Something has been puzzling me since the TransLink announcement that taxis will sometimes be used more than buses to save money (Cuts to HandyDart routes, April 18).
This would make sense if TransLink owned the taxis, but under the present circumstances I don’t see how that works. My mother-in-law takes the HandyDart every week from Aldergrove to Surrey to spend the day with us. She pays only $2.50 for this service.
More often, recently, she has returned home by a taxi sent out by HandyDart. She has often noted how expensive the taxi service is. Run by a private company, the normal charge would be about $70; she still only pays the $2.50, and the rest of the charge is subsidized.
I don’t get how this can be cheaper than sending a HandyDart van – even empty – to pick her up. Surely gas and wages do not amount to more than $70 for a 30-km journey?
The most sensible solution is for HandyDart to buy a few fuel-economic cars to serve this purpose, and they can be driven by drivers currently employed by HandyDart.
This would preserve jobs as well as saving money, and the drivers used would be trained to help old people.
The taxi drivers frequently just drive the car but do nothing to assist the old person into the car. This can be a serious problem for people who are unsteady on their feet and who is responsible if there is a fall and bones are broken?
Eileen Spencer, Surrey