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

Canada’s country music sweetheart brings The Gumboot Kids to town

Jessie Farrell to perform songs from her hit CBC TV series at McTavish Academy of Arts

VIFF wrap-up: Finely crafted films part of festival finale

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells puts a cap on his 2018 Vancouver International Film Festival experience

FILM REVIEWS: Race relations, refugees and racy romances featured at VIFF

Monday reviewer Kyle Wells presents round 2 from the Vancouver International Film Fest

An eye for art: The new and the notable at fall’s premier arts event

Sidney Fine Art Show shares wealth of Island talent Oct. 11 to 13

Astrocolor bringing unique funk-synth sound to the Capital Ballroom

Victoria band known for their festival shows making a rare appearance on their home turf

VIDEO: Ballet Kelowna brings steamy story, A Streetcar Named Desire, to Island

Okanagan ballet company brings a classic tale to the Cowichan Valley

INDY FILM FARE: 1970s hedonism and more at The Vic Theatre

From Studio 54 to Rocky Horror, there’s plenty of excess to observe this month

Shark-attack metal band coming to Victoria tonight

Shark Infested Daughters, a Calgary metalcore group, play the Upstairs Cabaret tonight, Oct. 13

STAGE AND SONG: Spotlight on Victoria arts groups

Learn about some of the city’s favourite theatre and musical entertainment options

Island lensman Jim Decker lands three top photography awards

During exciting photo trip to Yap in Micronesia, Cobble Hill man earns trio of firsts

Celebrate Oktoberfest Stein and Dine at the Victoria Public Market

Food, suds and German-style fun on tap at Oct. 20 event

Most Read