The Fort Worth City Council is moving forward with a program to bring more ridesharing options to workers.
The city will spend $500,000 to partner with Trinity Metro to target the Mercantile area near I-35 West and Meachum Boulevard.
But it’s unlike a typical rideshare program. This one has an eight-minute guarantee and a $3 ride in a Mercedes.
Howard Montgomery gets off at the Mercantile TEXRail Station everyday and heads to his job at Haggart’s Clothes.
“If I catch the bus, it’ll take me about 10 minutes to get there,” he said.
But not every local employee has the same access. It’s a disparity that Trinity Metro and the city of Fort Worth are trying to fix with their Zip Zones pilot program in the Mercantile business area.
Obviously, they’re not gonna walk when it’s 110 degrees for a mile or a mile and a half,” said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price.
Under the program, TEXRail riders can take an on-demand shuttle anywhere within a shaded pink area on a map.
Trinity Metro President Bob Baulsir says the Mercantile area has roughly 18,000 employees.
“And there were a couple of 100 open jobs that weren’t filled,” he said. “So we thought this is a good opportunity to connect people to work with public transit.”
Baulsier says they’ll have a contract with VIA and riders can request the shuttle using the company's app on a cell phone.
They’ll have a total of 5 Mercedes Benz vans that hold about seven people based at the Mercantile Center.
On Tuesday, the city council voted to spend $500,000 on the pilot program with Trinity Metro pledging to match the number.
“We’ll measure success based on the number of rides,” Price said.
Their goal is to have three passengers using the service every hour.