“This is a way for people to self-identify their need for a seat whether they have a physical disability or ‘invisible’ disability in some cases, some injuries for example,” TTC spokesperson Stuart Green told Global News on Tuesday, adding the program could make it easier for people who are pregnant or older to ask for a seat.
“There are reasons that people need seats. We’re not asking people to tell us what those reasons are. They’ll be able to self-identify their own need.”
Green said the idea is modelled after programs in London, England, and New York City and was advocated for by the transit agency’s Advisory Committee for Accessible Transit.
The TTC said program participation is voluntary and buttons or cards aren’t required to sit in blue priority seats, which are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
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Transit officials said people who don’t adhere to priority seating signs and regulations could potentially be fined by a TTC enforcement officer under the agency’s bylaw.
The buttons and cards will be available through TTC staff at subway collector booths or customer service agents on duty.
LISTEN: Brad Ross of the TTC on the ‘Please offer me a seat’ campaign