Careful review of Translink data confirms sharp decline in trip denials with new taxi program

My post Thursday highlighting a 24 article reporting on a dramatic decline in trip denials since Translink supplemented HandyDart service with taxis was sharply challenged by Eric Doherty of the HandyDart Riders Alliance.

Translink achieved the improvement by redefining trip denials, Doherty told me in an e-mail, and a correction was warranted.

But Jill Weiss, indefatigable chair of the city’s Persons with Disabilities Advisory Committee, kindly offered to check Translink’s numbers. There has been no redefinition of “trip denial,” she found, and customers of the HandyDart/taxi program have seen significant improvements since the taxi program began, regardless of which service measure is reviewed.

Writes Weiss:

“Please note that after the introduction of additional taxis (June 2014), trip denials, trip refusals and unaccommodated trips decreased dramatically.

  • Trip denials decreased 89-97% from June 2014 to November 2014, as compared to the same period in 2013;
  • Trip refusals decreased 54-69% from June 2014 to November 2014, as compared to same period in 2013;
  • Unaccommodated standby trips also decreased substantially, although the decrease isn’t as large: 16-39% decrease in unaccommodated standby trips from June 2014 to November 2014, as compared to the same period in 2013.

“TransLink provides summary data: Overall, for the period from June 2014 to November 2014 (as compared to June 2013 to November 2013)

  • Trip denials: 95.8% decrease
  • Trip refusals: 62.3% decrease
  • Unaccommodated standby trips: 28.5% decrease
  • Total decrease for all of the above combined: 74.4% decrease”

This is consistent with what I had heard anecdotally and has to be good news.