Kamloops customer sings praises of handyDART

Kamloops customers sings handyDART praises
Linda Bonner has been a resident at Riverbend Seniors Community in Kamloops for nearly five years, but she has been a regular handyDART customer for a lot longer. Simply put, this door-to-door service has changed her life.
“I gave up driving a long time ago, and I use a walker to get around,” said Linda Bonner. “I can’t bend one of my knees, so taking a taxi isn’t an option. With handyDART it’s in my file that I can’t step-up at a curb, and the drivers are awesome about that.”
handyDART is an accessible, door-to-door shared transit service for people with permanent or temporary disabilities that prevent them from using fixed-route transit without assistance from another person. handyDART picks you up at your accessible door and drops you off at the accessible door of your destination. Customers must first register, at no charge, for the program.
Twice a week Linda Bonner has network spinal appointments for her knee, which are essential to maintaining her mobility. She’s also diabetic, so requires periodic trips to the lab, along with other appointments that handyDART gets her to and from. Linda is also quite thankful for the current Covid-19 related protocols in place for everyone’s benefit.
“The minute you come on board and get in your seat, they wipe the railing and any other surfaces you might have touched to get on the bus. Then when people get off, the drivers immediately wipe their seat and entire area down. I feel really safe on the bus.”
The service handyDART provides Linda is about more than just providing her with her necessary community connections. She’s developed a great relationship with drivers and dispatch, and they have been known to go above and beyond for her.
“One of the drivers, Cheri Franklin, calls me ‘ma’ which I love, as I never had any children of my own. One time I cancelled my trip because I had vertigo, and on her lunch break she phoned to make sure I was okay. Most of my family doesn’t live close, so it’s nice knowing I have people like Cheri and the other drivers looking out for me.”
Linda Bonner recently wrote a letter to the editor for Kamloops This Week about her handyDART experience, which you can read here.
There are 17 light duty buses in the Kamloops handyDART fleet, with 19 drivers that have carried out an average of more than 81,000 annual passenger rides prior to the pandemic.