a screen displays the new e-Purse balance and instructs the customer to remove their PRESTO card and debit or credit card. Once the transaction is complete, a receipt is printed out for the customer’s records. Other options such as loading a monthly pass are not available on the proof of concept.

Audio support
The audio jack is located on the left side of the device, just below the touch screen. Tactile detection is provided for a customer with visual loss to locate the jack. When a customer plugs into the audio jack they hear a looped message in English and French that instructs them to touch audio button in the lower left section of the screen. The script for the audio support is currently under development. The audio will provide clear instructions to direct someone with vision loss to place their card in the card interface slot and to use the card history and e-Purse load features of the SSK.

Touchscreen
The screen is 15 inches in diameter and reacts to human touch when making a selection. Each screen provides the same two buttons on the bottom left and bottom right to enable the customer to return to the previous screen, “back” or cancel the transaction, “cancel.” The buttons used to select different options, such as monetary value are large and located in easily identifiable places to enable someone who has vision loss to follow the audio instructions and select the correct button. A customer who uses the audio support will also be able to blank out the screen to ensure privacy during a transaction.

6.4      GO Transit initiatives

The current plan is for the majority of TVMs to be installed across GO Transit properties in 2012 with at least one device per rail station (two for unattended stations) as well as key GO Bus locations.

6.4.1 Customer information

Public Information System (PINS)

Work continues on the installation of electronic departure boards at platforms and concourses. The current estimated completion dates for these initiatives are outlined below.

Union Station platforms 26/27 signage
With the opening of platforms 26/27 at Union Station, Public Information (PINS) LED displays were installed on platforms 26 and 27 in May 2009.

PINS displays at Union Station Bus Terminal

These displays were installed at track level, providing customers with departure information for their next train trip.
 
Post-implementation recommendations led to the following changes:

  • Installation of eight additional LEDs on platforms 26/27 (revised estimated completion date in summer 2012)
  • Installation of two PINS LCD signs at the concourse level (revised estimated completion date in summer 2012)

Additional future PINS locations at track and concourse level



Additional PINS LCD signs at Union Station
Additional future PINS sign locations were identified within the York West Teamway in Union Station. The revised installation completion date for these electronic departure boards is winter 2011/12.


Additional future PINS locations within York West Teamway

Station service status system (“S4”)

A project is underway to provide GO Transit customers with real-time, station-specific, rail-service status information. The successful completion of this project will provide customers with GO Train service status information on electronic signs at stations, GO Transit’s public website and mobile devices. The project is expected to be complete by winter 2011/12.


Sample screen layout for station specific, real-time rail service status information at stations – live on all corridors by winter 2011/12

As the real-time rail service status information is made available to customers in 2011, additional electronic signs will be introduced at station locations across all corridors starting in winter 2011/12.

GO Transit mobile companion

A project is underway to provide GO Transit customers with rail and bus schedules and Union Station (rail and bus) departure information on all major smartphone devices. Customers will be able to download the GO Transit mobile companion on their BlackBerry, Android and iPhone smartphone devices.

This application is designed to take advantage of the text-to-speech capabilities of these phones for improved accessibility. Using a one-finger swipe, users will be able to view the Union Station rail and bus departures.

The application can also alert customers of impending arrival at their stations by using the customers’ location information. This new information tool is expected to be available to customers by winter 2011/12.


GO Transit mobile companion app – available on all major smartphone devices (Android, Blackberry and iPhone


Major accessibility features of the GO Transit mobile companion app


Uses location data to alert passengers of impending arrival at destination


Provides Union Station departure alarms in advance of a selected departure

Uses text-to-speech to provide greater accessibility for customers with visual impairments

Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL )

The Computer Aided Dispatch/Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL) project will provide real-time bus service status information to customers through GO Transit.com, smart phones and through electronic signage at rail stations and bus stops. Customers will also be provided with audio/visual next-stop announcements on-board all trains and buses.

Our current best estimate with respect to installing the CAD/AVL system on all GO Buses and railcars is 2013 and 2014, respectively. Planning with the implementation vendor to install this system will begin in September 2011. These timelines may be subject to adjustments over the course of the project.

6.4.3 GO Infrastructure

In recent years, improvements to the accessibility of GO Transit services have included: retrofitting existing stations with elevators to enable accessible rail service, adding an accessible bus route to and from newly-built train stations and adding lift-equipped buses to the fleet. These types of improvements will continue.

In the upcoming year, the following accessibility-related initiatives are planned, pending approval by Metrolinx.
 
