SERVICE RESTORATION UPDATE: Taxi Feeder, Night Service, Sunday Taxi Service
Page Last Updated: January 9, 2019
On October 30, 2018, Tri-City Taxi, longtime contracted service provider for these Ben Franklin Transit ancillary services, announced it was closing its doors effective immediately. This caused an unavoidable disruption to service that BFT is actively working to resolve. In the meantime, we will keep this page updated with the latest available information and resources.
Press Release: View
BFT Board of Directors held a Special Board Meeting on November 26, at which BFT leadership presented options to restore suspended services. Discontinued following the Tri-City Taxi (TCT) announcement were BFT’s Taxi Feeder, Night Service, and Sunday Taxi Service.
At the end of the November 26 meeting, the BFT Board approved the following Demonstration Services, to be provided in the interim while a new Request for Proposals (RFP) process is completed to identify possible contracting alternatives:
General Demand Service in Finley - for more details, go to: bft.org/NewPlaces
Service Began: January 2, 2019
BFT-operated General Demand service is in Finley to restore service lost due to Taxi Feeder disruption. Under the new service, BFT vehicles pick up passengers at previously serviced Feeder locations. To schedule a ride, passengers need to reserve a pickup at least one day before the ride is needed, or up to one week in advance. This service is provided using both our Dial-A-Ride drivers and vehicles; it is the same service that we currently provide in Prosser and Benton City.
General Demand Service – Other Areas (Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, West Richland)
Target start date: February 4, 2019
We will also extend General Demand service to passengers outside of Finley at previously serviced Feeder locations in Kennewick, Pasco, Richland, and West Richland. This is the same service described above.
Extension of Fixed Route and Dial-A-Ride Operating Hours to 10pm Weekdays, 9pm Saturday
Target start date: March 11, 2019
To address the loss of Night Service formerly provided by TCT, the Board has approved a two-hour extension to fixed route and Dial-A-Ride operating hours, with a reduced network of fixed routes from 8pm to 10pm Monday thru Friday, and 7pm to 9pm Saturday. Dial-A-Ride service will operate normally during all service hours.
Future Sunday Service Option(s)
There is currently no service replacement option for our former Sunday Taxi Service. However, BFT offers a new program called Van-Me-Down. This program allows nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations to purchase vehicles in decent operating condition from BFT at a discount to transfer ownership to the organizations (e.g., church congregations) to provide their own group transportation including on Sundays.
The Board of Directors approved these BFT-operated services to be put into place until we can complete a new RFP process for an outside contractor. The RFP would be distributed to solicit bids from multiple vendors that may be able to provide services to replace some or all the services previously provided by Tri-City Taxi.
BEST SOURCES FOR SERVICE DISRUPTION UPDATES
We will keep you posted as we have more information. In the meantime, we will post updates to this page, Facebook, and Twitter.
As always, you may also contact our Customer Service office at 509.735.5100 with questions or help connecting to other services.
FREEDOM PASS & PREMIUM TICKET REFUNDS
For those who have purchased a November Freedom Pass or Premium Ride tickets for use on BFT Night Service, refunds will be issued in person between November 1 and November 17, 2018 at Three Rivers Transit Center. Please bring your pass and/or remaining tickets to turn in at the time of refund.
ALTERNATE TRANSPORTATION RESOURCES
Groups who travel together to the same or nearby employers may be able to use BFT’s Vanpool service.
For more information: 509.943.5442 or www.bft.org/Services/Vanpool/
Some customers who were using BFT’s Taxi Feeder service may have full or limited Dial-A-Ride eligibility on file with BFT.
For more information: 509.735.0160
This program allows nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations to purchase vehicles in decent operating condition from BFT to transfer ownership to the organizations (e.g., church congregations) to provide their own group transportation including on Sundays. Van-Me-Down will allow local nonprofit organizations to buy a pre-owned BFT vehicle for only $250.
For more information: 509.735.0160 or www.bft.org/services/Van-Me-Down
Community Van Program
Community Van Program allows government organizations and qualifying private nonprofit organizations to rent vans to be used by their members or employees. BFT provides insurance for the vehicle and the organization pays $.58 per mile for use of the van.
For more information: 509.735.0160 or www.bft.org/services/Community-Van
Other Local Taxi Services
While remaining taxi service capacity in the Tri-Cities is limited at this time, there are other companies that may be able to provide rides:
On Time Taxi