Senior/Disabled Taxi Program Sees Decreased Usage in 2021

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Ridership in Hermiston’s Senior & Disabled Taxi Program declined in 2021 while the Workforce On-Demand Ride Cooperative (WORC) program saw a slight increase in its second full calendar year of operation.

The Senior & Disabled Taxi Program provides service for eligible Hermiston residents to locations within city limits. Between 2017-2019 the program averaged 18,000-20,000 rides per year, and in 2021 provided 12,191 rides.

The service has primarily been used for trips to medical appointments, shopping, public events, and gatherings.

“The past couple of years have disrupted people’s regular routines due to canceled appointments and events, and that seems to be having an impact on how many people are using the taxi service,” said Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan. “We know that routine and familiarity are important in helping people choose to use a public transit option like the taxi service, so we want to remind folks that this easy and reliable system is here to help.”

Vouchers for the program are $2.50 each and can be purchased at Hermiston City Hall. Residents who are 60 years or older or have an eligible disability under Social Security, PERS, or other recognized agency may apply.

The WORC program issued 7,041 ride vouchers in 2021, a slight increase from the 7,020 issued in 2020. The majority of these rides (62 percent) were within Hermiston city limits with many users getting rides to service-sector and retail workplaces.

The program offers rides to workplaces in Hermiston, Umatilla, or Stanfield and ticket pricing is based on distance between the worksite and pickup/drop off location.

For more information about the city of Hermiston’s transit options, including taxi service and the fixed-route HART bus service, visit www.hermiston.or.us/transit.