TOPEKA, KANSAS (January 3, 2018) — Tuesday, January 2nd began the official launch for a 1-year pilot transportation program for workers in the south Topeka Kanza Fire Commerce Park. On December 13, 2017, the Topeka Joint Economic Development Council (JEDO) awarded Topeka Metro funding to establish 24/7 transportation service to businesses in south Topeka. On December 15th, Topeka Metro implemented a “soft launch,” partnering with Capitol City Taxi to provide 24/7 transportation, called the SOTO Ride-To-Work program at a cost of $5 for each ride.
According to some south Topeka Kanza Fire Commerce Park human resource officials, a need existed for reliable transportation for the South Topeka workforce. For many employees, current transportation was either unreliable or alternatives like UBER, Lyft or a taxi was too expensive. This initiative provides an affordable option at $5 per ride for SOTO workers.
“We were first approached by Mars, then other businesses in the Kanza Fire Park were interested as well in a transportation solution,” said Duffy. “It is exciting and we have already seen an average of 8 to 10 riders per day during our two-week soft launch,” she said.
The first passenger to take Capitol City Taxi to work was Joe Graen, who works for Maximus. His wife was working a 24-hour shift, and his car was in the shop so he wasn’t sure how he would get to work.
“When I learned about this program the night before, I thought, ‘this must be fate,’ so I called and booked a ride,” said Graen. “Capitol City Taxi arrived 5 minutes early in a clean cab with a professional appearing driver and he told me a little about how the program is being subsidized. I would highly recommend utilizing the Ride-To-Work program.”
The following businesses are currently participating in the Ride-To-Work program:
- Frito Lay
- Bimbo Bakeries
- Home Depot
- Target Distribution Center
Qualified SOTO employees can book a ride at least 12 hours in advance and must show their work ID. Only cash will be accepted, and ADA-accessible trips are provided. More information is available at http://www.topekametro.org/