B.C.’s Seniors Advocate is asking 30,000 users of HandyDART what they think of the service.
HandyDART is a door-to-door service 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 65 or older. Last year 2.37 million rides were provided, with 51 per cent of these in the Lower Mainland.
Recipients of the survey can either complete a paper-based survey or fill it out online. Surveys should be completed and returned by Nov. 7.
“Transportation is identified as a key issue for seniors,” said B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie.
At age 65, 76 per cent of seniors have an active driver’s licence, and that drops to 34 per cent for those over 85.
“Clearly we need to ensure a robust transportation system is in place for seniors, most of who are still active, but may no longer be able to drive. HandyDART is part of that system and we need to ask the people who are using the service how well it is meeting their overall transportation needs,” said Mackenzie.
The survey asks a range of questions starting with what people think of the application process, the availability of rides, the cost of the service, as well as overall satisfaction levels. To ensure statistical integrity, a sample of every other client will be surveyed on Vancouver Island, the Okanagan, and the Lower Mainland, while for the other three regions that offer service, all clients will be surveyed.
The Office of the Seniors Advocate is an independent office of the provincial government with a mandate of monitoring seniors’ services and publicly reporting on systemic issues affecting seniors. The office also provides information and referral: toll-free 1.877.952.3181 or by visiting: www.seniorsadvocatebc.ca.