Hermiston Seeks to Boost WORC Ridership with Incentive Program

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If you’ve never used the city of Hermiston’s WORC Taxi Ticket Program, you may want to reconsider.

On Monday, the Hermiston City Council approved a temporary plan aimed at increasing participation in the city’s WORC Program.

The WORC, which stands for West-End On-Demand Ride Cooperative, is a subsidized taxi ticket voucher program funded by a 0.1% statewide payroll tax, whereby workers in western Umatilla County can use a taxi to get to and from work and only pay a third of the regular taxi rate.

For workers who live and work within the city limits of Hermiston, the cost is $2.50 per one-way trip. If you are a Hermiston resident, but live outside the city limits, the cost of a one-way ticket is $3.25. If, however, you are going to or from the Hermiston city limits to or from the Umatilla and Stanfield zip codes, the cost for a one-way ticket is $5.75.

In an effort to entice more riders, the city will be giving out four 10-ride punch cards to anyone signing up for the program between now and the end of December. The punch cards will be valid until Feb. 28, 2021. Those 40 free rides work out to a $100 value for employees living and working inside the Hermiston city limits.

“The main reason for doing this is really to drive future utilization and awareness of the program,” said Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan. “One of the challenges in terms of acquiring ridership is people just simply are apprehensive about (transportation) systems they aren’t familiar with. We want people to get familiar with it become long-term users.”