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HandyDART Modernization Program

HandyDART customer getting assistance from driver
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Compass is coming to HandyDART on Oct. 1!

Get ready to enjoy an improved transit experience with Compass Card, the reloadable farecard that works everywhere on transit in Metro Vancouver.

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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

    We’re rolling out the Compass system to HandyDART for easier and more convenient payments on Oct. 1. 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.

    We're introducing age-based discounts (Concession fares) on Oct. 1 for HandyDART customers aged 13 to 18 and 65 and over, which will match the fares on conventional transit.

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

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

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

    Age Fare Type Cost
    All ages on HandyDART 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

    Fare Products in effect on 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.

    As part of these changes, HandyDART customers would 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 will 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 will be 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.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Compass on HandyDART

    Which Compass Card do I use on HandyDART?

    Compass Customer Service (604.398.2042) can help you identify which card you are eligible for and provide support to register, setup AutoLoad, or load fare products onto your card.

    1. If I am between 13 and 18 years of age (inclusive) or 65 and older?
      Concession Compass Card (orange)

    2. If I am 19 to 64
      Adult Compass Card (blue)

    3. If I am 19 to 64 and I am a HandyCard holder?
      If you use both HandyDART and conventional transit, you will need to get two regular Compass cards to get the lowest fare. Use a Concession Compass card (orange) on conventional transit and an Adult Compass card (blue) for HandyDART trips. If you transfer between HandyDART and conventional transit, always tap your Adult Compass card (blue) throughout your journey to get the lowest fare.

    4. If I am a BC Bus Pass holder and I use both the conventional system and HandyDART?
      BC Bus Pass is not be accepted on HandyDART.

      Please continue using your BC Bus Pass on bus, SeaBus, and SkyTrain and get a regular Compass Card based on your age for use on HandyDART trips. Refer answers a) to c) for guidance on Compass Card selection.

    5. If I am a CNIB Card holder and I use both the conventional system and HandyDART?
      CNIB Card is not accepted on HandyDART. Please continue using your CNIB pass on bus, SeaBus, SkyTrain, and West Coast Express and get a regular Compass Card for HandyDART trips. Refer answers a) to c) for guidance on Compass Card selection.

    6. If I have U-Pass BC and I use both the conventional system and HandyDART?
      U-Pass BC is accepted on HandyDART with no extra charge.

    Can I use my HandyCard on HandyDART? What about the Provincial BC Bus Pass, or CNIB pass or U-Pass BC?

    • HandyCard: The HandyCard program is not available on HandyDART. You must pay a 1-Zone adult or concession fare based on your age.

    • Provincial BC Bus Pass, and CNIB passes: The BC Bus Pass and CNIB passes remain invalid on HandyDART.

    • U-Pass BC: U-Pass BC continues to be accepted on HandyDART and there is no extra charge.

    How can I load my Compass Card?

    There are a range of ways you can load your Compass Card:

    • Over the phone by calling Compass Customer Service (604.398.2042): Accepted methods of payment include credit cards, branded debit cards (debit cards branded with Visa or MasterCard), and cheques (can be mailed in).

    • In-person at the Compass Customer Service Centre: Accepted methods of payment include cash, debit cards, credit cards, and cheques.

    • Compass Vending Machine at SkyTrain stations, SeaBus stations, and 18 London Drug locations. Machines accept cash, debit cards, and credit cards.

    • Online at compasscard.ca: Accepted methods of payment include branded debit cards and credit cards.

    • Signing up for AutoLoad: a convenient way to automatically renew monthly passes or to top-up Stored Value when your balance drops below $5. AutoLoad can be setup using credit card, branded debit cards or a Pre-Authorized Debit form. Pre-Authorized debit automatically debits your bank account.

    Why are Compass Card readers at the front of the HandyDART vehicle?

    80% of customers board from the front of the bus. In previous consultations, both customers and operators supported this as the primary location for a card reader. For customers with cognitive disabilities, placing the reader in a location consistent with conventional buses helps with remembering protocols.

    HandyDART operators will be available to help individuals who cannot tap their Compass Cards independently.

    Will Compass charge me for a new trip every time I tap?

    No, Compass charges you a single trip fare for travel across the system as long as you make your last transfer within 90 minutes after your initial tap in. This is intended to allow enough time to complete a one-way journey. If you are traveling over the number of zones on SkyTrain/SeaBus that you originally paid for, you will be charged AddFare.

    What happens if a taxi arrives? How do I pay?

    If a HandyDART vehicle is not available for your trip, we may supplement your trip with a taxi. You can pay for this trip with your Compass Card.

    When you book your trip, the booking agent will verify the Compass Card number on file; tell the agent if you will pay by cash instead. When you board the taxi, present your Compass Card to the taxi driver. The cost of the trip will be debited from your Compass Card the next time your Compass Card is tapped or used anywhere in the system (Compass Card reader on a bus or HandyDART vehicle or faregate).

    Will Compass track my movements? How do you protect privacy?

    We’re committed to ensuring that your privacy and personal information are protected.

    Customers can register their Compass Card to take advantage of features like AutoLoad and Balance Protection, or they can choose to remain anonymous. Registering your card does not allow us to track your movements.

    No personal information such as name, credit card or banking identity is stored on the card. The chip only stores the product or value on the card, the serial number, and the time, date, and location of recent activity.

    We're committed to ensuring that your privacy and personal information are protected in accordance with BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA).

    More information visit Compass Card privacy and translink.ca/privacypolicy.

    Is there support available to help set up my Compass Card?

    We’re here to help! We want to ensure that the transition to Compass is easy.

    Current and new HandyDART customer will receive a Welcome to Compass package, which will include:

    • The Learn about Compass for HandyDART brochure with all the instructions you’ll need to get set up.

    • A lanyard with detachable cardholder so you can always have your Compass Card on you and easily pay for transit trips.

    New HandyDART customers will receive this information once registration is complete, along with a copy of the HandyDART Riders Guide with everything you need to know about using HandyDART.

    Additional help and support:

    Compass Customer Service (604.398.2042) will be able to provide support for you to get a Compass Card, register, set up AutoLoad and/or loading fare products onto your card.

    Online Booking

    When will online booking be available?

    Online booking can allow for a convenient, alternative method of booking a HandyDART trip. We are in the process of readying our systems to accommodate online booking, and we expect to have more information for customers later this year on when to expect it.

    Will I still be able to book by phone?

    Of course! Online booking is an alternative method of booking a trip, and it will not be a replacement to booking by phone. Customers can choose the method that best suits their preference.



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