November 18, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - If you are in need of handyDART services in Kamloops, your application process just got a little more personal.
The accessibility program manager for B.C. Transit, Danielle Harriott, asked council to approve a change to the application process that would have an assessor interview applicants, instead of just having applicants submit a paper form.
Harriott admitted the personal approach was both an attempt to standardize the eligibility process and to save money. She said by shifting some riders off of handyDART, B.C. Transit could shift costs.
As the population continues to age in B.C., the demand for special transit has outgrown its capabilities. Harriott explained it was necessary to determine who is really in need of handyDART and who could still use regular transit services.
She said the new process was a pilot projected first implemented in Vernon and Comox. As in both those communities, the assessors in Kamloops would be third-party contracted occupational therapists.
Harriott explained the new process takes into account an applicants travel requirements as well as their cognitive and physical abilities, and then matches them with the services that best fit their needs. An applicant will then be classified into four categories: Unconditional (the highest level of need), conditional, temporary or ineligible.
Council agreed to the changes and the new application could be implemented as early as March 2016. Harriott said a call for assessor applications will go out between December 2015 and January 2016. Current handyDART users will not be affected by the changes.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015