Additional Service Provider for Taxi Ticket Program

Release Date: 
06/30/2015

Hermiston Residents who use the city’s subsidized taxi ticket program will gain a new option in July.  Umatilla Cab Company will begin accepting “City Taxi Tickets” in return for rides starting July 1, 2015.  Residents can call the company directly for a taxi ride at (541) 567-6055.

The Hermiston City Council voted unanimously on May 11th to end an exclusive taxi franchise which had prevented any new taxi companies from operating in the city.  Hermiston Transit Services held that franchise since 1964, and was therefore the only company eligible to provide rides to senior and disabled residents through the City’s subsidized taxi ticket program.

“Having multiple companies competing for these rides will allow the riders to choose whichever company they prefer, and should help ensure that the companies provide high-quality service,” said Mark Morgan, Assistant City Manager.

The City is working to get information out to its Taxi Ticket Program riders about the new service option, and remove confusion that the program is being eliminated or substantially changed.  All current users of the program will receive a mailing informing them of the new service options.

“You expect to run in to some issues to resolve whenever you implement a change to a process that has been around for a half-century,” Morgan said, “but these changes should yield real long-term improvements to the service quality available to our senior and disabled population, as well as the general public which uses the taxi system in Hermiston.”

All other aspects of the Senior & Disabled Taxi Ticket Program will remain the same.  Users must be Hermiston residents and register at City Hall.  The cost of a one-way ticket will still be $2 each.  Rides can only be used inside of the city limits, and the hours are from 7am to 2:30am seven days per week.

In addition to allowing multiple taxi companies to operate in the city, the new rules now require all taxicab drivers to undergo a background check through the Hermiston Police Department.  All of Umatilla Cab Company’s drivers have passed the required background checks to be issued a taxi driver permit.

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