Save our HandyDART! Virtual Townhall
Are you concerned about Translink’s increasing use of taxis to perform HandyDART trips? Are you worried about the service’s lack of public accountability?
Join the Save Our HandyDART! Virtual Townhall
DATE: Wednesday, September 20th
TIME: 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM PDT
LOCATION: Online, via Zoom
Report: “Access for Everyone? Publicly Operated HandyDART”
A new report called “Access for Everyone? Publicly Operated HandyDART” was released last week. It shows TransLink’s HandyDART contractor is failing to meet the demand for HandyDART services. The report found that in 2022 TransLink provided just half the HandyDART service per senior as it had in 2008. Read the press release and full report here: https://ecoplanning.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/Access-for-Everyone-media-release-2023-05-02.pdf
DABC is endorsing the report. Along with unions, climate, and seniors groups, we call on TransLink to bring HandyDART in house and operate the service directly, instead of contracting it out to private businesses. We believe this will improve services.
The Vancouver and District Labour Council is seeking speakers with experience using HandyDART who are willing to speak at an upcoming mayors’ meeting, in support of Translink providing HandyDART services directly. Please contact DABC if you want to speak at the mayors’ meeting, or you can register here: https://www.translink.ca/about-us/about-translink/mayors-council-on-regional-transportation#speaking-at-mayors-council-meetings.
Province announces additional funding for accessible taxis
The B.C. government has announced that additional funding has been allocated to launch its Passenger Transportation Accessibility Program: https://globalnews.ca/news/9452049/b-c-funding-program-accessible-taxis/
DABC is pleased to see that additional funding will support increasing the amount of accessible taxis available, and we certainly hope that the owners/operators of these taxis will receive comprehensive and meaningful accessibility training.
However, we also recognize that this new initiative may not address another important issue facing people with disabilities using taxis: there are still too many incidents of taxi drivers choosing not to pick up riders who use wheelchairs/mobility aids, or refusing to accept taxi-savers for individuals that can’t be picked up by HandyDART.