New accessible GO Train stations

Allandale Waterfront - Barrie corridor
A new GO station in Barrie, which includes a station building, a rail platform with a snowmelt system, a parking lot, access roads, a pedestrian tunnel with pedestrian accessible ramps and other related accessible and supporting infrastructure is planned to be completed in winter 2011/12.

Kitchener corridor stations

A feasibility study conducted by GO in 2007 identified the need for an extension of commuter rail service beyond Georgetown to the Guelph and Kitchener/Waterloo area. An inaugural service will be introduced in spring 2012.

This new operation will consist of three new fully accessible GO stations at Acton, Guelph and Kitchener. The scope of work at these new stations include: upgrade of VIA’s existing south platform to accommodate an eight-car half platform (allows a 10 or 12-car train to open the west end coaches from the accessibility coach to the cab car). The scheduled in service date is winter 2011/2012.

Accessibility improvements to existing accessible stations

Burlington - Lakeshore West corridor
This project includes the construction of a new station building that will link the east and west tunnel, the south parking lot and the south bus loop to the north bus loop, parking lot and parking garage. The station building will include barrier-free ticket selling positions and accessible public restrooms, designated pedestrian walkways and other easier access amenities. This project is scheduled for completion in winter 2011/12.

Appleby - Lakeshore West corridor
A project has been undertaken to renovate the station building; upgrade building accessibility and other customer service amenities. It is anticipated that this project will be completed in summer 2012.

Bronte - Lakeshore West corridor
Additional barrier-free parking will be provided in the new south parking lot, as well as an accessible path from the proposed parking lot to the existing west tunnel and platforms - as a secondary means of station and platform access. This project is scheduled to be completed in winter 2011/12.

Oakville - Lakeshore West corridor
The project includes a new six-level, open-air parking structure which will provide a net gain of approximately 1200 parking spaces  with an extension of the existing pedestrian tunnel with elevators from the platform to the structure. The station site improvements include a new covered Kiss & Ride facility adjacent to the existing southeast tunnel. The in-service date is scheduled for winter 2012/13.

A parking expansion, with additional barrier-free parking, is also planned at this location. It is anticipated that this work will be completed in winter 2011/12.

Clarkson - Lakeshore West corridor
A new accessible multi-level parking structure is in preliminary design stage, and once complete, it will include an elevator and barrier-free parking. This project is scheduled for completion in winter 2012/13. 

Exhibition - Lakeshore West corridor
This project includes the conversion of existing side platform to an island platform, the installation of a new tunnel to connect the north side of the tracks with the existing tunnel and station, installation of a new elevator to allow barrier-free access from the north side, installation of a complete snowmelt system. The project is scheduled for completion in winter 2012/13.

Aurora - Barrie corridor

Staged expansion and rehabilitation of the existing surface parking will include a new and improved Kiss & Ride area, accessible passenger loading and unloading zones and accessible parking improvements.
There are also plans to improve the landscaping around the station. The project is scheduled for completion in spring 2012.

Bramalea - Georgetown corridor
New station and building rehabilitation work will include improvements to the existing station such as, expanded barrier-free ticket selling positions, larger public waiting areas, accessible public restrooms, retail sales areas, as well as electrical, mechanical and communication upgrades. Currently this project is on hold due to property issues and planning redesign.

A north parking lot expansion, also scheduled for completion winter 2011/12, will lead to an increase in the amount of barrier-free parking.

Weston - Georgetown corridor
The existing Weston GO Station will be expanded to provide infrastructure to accommodate future additional GO, VIA and Airport Rail Link (ARL) as well as CP and CN rail services. 

This project is planned in three phases. Phase 1 includes the construction of a temporary mini platform on the south, side platform, scheduled for completion spring 2012.

Phase 2 involves the construction of the new accessible island platform, scheduled for completion in fall 2013.

Phase 3 involves platform extension to accommodate the ARL, at which time the temporary mini platform constructed in Phase 1 will be relocated to a permanent accessible location. Phase 3 is scheduled for completion in fall 2014.

Erindale - Milton corridor
A six-storey multi-level parking structure with a new bus loop and an accessible elevated, enclosed pedestrian bridge and covered access to the station is planned at this station. This project is scheduled to be completed in fall 2012.

Cooksville - Milton corridor
An accessible pedestrian overpass across Hurontario Street and an elevator to the station platform are in the preliminary design stage. A feasibility study is underway to add an asphalt ramp which will connect Hurontario Street to the north platform. This project is currently on hold.

Centennial - Stouffville corridor
A new accessible multi-level parking structure will be built and include barrier-free parking. Construction is scheduled for completion in winter 2011/12.

Unionville - Stouffville corridor
The building rehabilitation project at this station includes the addition of barrier-free washrooms and more accessible ticket counters. The project was previously reported as cancelled, but was later reinitiated, and the estimated completion date is winter 2012/13.

