City Auditor releases Accessible Transit Services Audit
HAMILTON, ON – The Office of the City Auditor presented an Accessible Transit Services: DARTS Fleet Management and Vehicle Safety Audit to assess the maintenance and inspection activities employed by DARTS and its sub-contractors, and to determine the effectiveness of these processes in ensuring the safety of vehicles placed into service.
Key themes addressed in the Audit include:
- Quality assurance processes
- Safety awareness and training
- Contract oversight
- Minimum standards
- Inspection procedures
- Data management
The initial scope was a fleet management audit based on a sample of 40 vehicles having vehicle inspections completed by an independent third-party garage contracted and overseen by an external firm.
After receiving the initial inspection results, with 39 vehicles inspected and a failure rate of 46 per cent, Office of the City Auditor, in consultation with the City’s Transit Division, and consistent with the direction of Council, expanded the scope of the audit to ensure all vehicles in the fleet would be inspected. The overall fail rate for the entire fleet after 10 weeks of inspection was 32 per cent.
Key issues identified as part of the vehicle inspections include: faulty brakes, leaking hydraulics, worn suspension, loose steering, bald tires, cracked exhaust pipes and rusted panels. All DARTS vehicles currently in service have since passed inspection.
The Accessible Transit Services Audit stems from a confidential Fraud and Waste report expressing safety concerns with respect to the management of fleet.
- Disabled and Aged Regional Transportation System (“DARTS”) is an external organization that provides accessible transit services in Hamilton under contract with the City.
- In order to meet the objective of the Audit, the Office of the City Auditor sourced an external firm (Fleet Challenge Canada) to complete a thorough review of the inspection, maintenance and fleet management activities performed on DARTS operated vehicles in order to identify weaknesses or compliance issues that may impact public safety.
- Management is generally agreeable with the findings identified as part of Audit and has committed to bringing an action plan forward in January 2023 that will thoroughly address all 73 recommendations.
“The audit has brought to light several observations and recommendations to strengthen controls, raise vehicle safety up to an adequate standard, and enhance the value for money achieved in the delivery of accessible transit services at the City of Hamilton. There is an incalculable opportunity here to undertake transformative change that will ultimately enhance the safety and security of those members of our community who rely on specialized, accessible transportation.”Charles Brown, City Auditor & Auditor General, Office of the City Auditor