About 30,000 rides a year are taken on the city’s shared-ride taxi system, and that workload is going to get a little easier.
The City of Stoughton’s ride share program will get a third handicapped-accessible vehicle in the next few months with the acceptance of a $29,600 state grant Tuesday, May 28.
The grant is from the Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program, which helps provide transportation services to seniors and people with disabilities.
The grant is in partnership with Madison’s Metro Transit, which will coordinate the logistics for purchasing the van. The vehicle will be delivered likely in the late summer or early fall, finance director Jamin Friedl told the Hub, based on his conversations with Madison Metro coordinators.
The grant, awarded in February, will pay the city 80 percent of the total cost of the $37,000 van for Stoughton Transit’s use. The remaining funds are from the city’s 2019 budget.
Running, Inc., which took over the Stoughton taxi service last year, operates with four Dodge Caravans, two of which are wheelchair-accessible. The service typically assists people who are elderly or have disabilities, but the service is described as benefiting anyone who needs a ride, including kids.
The grant application, which was shared with the Hub earlier this year, explains that the city’s elderly and disabled population is growing, which has resulted in an increased demand in ride share services. An additional 4,000 trips are estimated with the addition of the van.
“The new vehicle cannot possibly be fully utilized in its first year, but its usage will grow each year and max out at about 6,000 one-way trips per year,” the grant application explains.
The service, which costs riders $4.50 ($3.50 for seniors and disabled) for a trip anywhere in the city and up to three miles outside Stoughton, is subsidized by a grant from the state.
For information about Stoughton Transit, call 873-7233 or visit runninginc.net/stoughton-transit/.