Ajax - Lakeshore East corridor
Improvements to this station include a new west tunnel, elevators and a new accessible multi-level parking structure with increased accessibility parking spaces. The work is scheduled for completion in winter 2012/13.

Pickering - Lakeshore East corridor
There is a multi-level open air parking structure planned at this location with approximately 1770 spaces within close proximity to the station and a direct link connection to the bridge spanning over the 401 and the station. The project allows for a dedicated accessible parking zone and the projected in service date is summer 2013.

New accessible GO Bus terminals

Scarborough Town Centre GO Bus Terminal
A new elevator will be installed and the ticket booth will be replaced with a new accessible ticket kiosk at the bus loop. The design phase has been completed and construction will likely commence after the TTC’s Scarborough Rapid Transit system is replaced by Light Rail Transit technology. This project is scheduled for completion in 2015/2016.
 
Yorkdale GO Bus Terminal
This project involves the installation of a new elevator adjacent to the bus platforms that will provide direct access to the mall level corridor above the GO Bus terminal and a refurbished pedestrian ramp connecting the terminal to the nearest street (Yorkdale Road and ramps connecting to Hwy 401 and Allan Road north). This project is scheduled to be completed by winter 2012/13.

York Mills GO Bus Terminal
This project involves the expansion of bus platforms beside the enclosed passenger waiting area to accommodate the deployment of GO Bus WMA lifts, as well as incorporating other easier access features. This project is scheduled to be completed by summer 2012.

Bus Terminal at Hwy 407 and Jane:
A new subway station on the Yonge-University-Spadina line is proposed at Highway 407 and Jane Street. It is intended that all buses currently serving York University will terminate at the new bus terminal at the Highway 407 Station where passengers will be able to access the TTC subway system. In total, thirteen bus bays are dedicated to GO buses and a layover area to store a minimum of 15 GO buses is planned. An accessible GO ticket sales kiosk in the passenger waiting area with two sales positions will be provided along with other related amenities. This project is scheduled for completion in winter 2015.
 
Other GO Infrastructure initiatives

Customer access location project
GO Transit will be undertaking a new initiative in 2012 called the Customer Access Location Project (CAL). This project reviews and prioritizes all on-street bus stops for upgrading to meet AODA Standards. This will increase safety, accessibility and enhance the customer experience across the GO network.

Rail platform edge detectable tiles – pilot project
In winter 2011/2012, a pilot project is planned to evaluate a standardized rail platform edge detectable tile feature. This project will alert passengers to potential hazards by helping them to recognize unprotected edges with a change in level such as rail platforms. Suitable surfaces will identify potential hazards by the use of distinct changes in colour and texture and uniformity in application and should not present a tripping hazard. 
 
Selection criteria includes: construction and installation considerations for retrofit applications; and new construction with an emphasis on safety, maintenance and durability.
 
Designated waiting area (DWA)
 The new standard mini-platform and associated Designated Waiting Area (DWA) features are being implemented in current GO Station infrastructure projects such as Allandale Waterfront, Ajax platform rehabilitation, and the Kitchener-Waterloo expansion projects.
 
The DWA at GO rail stations, located at the mini-platform, will provide additional features at this location, and will allow passengers to contact GO staff for assistance. The DWA designation offers improved visibility of the features at the station mini-platform.
 
Proposed park & ride locations
A number of new park & ride lots are in the process of being implemented and will be accessible once complete. These locations include:

  • Clarington (Hwy 2 and Hwy 35) park & ride - in construction, expected completion in December 2011
  • Hwy 410 at Williams Parkway park & ride (Brampton) in service fall 2011, will not provide bus services until April 2012
  • BRT park & ride Trafalgar Road: expected completion is spring 2012
  • Sportsworld (Hwy 8 and Sportsworld Drive) park & ride - in planning Stage, expected completion in summer 2013
  • Agency to station conversion Square One: expected completion winter 2012
  • Hwy 404 at Woodbine Avenue park & ride (Georgina): expected completion in summer 2013
  • Hwy 404 and Queensville park & ride: expected completion summer 2013
  • New bus loop at Maple GO Station: expected completion summer 2013
  • Hwy 407 and Brock Road park & ride: expected completion fall 2013

Mississauga bus rapid transit
The project is being undertaken in conjunction with the City of Mississauga. The facility will be a fully dedicated, grade separated, bus only road covering an 18-km, 12-station span.

GO Transit is responsible for the western segment (BRT West) along Highway 403 from Winston Churchill Boulevard to Erin Mills Parkway, while Mississauga is responsible for the eastern segment (BRT East) from the City Centre to Renforth Drive, just south of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

The detailed design for GO BRT West is expected to begin in winter 2011/12, with construction to follow soon thereafter. Completion of the overall project is expected in 2013/2014 and will include the Erin Mills BRT, Winston Churchill BRT and Dixie BRT Stations.

The Renforth BRT Gateway project will facilitate various regional transit systems (TTC, ‘MiWay’, GO). The station, the bus-only connection and transit priority measures to and from the Renforth BRT Gateway will greatly enhance travel efficiency from this area to the TTC Kipling Station, as well as other locations. The station building will be inclusive of fare/ticketing and information systems and other hub amenities as required. The in-service date is scheduled for winter 2014/15.
 
Alignment of the Mississauga Bus Rapid Transit


Alignment of the Mississauga Bus Rapid Transit

6.4.4 Rail and bus equipment

Accessible railcars
GO Transit will be ordering three more accessible railcars in the summer of 2012, bringing the total to 53.

New lift-equipped buses
GO Transit anticipates the addition of up to 20 new lift-equipped highway coaches to its fleet in 2012, bringing the total to 432 as well as increasing the number of double-decker buses in its fleet beyond 2012.
The following additional accessibility features are currently being investigated:

Folding seat on the wheeled mobility aid lift:
GO Transit is continuing to work with lift manufacturers to investigate the possibility of incorporating/integrating a folding seat onto the platform and/or one of the armrests on the lift. This feature would be able to accommodate people who have disabilities that make it difficult to climb and descend the main entry steps at the front of the bus. To date, a potential solution has not been determined.

Design new easy storing Priority Seats:
The possibility to fold and store the Priority Seats underneath the floor (similar to passenger vans) is currently being explored. If this design proposal is feasible and meets federal safety requirements, the concept may be tested on a GO highway coach as early as 2013.
Quick secure wheeled mobility aid securement system:
In an effort to reduce boarding and alighting times for passengers in wheeled mobility aids (WMA), GO is working with wheelchair and passenger securement manufacturers for an alternative to the existing seven-point securement system. If an acceptable solution is identified, GO may initiate adaptation on its new double-decker buses in 2013.

7. Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and Associated Standards

In June 2005, the Ontario Government passed a new law called the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (“AODA”). The AODA provides for the development, implementation and enforcement of accessibility standards with the vision for a fully accessible Ontario by 2025.

For the first time in Canada, accessibility standards apply to businesses, public sector organizations, municipalities and the Provincial Government. The standards address the removal of barriers for a wide range of disabilities, including physical, sensory, mental health, developmental and learning, in accordance with the definition of “disability” under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Over the last year, important steps have been taken toward removing barriers across Ontario. The purpose of this section is to provide an overview of the AODA, and an update on the progress of the accessibility standards under the AODA.

7.1 Standards development process

The AODA sets out a unique approach to the development of standards by establishing committees comprised of people with disabilities, representatives of industries and various economic sectors and Ontario Ministries. Since 2007, the Standards Development Committees (SDC) have been comprised of 50 per cent representation of people with disabilities.

As outlined in the AODA, the Minister of Community and Social Services is responsible to establish an SDC for each standard under the AODA. The SDC is responsible for developing a proposed standard, and defining the persons or organizations to be required to comply. The standards development process occurs as follows:

  • Standards Development Committee (SDC) creates an initial draft standard in accordance with its mandate and terms of reference
  • Initial proposed standard is released for a public review period
  • SDC reviews public input and revises draft standard to submit to the Minister for consideration
  • No later than 90 days after receiving the proposed standard, the Minister decides whether to recommend that the proposed standard be adopted by regulation to the Lieutenant Governor in Council

Once a regulation under the AODA has been enacted, the SDC will review the regulation to re-examine the long-term accessibility objectives and revise any of the regulation requirements, or begin the process again by developing a new or additional proposed standard.

7.1.1 Standards Development Areas

To date there have been five accessibility standards developed under the AODA:
1. Customer Service
2. Transportation
3. Information and Communications
4. Employment
5. Built Environment

The following provides an overview of each of the AODA standards and their current stage of development as of August 2011:

7.2 Accessible Standards for Customer Service (ASCS)

Ontario’s first accessibility standard, the Accessible Standards for Customer Service, came into effect as Regulation on January 1, 2008. The legal requirements are set out in two Ontario Regulations under the AODA: the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service, Ontario Regulation 429/07, which states the requirements of the standard; and Exemption for Reporting Requirements, Ontario Regulation 430/07, which exempts organizations that have fewer than 20 employees (unless the organization is a designated public sector organization) from certain documentation requirements of the standard.
 
The Accessibility Standards for Customer Service state what businesses and other organizations in Ontario must do to make the provision of their goods and services more accessible to people with disabilities. In broad terms, the regulation requires the following compliance activities be undertaken:

  • Organizations are required to establish policies, practices and procedures governing the provision of goods or services to people with disabilities
  • Organizations must provide access for service animals and support persons
  • Organizations are required to provide the public with notice when there are temporary disruptions to the facilities that people with disabilities use in order to benefit from their goods and services
  • Organizations must provide training for employees, volunteers, agents and otherwise who deal with members of the public or third parties on the organization’s behalf
  • Organizations are required to establish a process for receiving and responding to feedback or complaints received regarding the manner in which they provides goods and services to persons with disabilities
  • Organizations with at least 20 employees are required to notify the persons to whom they provide goods and services that the documents required by the regulation are available upon request
  • Where an organization is required to provide a document to a person with a disability, it must be provided in a format that takes into account the person’s disability

In addition to these compliance activities, organizations with at least 20 employees are also required to file annual compliance reports with the Ministry of Community and Social Services. These compliance reports are to be filed by March 31 of each year.

During 2009, Metrolinx undertook many new accessibility initiatives to comply with the regulation. The details of our compliance efforts are summarized in a document entitled, “Metrolinx/GO Transit Accessible Customer Service Policy for Implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA),” which is available on the Metrolinx and GO Transit websites (http://www.gotransit.com/public/en/news/accessibleCSpolicy.aspx).

Hardcopies of this document are also available upon request, as they also are in accessible formats.

7.3 Integrated Accessibility Standards (IAS)

The Integrated Accessibility Standards, created under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), was filed as Regulation 191/11 on June 3, 2011, and became effective July 1, 2011.  The regulation includes accessibility requirements relating to employment, transportation, and information and communications and applies to both private and public sector organizations in Ontario.

7.3.1 Information and Communications Standards

This portion of the Regulation is intended to remove barriers in all information and communications for people with disabilities. The proposed standard outlines how businesses and organizations may be required to create, provide and receive information and communications in ways that are accessible for people with disabilities.

7.3.2 Employment Standards

As suggested by its name, this portion of the Regulation aims to prevent, identify and remove barriers across all cycles of the employment lifecycle for people with disabilities. The Standard will set out specific requirements for the recruitment, retention and accommodation of people with disabilities, and will apply to all organizations in Ontario.

7.3.3 Transportation Standards

The proposed Transportation Standard is the only industry-specific standard to be developed under the AODA. It would apply to all public transportation systems including subways, buses, trains and taxis.

The Transportation Standards Development Committee began meeting in early 2006 to develop and draft a proposed standard for accessible transportation. This standard is the only one that is sector specific; that is, it relates specifically to modes of transportation that come under the jurisdiction of provincial and municipal governments.

7.3.4 Compliance with Integrated Accessibility Standards

Compliance timeframes are grouped by the Ontario Provincial Government, Ontario Public Sector (large and small) and Ontario Private Sector (large and small).  Metrolinx falls into the large public sector group with regards to compliance timeframes.

Regulation 191/11 contains seven requirements to which Metrolinx must comply by July 1, 2011 (the effective date of the Regulation).  Each of the requirements are noted below with a brief summary of our compliance status.  The compliance requirements noted below are abbreviated interpretations based on the Integrated Accessibility Standards.

Compliance requirements – July 1, 2011

Regulatory requirement

Steps to compliance

Status

35 – Non-functioning equipment

  • Take reasonable steps to accommodate persons with disabilities when accessibility equipment on a vehicle is not functioning and/or equivalent service cannot be provided
  • Repair all non-functioning accessibility equipment as soon as possible

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

39 – Transition existing contracts

  • Existing contracts for railcar and bus purchases, signed prior to July 1, 2011 are exempt from meeting the technical requirements outlined in the standard

 

GO Transit has existing contracts for railcar and bus purchases within the timeframes indicated

 

Compliant

40 – Transition existing vehicles

  • Any vehicles in the current fleet which the transportation service provider chooses to retrofit, must include modifications to meet the technical requirements outlined in the standard, except those that would impact the structural integrity of the vehicle

 

All GO Transit railcars and buses meet the technical requirements outlined in the Standard

 

Compliant

46 – Fares

  • Transit providers cannot charge persons with a disability a higher fare than customers without a disability
  • Make accessible fare payment options available to persons with a disability

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

48 – Storage of mobility aids

  • Store and return mobility aids (e.g., wheelchairs) and mobility assistive devices (e.g., canes, walkers) safely on railcar or bus and within reach of person with a disability, where possible
  • A person with a disability cannot be charged a fee for the storage of mobility aids or mobility assistive devices

