HandyDart survey underway

Users of the HandyDart transit system around the province are being asked what they think of the service.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate is conducting a province-wide survey of HandyDart users.

The Office of the Seniors Advocate has launched the largest ever survey of B.C.’s HandyDart service, to see how well the service is helping people meet their transportation needs.

HandyDart is a door-to-door bus service provided by TransLink, BC Transit, and their service providers for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use conventional public transit without assistance. The majority of users, approximately 73 per cent, are aged 65 or older. It is offered in several local communities through Yellowhead Community Services.

People in Ashcroft and area who use the service should have received the survey; if they have not, they should call the office at 1-877-952-3181. Seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie says that 30,000 surveys have been sent out, and they expect to get a lot of replies.

“We need to hear from more people in small communities, to find out what people in rural B.C. need,” she explains. “It’s more important for [every user] in Ashcroft to reply than people in the Lower Mainland.

“Transportation is identified as a key issue for seniors. We need to ensure a robust transportation system is in place for seniors, most of whom are still active, but may no longer be able to drive. HandyDart is part of that system.”

The comprehensive survey asks a range of questions, beginning with how people found the application process. “I’m interested to know if the cost of using HandyDart is an impediment,” says Mackenzie. “If people use the service every day, is the cost a burden? Do people favour a more progressive fee system, where people with a higher income pay a higher fee?”

The survey will also ask what users think of the service’s availability, and about users’ overall satisfaction levels with HandyDart. To ensure statistical integrity, a sample of every other client will be surveyed on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, and the Okanagan, while all clients in the other three regions that offer the service will be surveyed.

The survey can be completed on paper and mailed to the Office of the Seniors Advocate, or completed online, by November 7. The survey results will then be collated, and Mackenzie says that the findings will be presented to the provincial government as part of an overall review of seniors’ transportation issues.

“If we don’t hear from people what they want, it makes planning difficult. People who use the system have a better understanding of the challenges and consequences. It’s important to hear from users, and not just plan in a vacuum.”

Just Posted

Local Liberal MP Jati Sidhu says he forgives Trudeau for brownface photos

Sidhu says Trudeau ‘didn’t know any better’ and that photos will prompt discussion

Local Liberal candidate says ad showing him with Abbotsford police officer was ‘not acceptable’

Jati Sidhu said advertisement only appeared for 30 minutes and was created by Montreal company

Cache Creek councillor has committee appointments rescinded

Council also presented with need for roof repairs to Cache Creek fire hall

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

HUB Online Network finding its feet, documenting the region

New venture already has nearly three dozen videos up on YouTube channel

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

One-in-five British Columbians think they’ll win big while gambling: study

Roughly 58 per cent of British Columbians bought at least one lottery ticket in past year

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Oak Bay father’s testimony at murder trial like plot of ‘bad low-budget movie:’ Crown

Crown alleged Andrew Berry’s ‘entire story of Christmas Day is a lie’

B.C. truck drivers to face higher fines for not using winter tire chains

As of Oct. 1, not using chains on the highway when required could net you a $598 ticket

Most Read