Staff Report #4 – Annual Accessibility Plan Update

Staff Report #4

November 29, 2023

To All Commissioners

Re: Annual Accessibility Plan Update


That the report be NOTED and FILED.


Consistent with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) regulations, the Commission’s Accessibility Plan was updated in 2019, and covers the period of 2020-2025. The Plan was developed in consultation with the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee (APTSAC), and included public feedback gathered through drop in sessions, online survey and customer contacts. The final 2020-2025 Accessibility Plan was approved by the Commission at the November 27, 2019 meeting.

The following table provides an overview of the initiatives from the 2020-2025 Accessibility Plan which were scheduled to be addressed as part of the 2023 work program as well as a status of each, noting further detail with respect to those initiatives is provided later in the report.

Status of 2023 Accessibility Plan Initiatives

2023 Plan Initiative Status
General Requirements  
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete
Information & Communication Requirements  
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete
Consider Additional Methods to Communicate Policies Work In Progress
Customer Service  
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete
Consult public re communication of temporary disruptions Work In Progress
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete
Public Transit Service General  
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete
Regular Consultation with APTSAC Complete for 2023
Annual Public Meeting 1st Qtr 2024
Public Transit Service – Conventional  
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete
Provide City with list of bus stops with no connecting sidewalks Complete
Specialized Transit Service  
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete
Implement Smart Card Readers on Specialized Work In Progress
Utilize non-accommodated data to plan for service expansion Complete for 2023
Determine Viability of Specialized Service Booking System Complete
Public Spaces  
Ensure compliance with AODA Complete

The following provides greater detail with respect to the specific projects listed above.

Consider Additional Methods to Communication Policies – Details with respect to this initiative are set out in Staff Report #3, dated November 29, 2023.

Consult public regarding communication of temporary disruptions – Through 2023, administration has taken a number of steps to enhance the communication provided at conventional transit bus stops regarding temporary disruptions which have included:

  • The application of grommets to the temporary signage to mitigate notices being torn down;
  • A redesign of the temporary notice sign to allow for typed messaging which provides for greater legibility and consistency;
  • Addition of new temporary signage to include when detoured routes are using regular bus stops;
  • The requirement for Transit Inspectors to drive routes on detour each morning to ensure that appropriate signage is in place;
  • Working with the contractor to ensure that accurate detour information is being provided on the real-time information platform;
  • Re-alignment of the corporate website to have a specific detour page for easy reference; and
  • Advance notice signage for major disruptions that are known ahead of time.

While feedback with respect to these changes has been positive, issues persist, which have been increased due to the nature and extent of construction-related detours that have impacted virtually every route over the past year. The Planning department will be undertaking a service plan survey in the coming weeks in an effort to gather feedback with respect to the planned service changes for 2024. Questions with respect to the manner in which temporary disruptions are communicated will be included on this survey.

With respect to the Specialized Service, as set out later in this report, one of the requirements of the replacement software will be the ability for the customer to receive real-time information on their vehicle similar to the manner in which same is provided on the conventional service.

Annual Public Meeting – A requirement of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) is for Conventional Transit Service providers to hold an annual public meeting to allow the public, including persons with disabilities, the opportunity to participate in a review of the accessibility plan and provide feedback. Compliance with this requirement has traditionally been handled through the annual drop-in sessions which are attended by members of staff as well as the Commission where the Accessibility Plan and progress against same is one of the key themes. This event will be incorporated into the planned public engagement sessions associated with the next five-year service plans (conventional and specialized) and the 2024-2027 Business Plan which will be held in the first quarter of 2024.

Provide City with list of bus stops with no connecting sidewalks – This initiative is undertaken annually to ensure the City of London is aware of all London Transit stops that do not have a connecting sidewalk to the bus stop pad. The updated list is provided to the City of London at the end of each year.