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

51 a) – Pre-boarding announcements

  • Pre-boarding verbal announcements of the route, direction, destination or next major stop must be made, upon request

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

52 a) – On-board announcements

  • On-board verbal announcements of destination points or available route stops must be made while the vehicle is being operated

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

62 a) – Accessibility, rail cars

  • Ensure that at least one rail car per train is accessible to persons with disabilities who use mobility aids

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

Compliance requirements – January 1, 2012

Regulatory requirement

Steps to compliance

Status

13 – Emergency procedure, plans or public safety information

  • All emergency procedures and public safety information that is available to the public is made available in accessible formats or with appropriate communications supports upon request

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

27 – Workplace emergency response information

  • Workplace emergency response information required by an employee with a disability is available in the format required
  • Employer is aware of accommodation requirements for all employees with disabilities in the event of an emergency situation

 

GO Transit has existing contracts for railcar and bus purchases within the timeframes indicated

 

Compliant

34 – Availability of information on accessibility equipment, etc.

  • Information regarding accessibility equipment and features of vehicles, routes and services is available in accessible formats

 

Convert existing information to accessible formats

 

Compliant

37 – Emergency preparedness and response policies

  • Emergency preparedness and response policies provide for the safety of customers with disabilities
  • Policies are available to the public in accessible formats

 

Review and modify existing procedures as needed

 

Partially compliant

44 – General responsibilities

  • Operators deploy accessibility equipment upon the request of customers and ensure that customers with disabilities have adequate time to board and be secured
  • Operators provide assistance to customers with disabilities upon request with boarding, deboarding, and storage of mobility aids or mobility assistive devices

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

47 – Transit stops

  • Drop off customers with disabilities at the closest available safe location should their desired stop be inaccessible
  • Operators promptly report any inaccessible stop or temporary barrier to the appropriate authority

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

49 - Courtesy seating

  • Every public transit vehicle has designated seating for person’s with disabilities only, which is clearly marked as such
  • Develop a communications strategy designed to inform the public about the purpose of courtesy seating

 

Modify content of existing Courtesy Seating decals as needed

Revise communications provided on GO Transit website and in Accessibility Guide for Customers

 

Partially compliant

Compliance requirements – January 1, 2013

Regulatory requirement

Steps to compliance

Status

3 – Establishment of accessibility policies

  • Develop and implement policies governing the achievement of compliance with this Regulation
  • Written documents available to the public in accessible formats
  • Statement of organization commitment to meeting the needs of persons with disabilities in a timely manner is provided

 

Create IAR accessibility policies as needed

Convert existing information to accessible formats

Modify existing commitment statement as needed

 

Not compliant

4 – Accessibility plans

  • Establish multi-year accessibility plans which address compliance with this Regulation including annual status reports
  • To require plans and reports to be posted on websites and made available in accessible formats

 

Expand multi-year plan to all areas of organization

 

Partially compliant

5 – Procuring or acquiring goods, services or facilities

  • Ensure that accessibility criteria and features are incorporated into procurement documents and given consideration during the acquisition of goods

 

Create IAR accessibility policies as needed

 

Not compliant

6 – Self-service kiosks

  • Incorporate accessibility features into the design, procurement and acquisition of self-service kiosks

 

Incorporate more accessibility features

 

Partially compliant

41 – Accessibility plans, conventional transportation services

  • Develop a process for managing, evaluation and acting on customer feedback (similar to Regulation429/07)
  • Convene annual public meeting to provide the opportunity to review and provide feedback on the accessibility plan

 

Consistent with current practice

Organize annual public meeting

 

Partially compliant

43 – Accessibility plans, conventional and specialized transportation services

  • Procedures with respect to vehicle repairs and equipment failures detailed in the accessibility plan

 

Incorporate existing procedures into plan

 

Partially compliant

45 - Alternative accessible method of transportation

  • Provide an alternative accessible method of transportation if persons cannot, as the result of their disability, make use of the local conventional transit service

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

50 - Service disruptions

  • During a service disruption that is known in advance, make alternative arrangements that are accessible, or alternate accessible arrangements that are made for customers with disabilities
  • During a service disruption that is known in advance, make information regarding same available to the public in an accessible manner

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

53 - Requirements (grab bars, etc.)

