Please consider writing, calling or speaking in support of the motion Keeping HandyDART Accessible to People Living with Disabilities, which will be discussed at the Tuesday June 8 Vancouver City Council meeting.
TransLink is proposing an invasive and adversarial interview process to refuse service to some applicants, instead of expanding service to meet demand. The outcome of the new registration process could be a decision that an applicant is not eligible for HandyDART, rather than further assistance for those who need it. At first, this will only apply to new riders. But if this new system is put in place it will likely be applied to existing HandyDART riders later.
TransLink states that the process “would be similar to the current registration process in communities served by BC Transit.” BC Transit’s interview processes are primarily about denying service to reduce costs, and they have contracted much of the work out to massive medical companies.
TransLink is doing consultation on what they call the “HandyDART Modernization Program.” TransLink’s proposal is that their ‘medical professionals’ could deny access to HandyDART after an interview.
The intention of this invasive interview process is to refuse service to some applicants, instead of expanding service to meet demand. (They are also proposing other changes like accepting Compass Cards that could be OK.)
The outcome of the new registration process could be a decision that an applicant is not eligible for HandyDART. At first, this will only apply to new riders. But if this new system is put in place it will likely be applied to existing HandyDART riders later.
[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
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;
- Seek Board approval to create a HandyDART Users
The Human Rights Tribunal case was originally filed in 2017 and
was related to the provision of public transit to people with mental and
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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’ Alliance
HandyDART Riders to Press for Elected TransLink Board:
Group will attend September 28 meeting of board NDP denounced as “Liberal appointees” Continue reading
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
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
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