Evening ridesharing service at risk of shutting down due to funding

Posted at 3:22 PM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:25-04

An evening ridesharing service is at risk of shutting down if the company running it doesn't receive a state grant.

Waco Transit plans to reapply for a Texas Department of Transportation Grant that would allow them to continue running the Evening Link from 8:30 to 11:45 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

"The local cab company recently shut down and there is a need for transportation in the evening service" Waco Transit General Manager Allen Hunter said. "We believe a lot of people would miss out if the service wasn't available."

Users pay $3 for a one-way trip to any location in the Greater Waco area. 

A portion of a $180,000 grant from TXDOT, local and private partnerships help cover the total cost of the trip for Waco Transit, which is up to $30.

Workforce Solutions for the Heart of Texas, McLennan Community College, Texas State Technical College and Sanderson Farms are some of the contributors to the program.

According to Hunter, the funding is expected to last through August.

"We are in the process of applying for additional state funding and trying to work letters of support and just local support, in general, to keep this service going," Hunter said.

However, if it doesn't obtain the grant, Hunter said Evening Link will likely end. 

The service currently serves 5,000 people, including Danny Cardenas who uses it to go to his overnight job at Walmart.

"I just think they're very good people," Cardenas said. "I thank them for what they do."

The 45-year-old can't imagine having the ridesharing program.

"I would have to walk to work back and forth and most of the time it's very cold out there. To do it at night, it takes about two hours to get there," Cardenas said.

Leo Maclin who works for Waco Transit scheduling the rides for customers like Cardenas said Waco residents would be negatively impacted if the program stops running.

"This is the livelihood for a lot of people. They really do depend on the service to get to and from work at night," Maclin said.

Waco transit is now trying to receive letters of support and monetary and in-kind donations to help keep the program running.

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