Category Archives: Uncategorized

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.”

The “Liberal appointees” are still on the TransLink board, and the NDP has not yet told us when they will be removed and democratic control restored. The TransLink board is meeting on Thursday September 28 at 10 am and we will be there. Please join us!

Join us at 10 am to 12 noon on Thursday Sept 28
TransLink Boardroom – 4th Floor
#400 – 287 Nelson’s Court, New Westminster, BC

HandyDART riders at TransLink board meeting

We are not that interested in talking to the “Liberal appointees” but will have signs aimed at encouraging the provincial government to fulfil their promises quickly. And we will be talking to any reporters who attend. Until a new board is in place, Minister Selina Robinson and Premier John Horgan are directly responsible for everything TransLink does.

One of the urgent issues the NDP has not yet dealt with is contracting out. The decision will be made soon on contracting out HandyDART again for a minimum of 3-5 years, or bringing HandyDART in house. We believe that TransLink received direction from the previous BC Liberal government to contract out without serious consideration of any other option.

TransLink issued a Request for Proposals for HandyDART contracting out and the corporations have already filed their responses. It is what happens next that is the question. Will the NDP seriously consider bringing HandyDART in house, empower a new TransLink board of elected officials to make the decision, or will they choose “passing the buck” to a bunch of “Liberal appointees”?

If you agree that the NDP should act quickly on their promises, and that HandyDART should be brought in house, please write Premier John Horgan at premier@gov.bc.ca (emails will be passed on to Minister Robinson). You can also phone the office of Selina Robinson, Minister Responsible for TransLink at (250) 387-2283.

Updates:

Human Rights Complaint – We believe that high quality HandyDART service should be non-negotiable. We see the poor quality of HandyDART service associated with contracting out as a human rights violation, and filed a human rights complaint. This complaint was recently accepted by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, and mediation is tentatively scheduled for mid-December. We will let you know how it goes!

Service Increases – The BC NDP also made some impressive promises regarding increasing HandyDART service. Their platform states: “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 also committed to providing funding through a special grant to increase HandyDART service hours by 5% per year for the next four years at a Metro Vancouver Alliance electoral assembly. We will be working with our allies at the Metro Vancouver Alliance to ensure this commitment is honored.

BC NDP Platform promises increased funding for HandyDART

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

Happy New Year from the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance!

2016 was a momentous year for the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance, and 2017 is shaping up to be just as busy and important. We have achieved a lot, and with your help can achieve a lot more.

The HRA has been working for years to get regular annual increases in HandyDART service. And now we have been promised increases in 2017, 2018 & 2019. This is much better than the situation since 2009, and sets the stage for further increases in future years.

Before thinking about the year to come, it seems like time to take a look back. In 2008, the Provincial Liberals unveiled a grandiose pre-election transit plan. It had something for everyone, and a price tag of $14 billion dollars. The provincial Liberals were re-elected in 2009. And they quickly reneged on their transit promises and started cutting back on Transit service, including HandyDART.

Continue reading