HandyDart Changes: Good and Bad

Editorial: HandyDART handy, most of the time | The Local Weekly

I am a semi-frequent user of HandyDart. The service has its problems but overall does a good job of getting me to and from hospital appointments that would be difficult for me to get to otherwise. I have found the staff, drivers and telephone operators, invariably helpful and courteous. It is also a welcome relief to have the fares reduced under the program that began this month.

I also have a senior’s concessionary Compass Pass which allows me to travel anywhere on the Translink system for an incredibly reasonable $45 a year and I was glad to learn that one can now use Compass to access HandyDart. However, for reasons that I cannot figure, HandyDart users will be obliged to use a different orange Compass card for HandyDart service.

While not understanding the reasons for the additional complexity, I was willing to go to the website to apply for the extra card. That was when things became difficult.

Being a trained accountant and highly computer literate, I am used to filling in forms online but I am damned if I could figure this one out. I registered my original Compass card as requested and paid in $20 to my account. But then the system failed me as I could not work out — no matter how I tried — how to get them to send me the new orange card. I probably spent thirty minutes struggling with it.

Finally I gave up and wrote them an email explaining the difficult I was having. A few days later, today, I received a reply that laid out a complicated three-step process involving multiple websites that I am still trying to unravel.

I will get through this eventually but it occurs to me that for many seniors this will be a daunting experience and I suspect many will simply give up and will be reduced to scrabbling for the correct cash when their rides arrive.

If being able to swipe a Compass card on HandyDart is supposed to make things easier for us, so far it has failed before it even begins.

3 Responses to HandyDart Changes: Good and Bad

  1. rtomlin3 says:

    My experience in the past is that when I was confronted with difficulties similar to the one you’re experiencing – but not exactly the same – I just called the available 1-800 number to speak with one of the good folks responsible for making sure the programme works, and almost inevitably, the person with whom I spoke resolved the problem, in a surprisingly short period of time.

    Should you go down this “contact the appropriate government folks” road – that may or may not prove the resolution to your present difficulties – I wish you well in finding resolution to the present dilemma. And, yep, I am also thrilled with the $45 annual Seniors Compass card (altho that has for some while been considered $579 taxable income when filling out your tax return each spring … alas).

    • jakking says:

      Thanks Ray. I called the Help line and was given a list f choices that didn;t help at all. That’s why I emailed them. I’ll keep trying.

  2. John Payzant says:

    Go right down to Stadium Station Translink Customer Service where you deal with Staff & they can work it out instead of struggling with computer on your own

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