HandyDart riders voiced their concerns at TransLink’s open board meeting on Wednesday over what they’re calling inadequate service levels.
The HandyDart Riders Alliance is calling on the transit authority to turn the service back into a non-profit, as it’s being run privately by an American-owned company.
Organizer Beth McKeller says she wants to expose the “mess” the current service is in, in which users have limited access to taxis when a HandyDart is not available.
McKeller says taxi drivers are not helpful to seniors and people with disabilities.
TransLink’s board chair Barry Forbes says he wants to work with disability advocates to see how they can do better.
“We need to engage with folks more, we had an offer today they want to work with us more in the future. We welcome that opportunity, we want them to come forward and tell us.”
Forbes says the contract for the company operating HandyDART services in the region comes up in 2017, and the transit organization will be looking at their options next year.
“Part of the review that’s also underway, that will be underway in 2016, is looking at: what are the ways we might provide service in the future, or are there other ways, better ways that aren’t present available, or that we’re not presently offering.”
HandyDART is currently operated by an American company, MVT Bus Canada.