The handyDART service in the Comox Valley is offering free deliveries for groceries and prescriptions during the COVID-19 crisis.

Comox Valley handyDART offers free grocery delivery

The handyDART service in the Comox Valley is offering free deliveries for groceries and prescriptions while the coronavirus pandemic wears on.

“As long as it’s pre-paid, we will pick up and drop off,” said Karen Sankey, service delivery manager at Comox Valley Transit. “You don’t have to be a handyDART client to access that, we’ll do it for anybody, as long as it’s reasonable. We have the drivers but there’s not the work, because so many of the programs are shut down, so I have the ability to be able to put them out into the Valley to give some help.”

Sankey has reached out to a number of grocers to lend a hand. Pre-payment is required to prevent handyDART drivers from handling money.

“We are more than happy to deliver groceries,” she said. “I know they’re (stores) all inundated with people trying to do their groceries online.”

For the time being, handyDART rides are free in the Comox Valley, as are regular bus trips.

The local handyDART service is no longer operated by Watson and Ash. PWTransit Canada Ltd. is now under contract with BC Transit.

“Last year, we struck a deal to acquire Watson and Ash,” said Greg Nichols, vice-president, transit for the Pacific Western Group of Companies. “Then BC Transit put out for tender the operating contract for the entire Central Vancouver Island region.”

Pacific Western bid on the project and won it.

“All the Watson and Ash employees are still there doing their jobs. They just work for us now,” Nichols said. “That went into effect April 1.”

Contact Comox Valley handyDART at (250) 339-5426 or (250) 339-5442. Service hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday.

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