Re: “HandyDART layoffs hurt those it serves,” The Leader, Letters, June 6.
Letter writer Mr. Mark Beeching has his numbers correct, but is misleading in applying them
It is true that TransLink is running a pilot project that puts 10,000 hours of HandyDART service to taxis (less than two per cent of annual service hours). Although 10,000 hours will be diverted to taxis under this pilot, we expect an overall addition of 7,000 customer trips. Customers receive a trip by taxi only if it is appropriate for their mobility requirements. This practice is also used by other specialized transit agencies in Canada.
TransLink recognizes that HandyDART trip denials are a challenge. There is no doubt that demand for service exceeds current resources and service availability. That’s why TransLink is running this pilot project as one way to provide more trips to Handy-DART customers with the funding resources we have. We have heard from HandyDART users that they also value the use of taxis, as they are an important transportation option for seniors and people with disabilities.
Chief Operating Officer, TransLink