Implement Smart Card Readers on Specialized – This program was previously deferred due to pandemic related supply chain issues; however, work commenced in early 2023 with the identification of a new hand-held card reader that will be utilized on the Specialized Service to collect fares via smart cards. The contractor is currently working on the software component of the project and the hardware has been ordered. Administration has participated in regular update meetings with the vendor and the program continues to remain on track. This implementation will provide riders of the Specialized Service the ability to utilize the stored value feature of the Smart Card to pay for rides with the required ticket fare. All other fare media options are currently accepted on the Specialized Service. It is anticipated that the readers will be implemented on the specialized fleet in the first quarter of 2024.

Utilize non-accommodated data to plan for service expansion on Specialized – Collection of data with respect to completed trip times, requested trip times and common pick up and drop off locations on the Specialized Service has been ongoing for the past several months in an effort to identify the days/time periods that additional resources will be dedicated to as they become available. The review indicated that the highest demand for trips is occurring from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday. Additionally, the Sunday morning time period has experienced increased demand. The increased resources that have become available since August have been applied to vehicle shifts for the following time periods:

  • 8:00am to 6:30pm on weekdays
  • 8:00am to 2:00pm Saturdays
  • 8:00am to 6:00pm Sundays

Currently there are 38 vehicles scheduled per day Monday through Friday with two additional show up vehicles staffed to offset lost time and to be added to the system in addition to the scheduled vehicles if no lost time is realized. The table below sets out a high level overview of the progression to date as well as the planned full service levels by the end of 2023.

Specialized Service Level Summary

Jan Aug Oct End of 2023
Average Weekday Scheduled Service Hours 395 450 475 570
Average Weekday Rides 830 945 998 1,200
% Increase 14% 6% 20%

All of the additional vehicles to be added to the fleet by the end of the year will be assigned schedules during the period of 8:00am to 6:30pm on weekdays. With these remaining vehicles in place, service levels will be reflective of all of the growth hours outstanding from the 2021 and 2022 service plans. These service levels will remain in place for 2024, noting that some adjustments to the shifts may be undertaken to better align service with demand.

While this item is listed as complete for 2023, it will be included on the 2024 Work Program as the ongoing assessment of service levels against service demand by time of day and day of week is imperative in order to ensure that available service hours are being utilized during periods of highest demand.

Determine Viability of Specialized Service Booking System – As has been discussed in previous reports, the current software utilized for booking and scheduling rides on the Specialized Service has been sold, and users have been advised that the software will continue to be maintained; however, no further enhancements will be made. As a result of this confirmation, the determination was made that the software platform is not a viable option going forward and as such, a replacement software will be required.

Administration is currently in the process of assessing options associated with replacing the software, noting the requirements that the replacement software include the following features at time of implementation:

  • Customer portal that allows for on-line trip management including trip booking and cancellation.
  • Real-time arrival information available to customers via customer portal, text/email notification.
  • Ability to ensure equal access in trip booking between customers utilizing online booking with those utilizing telephone.
  • Customizable parameters for trip scheduling that align with LTC service targets (length of time on vehicle, schedule adherence, etc.).
  • Detailed reporting of key service metrics (same day bookings, split between demand and subscription bookings, non-accommodated by time of day, etc.).

Administration has participated in demonstrations of potential software solutions, and is now undertaking due diligence with respect to speaking with transit systems that are currently utilizing the software options in order to confirm the systems perform in the manner in which the vendor indicated during the demonstration. Implementation of the new software solution, once selected, will be included as an initiative on the 2024 Work Program noting the budget associated with this software replacement has been included in the 2024 Capital Budget program.

General AODA Compliance – Subsequent to Commission review, the status update included in this report will be posted on the corporate website. Additionally, as a designated public sector organization, an AODA compliance report must be filed by December 31, 2023 and subsequently posted on the corporate website. The required filing will be undertaken in December in advance of the deadline.

This report was shared with the Accessible Public Transit Service Advisory Committee at their November 21, 2023 meeting.

Recommended by:

Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager