Staff Report #1
November 27, 2019
To All Commissioners
Re: Accessibility Plan Update
That the Commission:
- APPROVE the Draft 2020-2025 Accessibility Plan as set out in Enclosure I; and
- DIRECT administration to post the approved plan in accordance with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation requirements.
Consistent with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) regulations, the Commission’s Accessibility Plan is scheduled for update. At the September 10, 2019 meeting, the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee (APTSAC) received a report providing an overview of the various initiatives included in the previous multi-year Accessibility Plan in an effort to begin discussion on initiatives that should be included in the next plan.
At the November 7, 2019 APTSAC meeting, the Committee received a report (see APTSAC Staff Report #1, dated November 7, 2019) which was broken down by each section of the Integrated Accessibility Regulation as it relates to the provision of public transit services, noting each section provided a recap of the status of compliance, public feedback received through the public drop in, online survey and through customer contacts, and recommendations for items to be included in the next Five Year Accessibility Plan.
APTSAC has recommended 15 initiatives for inclusion in the 2020-2025 Accessibility Plan, each of which are set out below.
- Include a section in the updated plan that specifically addresses the removal and prevention of barriers.
- Create a specific area on the corporate website dealing with accessibility where all information is housed and/or links to other areas of the site are provided. This will provide easier navigation on the site for people seeking information specific to accessibility.
- Ensure that development of the actions plans relating to increased marketing and enhanced corporate communication include consultation with the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee.
- Consider additional methods of communicating information with respect to policies and procedures to the public.
- Seek additional information from the public with respect to what could be improved with the methods of communication in regard to temporary disruptions.
- Prioritize the implementation of smart card readers on specialized service prior to the removal of paper tickets from use.
- Provide the City of London, on an annual basis, a list of transit stops with no connecting sidewalks for inclusion in their accessibility plan.
- Work with the Ontario Public Transit Association on the communications campaign regarding priority seating and implement the campaign as soon as it is available.
- Utilize the additional service hours included in the multi-year budget to extend the service day to match the conventional transit service.
- Undertake an assessment of the impacts and issues associated with a move to a shorter booking window. This assessment would include customer consultation and feedback from the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee.
- Undertake an assessment of the issues and impacts associated with the implementation of online trip booking.
- Continue to ensure that all major retrofits are assessed to ensure that the removal of any existing barriers is considered a priority piece of the project.
- Undertake an assessment of the periods of highest non-accommodated on the specialized service to identify areas that would see the additional service hours best utilized. Consult with Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee on the implementation of additional hours on the specialized service included in annual budgets, noting the conventional transit service planning process includes presentation to the Committee as well as a number of opportunities for feedback to be provided.
- Consult the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee with respect to initiatives under consideration as part of the Integrated Services program.
- Undertake an assessment of ride hailing options and other applications that would assist customers with visual impairments in utilizing the conventional transit service.
All of the recommended initiatives have been incorporated in the Draft 2020-2025 Accessibility Plan set out in Enclosure I. Each of the initiatives have been assigned a timeline in the Plan, noting the timing of each will be subject to consideration during the establishment of the annual Work Program based on priority and overall resource availability.
It should be noted that the recommendation for change to the Service Animal Policy which was also discussed at the November 7, 2019 APTAC meeting (see APTSAC Staff Report #2, dated November 7, 2019) will be updated in the Accessibility Plan subsequent to Commission approval.
As set out in the report recommendation, subsequent to Commission approval, the 2020-2025 Accessibility Plan will be finalized and made available to the public consistent with the requirements in the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation.
I – Draft 2020-2025 Accessibility Plan
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager