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

UPDATED: Dog found wandering in Langley headed to his Alberta family

The Langley Animal Protection Society and a kind truck driver are helping Frankie get home.

UPDATED: Byelection lawsuit cost Langley City $27,000

Last-place candidate Serena Oh failed to convince the Supreme Court to hear her case.

Michael Jackstien named Langley’s Good Citizen of the Year

The longtime volunteer organized the BC Summer Games and many other local events.

Province’s best young curlers compete in Langley

Langley Curling Centre is hosting the juniors from Dec. 18 to 23.

Winter Ice Palace will return to Cloverdale for 20th year

Annual holiday open skate starts up on Dec. 22

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

B.C. children adoption rates lagging, despite increased funding: watchdog

More than 1,000 children children are still waiting to be adopted, new report shows

FortisBC to lower natural gas rates in 2018

Rate changes to impact the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Interior and Vancouver Island

Fate of B.C. pit bull involved in vicious attack still uncertain

Animal control application to have aggressive dog euthanized may not be heard until 2018

Greater Vancouver house prices expected to rise five per cent in 2018

Strict incoming mortgage rules will slow growth for first half of 2018

5 to start your day

Large drug bust in Abbotsford, a look at sexual harassment in the workplace and more

Four-month-old baby girl critically injured in Toronto

Baby, a man and a woman in serious condition

Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

What were Canadians were curious about: Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

Democrat wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset

Democrat Doug Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset against Roy Moore

Most Read