HandyDART services suffering as Liberals stall on TransLink

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VANCOUVER– Transit services for people with disabilities in the Lower Mainland are becoming less accessible, but the Liberal government continues to stall instead of fixing the escalating service pressures at TransLink.

“Denials of HandyDART transit services have risen seven-fold in five years, resulting in more than 100 people each day asking for a ride and not getting one,” said New Democrat TransLink critic George Heyman.

“Public transit should be available to everyone who needs it. This unacceptable level of access is just another example of how the Liberal government is failing Lower Mainland transit users.”

Heyman said the government is failing to show leadership and give Lower Mainland transit the immediate attention it needs. Instead, the Liberals have continued to reject funding suggestions from mayors, including the use of the carbon tax towards transit funding, and put off decisions until after a referendum – effectively stalling any improvements until 2015 at the earliest.

“The government’s strategy of dealing with transit problems in the Lower Mainland has been to delay, delay, and then delay some more. But that strategy has a real human impact. It means fewer seniors with mobility issues and people with disabilities are getting to appointments and taking advantage of social opportunities through this public service,” said Heyman.

“It also means our economy suffers from growing congestion, as drivers and transit users alike face more time on the road, and the movement of goods is stalled in our regional bottleneck. It’s time for a real plan to start dealing with these problems today.”