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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


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

Payment must be collected upon boarding HandyDART. If taking a return trip afterward, the customer will pay at the time of the return trip. If the customer is using a monthly FareCard, it must be shown upon boarding.

Full price FareSavers and monthly FareCards can be used on HandyDART. All concession fares are not valid on HandyDART.

Sometimes, HandyDART will use taxis as a supplemental service. If a taxi is ordered, the customer must pay the taxi driver their regular HandyDART fare. If the trip is scheduled to go to the SkyTrain or SeaBus, the customer will pay for a ticket at the ticket vending machine and does not pay the taxi driver.

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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