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TransLink strikes deal with HandyDART riders over human rights complaint

A HandyDART bus seen in a file photo. TransLink has reached a deal with the service's riders' alliance over a human rights complaint.
A HandyDART bus seen in a file photo. TransLink has reached a deal with the service's riders' alliance over a human rights complaint. Contributed

TransLink said Friday it has entered a settlement agreement with the HandyDART Riders’ Alliance, which launched a Human Rights Tribunal case with the company in 2017 over what it called inadequate service.

Beth McKellar of the HandyDART Rider’s Alliance said she thought it was a win when the tribunal agreed to simply hear the class-action case.

READ MORE: HandyDART riders express hopes and concerns as new contractor gears up

Now she’s over the moon — but she added there’s still a long way ahead, and TransLink has a lot of work to do.

“It’s the tip of the iceberg,” McKeller said. “We have gone unheard for so many years and just put aside, like we don’t care, like we don’t matter. They don’t care about us. But they’re now starting to stand up and take note.”

READ MORE: Report urges TransLink to run HandyDART as a public service

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McKellar said the HandyDART door-to-door shared ride service is essential for people with disabilities, some of whom are confined to their houses by inadequate service.

As part of the settlement, TransLink will produce a report on the service’s performance, provide funding for research on customer experience, and create a HandyDART User’s group.