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LETTER: Langley seniors coalition considers HandyDart vital to vulnerable popultion

Transportation must be a key element of the Township’s Age Friendly designation
A local seniors coalition is calling on the government to support HandyDart because it’s vital to a vulnerable population. (Black Press Media files)

Dear Editor,

[Re: HandyDart valued, Langley Advance Times, March 14]

We are writing in support of the recent letter from a resident of Langley Township highlighting the opportunity for our local government to unanimously support the grassroots “Save Our HandyDart Coalition”. (www.bitly/

This multi-stakeholder coalition was created to ensure that adequate, reliable, and accessible safe transit for elderly and disabled clients be provided by publicly funded TransLink.

As noted by Ms. Bernstein in her letter, Translink is increasingly replacing the historically successful HandyDart bus service model with more taxis as the volume of ridership increases due to population increase and our ageing demographic.

While it is claimed by some that this trend expands the opportunities for enhancing ridership, it comes with a troubling trend regarding an exponential increase of reported injuries and other problems inherent in the substitution of taxis for HandyDart buses.

We strongly believe that this significant increase in problematic outcomes related to this policy shift very negatively impacts on the safety, security, and well-being of all affected users.

In our opinion, vulnerable users are, and will continue to be, increasingly at risk through the expanded use of private industry taxi trips which rely on a fundamentally different business model which fails to provide adequate driver education, embedded informed protocols, and enforcible standards for those transporting vulnerable clients.

We therefore strongly support more advocacy and action from our local government on behalf of this vulnerable community based on many of the existing policies already in place in the Township, including our 2015 “Age Friendly” designation, which highlights the critically important centrality of transportation to support its intergenerational framework.

Paul Crump, on behalf of the board of Langley Seniors in Action


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