Cost of Restoring BFT Taxi Service Could be Millions
After a Monday night meeting, Ben Franklin Transit officials say the cost of replacing taxi and feeder as well as after hours services could be expensive.
In October, A-1 Tri-City Taxi abruptly closed it's doors, laying off 60 works and leaving BFT without it's supplemental 'feeder' or taxi services. All that was said was the company had been met with unexpected circumstances.
A-1 handled the night, feeder and taxi requests not covered by bus routes. According to officials at least 494 regular customers who utilized the services were left without a ride. The biggest impact was felt in Finley, where 48% of feeder riders came from. Pasco had 32%.
The taxi and feeder services covered transportation needs that were not met by regular bus routes, such as late night or early morning trips to work, school, church, shopping, and similar needs on weekends. Some 54,000 rides were provided per year.
Officials say the two remaining Tri-City area taxi companies don't have the infrastructure, manpower or enough vehicles to 'take over' the service in place of A-1 Tri-City Taxi.
They say the cost of assuming the services that were covered by A-1 (which was a subcontractor to BFT for 16 years) would be in the millions.