So the No side had a resounding victory in the Transportation and Transit Plebiscite. It is,I think, an extremely disappointing, but unsurprising result. So where does that leave us as a region. Without stable funding for transit in Metro Vancouver, where do we go from here.
Well, service cuts are probably the first to happen. Transit services for the disabled and the elderly will likely be on the chopping block first.
HandyDART is Metro Vancouver’s door-to-door transit service for the disabled and elderly. HandyDART services were contracted out many years ago. Service can be frustrating with HandyDART. I know because I work everyday with people who rely on HandyDART for their daily lives. I also live in a building where a good half dozen of the residents rely on HandyDART to get them to important medical appointments.
HandyDART must always be booked a week or so in advance. If you are from certain outlying areas, there is only one HandyDART van per day that makes a trip into Vancouver. Some drivers are wonderful and personally deliver clients to the door. I’ve seen other drivers who are all in a huff about their 80+ year passenger taking too long to board the vehicle.
The service is essential for many of my clients and my neighbours. Without this service, they’d be isolated from social life and from important medical appointments.
With service cuts, I can only imagine that service could get worse. Wait times to get to an important medical appointment could become unreasonable. Most of us take for granted our mobility. We can get into our cars and do what we need to everyday. It’s not so easy for someone who has mobility or health issues.
- Seniors, people with disabilities could be hit hard by stalled funding – HandyDART Riders’ Alliance (BurnabyNOW)