Nearly two years after a Human Rights Tribunal case was filed, TransLink and the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance have reached a joint settlement on how to improve HandyDART services.
The case was originally filed in 2017 and said the TransLink services provided to HandyDART users were subordinate in comparison to the services provided to people who could use regular transit.
As part of the settlement agreement, TransLink agreed to produce an annual public report on the service performance of HandyDART, provide funding to the social planning and research council to conduct research on the experience of HandyDART customers and seek board approval to create a HandyDART users group.
On Friday, TransLink voted unanimously in favour of establishing a public HandyDART advisory committee.
Beth McKellar, who lives in North Burnaby, is the co-chair and one of the founding members of the HRA. She said the group is overjoyed about the new advisory committee and said the HRA is hoping for a more constructive working relationship with TransLink in the future.
“By all means, this does not end the crisis for HandyDART riders,” said McKellar, who has been relying on HandyDART for over 20 years.
McKellar said the HRA is taking steps towards getting an audit on HandyDART and already has 4,726 signatures of support.
TransLink is in the midst of a 15-per-cent increase in HandyDART service hours, the transit agency said in a news release.