Staff Report #2 – “Offer Me a Seat” Initiative

Staff Report #2

September 18, 2018

To All Members of the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee

Re: “Offer Me a Seat” Initiative


That the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee RECOMMEND to the Commission that the “Offer Me a Seat” initiative be considered as part of the 2019 Work Program.


Administration has received a request for consideration of a program which provides an alternative means for customers to indicate their need for a seat in the priority seating area on conventional transit. The program would be similar to one launched in Toronto earlier this year which is detailed below.

In May 2018, the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) launched the “offer me a seat” program in response to customer feedback, and in consultation with their Advisory Committee on Accessible Transit. Similar to programs in New York City and London, England, the program allows customers to self-identify their need for a seat on public transit. The button is intended to make it easier for customers with a need that is visible or invisible, to request a seat given many people are uncomfortable requesting a seat or declaring a disability.

The buttons are distributed upon request, and no proof of need is required. Participating in the program is completely voluntary and customers are not required to wear a button to occupy blue priority seats.

In order for a program of this nature to be successful, it must be supported by a strong communications outreach to ensure that all riders are aware of the initiative. The report recommendation is for the Committee to request the Commission include consideration of this program as part of the 2019 Work Program to ensure appropriate resources can be dedicated to it, noting the consideration would include assessment of the TTC program both with respect to uptake as well as any lessons learned that could be incorporated into a potential London program.

Recommended by:

Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager