The regional district and BC Transit want to upgrade registration for HandyDART services. — File photo

RDN to apply new HandyDART registration process

Proposed revision includes an in-person assessment

The Regional District of Nanaimo is looking at upgrading the process for HandyDART service registration.

BC Transit and the RDN want to move toward a more accurate and personalized method of registering custom transit riders with disabilities.

HandyDART is a public transit service that uses specially equipped vehicles designed to carry passengers, with physical or cognitive disabilities, who are unable to use public transit without assistance.

In 2015, BC Transit piloted and applied the Canada-wide used Revised Custom Registration Process.

The RDN transit committee now wants to introduce it to new HandyDart applications as well as current clients that demonstrate a change or decline in their abilities.

The proposed revised process includes an in-person assessment with a mobility co-ordinator or occupational therapist in order to assess applicants’ cognitive and physical abilities and consider their needs to the most appropriate type of transit services available — custom, conventional or mixed.

RELATED: RDN to curb HandyDART ‘no-shows’

At present, those registering for HandyDART services are required to only provide a completed, impersonal and self-declared, paper-based application form. It’s reviewed by HandyDART dispatchers. Without the aid of a professional, clients could be denied the opportunity to be assessed based on their mobility devices from a transit perspective.

Superintendent of transit planning and scheduling, Eric Beauchamp, informed the RDN transit select committee that the current application process does not address individual needs, travel needs, ability to use conventional transit, variable conditions (weather, daylight) or conditional eligibility such as steep hills.

Beauchamp also pointed out that when a HandyDART driver notes a decline in a client’s cognitive or physical abilities, getting assessed by a professional such as a occupational therapist is important.

At this time, there is no formal process to follow up on a client’s noted declined in abilities, she said.

The custom registration process has already been implemented across Canada.

In B.C., several transit properties have applied it, including Campbell River, Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Kelowna, Kamloops, Central Fraser Valley, Chilliwack, Sunshine Coast and Vernon.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Oceanside RCMP auxiliary officer earns top honour for volunteer work

Dally presented special award by Island Commander

Island residents team up on beach cleanups, call for government regulation

‘It’s way beyond what we can deal with’: Lasqueti, Texada, Denman islanders

‘A really kind person’: Parksville’s Nick Major remembered by instructor

Outpouring of support in the days following death of young man

Lighthouse Community Hall to get new $40K roof

Regional district approves 2019 CWF projects

Banners could add pop of colour to Parksville business district

District includes businesses between the Orange Bridge and McVickers Street

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

Nanaimo tubber sets all-time record at bathtub race

Justin Lofstrom completes course in fastest-ever time

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Most Read