HandyDART should not be shortchanged
HandyDART, a public transportation system for people with disabilities, is not meeting demand.
By June of 2012, the number of clients who were denied trips had surpassed levels for all of 2011.
These statistics hide the increasing number of clients that have to turn down one-way trips due to cost and physical barriers.
TransLink has allotted 10,000 hours of service from HandyDART to taxis as a supplement for the service as of April 1 this year.
HandyDART workers take extensive training yearly, and are a stable and long-term workforce. The taxi industry has minimal training in assisting disabled people.
Plus, taxi income relies on quick trips. HandyDART drivers can take the time necessary to provide safe, door-to-door service without worrying about losing potential income.
Daily, HandyDART passengers are stranded in their homes, unable to seek medical attention, get groceries, or meet their social needs.
TransLink continues feeble attempts at meeting demand through inadequate “efficiencies” rather than demanding stable funding from the provincial government.
Billions of dollars of taxpayer money goes to mega-projects while disabled people and seniors suffer.