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Helpers Ride The Bus For Free In Toronto

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An photograph of the inside of a TTC bus. Image: 분당선M
An photograph of the inside of a TTC bus. Image: 분당선M

A program introduced by Toronto’s Transit Commission (TTC) this year is helping disabled people travel more easily.

The new program allows disabled people to have a support person (helper) ride with them on transit for free.

Helpers can ride on the city’s buses, subways and streetcars free if they are helping a disabled person; the two people pay one fare rather than two.

The program makes it easier for people with disabilities to get around the city.

Disabled people must apply for a special TTC Support Person Assistance Card, which allows their support person to ride for free.

According to the TTC website, “a support person is someone who assists the card holder with communication, mobility, personal care/medical needs or with access to goods, services or facilities.”

The program is in effect now, even if people don’t yet have their card, but cards will be required starting May 1.

The program falls under an Ontario law that aims to make transportation easier for disabled people throughout the province.

Related links
The TTC’s website with more information about the Support Person Assistance Card.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Some people who have disabilities need help to get around a big city like Toronto. Sometimes they may use a support person to help them. This article decribes a support person as “someone who assists the card holder with communication, mobility, personal care/medical needs or with access to goods, services or facilities.” What does this description mean? Can you explain what a support person does in your own words?

Brainstorm at least 10 specific circumstances when a support person could help someone with a disability.

Reading Prompt: Metacognition
Reading involves a lot of concentration and thinking! When we read (whether we are aware of it or not), we are constantly checking to make sure we understand the words on the page. How do you know when you are not understanding during reading? What strategies do you use to help you when you don’t understand what you read?

Junior & Intermediate
Identify the strategies they found most helpful before, during, and after reading and explain, in conversation with the teacher and/or peers or in a reader’s notebook, how they can use these and other strategies to improve as readers (OME, Reading: 4.1).

Grammar Feature: Acronym
An acronym is a shortened series of words. Acronyms are often created by putting together the first letters of the words that you want to shorten. For example, instead of saying Toronto Transit Commission, the acronym TTC is used.

Do you ever send text messages or emails? What acronyms do you use to shorten your writing?

Invent your own acronym and see if your friend can figure out what it stands for.