The Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART) announced the launch of a new taxi voucher program, designed to make travel more convenient for those living with disabilities. The HARTPlus Customer Choice Voucher Pilot Project a partnership with the Yellow Cab Company of Tampa is made possible via an FDOT grant of $150,000 to help fund implementation of the program. This amount will allow HART to deliver approximately 9,375 trips with this pilot program.
The initiative provides HARTPlus clients with quick and convenient same-day service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The groundbreaking new service is set for launch on January 1, 2016.
HARTPlus, a very popular paratransit service, serves clients with unique needs - including the visually impaired, those who use wheelchairs, and patients undergoing medical treatment, according to the agency. Traditionally, rides on a HARTPlus van must be booked one to three days in advance, but the new system enables patrons to call a cab for same-day service at the same price.
Under the plan, those already approved for paratransit services can call a taxi and get to a doctor's appointment or back home — or anywhere else for $4. That's the same price they'd pay for a one-way HARTPlus van ride. HART pays the balance of $16 to Yellow Cab as a reimbursement. (In the event that the customer reserves a trip costing more than $20, the additional amount will be paid for by the customer.) All customers have to do is call Yellow Cab to schedule a pick-up.
Yellow Cab will maintain a database of HARTPlus clients that are eligible for this service. HART will also coordinate with Yellow Cab Company to help manage ridership, through productivity improvements and passenger education initiatives to ensure a seamless transition for passengers using the new service.