Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

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

Media Release: HandyDART Riders will tell TransLink board to put contracting out on hold

HandyDART Riders At TransLink Board Meeting

Media Release: HandyDART Riders’ Alliance

HandyDART Riders will tell TransLink board to put contracting out on hold:
NDP TransLink Minister must have chance to complete public sector comparator Continue reading

HRA News: Get Out and Vote for More HandyDART! Tomorrow is Election Day

Tomorrow, Tuesday May 9, is Election Day. And the choices are clear if you want better HandyDART service. Your candidate’s campaign office can provide a ride to the polling place – just give them a call!

Bet reminded NDP Leader John Horgan of the NDP’s commitment to increase HandyDART service 5% per year for 4 years

This is what the BC NDP says about HandyDART in their platform:

“HandyDART service hours were frozen by Christy Clark and the BC Liberals in 2009, and as a result, trip denials went up over 600 per cent. Service quality has also deteriorated, with riders routinely forced to wait for hours.
 
›› We will work with TransLink and BC Transit to find long and lasting solutions to improve HandyDART service, reduce trip denials, and ensure that seniors and people with disabilities get the rides they need.”
John Horgan and the NDP have also committed to providing funding to increase HandyDART service hours by 5% per year for the next four years. The Green Party’s platform does not mention HandyDART, but does pledge more support for public transit. Continue reading

HRA News – Vote for More HandyDART – In Advance!

Voting has started! The BC provincial election platforms are out, and only one mentions HandyDART. The 129 page BC Liberal platform mentions ‘wine’ fifteen times, but does NOT mention HandyDART even once.

BC NDP Platform promises increased funding for HandyDART

This is what the BC NDP says about HandyDART in their platform: Continue reading

HRA News – Advance Voting – Only NDP Mentions HandyDART in Platform

BC Liberal Platform does not mention HandyDART

The BC provincial election platforms are out, and only one mentions HandyDART. The 129 page BC Liberal platform mentions ‘wine’ dozens of times, but does not mention HandyDART even once. The Green Party’s platform does not mention HandyDART either, but does pledge more support for public transit.

This is what the BC NDP says about HandyDART in their platform: Continue reading

HRA Newsletter – BC NDP Commits to 20% HandyDART service increase:

Mayors’ Council also supports provincial boost to HandyDART service

HandyDART Riders’ Alliance members were among the 800 delegates from the Metro Vancouver Alliance’s (MVA) 57 member organizations at the packed Italian Cultural Centre in Vancouver on April 4. We were there to call on John Horgan, Leader of the New Democratic Party of BC, and Andrew Weaver, Leader of the Green Party of BC, to support MVA’s provincial agenda on affordable housing crisis, HandyDART service, income inequality and

Bet Tuason

healthcare. Christy Clark, Leader of the BC Liberal Party, chose not to attend. Continue reading