TRANSLINK CEO Kevin Desmond on Thursday responded to The VOICE’s story “HandyDART riders file human rights complaint against Premier Christy Clark and TransLink for inadequate service”, stating: “HandyDART is a vitally important service for many TransLink customers who rely on us for their transportation needs. We take their concerns seriously and are committed to continuously improving service for people with disabilities all across our system.”
He added: “We are disappointed to see the HandyDART Riders Alliance file a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal. We have one of the most accessible systems in North America and are committed to making transit accessible for as many people as possible.
“The entire SkyTrain system is fully accessible for people with disabilities and 100% of our buses are accessible with either lifts or wheelchair ramps.
“Over the next three years, new investments in HandyDART service availability will add 171,000 more trips per year which represents a 15 per cent increase. This year alone there are 85,000 more trips available for HandyDART customers compared to last year. In 2016, we provided 1.2 million HandyDART trips for our customers.
“Recently TransLink conducted a comprehensive policy review to improve HandyDART services which included a nationwide peer comparison to seek out best practices and was informed by an advisory committee that included members of the HandyDART Riders Alliance. The TransLink Board adopted all of the recommendations issued by the committee and we are now in the process of implementing them.”