Transportation that will help seniors remain as healthy, contributing citizens in their own communities is a central focus of BEST. So we are pleased this month to have stories about the launch of the new Allies in Ageing project and and what was discovered in BC's Seniors Advocate HandyDART survey. Also in our newsletter you will find encouragement for those of you thinking about participating in the Commuter Challenge, details on how you can volunteer for this season’s The Bicycle Valet, plus an amazing story about a bike that was stolen and recovered by Project 529! We wrap things up with an update on TransLink’s Fare Review.
Happy reading everyone – and fear not, spring will be here before you know it!
Introducing Allies in Aging
At the Allies in Aging launch in February were project leads (l to r)
As mentioned in previous newsletters, BEST is coordinating a three year Collective Impact project called Seniors on the Move, focusing on improving and innovating transportation options for seniors in Metro Vancouver. Seniors on the Move was happy to attend the official launch of Allies in Aging, the larger project focused on reducing seniors’ isolation. Stay tuned for more information as we move forward!
Julia Staub-French (ED of Family Services of BC), Zahra Esmail (ED of South Van Neighbourhood House), Stephen D'Souza (ED Burnaby Community Services),
and Antonia Beck (ED of Burnaby Neighbourhood House).
Seniors on the Move is currently recruiting volunteer drivers to help seniors remain active in their community, by helping them get around. If you’re a Modo member, your booking cost during your volunteer shift will be fully covered by Seniors on the Move. Share your ride, and then feel free to do your own errands once you’ve dropped your passenger off!
If you’re not a Modo member, Modo is offering $50 free driving time when signing up with the code ONTHEMOVE. Sign up to be a Modo member and then start volunteering with Seniors on the Move!
Practice sustainable commutes now!
With spring just around the corner and dreary thoughts behind us, we can all begin to relax and get back to our normal commuting routine... (Unless of course your routine is driving alone, in which case you might need some inspiration to try another mode!)
Why? Because you’ll need to practice for the BC Commuter Challenge!! What does that mean? That means competing alongside 20,000 Canadians in the most eco-friendly commuting challenge on the planet!!! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse to get involved. You could be just as competitive telecommuting from the comfort of your home (pending your boss’ approval), or from the back of the bus (or the front… or somewhere in between). You could even carpool with your friends, make new friends at work to carpool with, or try a new carshare program when you realize you can’t stand your new friends’ choice in radio music...
The point is, it’s easy to participate, easy to see the change you make, and easy to win! Everyone has a chance to win some great prizes and to improve their commute – whether by burning some calories, making friends, or saving time! Get your workplace involved for free today by becoming a workplace coordinator. (It only takes a few minutes.)
All the best and happy commutes! - Steve
For more information about the Challenge, including registration and sponsorship, contact coordinator Stephen White at 604 669 2860 ext 200, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer for The Bicycle Valet!
Interested in doing volunteer work that is fun, energizing, and good for the environment? That gives you perks like legendary volunteer parties and admission to events like the Whitecaps and concerts? And that lets you choose the hours you want to work? Look no further than BEST’s The Bicycle Valet!
Every year The Bicycle Valet provides professional, secure, coat-check style bicycle parking at events all around the Lower Mainland, and we depend on our team of awesome volunteers to keep things going. Here’s what one of our volunteers had to say about working for The Bicycle Valet:
“Do this. 2 LEGENDARY parties per year that’s LEGENDARY! What the hey!! See if our friends want to do it. Fit, fun and active. I have parked my bike in these a few times and they are usually at cool events. This is the big one go for it! Looks good on the resume (of life).” – signed, an Awesome Anonymous Volunteer.
Have we convinced you? You can sign up now at our website! The first volunteer training session of the year is coming up in April.
For more information contact Sinead Stinson at 604 700 8843 Ext 207, or at email@example.com.
Project 529: GM's bike stolen ... and recovered!
Staff at the Community Policing Office
By Stephanie Williams, BEST GM
reintroduce our GM to her beloved bicycle
Like any true sustainable transportation advocate, I of course have more than one bike. One which I ride regularly and one for friends visiting. Having partnered with Project 529 last year for Operation Rudy at Granville Island, I of course had my regular bike registered, but not my other one. So when my out-of-town friend and I rode down to Granville Island in the summer, we made sure to get it registered at the Valet.
About 6 months later, that bike was stolen from my back shed. I immediately opened the Garage 529 App to create an alert and report the bike missing. The app prompted a few questions about where and when it was taken, sent out an alert to the community, and flagged it in the system. I then received an email instructing me to call the non-emergency police line with the case number provided and file an official police report. It also provided tips on searching online for the stolen bike and what to do if I thought I had found it.
The next day the police showed up to inspect the scene of the crime, and pick up another bike which I had found in the alley. It turned out that that one was also registered with 529, and had been stolen from Richmond!
Unfortunately, online searches for my bike were coming up empty. However, a few weeks later I received another email, informing me my bike had been found and could be picked up at my local community policing centre. I headed down and reclaimed my bike! Great work Project 529- two more bikes recovered!
We look forward to working with the VPD and Project 529 again this year to fight bike theft!
TransLink Fare Review underway
(Photo credit: TransLink)
With the introduction of the Compass card TransLink has had an opportunity to look at how the transportation system is priced – with an eye to making changes. In Phase One of the Transit Fare Review TransLink asked people how they feel about the current fare system and what they want to see in the future. Amongst the 30,000 participants there was a strong agreement to take a fresh look at how fares are determined.
So, in Phase Two of the Review, which concluded in February, TransLink asked which options people prefer under the three core components of the fare structure: distance travelled, time of travel, and service type. Phase Three, to be completed in mid-2017, will develop the most promising options into “packages,” and in 2018 a final recommendation will be presented.
For more information on the Transit Fare Review and to receive updates, visit the TransLink website.
HandyDART survey results released
(Photo credit: Vancouver Sun)
The Office of BC’s Seniors Advocate has released the results of a province-wide survey of almost 7,500 HandyDART users. The “Moving in the Right Direction” survey report highlights that while 91% of users are satisfied with the service when they receive it, almost 1/3 of respondents say it is not meeting, or only moderately meeting, their transportation needs.
“Obviously there’s good news here,” said Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie. “People are telling us that across many aspects of this service, things are positive, however we are still concerned that there are a significant number of seniors whose transportation needs are not being met.” Mackenzie noted that ride availability, wait times for rides, and the booking experience including the time required to book rides in advance are areas where riders feel improvements are most needed.
“The cost of the service is another area that we need to look closely at,” said Mackenzie. “While 83% of respondents told us cost is not an issue, we have to remember that some of our lowest income seniors rely heavily on this service and they clearly are telling us if it cost less, they would use it more.” Currently 53% of users have an income of less than $20,000 while 15% have incomes less than $10,000 per year.
HandyDART is a door-to-door service provided by TransLink, BC Transit, and their service providers for passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who are unable to use conventional public transit without assistance. The majority of users, approximately 78%, are 65 or older. Last year 2.37 million rides were provided, with 51% of these in the Lower Mainland.
The full HandyDART survey report can be viewed here.
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