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HandyDART Modernization Program

HandyDART customer getting assistance from driver
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    About the Program

    Since its start in 1980, Metro Vancouver’s HandyDART has been providing door-to-door transit service for people who are unable to navigate conventional public transit without assistance. We’re moving forward with a range of improvements to ensure HandyDART remains a reliable service for those who depend on it to live a full and active life.

    The HandyDART Modernization Program is a package of updates that will improve the customer experience from start to finish — including how people register, how they book their trips, and how they pay for the service. These improvements will allow for increased flexibility and the ability to make more spontaneous trips, including:

    • Bringing Compass to HandyDART for easier and more convenient payment options

    • Changes to Fares with age-based discounts (Concession fares) for customers aged 13 to 18 and 65 and over to match the fares on the conventional transit system

    • New Application Process with an optional personalized consultation to help meet the needs of customers

    • Introducing Online Booking in addition to the existing phone booking system

    Modernizing HandyDART will ensure the service is available for those who need it now and in the future. HandyDART is an essential part of the region’s transit network, but demand for the service is expected to grow. Making improvements now will help manage growth sustainably and improve service in the long term.


    Overview of Modernization Initiatives

    Compass is now available on HandyDART for easier and more convenient payments. With Compass, customers will be able to pay for trips with a Compass Card or by tapping a credit card.

    Compass Cards are reloadable farecards that can be used when taking transit within the region. They can be loaded with Stored Value or with prepaid passes like a Monthly Pass or a DayPass. When paying with Stored Value, HandyDART customers will receive the same discount as using FareSavers.

    Compass Benefits

    • Easy-to-use: Compass makes it easier to pay with a tap of your card. Your attendant or HandyDART driver can help you tap if you need assistance.

    • Convenient: Never worry about your balance or renewing a Monthly Pass with the AutoLoad feature.

    • Flexible: Access HandyDART, bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express with a single card

    • Secure: Register your card to protect your balance in case your card is lost or stolen.

    Background

    In Fall 2020, we received Board approval to bring Compass to HandyDART. This has been a longstanding commitment to ensure HandyDART customers have access to the same payment products and services as customers on the conventional system.

    Visit translink.ca/handydart for information on how to get a Compass Card, how to load fares, and how to use it for travel on HandyDART and conventional transit.

    Age-based discounts (Concession fares) are now available for HandyDART customers aged 13 to 18 and 65 and over, which match the fares on conventional transit.

    Approximately 70 to 75% of HandyDART customers now pay less in fares, and the rest pay the same as today.

    As part of this update, HandyDART customers have access to additional fare products currently available on conventional transit, including DayPasses.

    Introducing Compass and matching HandyDART fares with conventional transit is more equitable and allows customers to more easily travel between HandyDART and the bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express. 

    Fare Products Effective Oct. 1 2021

    Age Fare Type Cost
    Adult (19-64) 1-Zone Cash $3.05
    1-Zone FareSaver $2.45
    Sales to be discontinued after Nov. 15, 2021
    1-Zone Monthly Pass on Compass Card $100.25
    1-Zone Stored Value on Compass Card $2.45
    Concession (13 to 18 and 65+)
    1-Zone Cash $2.00
    1-Zone Stored Value on Compass Card $2.00
    Monthly Pass on Compass Cards* $57.30
    For simplicity, additional fares types, such as DayPasses, are not shown.
    *Monthly Pass allows travel through all zones.

    HandyDART customers also have access to additional fare products and payment methods currently available on conventional transit, including DayPasses.

    Matching HandyDART fares with the conventional transit system make it easier for customers to plan their trips and transfer between HandyDART and other transit services.

    Providing age-based discounts on HandyDART was a recommendation of the Transit Fare Review. This change in fares implements that recommendation. TransLink expects these discounts, along with the growing population of older adults in coming years, to increase demand for HandyDART service.

    TransLink’s Board of Directors approved a recommendation to update the HandyDART application process to include an optional personal consultation.

    Personal consultations will provide a better understanding of an applicant’s needs and abilities and ensure they are matched with the best travel options. The original proposal was revised following community feedback and we’re moving forward with the following recommendation for new HandyDART applicants:

    • Introduce an optional personal consultation, while giving an applicant the choice to have their own medical authority provide the required information if they do not wish to participate in a personal consultation. Current and active HandyDART customers would not be required to go through this process.

    • Include an expedited application process for applicants aged 85 and over with a disability and for those applying for temporary access to HandyDART service.

    • Introduce conditional eligibility to match an applicant’s ability to the best transit options. For example, whether the applicant is unable to use conventional transit only in inclement weather.

    • Expand travel training and educational opportunities to help HandyDART customers better understand the conventional transit system.

    This new application process will help TransLink better meet the diverse needs of applicants and provide an improved customer experience. It will be implemented in 2023 at the earliest.

    In Fall 2019, we held interviews and co-creation workshops with people who have HandyDART expertise and experience. This included HandyDART customers, caregivers and frontline support staff at care homes and adult day programs, members of the HandyDART Users’ Advisory Committee and HandyDART drivers and First Transit staff. The forthcoming new application process is a result of these engagements and will address recommendations in the 2017 Custom Transit Service Delivery Review.

    In addition to the existing telephone booking system, online booking will be introduced, which would give HandyDART customers another convenient way to book their trips.

    Public Engagement (March 29 to April 25, 2021)

    • Requested public feedback on potential changes to the HandyDART registration process and fare structure, and how TransLink can best support customer transition to Compass.

    Care Homes and Day Programs Compass Engagement (May 3 to 7, 2021)

    • Engaged care home and day program staff who purchase, distribute, and assist clients. We implemented changes to address feedback.

    Share Engagement Report (June 2021)

    • Shared the results of the HandyDART Modernization Program public engagement.

    TransLink Board Meeting (June 17, 2021)

    • TransLink’s Board of Directors reviewed the results of the public engagement, and approved changes to the registration process and fares.

    Compass Customer Adoption Campaign (Summer 2021)

    • TransLink will reach out and share information on how to get a Compass Card, how to load fares on it, and how to use it for travel on HandyDART and conventional transit.

    • Current and registering customers will receive a package of resources and instructions for obtaining and making the most of their Compass Card.

    Compass Card and New Fare Structure Implementation (Oct. 1, 2021)

    • Compass Card and the new fare structure was implemented on Oct. 1, 2021. 

    New Application Process Implementation (2023 at the earliest)

    • TransLink's Board of Directors approved a recommendation to update an optional personal consultation.

    • TransLink will work closely with stakeholders to design the new application process that would be implemented in 2023 at the earliest.

    The HandyDART Modernization Program is the result of work and consultations with the HandyDART Users Advisory Committee, frontline HandyDART staff, and customers. It builds upon the recommendation of the Transit Fare Review and 2017 Custom Transit Service Delivery Review and is a continuation of our ongoing efforts to improve HandyDART service and customer experience.

    HandyDART Modernization Program public engagement took place from March 29 to April 25, 2021. Thank you to everyone who took the time to provide us with feedback.

    We heard from current and future HandyDART or HandyCard customers, caregivers, and those who work with people who have disabilities. Feedback will inform potential registration and fare changes, how we roll out Compass, and how we communicate with customers.

    Read the Customer & Stakeholder Engagement: Executive Summary and the full Engagement Summary Report.



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