Media Release: TransLink and HandyDART Riders’ Alliance Announce Settlement Agreement

[This is the joint media release agreed to by TransLink and the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance. More info coming soon.]

March 22, 2019

NEW WESTMINSTER – TransLink and the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance today announced a joint settlement in a Human Rights Tribunal case regarding HandyDART services.

As part of the Settlement Agreement, TransLink will:

  • Produce an annual stand-alone public report on HandyDART service performance;
  • Provide funding to the Social Planning and Research Council to conduct research on the experience of HandyDART customers; and,
  • Seek Board approval to create a HandyDART Users Group.

The Human Rights Tribunal case was originally filed in 2017 and was related to the provision of public transit to people with mental and physical disabilities.

HandyDART provides an average of 5,000 rides per day. TransLink is committed to improving the customer experience for HandyDART users as we understand how critical these services are and we do our best every day working with our third-party provider, First Transit, to help our customers get to where they need to go safely and conveniently. As a result of the Custom Transit Service Performance Review, TransLink has already taken steps to improve services for HandyDART users. TransLink is also in the midst of a 15 per cent increase in HandyDART service hours.

The HandyDART Riders’ Alliance applauds these initial steps in the Settlement Agreement, which work towards improving public transit for individuals with mental and physical disabilities, and looks forward to continued participation in creating a transit system that is accessible to everyone. 

Media contacts: 

Beth McKellar – HandyDART Riders’ Alliance

P: (604) 444-9289 E: HandyDARTriders [at] gmail.com

TransLink Media Relations

C: (778) 375-7788 E: media [at] translink.ca

Great Letter from MVA in Vancouver Sun

The HandyDART Riders Alliance is a member of the Metro Vancouver Alliance (MVA), a great group of groups. Recently MVA Transit Team Co-chair wrote this great letter to the Vancouver Sun.

Re: B.C. Budget 2019: Discounted transit fares, HandyDART funding absent, Feb. 20. 

In 2017, the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal agreed to hear a complaint alleging that the lack of HandyDART service in Metro Vancouver is a human-rights violation. That same year, John Horgan committed, if elected premier, to providing funding through a special grant to increase HandyDART service hours by 20 per cent over four years. More than 800 delegates from Metro Vancouver Alliance member organizations were there to hear Horgan’s words.

Since then, the number of seniors and people with disabilities has continued to increase and the HandyDART crisis in Metro Vancouver drags on. There is still no line item for HandyDART in the provincial budget.

Our 57 member organizations representing more than 700,000 people are still waiting for Horgan to follow through on his commitment.

Maria Robinson, Metro Vancouver Alliance, New Westminster

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/letters/letters-march-2-handydart-users-are-still-waiting-for-premier-to-follow-through-on-his-commitment?

HRA In The News: B.C. Budget 2019: Discounted transit fares, HandyDART funding absent

The lack of funding for desperately needed improvements to HandyDART service was in the news again, this time in the Vancouver Sun:

“Beth McKellar, co-chair of the HandyDART Riders Alliance called the lack of specific funding for HandyDART in Metro Vancouver “very, very disappointing” because the service is in demand.

“There are people who want to sign up for HandyDART every day because they need it,” she said.

Read the full article at https://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-budget-2019-discounted-transit-fares-handydart-funding-absent

Metro Vancouver Alliance Letter to TransLink

Today, the Metro Vancouver Alliance sent this letter to the TransLink Board. It is great to have so many allies from diverse groups! Download a PDF of the letter here!

Re: Custom Transit Services Procurement

To the TransLink Board:

I am writing to you on behalf of the Metro Vancouver Alliance. We are a broad-based alliance of faith, labour, academic, and community organizations across the Lower Mainland. Continue reading

HRA In the news: HandyDART service awful, group says

Delta Optimist, November 19, 2017

It’s time to stop the poor service, says the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance.
The advocacy group representing people with disabilities and mobility issues is demanding TransLink assume responsibility of the transportation service, making their feelings known at a Mayors’ Council meeting this week. Continue reading

Media Release: HandyDART Riders to Remind Mayors of Responsibility for HandyDART

HandyDART Riders At TransLink Board Meeting

The HandyDART Riders’ Alliance and supporters will attend the TransLink Mayors’ Council meeting on Thursday November 16, 9 to 11am, to remind them of their responsibilities to HandyDART riders.

“The TransLink Mayors’ Council was once loud and clear in promising better HandyDART service, and denouncing unaccountable governance at TransLink” says HandyDART Riders’ Alliance Co-chair Beth McKellar. “Now that they claim to be fully involved in TransLink decision making, they need to take responsibility for those decisions.” Continue reading

HandyDART Riders Speak Out! Join us Thurs November 16 at 9 am!

The Mayors and the provincial government seem to need a reminder that this is a crucial time for HandyDART riders. Both the NDP government and the mayors have made some impressive promises about HandyDART and TransLink. But they need to hear you demand action!

HandyDART rider at July 2017 TransLink Mayors’ Council meeting

The TransLink Mayors’ Council is meeting on Thursday Nov 16 and we will be there. Please join us!

Join us at 9 am to 11am on Thursday November 16
#400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster, BC

Share the Facebook event and invite your friends! https://www.facebook.com/events/1753966737978864/ Continue reading

HRA News – Write or phone your mayor & MLA today! New HandyDART report!

This is a crucial time for HandyDART, and we need your help today. Both the NDP government and the mayors have made some impressive promises about HandyDART and TransLink. But they need to hear you demand action!

A new report on HandyDART has just been released. It recommends bringing HandyDART in-house as a TransLink subsidiary, and restoring accountable governance of TransLink. The report was presented to the TransLink Mayors’ Council, but so far most of the mayors are not speaking out to support HandyDART riders. (The report is available here as a PDF. The Vancouver Sun and CBC covered the story.) Continue reading

Media Release: HandyDART Riders to attend meeting of board NDP denounced as “Liberal appointees”

Media Release: HandyDART Riders’ Alliance

HandyDART Riders to Press for Elected TransLink Board:
Group will attend September 28 meeting of board NDP denounced as “Liberal appointees” Continue reading

HRA News – Join us Thurs Sept 28 at 10 am! Time for HandyDART Riders to be seen again!

It has been an eventful few months for HandyDART riders. We now have a new government in Victoria that has made some impressive promises about HandyDART and TransLink. At the HandyDART Riders Alliance, we are hopeful but it looks like the new NDP government may need a reminder of the urgency of acting on these promises.

The NDP committed to fixing TransLink

During the election, the BC NDP made a number of promises. One of the most important is to “Fix TransLink” by restoring democratic control. The BC NDP platform states that the “BC Liberals made a mess of Metro Vancouver’s transportation governance, by undermining the mayors, giving power to Liberal appointees over elected officials [and] passing the buck when convenient.” Continue reading