HandyDART Riders will Campaign for Mayors’ Transit Plan in Referendum: Thirty percent over 10-years inadequate after 5-year freeze, but riders group will support as a good first step.
For immediate release – Friday June 13, 2014
“After five years of neglect we desperately need more HandyDART vans on the road” says HandyDART Riders’ Alliance spokesperson Elizabeth McKellar. “What the mayors are proposing is not enough, but it is good enough for us to step up and campaign for the yes side if the province approves taking the proposal to referendum.”
The Mayors Council proposal is for a 30% increase in HandyDART service hours over 10 years. This translates to about 2.7% per year compounded.
When elected mayors and councillors sat on the TransLink Board, they increased HandyDART service hours by about 5% per year to keep up with demand. 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.
“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 not enough, but it is a big step in the right direction and enough for us to campaign for the yes side in a referendum.”
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.
The recently-formed HandyDART Riders’ Alliance is open to HandyDART riders and allies, and is a member of the GetOnBoard BC transit coalition. For more information on these groups see www.handydartriders.ca and www.GetOnBoardBC.ca
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