HandyDART sleight of hand not helpful – Our reply to 24hrs article

This is our reply to a recent misleading article in 24Hours Vancouver titled HandyDART Trip Denials Plummet HD Trip Denials Plummet

Re HandyDART Trip Denials Plummet (Dec 16) Any HandyDART rider could tell you that things have gotten worse not better in recent months. The reported drop in trip denials is only because TransLink’s contractor changed the definition of denials to hide the continued deterioration in service.

It is also disturbing that the Disability Alliance of BC promoted taxis as a magic wand solution to the HandyDART service crisis in this article without their commercial ties with the taxi industry being revealed. Taxis do not provide the careful door to door service many HandyDART riders need for safety.

Seniors and people with disabilities need a substantial increase in HandyDART service provided by dedicated and properly trained drivers, not accounting tricks to hide the problem.

Beth McKellar & Tim Louis – HandyDART Riders’ Alliance co-coordinators

We tried to get media attention about this sleight of hand maneuver by US-Based MVT with the media release HandyDART Contractor Hiding Soaring Trip Denials, but it did not get picked up. We are hopeful that 24 Hours will print our letter, and maybe even publish an article about the true situation. You can also submit your own letter at http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/letters

But don’t let this be too much of a distraction, today the provincial government confirmed that the referendum on the Mayors’ Council transit package, including a 30% increase in HandyDART service over 10 years, is going ahead. Our main task now is to ensure the yes side wins this crucial vote.

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