Accessible Transit: The What, Where, & How of Wheel-Trans!
I took my first Wheel-Trans trip this past weekend, and had the chance to discuss the pros and cons of the system with someone who has much experience with it than I do. I will share some of those thoughts with you, and hope to hear your opinion as well! Have you used Wheel-Trans or a similar service? Leave a comment below about your experience and let’s start a conversation about what is working well and how we can improve accessible subway transit.
What Is Wheel-Trans?
Wheel-Trans provides door-to-door transit service in Toronto for people who have a disability that prevents them from using the wider TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) transit system. This includes both temporary and permanent disabilities. If you are unable to use any conventional TTC transit, or are unable to access certain services offered by the TTC, you may be eligible for Wheel-Trans services. For example, if you are able to use the subway but the location you need to go is close to an inaccessible subway station, you may be eligible for Wheel-Trans for all or part of that trip.
The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and costs the same as a standard TTC fare.
Where Is Wheel-Trans?
Anywhere the TTC goes, Wheel-Trans offers a door-to-door service.
How Can I Book A Wheel-Trans Service?
In order to book Wheel-Trans service, contact TTC at via phone (416-393-4222), book online, or use their automated phone booking service (416-397-8000). Bookings can be made 7 days in advance, but must be made at least 4 hours prior to departure (between 5AM and 11PM). The driver will pick you up from your home, and will drop you off at the designated location. The driver will help you to enter and exit the vehicle and safely strap your mobility device in. If you require additional support during your trip, bring a support person free of charge with a Support Person Assistance Card.
What TTC is Killin’ it on!
- Wheel-Trans is growing! The government announced a $41 million investment in the service. This will provide 120 new accessible busses, create 18 new access hubs, as well as improving the digital presence of Wheel-Trans, and making booking easier!
- In 2017, Wheel-Trans provided 4.1 Million rides.
- You might be traveling on a Wheel-Trans bus, or a contracted accessible taxi, all for the price of a standard TTC fare! Typically the system is fairly direct from origin to destination.
- Travel between Toronto and other transit regions is made easier by agreements made with Durham, York and Peel Region
Areas of Improvement
- Booking can be difficult over the phone. This is recognized as an issue by TTC, and they have begun to offer alternative services, such as an automated booking line and online booking. Phone services could still be improved though.
- The booking system is not good at determining optimized routes for the busses. Often, people traveling from the same location get sent separate busses, which adds unnecessary strain on wheel trans resources.
- When busses are running late, and or trips have been cancelled, the Wheel-Trans staff often call last minute, causing stress for the person relying on the ride.