‘This is par for the course for the TTC:’ local accessibility advocate: by Tim Kelly, Vaughan Citizen
Randy McNeil, who has used a wheelchair since he contracted MS just over a decade ago, is not happy that an elevator at the bus station across the street from Vaughan Metropolitan Subway Centre station is not accessible and hasn’t been since it opened. May 14, 2018 – Susie Kockerscheidt/Metroland
A wheelchair-bound Vaughan resident is angry after finding an elevator has been out of service next to the Vaughan Subway Station since it opened.
Randy McNeil, who has long been an advocate for accessibility issues, is frustrated because he says the Vaughan subway station “is not fully accessible and has never been and this is par for the course for the TTC.”
The problem is with an elevator in the York Region Transit terminal off Hwy. 7. It has not worked for six months now due to an apparent water leak that a spokesperson for the TTC said will require another four to six weeks to repair.
The elevator connects those taking the bus to those linking to the TTC subway and vice versa. It’s essential especially for those with accessibility issues, McNeil said..
“There has been an ongoing, consistent problem with accessibility from the get-go.”
He is unhappy the TTC system has many stations not fully accessible.
McNeil’s issues with the Vaughan subway station have come out at the same time that the Association for Ontarians with Disabilities Act Alliance (AODA) group has come out with new videos and a statement demanding action from the government and political parties for 1.9 million people in Ontario with disabilities.
“With politicians making election promises to spend huge sums on public infrastructure, 1.9 million Ontarians with a physical, mental, sensory or other disability want to know what Ontario’s next government will do to ensure that new public transit stations are never built with accessibility barriers like those we expose in this new video, especially when spending public money,” said David Lepofsky, chair of the non-partisan AODA Alliance, which spearheads advocacy on accessibility for Ontarians with disabilities.
“People cannot believe that in the 21st century, new disability barriers are still being created in our built environment. We’re hoping our new video will help drive candidates in this election to make strong commitments for new action to strengthen and breathe new life into Ontario’s laws on accessibility for people with disabilities.”
As for McNeil, he said he believes a deadline of 2025 for all subway stations to be accessible “does not make Toronto a world-class city.”
Tim Kelly is a reporter for the Markham Economist & Sun, Thornhill Liberal, Vaughan Citizen, YorkRegion.com and their sister papers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter and YorkRegion.com on Facebook. Email: email@example.com