Umatilla Cab Co.

A Umatilla Cab Co. taxi drives through Hermiston in 2016. 

Workers in the greater Hermiston area may have a cheaper way to get to work soon.

The Hermiston City Council will consider Monday the adoption of the Workforce On-Demand Ride Cooperative, or WORC, which would use state transportation funds to subsidize taxi rides to and from work.

As proposed, workers would pay about 35% of the cost of a ride, while the rest would be covered by funds from the 0.01% payroll tax Oregon implemented last year to increase funding for public transportation.

“No direct City of Hermiston subsidy is included in this program,” assistant city manager Mark Morgan wrote in a memo to councilors.

Under the program, someone within the Hermiston/Umatilla/Stanfield area would go to city hall to obtain a punch card by showing proof of employment. City employees would then inscribe the card with the address of the employer, and the card would only work to subsidize rides that begin or end at that address.

The other side of the trip would be restricted by the type of card purchased — a cheaper “Hermiston to Hermiston” card would only allow pick-ups and drop-offs within Hermiston, while more expensive cards would subsidize rides into Umatilla, Stanfield or rural areas between the cities.

A Hermiston-to-Hermiston card would cost the rider $2.50 per trip. Hermiston Transportation, the taxi company that already partners with the city on subsidized rides for senior and disabled residents, would be reimbursed an additional $4.50 per trip from state transportation funds.

The city council meeting begins at 7 p.m. at city hall, 180 N.E. Second St.

News Editor

Hermiston Herald news editor and reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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