Re: [LETTER: TransLink mayors and board shortchanging HandyDART, union says, mapleridgenews.com, June 13]
HandyDART is an essential service for nearly 25,000 customers unable to use the conventional system independently, approximately 70% of whom are elderly. I want to make it clear that we are committed to developing and improving HandyDART for our customers.
Here’s why and how we’re going to do it.
We will increase the HandyDART service by 3% next year, following a 17% increase over the past five years. We are also looking to increase service by 60% over the next decade, while extending service hours to 24 hours a day.
The electrification of our entire HandyDART fleet is also planned, as outlined in our climate action strategy. This is an important part of TransLink’s plan to achieve net zero emissions as we work collectively to fight climate change.
We recently reduced HandyDART fares for seniors and introduced Compass readers on every vehicle. This not only made HandyDART more affordable, but also made the service easier to use.
We work hard to ensure that HandyDART provides excellent customer service, and we are committed to constantly improving it by listening to our customers. We regularly hear from users about their experience, and satisfaction scores for HandyDART remain high. Current overall satisfaction, punctuality and ease of booking exceed all ratings we received in 2019. With 94% of rides arriving on time last year, HandyDART provides reliable service to our customers.
We know that about a quarter of our customers rely on HandyDART to get to critical dialysis treatments, about a fifth use the service to get to important medical appointments, and many more use the service to make shopping or visiting family and friends.
HandyDART is an essential resource for the community in which we are committed to investing and improving.
Sarah Ross, TransLink Vice President, Transportation Planning and Policy
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