Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Translink discriminates against people with disabilities

Translink guilty of discrimination of people with disabilities

"I can confirm that 'custom transit model' I referred to in my March 4th letter is the service delivery method chosen to provide HandyDART service to customers. You may be interested to know that since its beginning nearly 30 years ago, HandyDART has been a contracted service." Dale Parker Board Chair
For almost 30 years HandyDART has been separated from general public transportation. To be clear "discriminate 1. make or see a distinction. 2. treat unfavorably or favourably on the basis of race, gender etc." Oxford. We suggest that disabilities is one of the subjects under "etc".
"Translink does not have the in-house expertise to operate such a specialized service. In fact, when Translink issued a Public Request for Proposal (RFP) to advertise and identify the most qualified proponent for the HandyDART contract, our own Coast Mountain Bus Company concluded that it did not have the experience necessary to submit a viable bid." ibid.
We do not know about Coast Mountain but to us this sounds like an evasionary tactic on the part of Translink. In other words an excuse. We find it in contradiction with known facts. Here is the question we have asked Translink;
"Regarding the section of your letter dealing with, “in-house expertise to operate such a specialized service” we wish clarification of a puzzling contradiction. Translink signed a “Custom Transit Operating Agreement” effective November 15, 2008 to December 31, 2013. Under “Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act” we are in receipt of an edited copy. Presumably, Translink had the “expertise” to understand and agree or disagree before signing. Its contents deal precisely with the ‘operation of such a specialized service’. You say neither you nor Coast Mountain Bus Company have expertise; therein lies the contradiction."
Translink chose not to end the HandyDART strike
Finally it is time the public knew that in that contract mentioned above there were two clauses which would have ended the HandyDART strike almost immediately:
"We have studied the agreement and it contains detailed information regarding the operation of such a specialized service. Taking advantage of a discretionary word “may” you did not use the authority you have to invoke section 11 DEFAULT AND TERMINATION section 11.1 and under section 8.0 RECORDS AND AUDIT section 8.5. We believe the public deserve to know this and have an explanation as to why." From our letter to Translink.