  • Provide for grab bars and stanchions throughout the vehicle to assist persons with disabilities

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

54 - Floors and carpeted surfaces

  • Provide flooring on board public transportation vehicles that is slip resistant and produces minimal glare. If carpeted, be of low pile and securely fastened

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

55 - Allocated mobility aid spaces

  • Provide two allocated mobility aid spaces on board public transit vehicles as specified, both of which must meet the space requirements set out in the Regulation

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

56 - Stop-requests and emergency response controls

  • Ensure accessible stop requests are located throughout the vehicle.
  • Ensure accessible emergency response controls are located throughout the vehicle

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

57 - Lighting features

  • Provide adequate lighting at all customer access doors on public transit vehicles

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

58 – Signage

  • Provide vehicle signage that is consistently located, glare free, high contrast and visible at the customer boarding point.

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

59 – Lifting devices, etc.

  • Equip lifting devices on public transit vehicles with the appropriate safety features

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

60 – Steps

  • Ensure that any steps on board public transit vehicles are uniform and are outfitted with the appropriate safety features

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

61 - Indicators and alarms

  • Ensure that ramps and/or lifting devices on public transit vehicles are equipped with appropriate safety features

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

62 b) - Accessibility, rail cars

  • Ensure that at least one mobility aid accessible washroom is provided on the mobility aid accessible rail car

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

Compliance requirements – January 1, 2014

Regulatory requirement

Steps to compliance

Status

7 – Training

  • Ensure that all employees, volunteers and those providing service on an organization’s behalf are trained, appropriate to their duties, on aspects of the Regulation and the OHRC, and that records of training are maintained

 

Training program to be developed and provided.

 

Not compliant

11 – Feedback

  • Develop and implement processes for receiving and responding to feedback and ensure that the processes are accessible to persons with disabilities by providing or arranging for the provision of accessible formats and communications supports, upon request

 

Develop work plan and budget

 

Not compliant

14 a) – Accessible websites and web content

  • Ensure websites are compliant with WCAG 2.0 level A

 

Existing websites exceed this requirement.

 

Compliant

22 – Recruitment, General

  • Notify the public of the availability of accommodation during recruitments

 

Review and modify existing procedures as needed

 

Partially compliant

23 – Recruitment, assessment or selection process

  • Notify applicants if selected for an assessment that accommodations are available upon request
  • Ensure that in the event an applicant indicated the need for accommodation, consultation will take place with the applicant in regard to the most suitable form of accommodation

 

Review and modify existing procedures as needed

 

Partially compliant

24 – Notice to successful applicants

  • Notify the successful applicant of policies for accommodating employees with disabilities

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

25 – Informing employees of supports

  • Inform all employees of current policies supporting employees with disabilities, and each time there is a change to policies
  • Ensure new employees are informed of policies as soon as practical

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

26 - Accessible formats and communication supports for employees

  • Ensure that any information an employee requires to do their job is available to all employees is provided to employees with a disability in an accessible format
  • Ensure that the employee is consulted with respect to the format and/or support provided

 

Review and modify existing procedures and documents as needed

 

Partially compliant

28 - Documented individual accommodation plans

  • Ensure that individual accommodation plans are documented, and include the elements as listed in the Regulation

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

29 – Return to work process

  • Ensure that a return to work process in place for employees returning to work requiring disability-related accommodations

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

30 – Performance management

  • Ensure accessibility needs of the employee are taken into account when using a performance management process

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

31 - Career development and advancement

  • Ensure employers take accessibility needs into account when providing career advancement opportunities

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

32 - Redeployment

  • Ensure that any redeployment activity will take into account any accessibility needs of employees with disabilities

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

36 – Accessibility training

  • Provide specific training to operations employees regarding safe use of accessibility equipment, procedures for temporary barriers, and emergency response procedures
  • Maintain training record for all employees

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

38 - Fares, support persons

  • Eliminate the fare for a support person who is accompanying a disabled passenger on conventional or specialized services
  • Develop support person criteria
  • Assess applicants, and issue identification as required relating to the need for a support person while travelling on transit

 

Consistent with current practice

 

Compliant

Compliance requirements – January 1, 2015

Regulatory requirement

Steps to compliance

Status

12 – Accessible formats and communication supports

  • Make available all information in accessible formats, upon request
  • Ensure the public is aware of the formats the organization will provide, and that there is no fee for the provision of same

 

Develop work plan and budget

 

Not compliant

51 b) – Pre-boarding Announcements

  • Pre-boarding automated announcements of the route, direction, destination or next major stop must be made, upon request

 

Work in progress

 

Not compliant

52 b) – On-board Announcements

  • On-board automated announcements of destination points or available route stops must be made while the vehicle is being operated

 

Work in progress

 

Not compliant

Compliance requirements – January 1, 2020

Regulatory requirement

Steps to compliance

Status

14 b) – Accessible websites and web content

  • Ensure websites are compliant with WCAG 2.0 level AA

 

Existing websites meet this requirement.

