This is a link to an important report on HandyDart services in Metro Vancouver prepared under the direction of COSCO member Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1724 report and endorsed by the COSCO Executive. Our major affiliate BC FORUM is also part of the action team advocating for changes in how HandyDart is managed and administered to better meet the needs of seniors.
This report was released in early May and was picked up by CTV news. https://bc.ctvnews.ca/new-report-states-translink-s-handydart-service-fails-to-meet-the-needs-of-the-aging-population-1.6382506. Report is also available at https://ecoplanning.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Access-for-Everyone-Final-2023-03-20.pdf
We are continuing to work with Mark Beeching and others on reaching out to local Mayors with a view to presenting the findings at the next meeting of the Mayor’s Council. If you are interested in being part of this process please let me know. Of special interest would be HandyDART users who have lived experiences they would like to share.
Here are some key excerpts from the report:
Experience in Metro Vancouver and elsewhere shows that substituting taxis for dedicated custom transit vehicles results in sub-standard safety and service, often without any real reduction in costs.
Over the last few years, TransLink’s HandyDART operations have been in the hands of four different corporations. Every time a new contractor takes over, years of efficiency gains are lost as new management implements new procedures. Employee morale suffers along with efficiency, quality of service, and workplace health & safety. Stability is crucial for attracting and retaining qualified workers. 0.00% 10.00% 20.00% 30.00% 40.00% 50.00% Men Women Disability Rates – 40-54 years old Non-Indigenous First Nations – Off Reserve Stability is crucial for attracting and retaining qualified workers 7 www.ecoplanning.ca2023 Access for Everyone? Contacting out also means that TransLink staff do not gain the knowledge and experience service they would if involved directly in HandyDART operations. It seems likely that Transport 2050 would not have the glaring gaps it has regarding aging and HandyDART if TransLink staff were directly involved in providing HandyDART service.
Thanks to all for their support and thanks to Jerry Gosling for representing COSCO on this group.