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HandyDART Frequently Asked Questions


About the Ride

Bookings can be made 1 to 7 days in advance of your trip. If a customer would like to book a ride one day in advance, the request must be made before 4 p.m. Calling 7 days in advance does not guarantee your ride, due to high demand for HandyDART service. However, if you cannot immediately book your ride, we encourage you to try calling back in the following days to check if space has become available due to other trip cancellations.

Same-day or standby bookings can be made but are not guaranteed until the customer receives a call confirming the ride. This call will be made no later than one hour prior to the requested time.

If you must cancel your ride, please do so as soon as possible, providing at least 2 hours notice. This will allow for other trips to be scheduled in place of the cancelled ride. Failure to call and cancel in advance may result in suspension of service per the cancellation policy.

Any changes to a trip must be provided in a timely manner to a booking agent at the call centre. Drivers are not permitted to alter or deviate from the schedule.

HandyDART will reduce the level of service delivery to Essential Service Only in all cases where passenger safety could be compromised by anticipated severe weather conditions. Essential Service Only means that HandyDART will only provide transportation for those attending renal dialysis appointments or cancer treatment. All other booked rides in the area affected by the severe weather conditions will be automatically cancelled when Essential Service Only levels are invoked. When HandyDART determines that a service area will be Essential Service Only, the automated phone calls will begin immediately for all passengers who have a booked ride in the area for that particular day.

In the event of anticipated severe weather conditions, passengers can determine if HandyDART is operating at Essential Service Only levels by calling 604.575.6600. A recorded message will indicate if service for that particular day is being provided for Essential Service Only. This information is also available by listening to most radio stations, and in the Alerts section of our website.

An attendant is a person who will provide additional assistance inside the building, with stairs, or if you have special requirements beyond the accessible door. Attendants must be an able-bodied adult over the age of 18 years and they will travel free of charge on HandyDART. Other registered HandyDART customers cannot travel as attendants.

A spouse may act as an attendant if they are not a registered HandyDART customer and will not require assistance for themselves from the driver. Attendants may only request support from the driver to assist the customer.

HandyDART drivers are trained to assist customers with mobility issues and are not trained paramedics. If a customer has a medical emergency, the driver is only required to contact emergency services quickly to assist the customer.

HandyDART only provides accessible, outdoor, door-to-door service. If a customer needs extra assistance beyond the accessible outside door, an attendant is encouraged to travel with the customer.

If you would like to provide feedback on your HandyDART experience, call 604.575.6600 and press 6 when prompted by the automated menu. This will connect you to Access Transit Customer Care.

HandyDART will sometimes use taxis as a supplemental service. This is still a HandyDART service — you can expect the same door-to-door service, pay the same HandyDART fare, and book your trip in the same way.

HandyDART works hard to minimize our customers' travel time on our vehicles while providing a safe shared-ride service. We strive not to exceed the following guidelines for the amount of time you spend on the vehicle:

  • 60 minutes for travel within one HandyDART zone

  • 90 minutes for travel within two HandyDART zones

  • 120 minutes for travel within three or more HandyDART zones

Use the map below to determine how many HandyDART zones you will travel through, or ask the scheduling agent when you book a trip.

HandyDART fare zone map

Etiquette

Unfortunately, our drivers are not able to provide change while they are focused on getting you to your destination safely and on-time. Please provide the correct fare to pay for your HandyDART trip.

HandyDART will not accommodate mobility aids that are not in proper operating order and are unsafe to transport.  An assessment of your mobility device may be required upon registration.  

We ask that you confirm your mobility aid is in good working order before using HandyDART service. This will ensure your safety and comfort on the HandyDART vehicle by allowing your mobility aid to be properly secured for the duration of your trip.

We understand that your mobility needs may change. If you have more than one mobility device, please let us know which one you will be travelling with when you book your trip. This helps us make sure we have enough room on the vehicle to accommodate your needs.

No. Transfer chairs are designed for transferring people short distances over smooth surfaces, and mainly indoors. 

The main difference between a standard wheelchair and a transfer chair is that standard wheelchairs are designed with large wheels so that the user can self-propel, while transfer chairs have small wheels and are designed to be pushed from behind by someone else.  These chairs are not accepted for transporting customers on HandyDART vehicles or to and from the vehicles as they do not meet safety approvals.

We ask that you ensure you only bring bags or parcels that you are comfortable carrying yourself; generally no more than two bags. HandyDART drivers are not expected to carry parcels. If you are unable to carry your bags or parcels by yourself, please consider travelling with an attendant.

Only certified guide and service dogs are permitted on HandyDART vehicles. Please inform the booking agent at the time of booking.

We ask that if you must use these products to do so in moderation. Many individuals are sensitive to scented products and, if possible, please consider refraining from applying them for the comfort of your driver and fellow passengers.

HandyDART is a door-to-door service that ensures the safety of our customers from the start of their trip until the end.

While both types of vehicles are a regular part of service, HandyDART customers are not offered a choice of vehicle for their HandyDART trip. Taxis are primarily used as a supplemental service when a HandyDART bus becomes unavailable due to unforeseen circumstances.


Fares and Payment

How can I pay for HandyDART?

Accepted payment methods include:

  • Concession or Adult Compass Cards. Cards can be loaded with:

    • Stored Value

    • DayPass

    • Monthly Pass

  • Credit Card with Tap to Pay (charges Adult cash fare only)

  • Mobile wallet (e.g., Apple Pay or Google Pay) (charges Adult cash fare only)

  • Cash

  • U-Pass

  • Employee Pass

  • FareSavers (Will be accepted as fare payment for travel indefinitely. FareSavers sales will end on November 15, 2021).

Does my fare change if HandyDART sends a taxi instead?

If a HandyDART vehicle is not available for your trip, we may supplement your trip with a taxi. You will pay the taxi driver your regularly HandyDART fare. 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 or pay cash. The cost of the trip will be debited from your Compass Card the next day your Compass Card is tapped or used anywhere in the system (card reader on a conventional bus or HandyDART vehicle or faregate). HandyDART trips delivered by taxi cannot be paid by credit card.

Note: if at the time of booking, you indicated you will pay with your Compass Card, but have changed your mind, please call to amend you booking to ensure your Compass Card is not charged.

 

I usually take a HandyDART to the SkyTrain or a SeaBus station and then pay my fare when I arrive at the station. Will this change?

Yes. You will need to pay for your HandyDART trip when you board the HandyDART vehicle. The HandyDART vehicle is a fare paid zone which requires proof of payment.

  • SkyTrain and SeaBus: Paying by Compass Card or Tap to Pay will allow you to transfer to the SkyTrain or SeaBus within the 90-minute transfer window without paying a second fare. If you cross a zone boundary on those services, an AddFare may apply. If you pay for your HandyDART trip using cash, you will have to pay a second fare to use the SkyTrain or SeaBus.

  • West Coast Express: Paying by Compass Card or Tap to Pay will also allow you to transfer to West Coast Express within the 120-minute transfer window, however additional charges may apply, but a credit will be given towards your fare. If you pay for your HandyDART trip using cash, you will have to pay a second fare to use West Coast Express.

I usually take a HandyDART to the conventional bus and then pay my fare on the conventional bus. Will this change?

Yes. You will need to pay for your HandyDART trip when you board the HandyDART vehicle. You can transfer to a conventional bus within the 90-minute transfer window without paying a second fare. If paying by cash, request a paper transfer from your driver. Note: Paper transfers will not open the fare gates at SkyTrain stations.

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 drivers 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 drivers 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.

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.


30 Minute Window

The 30 minute window refers to the time frame a customer must be ready for a HandyDART pickup. The window begins 15 minutes before the scheduled pick up time and ends 15 minutes after the scheduled time.

If a driver arrives during the thirty minute window, they'll wait for a customer for five minutes. Drivers can't pick up a customer earlier than the scheduled 30 minute window. If they arrive before the pick-up window, the window time doesn't change, and the driver must wait for the beginning of the window before the "five minute wait time" can start.

If your HandyDART ride is late, please call First Transit customer service at 604.575.6600. Press option 3 on the phone menu to access the Where's My Ride? service. The HandyDART GPS system can locate the vehicle immediately.

If the driver is delayed or the customer isn't found waiting at the accessible door, the dispatcher will call the customer's provided contact numbers. Customers that have cell phones should provide HandyDART with their cell phone number and keep their cell phone with them the day of their trip in the event the dispatcher calls. All attempts will be made by the dispatcher to contact the customer before the driver is permitted to leave.

If you miss your ride, contact HandyDART customer service at 604.575.6600. Every effort will be made to schedule the next available HandyDART. Keep in mind that another HandyDART may not be readily accessible, and it may take time for one to become available.


Reminder Calls

There are two types of reminder calls:

  • Day Before Reminders: are made after 5:00 p.m. the evening before to remind the rider of the next day's trip and information.

  • Imminent Arrival (Same Day): calls are sent approximately 10 minutes prior to the bus arriving at the designated pickup location.

Reminder calls are automatically turned on in the HandyDART registration process. Booked subscription trips do not automatically receive a reminder call, but this can be changed upon request. All on-demand trips should receive reminder calls unless otherwise requested.

Reminder calls can be received on any local area phone number. We recommend that customers provide their cell phone numbers for the reminder calls.

Your home phone number is the default number called, but a cell phone is the preferred option when being picked up at locations other than your home. If a cell phone is not available please indicate the phone number where you can be reached at the pick-up location.

More than one number can be used on individual trips. For example, HandyDART can call your home on the outgoing trip and a cell number on the return trip. Only one call will be generated per trip to only one phone number.

A booking agent can substitute a number on an individual basis for clients when requested.

At this time, we can only customize which number is to be called.

Day Before reminder calls are made between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. the day before the day of travel. Imminent Arrival calls are made 10 minutes prior to the estimated arrival time, based on real-time using Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology. Keep in mind that traffic or change in routing may affect the arrival time.

The reminder call system will make 3 attempts before it records the call as unsuccessful.

The call is generated 10 minutes prior to the estimated time or arrival. The driver clearing a previous trip does not affect the Imminent Arrival call.

An Imminent Arrival call can't be made any earlier than 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the booking window. Occasionally, a driver may be able to arrive earlier than the original estimated time or window due to a cancellation, but the client doesn't have to be at the meeting area until the beginning of their 30 minute window.

Both the Day Before and Imminent Arrival calls can be removed by informing a booking agent or a customer service representative.


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