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Shorter wait times and more rider availability needed for HandyDART users: Study

HandyDART.
A recent study shows that senior citizens aren't satisfied with HandyDART service. Contributed

A new province-wide survey has found that one-third of users of Translink’s HandyDART program, a door-to-door service for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use conventional public transit, say that the service is not meeting their transportation needs.

The survey, which was conducted by the Office of the Seniors Advocate, highlighted a number of complaints users of the service. Nearly 20 per cent of those surveyed noted the cost of the service was the biggest issue as to why they didn’t use the service more often.

“We have to remember that some of our lowest income seniors rely heavily on this service,” said Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie. “They clearly are telling us if it cost less, they would use it more.”

Fifteen per cent of those who use the service have an income of less than $10,000 a year.

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The survey concluded that although a high number of senior citizens are pleased with the service when they receive it, there are a number of barriers including price and time that prevent the HandyDART buses from meeting their transportation needs.