Beginning October 1, HandyDART riders will be able to use Compass Cards and ‘Tap to Pay’ with contactless credit cards. Compass will allow HandyDART customers to access benefits such as AutoLoad for automatic balance top-ups and gives customers the ability to protect their Compass card balance if it is lost or stolen.
In addition, age-based discounts (concession fares) will also be introduced for HandyDART customers aged 13 to 18 and 65 and over. Approximately 70% to 75% of HandyDART customers fall into these age groups. As part of this update, HandyDART customers will also have access to fare products currently available on conventional transit, including DayPasses.
In the spring, TransLink engaged the public on Compass and age-based discounts on HandyDART, as well as a proposal to include a personal consultation component in the HandyDART application process. After hearing feedback from the public, the TransLink board of directors voted to approve TransLink staff’s revised recommendation to make the personal consultation optional instead of mandatory. The new process will not apply to current HandyDART customers and will be implemented in 2023 at the earliest.
These initiatives are part of the HandyDART Modernization Program, a package of updates designed to ensure the service remains accessible to those who need it now and in the future.
HandyDART is currently delivering trips at approximately 40% of pre-pandemic ridership. TransLink’s latest projections predict a 30% increase in HandyDART trip demand over the next decade, compared to 2019 ridership of more than 1.3 million trips.