New accessibility technologies to be piloted in Toronto, Canada
Through the trial of a rear-door exit chime and the Contactless Access™ elevator app, the Toronto Transit Commission continues to work towards increasing the accessibility of its services.
The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has announced that, as it continues to work towards increasing the accessibility of its services for all customers, it is piloting two new technologies across the system.
The first is a subway-style, rear-door exit chime on new hybrid-electric buses, which gives customers who experience low vision an audible cue that doors are about to close.
Customers will hear a three-tone rear-door exit chime on select buses, similar to the chime heard on subways. This sound will be embedded in all New Flyer hybrid-electric buses, purchased as part of TTC’s transition to a zero-emission fleet. TTC has already begun taking deliveries of the New Flyer hybrid-electric buses, and they will operate out of TTC’s Mount Dennis Division, serving customers in North York.
After testing the effectiveness and performance of the rear-door exit chime system, TTC expects to make it a standard feature on all future new vehicles in its bus fleet.
The second pilot is the introduction of the Contactless Access™ elevator app at select subway stations, which allows customers to control elevators at certain stations, providing a quick, sanitary and touch-free experience.
The Contactless Access™ elevator app pilot project allows customers to use their smartphone to control elevators, providing a touch-free experience, especially for customers with disabilities, seniors and those who may be carrying large objects or pushing strollers.
Stations included in the pilot project are Finch, Kennedy, Kipling, Union and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre stations. Customers will need to download the free Contactless Access™ app from the Apple App Store or Google Play. They can also scan the QR code posted at any of the elevators included in the pilot.
The app uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to allow wireless control of elevator buttons from up to 10ft away, and does not require customers to be connected to Wi-Fi or a data network to use the app. No personal data will be collected or stored by the app. Use of the app is optional, and customers can also continue to use the existing buttons to control the elevators that are included in this project.
The pilot will be run by the Toronto Transit Commission until 30 September 2023.