Archive for the ‘Handy Dart’ category

Get HandyDART buses rolling again

November 24, 2009

The Langley Times


The strike between the Amalgamated Transit Union and MVT Canadian Bus that has idled HandyDART has more than two sides.

There are at least 4,500 points of view if you count all those poor folks who have been stranded by the month-old dispute. And you should.

We don’t hear much from these individuals who must be struggling to get around without this valuable service. The elderly, disabled people and other vulnerable folks don’t have public relations companies or labour unions to speak for them, yet we can guess that they are either managing or staying at home with no end in sight.


The View from a HandyDart Driver’s Seat

November 13, 2009

The Tyee

By Tom Sandborn

People are mad at strikers for stranding the disabled. Here’s another side you haven’t heard.

This was my job. Driving all day in fair weather and foul, finding my way through every traffic snarl imaginable. At each stop, I would climb in and out of my bus to operate a hydraulic lift to move wheelchair passengers on and off, then would quickly deploy elaborate strap-down technologies to keep the wheelchairs from shifting while I drove. I would engage passengers, many of them in physical and emotional pain, in conversations that could, sometimes without warning, plunge both of us into sadness. All the while, I would need to stay alert for radio signals from the dispatch office, signs of health emergencies among my passengers, and that erratic driver over there on the left or right who maybe didn’t see me coming.


Union wants arbitration to end HandyDart strike

November 11, 2009

MVT, the US company running HandyDart services,  refuses binding arbitration to end the strike that’s now in its third week. TransLink says it will not get involved.  Latest wage and pension offer by the American company was overwhelmingly rejected by union members. Meanwhile, TransLink is saving  hundreds of thousands of dollars during the strike, as it only pays MVT for the trips it makes.

TransLink’s door-to-door custom transit service has been shut down since picket lines went up Oct. 26, with roughly 12 per cent of medically essential trips for dialysis or cancer treatment continuing under an essential services designation.


– HandyDart workers reject offer

November 2, 2009

CBC News

HandyDart workers in Metro Vancouver have voted overwhelmingly in favour of rejecting a final offer from their employer that would have ended job action.

The strike is stretching into its second week, leaving thousands of people who rely on the service stranded.

The HandyDart service provides door-to-door public transit around B.C. for people with mobility impairments, but the dispute applies only to union workers in the Metro Vancouver area.


– Labour Board orders vote on HandyDART contract offer

October 29, 2009

The Labour Relations Board has ordered striking HandyDART employees to vote on the last offer from the company.

Members of the Amalgamated Transit Union will cast ballots Friday.  They’ve been on strike since Monday.

HandyDart is running on essential service levels, meaning only kidney dialysis patients and cancer patients are being picked up.

Don’t expect the strike to end though…the union executive is recommending a ‘no’ vote.

– 5,000 trips at risk as HandyDART readies to serve strike notice

October 23, 2009

The Vancouver Province

By Frank Luba

Strike notice is set to be issued Thursday afternoon and more than 85 per cent of the 5,000 trips provided daily by TransLink’s HandyDART could be cancelled beginning Monday.

HandyDART is a door-to-door service for people with cognitive or physical disabilities that require physical assistance to use public transit. The Amalgamated Transit’s Union’s 72-hour strike notice would expire Monday, setting the stage for a strike. The only clients who could then get HandyDart service would be those requiring renal dialysis and treatment or therapy for cancer, according to a Labor Relations Board decision on essential-service levels.