HandyDART has suspended fare payments to protect operators. (BLACK PRESS files)

HandyDART has suspended fare payments to protect operators. (BLACK PRESS files)

TransLink suspends HandyDART fare payments in all communities including Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Action taken to protect operators and riders during COVID-19 crisis

Starting today TransLink has suspended fare collection on the HandyDART system due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

HandyDART is a door-to-door ride-sharing service for people with physical or cognitive disabilities who cannot use conventional public transit without assistance.

Since the HandyDART fare payment often requires close interaction between operators and customers, TransLink is taking this step to protect operators and promote physical distancing.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge food bank anticipating a flood of registrations

Fare collection has already been suspended for conventional buses to reduce close contact between operators and customers. However, regular fares still apply on SkyTrain, West Coast Express and SeaBus as payment doesn’t involve any person-to-person interaction.

Other HandyDART operational changes include: vehicles being cleaned and disinfected every day; customers being spaced out; and operators being supplied with sanitizing kids including gloves, hand sanitizer bottles or sanitizing wipes.

Around 70 per cent of HandyDART daily trips have already been cancelled which has resulted in fewer customers on each bus and greater social distancing, said TransLink.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

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