HandyDart users concerned about wait times and ride availability: seniors’ report

Wait times and ride availability a problem for one-third of B.C. riders, according to the Office of the Seniors Advocate.

About one-third of B.C. HandyDart riders are saying the ride service is not meeting their needs, specifically when it comes to ride availability and wait times for rides.

That’s according to a report released by the Office of the Seniors Advocate Thursday, which surveyed 7,500 HandyDart riders across the province.

Survey questions included what people think of the application process, the availability of rides, the cost of the service, as well as overall satisfaction levels.

Seniors advocate Isobel Mackenzie said while the survey highlights a 91 per cent approval of how the ride service currently runs, the service is still not meeting the needs of all its users.

“Obviously there’s good news here,” Mackenzie said. “People are telling us that across many aspects of this service, things are positive, however we are still concerned that there are a significant number of seniors whose transportation needs are not being met,” she said.

Wait times, and getting to their destination on time was the issue that affected most survey respondents.

While 60 per cent of clients report they always reach appointments on time, less than half reported they are always picked up within the 30-minute window.

Majority of respondents said they use HandyDart primarily to get to medical appointments, then social outings, and running errands.

Other reasons for the low rating of service include the booking experience, and the time required to book rides in advance.

When placed on standby, 26 per cent of survey respondents said they were rarely or never able to get a ride when placed on standby, and 38 per cent aren’t fully certain of how no-show and cancellation policies work.

And costs for the service are also an issue for riders, the survey shows.

About 17 per cent of respondents said the cost was too high.

It costs about $2.50 to ride the HandyDart one way. A month pass costs $40 to $70, depending on age.

The survey shows just more than half of the riders have an income of less than $20,000, while 15 per cent have an income less than $10,000 a year.

Mackenzie said costs are something that need to be looked closely at.

“While 83 per cent of respondents told us cost is not an issue, we have to remember that some of our lowest income seniors rely heavily on this service and they clearly are telling us if it cost less, they would use it more,” she said.

HandyDart is a door-to-door service for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use conventional public transit without assistance. Most users are over the age of 65 – or 78 per cent.

 


@ashwadhwaniashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.caLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

HandyDart Survey Results by Ashley Wadhwani on Scribd

Just Posted

Grizzlies program a pinnacle in the KIJHL

Monday to Thursday it’s a grind but playing in front of a full barn is fun-Ryan Parent, GM

See David Mamet’s The Frog Prince in Revelstoke this weekend

The show goes Saturday and Sunday at Track Street Growers

Photos: Revelstoke’s ninth annual Emergency Services Food Drive

It’s one of the largest yearly food drives for Revelstoke

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

WHL action returns to Okanagan, Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

Lake Country aims to find happy-medium in Airport Inn shutdown

Airport Inn residents will have until Oct. 5. to find a new home unless an appeal is approved

Most Read