Category Archives: Uncategorized

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. We are comprised of nearly 60 organizations, representing over 275,000 people in the Lower Mainland. We work together for the common good.

Transit and transportation is one of the areas that most impact our members’ lives – accessible transit in particular. Listening to our members over the last months and years, we have heard an overwhelming number of stories of problems with HandyDART, including trip refusals, barriers caused by borders, long trip times, late pick ups, system outages, circuitous and inefficient routes, lack of notifications, and poor service from taxis when riders are forced to use them. They only thing our members universally praise is the efforts of experienced HandyDART bus drivers to provide quality service in difficult circumstances.

Contracting this custom transit service out to a private company necessitates profit, taking money from the service and reducing accountability. It has detrimental effects on service to clients and the working environment for the workers.

We therefore support the call by MVA members ATU Local 1724 and the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance to bring the service back in-house.

If you should instead choose to approve the awarding of the contract to First Canada this afternoon, we ask that you do your utmost to ensure the current union contract is upheld and workers will keep their jobs and seniority. It is important for the continuity of service, for the clients who so highly value their experienced drivers and dispatchers, and for the workers who are committed their jobs. I have heard that First Canada has agreed to this already. Hold them to it.

Regardless of your decision regarding contracting out, we also look for better oversight and investment with this new contract. More vehicle service hours, better software, improved processes, and reduced reliance on taxis are all needed. We propose an open monitoring process for the new contract that includes riders, community and union representatives. MVA is willing to assist TransLink in bringing this about.

Finally, prepare to bring HandyDART in-house if the contractor fails to live up to the contract conditions, or when this contract ends.

Sincerely,
Maria Robinson

 

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

Media Release – HandyDART increase insufficient to keep pace with need: TransLink report

HandyDART Riders At TransLink Board Meeting

Media Release: HandyDART Riders’ Alliance

HandyDART increase insufficient to keep pace with need: TransLink report

On March 30 the TransLink board will discuss documents revealing that TransLink provides less HandyDART service per capita than comparable transit agencies, and that the population of people over 70 years old is expected to increase 55% in just 10 years. Continue reading

Important TransLink HandyDART Docs!

HandyDART Service Review March 2017 TransLink recently posted a 333 page PDF with everything to be considered at the March 30 Board meeting, including the ‘Family of Services” graphic. We didn’t think that was a very accessible format, so here are a few of the documents related to HandyDART:

Continue reading

TransLink Says Over 70yr Olds to Increase 55% in 10 years

Today, TransLink emailed out a summary of the “Stakeholder Review” they did on HandyDART service. We have not had time to go through it in detail yet, but there are some interesting points:

The report states that “the number of people over the age of 70 in Metro Vancouver is expected to increase by approximately 55% over the next 10 years.” A 55% increase in people over 70 will greatly increase the need for HandyDART service. Continue reading