Increased use of taxis for HandyDart supported

Taxi use significantly increases the number of HandyDART rides that can be provided within the same budget.

Editor, The News:

The increased use of taxis within HandyDART is something that disability advocates have been requesting for years.

We’ve been asking for increased taxi use because HandyDART levels are inadequate and taxi use significantly increases the number of HandyDART rides that can be provided within the same budget.

For example, the Montreal custom transit system uses more than 90 per cent taxis and they provide almost twice as many rides as Metro Vancouver HandyDART does, for about the same budget.

Throughout North America, custom transit operators use taxis as part of their custom transit system to provide more needed rides. The independent auditor of TransLink services noted that our HandyDART service is much less efficient than other Canadian services, and recommended that TransLink increase the use of taxis to increase the number of rides provided in a cost efficient way.  This same recommendation was recently passed by the City of Vancouver Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee: that TransLink should substantially increase taxi service within HandyDART to provide more rides within the same funding envelope.

HandyDART currently does not meet people’s needs, and this is unacceptable.  Taxis are an excellent way of meeting this unmet need because they are about half as expensive as a ride on a regular HandyDART vehicle. That is why advocates and the independent auditor have recommended more taxi rides – twice as many rides can be provided for the same amount of government funding.

In a system where there aren’t enough rides, where need and the seniors population are increasing, and where public funds are limited, it is crucial to find ways to provide more needed service within the same funding envelope. Increasing taxi use within HandyDART is an established international best practice to do that.

Also, while it is true that travel with an untrained driver is unsafe, it is also true that this can be remedied and that a solution is about to be implemented.  For over a year, a group of disability and seniors organizations have been working collaboratively with the Vancouver taxi companies to design an excellent taxi driver training program to provide safe and appropriate service. All Vancouver taxi drivers will be required to take this training and pass it.  It will start in about two weeks.

We hope this will also be implemented in other areas soon.

Jill Weiss, chair

City of Vancouver Persons with Disabilities

Advisory Committee

Just Posted

BREAKING: Ministry changes shelter offer to Maple Ridge

Proposes separating shelter and supportive housing and maybe relocation

‘Put supportive housing and shelter at 21375 Lougheed’

Highway location would be ideal, says tent city spokesperson

News Views: The distance

Mobility Pricing Independent Commission recommends decongestion charges.

Letter: Past time to fully restore cursive writing

Editor, The News: Re: Citizen’s Ink: Despite technology, cursive writing remains essential.… Continue reading

Maple Ridge council tells BC Housing it wants better

Calls for new model of operating shelters

Vancouver Island girl scores with winning song for BC Summer Games

‘Colours’ is a perfect theme for 2018 BC Summer Games

Drivers could pay $8 per day to help cut gridlock under new plan

Mobility pricing report outlines two existing models to cut Metro Vancouver congestion by 20-25%

B.C. pipeline goes ahead despite scrapped Pacific Northwest LNG

NEB approves amendment for $1.4-billion natural gas North Montney Mainline Project

Update: Wildfire northwest of Kamloops jumps from 60 to 800 hectares

Ground crews and aircraft are responding to an estimated 50 hectare wildfire approximately 55 kilometers northwest of Kamloops, near the Deadman Vidette Road.

Feds limit chinook fishery to help killer whale recovery

Chinook is main food source for only 76 southern residents killer whales left

B.C. mom who died just before daughter’s wedding wanted family to be happy: twin

Ann Wittenberg was pulled into the ocean while on a surf board in Tofino last weekend

Courtenay-Alberni MP calls for lifeguards at popular surf spot near Tofino

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is defending its decision to cancel the surf guard program.

Harvey Weinstein to surrender in sex misconduct probe: officials

Would be first criminal charge against Weinstein since scores of women came forward

Rage win gold at May Madness

Ridge Meadows association hosts tournament

Most Read