 

Compliant

 

Metrolinx, together with other transit agencies, is working with the government to develop implementation guidelines intended to assist obligated organizations with compliance to the Regulation. However, it is not known at this time when the final document will be released.

7.4 Built Environment Standards (BES)

The Built Environment Standards are the most extensive of the AODA standards developed to date. This Standard aims to remove barriers for people with disabilities in the physical environment, including over 70 elements such as buildings and facilities, sidewalks, parks, parking areas, housing, amusement parks, and more. 
 
The Built Environment Standards Development Committee has been active since 2007, developing the initial proposed standard. The proposed standard was released for its mandatory public review period from July 14 to October 16 2009. The proposed standard is nearly 300 pages in length with an additional document with technical illustrations. The proposed standard would apply to both the public and private sectors, with compliance required for all new construction, extensive renovation, change of use, and retrofitting existing facilities and elements. Although the proposed standard as developed by the SDC included retrofit and housing requirements, the Ministry of Community and Social Services website provided clarification that:

“The committee’s terms of reference outline that this standard will focus on preventing barriers on a go-forward basis. Under this proposed standard, all new buildings and buildings undergoing major renovations would need to meet the proposed requirements if passed as law.
The government does not plan to require that all existing buildings be retrofitted to meet accessibility requirements in the final accessible built environment standard at this time. Also, the government does not intend to require Ontarians to make their existing or new houses accessible in the final accessible built environment standard at this time.”

It is expected that requirements for housing and retrofit will be addressed through separate standard development committee processes in the future.
 
A final version of the BES has been submitted to the Minister of Community and Social Services for consideration as law.

7.5 GO Transit’s involvement

As GO Transit recognized the significant impact that AODA may have on its customers as well as on all department activities within the organization, we are actively engaged in the standard development process.
GO participated in the Transportation Standards Development Committee and also worked collaboratively with the Transit Industry Resource Group, which is comprised of leads and senior staff of transit service providers from across the province, to provide input and assess the opportunities and impacts of each of the proposed Standards during their respective development phases.
The Resource Group prepared detailed responses to each of the AODA standards during their respective public review periods. Each of these submissions have been approved by the President of GO Transit, and submitted to the Deputy Minister of Transportation for consideration and referral to the Minister of Community and Social Services. 
As noted, Metrolinx has also taken many important initiatives during 2009 to meet its obligations under the Accessibility Standards for Customer Service.
Public sector organizations including provincial ministries, municipalities, hospitals, school boards, colleges, universities and public transportation organizations are still legally required under Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 to prepare annual accessibility plans and to make these plans available to the public.

7.6 Summary

Metrolinx remains strongly committed to the objectives and intent of the AODA. Removing barriers improves the quality of life for people of all ages and abilities in the community.

8. Appendices

a)      Appendix 1

Long-term plan for future accessible stations

b)      Appendix 2

Easier access station features
The following easier access features are incorporated into all GO Transit train stations1 and bus terminals as a standard design practice:

  1. Delineated pedestrian crosswalks and pavement markings
  2. Designated accessible parking spaces and loading areas
  3. Sidewalks with curb cuts to accommodate barrier-free access
  4. Benches in stations and designated shelters on train and bus platforms and park & ride and Kiss & Ride areas
  5. Stairways with accessible features, such as colour contrasted, non-slip stair nosing, handrails and detectable tactile flooring in advance of stairs
  6. Power door operators and door guards throughout all accessible designated interior routes
  7. Accessible washrooms
  8. Floor grilles compatible with the use of canes and crutches and grating located away from the main pedestrian traffic flow
  9. Barrier-free ticket sales counters and accessible ticket booth audio communication systems
  10. Increased illumination near passenger loading and waiting areas
  11. Accessible bus bays and platform areas
  12. Signage for station wayfinding
  13. Public Address system
  14. Elevators with accessible features, where the station or facility requires an elevator
  15. Elevated accessible rail platform (mini-platform).

Source: GO Transit design requirements manual
These features also apply to areas within Union Station that are used by GO Transit (e.g., GO Concourse, ticket sales area and Customer Service Centre, GO elevators, train platforms and building entrances).  Also, these features have now been incorporated into GO Transit’s Station Design Standards.

Service Updates At a Glance

LinesStatus
Lakeshore WestDelayed
Lakeshore EastOn Time
KitchenerDelayed
StouffvilleOn Time
Richmond HillOn Time
BarrieOn Time
MiltonDelayed
Refresh Last Update:
7:19:08 PM
GO Fare Calculator GO Schedules GO Apps Join Let GO Know