Transit referendum win would release HandyDART riders from house arrest
For immediate release – Thursday December 11, 2014
“The mayors have proposed a substantial and ongoing increase in HandyDART service” says HandyDART Riders’ Alliance spokesperson and former Vancouver City Councillor Tim Louis. “It is a step towards releasing people with disabilities from the virtual house arrest the service freeze has created.”
The Mayors Council proposal is for a 30% increase in HandyDART service hours over 10 years, averaging about 2.7% per year.
When elected mayors and councillors sat on the TransLink Board, they increased HandyDART service hours by about 5% per year. But after the provincial government imposed an appointed board in 2008, HandyDART service hours were frozen and HandyDART trip denials soared.
Previous freedom of information requests show that people with disabilities and seniors were denied HandyDART service over 42,000 times in 2013, an eight-fold increase in four years. There were 5,075 HandyDART denials in 2009 and 42,418 in 2013.
“What the mayors are proposing is enough for us to step up and campaign for the yes side, although we really need more considering the increasing number of older seniors” says HandyDART Riders’ Alliance spokesperson Beth McKellar.
HandyDART is a door-to-door transit service for people with disabilities and older seniors who cannot use the regular transit system for at least some trips.
Backgrounder available at http://handydartriders.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/HRA-Backgrounder-Transit-Referendum-HandyDART-Dec-10-2014.pdf
For more information please contact:
Elizabeth McKellar HandyDART Riders’ Alliance Co-coordinator 604 444 9289
Tim Louis, HandyDART Riders’ Alliance Co-coordinator 604 732 7678 or 604 738 0405