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Friday, August 19, 2022

Seven HandyDART improvements you might’ve missed

HandyDART is TransLink’s door-to-door transportation service for anyone who may not be able to use the conventional transportation system. Every day, it is a lifeline for so many Vancouver metro residents with disabilities. to ensure HandyDART Ready to continue providing first-class service to an ever-expanding customer base, we have improved the HandyDART service.

If you or a loved one are new or returning customers, here are seven improvements to HandyDART that you may have missed during the COVID period:

Non-contact payment through Compass

The customer clicks on HandyDART with a franchise compass card

In October of this year, we installed Compass Card readers throughout our fleet of HandyDART vehicles. This means that HandyDART customers can save time searching their wallets for savings on tariffs or loose parts. HandyDART customers can now pay simply by tapping using their pre-loaded compass cards.

Using Compass, any HandyDART user can now:

  • Access AutoLoad to upload an automatic balance.
  • Protect the balance of their stored value if their compass card is lost or stolen.
  • Move more easily between HandyDART and the bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain and West Coast Express.
  • Use additional tariff products such as day passes, Wearable compass or wearable compass.

Discounts by age

We have lowered rates for many of our HandyDART customers! Over 70 percent of HandyDART customers are seniors (65 and older) or teens (ages 13 to 18). These new changes mean that these riders will pay less for the service, while the other 30% of users will pay the same as they paid before. Together with all TransLink services, Children 12 and under now also ride for free.

Methods of Payment Old price New price Savings
Cash $ 3.05 $ 2.00 $ 1.05 per trip
FareSaver (now paid with Compass Card) $ 2.45 $ 2.00 $ 0.45 per trip
Monthly transit card $ 100.25 $ 57.30 $ 42.95 per month

Service alerts

HandyDART service alerts are now available via text or email! go to translink.ca/signup To start receiving alerts today.

Ventilation improvements

Maintaining airflow in transit vehicles is incredibly important, especially during the COVID-19 epidemic. While conventional buses open their doors an average of 50 times an hour, HandyDART is a door-to-door service where doors open less frequently. This means less airflow on the deck. We quickly identified this need for improved ventilation and installed new vents throughout our HandyDART vehicle fleet to create a steady airflow for our customers.

These vents are called Flettner Vents, which is a ventilation system attached to the car roof. These vents continuously flow fresh air into the vehicle. By the end of May, the Coast Mountain bus company had completed the installation of these vents on the full HandyDART fleet of 340 vehicles to improve ventilation and keep our customers safe.

Food delivery

HandyDART operator delivers food from Cedar Cottage to HandyDART customer during COVID-19 epidemic

In 2020, our HandyDART operators delivered meals to seniors and families to reduce the number of trips they would have to make to food. Through a partnership with Cedar Cottage and Kiwassa, HandyDART operators provided 3,129 meals to help the community in times of need.

Health talks

Customer service representatives at Access Transit created a check-in initiative to verify that customers were supported. Last year, employees made more than 9,000 health calls to customers to make sure they were doing well, to have adequate access to community support, and to gather feedback on improvements that can be made on HandyDART.

General improvements in COVID-19 safety

HandyDART responded quickly to maintain customer safety during the COVID-19 epidemic. Our way Safe operating plan, HandyDART works continuously with leading health authorities to ensure that our protocols are based on up-to-date advice.

Here are some other ways in which HandyDART has responded to the epidemic to keep passengers safe:

  • Physical distance
    • HandyDART tables have limited the number of passengers allowed on a HandyDART trip at any one time, providing single passenger travel wherever possible.
  • Improved cleaning
    • HandyDART vehicles are disinfected daily with extra attention paid to high-touch surfaces such as yellow handrails and seat belts.
  • Pre-sorting of customers
    • In 2020, HandyDART customers were pre-tested for COVID-19 symptoms as part of the ordering process.
  • Mandatory masks
    • Masks are a must throughout HandyDART ride.

To sign up for HandyDART or more information about the service, go to translink.ca/handydart.

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