Elderly offered half-price cab fare

Baltimore County unveils voucher program for seniors and disabled

June 29, 2000|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

Low-income senior citizens and the disabled will be able to purchase half-price vouchers for taxi rides under a transportation program announced yesterday by Baltimore County officials.

Called Taxi 2, the program "will make getting around the county a lot easier," said John Wasilisin, the county's administrative officer.

The program will supplement the CountyRide program, which provides transportation for the disabled and senior citizens of any income level for as little as $2.50 a ride but gives priority to riders with medical appointments.

Taxi 2, said Charles Fisher, Department of Aging director, will serve those most in need, who can use the vouchers any time for any purpose.

The program, created by the county's Department of Aging, will be paid for with county and state funds. It is similar to subsidized taxi programs in Baltimore and in Anne Arundel County.

Under Taxi 2, those eligible may purchase up to $120 worth of vouchers for $60 each fiscal year, beginning Saturday.

The vouchers will be used like cash when riding with any of the participating cab companies: Atwater, Jimmy's, New Eastern, County and Valley. The driver will turn in the vouchers to the county for full reimbursement.

At a news conference yesterday in Towson, Jeff Leone, owner of Valley Cab, said the program will allow financially strapped customers to use cabs more often, "and it keeps a little less money in the hands of the taxi driver. It makes it a little bit more safe."

The vouchers feature a blue ink that cannot be reproduced on photocopiers and a raised seal to prevent counterfeiting.

On the back of each voucher is a list of participating cab companies in each area of the county and their phone numbers. Fisher and other officials at the Department of Aging noted that the program will generate cash by funneling voucher revenue back into Taxi 2 for new subsidized vouchers.

For more information or registration forms, call 410-887-2080.

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