Monday, October 16, 2023

HandyDART 2022 Service Review. More Investment Needed to Reduce Taxi Trips.

TransLink staff included its 2022 HandyDART service performance report for the September Mayors' Council on Regional Transportation meeting.

HandyDART service is an integral part of our transportation system in Metro Vancouver for people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability who cannot use conventional public transit without assistance. The service has specially trained drivers and vehicles for these folks.

In 2022, people took 964,800 HandyDART trips. As our population grows and ages, the use of HandyDART will continue to increase.

One of the concerns that I've heard from accessibility advocates is that HandyDART service is essential, and having it delivered with trained drivers and specialized vehicles is critical.

Because there aren't enough trained drivers or specialized vehicles due to various factors, TransLink, via its contractor Transdev, provides some trips via taxi services. In 2022, 17% of trips were via taxi.

Restated, I've heard that the number of taxi trips concerns folks who rely on HandyDART service and their advocates.

The following graph underscores why. It is about driver training, and there is a clear difference between HandyDART drivers and taxi drivers.

Satisfaction Scores for Driver Skills to Assist Passengers with a Disability. Select the graph to enlarge.

Taxi drivers are doing their job, but HandyDART drivers are specially trained with purpose-built vehicles for folks who cannot independently use conventional public transit. These reasons are why there is such a difference in rider experience.

The following chart shows on-time performance. When trips were lower during 2020 and 2021, on-time performance was high. As the number of HandyDART trips increases, on-time performance declines. These number shows the need to invest in HandyDART service continually.

Average Monthly HandyDART Early and On-Time Performance. Select the graph to enlarge.

As a note, on-time means when service is delivered within +/- 15 minutes of its scheduled time.

The final chart shows trips denied or refused for various reasons. In 2022, this was about 0.5% of total trips.

HandyDART Trip Denial and Refusals by Year. Select the graph to enlarge.

For more information, please read the full 2022 HandyDART Service Performance Review.

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