Attention DARTS Members

February 1, 2016

Update on City of Hamilton Plans Regarding DARTS

Late Friday evening many of us became aware of what the City of Hamilton had in store for Accessible Transit as a result of either a presentation posted on the City of Hamilton website or an Article in the Hamilton Spectator. )

Members of CUPE 5167 executive, along with many of your DARTS coworkers, board members, Management and Passengers spent in excess of 3 hours sitting at the General Issues Committee today waiting for the Public Works Budget presentation to roll around to DARTS related matters.

At the end of the exhausting portion related to HSR, Gerry Davis and David Dixon were asked why these matters were being brought forward in a budget presentation.  Councillor Merulla then brought forth a motion to call a Special General Issues Committee to hear the DARTS presentation and to allow Delegations to present to the Committee.  )

This is good as now DARTS, CUPE, the Board and Passengers along with other interested parties, can prepare and make presentations to council.

There are many questions that arise after reading this report.  Questions that we will address when presenting our Delegation to Committee.

Over the next few weeks CUPE 5167 will be meeting with community stakeholders, DARTS Management and Board Members, CUPE Legal Services, DARTS Members, City of Hamilton staff and any other interested parties in order to coordinate our efforts and make our presentation count.

Once we have a plan of action, we will hold unit meetings to update you and enlist your assistance in moving forward to keep DARTS intact and continuing to provide the amazing service your passengers expect and deserve.  To keep up-to-date, please sign up for DARTS email Blasts :

To see the full copy of the 235 page report, click here GIC Committee Report Feb 1 2016.  The DARTS portion begins on slide 79.

Below are highlights from the PowerPoint presentation that have the greatest impact on DARTS. 

Why Are We Here? Audit Services Recommendations

  • DARTS may have capacity on existing vehicles to transport additional passengers
  • Effective scheduling is needed to optimize routes and meet service expectations
  • Cost savings of any magnitude may only be possible by changing how services are provided to passengers (i.e. greater use of sedan taxis, adding lower occupancy accessible vans)
  • The Driver Collective Agreement between DARTS and CUPE 5167 contains specific clauses limiting the number of trips that DARTS may subcontract to another service provider

Return Reservations Scheduling Dispatch

  • DARTS Driver Collective Agreement contains specific clauses limiting the number of trips that can be subcontracted to another service provider, impeding their ability to:
    • Optimize the shift to vans and accessible vans; and
    • Deliver trips by the lowest cost provider
  • Therefore it is recommended that reservations, scheduling and dispatch functions move back to City control

Next Steps

  • Issue Request for Proposal (RFP) for service delivery
    • Bus
    • Accessible van
    • Van / Sedan
  • Work with CUPE and ATU to complete transfer of DARTS reservation, scheduling and dispatch staff to the City
  • Identify efficiencies in staffing to reduce numbers


  • That Council direct staff to complete a Request for Proposal (RFP) in 2016 (prior to the expiration of the DARTS contact on June 30, 2017) for the service delivery of ATS customers in buses, accessible vans and vans / sedans
  • That Council, in the interim direct DARTS to aggressively expand the accessible and non accessible van fleet at a rate approved by the General Manger of Public Works
  • That Council direct DARTS to reduce their bus fleet at a rate approved by the General Manger of Public Works
  • That Council direct the General Manger of Public Works to work with CUPE and ATU representatives to complete transfer of DARTS operations to the City
  • That Council direct the General Manger of Public Works to meet with the Province of Ontario to discuss possible funding sources for the City’s specialized transit service; particularly in light of the increased cost to the City as a result of AODA legislation
  • That Council permanently fund the Travel Training program on an annual basis with a commitment of 200 trainees for $175,00