Saturday, July 5, 2014


Abandoned: Deserted leave without intending to return Oxford Dictionary. 

That is precisely what happened to Elizabeth Beeching on a HandyDART trip to Women’s Health Centre on her electric scooter. For her return trip and a bus did not come she managed to call and was told by Handydart you can take a cab. After about one hour waiting she began the trip home on her scooter. A difficult trip for someone who had a fractured vertebra and still has intense pain. She made it but was very tired. That evening we got a nasty we felt threatening phone call from HandyDART to say we were “no shows” and that this was a serious matter to them. We have sent a letter to the TransLink Board and Mayors Council as well as copies to the major media. We do not get much more than TV, radio or the Courier now so are not aware of any publicity.

Transportation, able and disable bodied is essential to business and riders in South coast BC. It should then be of concern to all who live in the area. Since former Premier Campbell’s inept meddling Transportation has been going down hill.
According to a posting by Eric Doherty in “Get On Board” Facebook the increase in people with disabilities and seniors trip denials jumped from 5,075 in 2009 to 42,418 in 2013. The Globe and Mail had an item, “Cash-strapped TransLink can’t keep up with growth”. The Vancouver Sun said “TransLink is committing $1 million to provide more than 30,000 additional taxi rides for Handydart customers this year”. TransLink claims the taxi drivers are adequately trains. Our and other clients experience say this is not true. All indicate serious transit problems.

Your readers should look these items up and ask themselves isn’t this also abandonment – abandonment of customers and their business contacts? TransLink has been concentrating on the automobile at the expense of its riders and programs for numerous years. Business needs to consider without adequate transit its many of its workers would not be able to come to work, purchasers would not be able to come to malls or stores or other markets. Business then needs to pay into TransLink and/or government something either through taxation or some other means its fair share of the transportation operating cost. Financing shortage is at the root of many social problems in particular public transit, it needs government and public remedial action.

John Beeching
V5N 3R9