Question: Is the following information I heard about the Handi-van correct -- that the Handi-van can arrive early and leave five minutes from the time it arrives? I assume this means even if the time is before an individual's requested time.
I also heard that if the person requesting the ride is recorded as a no-show three times, he/she is suspended from riding for six months. This would mean that the driver could go to the wrong location or arrive early, but if the person isn't there, that's a no-show. Also, who can ride a Handi-van? Aren't people who use this service usually slow-walking and/or elderly?
Answer: You heard wrong in the first two instances, according to Patricia Nielsen, vice president for paratransit services for Oahu Transit Services.
Meanwhile, the Handi-van is meant for persons with disabilities who are unable to ride the city's buses.
The answers to your questions basically can be found in The Handi-Van Rider's Guide, Nielsen said.
Regarding pick-up times, drivers will leave after waiting at least five minutes beyond the scheduled pick-up time or five minutes after they arrive if they arrive later than the scheduled time. If the van arrives early, riders may volunteer to leave early, but are not obligated to leave before the scheduled pick-up time.
Although the rider's guide says no-shows may be subject to suspension of service, "not one customer has been suspended for no-shows since Oahu Transit Services took over operation of the Handi-Van service 3 1/2 years ago," Nielsen said.
"Although we track no-shows, there is no punitive measure associated with no-shows at this time," she said.
As for who can ride a Handi-Van, riders must be certified as being Americans with Disabilities Act paratransit eligible. In order to be certified, you must meet one of the following criteria: Be able to independently board, ride and exit an accessible, lift-equipped city bus, but such a bus has not been assigned to your route or the bus lift cannot be deployed at your stop; you are unable to get to or from a bus stop because of your disability; or you are an ADA paratransit-eligible visitor from outside Oahu.
Nielsen notes that age is not a qualifying factor for being "paratransit eligible."
AuweComing over the Pali on Thursday, Oct. 19, I was witness to road rage. The two drivers involved not only jeopardized their own lives, but those of innocent others. I don't know what started it, but two cars raced up behind me. At first, I thought one was in tow. But they kept trying to force each other off the road, then speeding up and stepping on their brakes suddenly to force a collision. Along the way, they cut in and out of heavy traffic, causing other drivers to get irritated, too.
Rage is either caused by impatience or ignorance. Drivers, keep your cool. You'll get there! -- No name
MahaloTo John T. Ishikawa, who was on his way to work at One Stop Financial Services and went out of his way to stop and change my tire after I had a blowout on the freeway. He was wonderful, even supplying the wrench, which I did not have. It was a hard, dirty job and he never complained, completing the job in record time. My thanks to such a wonderful man who helped a woman in distress. -- Virginia M. Templeman
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