TransLink board hears latest complaints about HandyDart

Riders’ group says this week’s disruption is the third major one this year.

Riders are again urging TransLink to consider bringing the HandyDart service in-house, after many were stranded this week.

A system glitch prompted a halt in service for most of Thursday afternoon because drivers could not be dispatched.

“There’s no accountability with the contractor,” Elizabeth McKeller told TransLink’s annual general meeting Friday, insisting dispatching problems have happened three times in recent months.

HandyDart is contracted through U.S.-based MVT Canadian Bus, but that contract was up for bid in the spring. TransLink has not yet decided whether to renew it.

McKeller, a HandyDart Riders’ Alliance member, said she had to take two regular buses to her North Burnaby home.

She said the extra walking from stop to stop, instead of being dropped at her door, ignited her sciatica.

TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond said they don’t know what caused the glitch yet, and said was aware of one other disruption.

“It shouldn’t happen at all,” Desmond said, “so if there is an instability somewhere in the system then we need to correct that.”


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