July 1, 2010

Limited Garrison taxi service endorsed by chamber group

Limited Garrison taxi service endorsed by chamber group
Vehicle would be purchased, leased to West River Transportation
A van would be purchased for West River Transportation, a public transit agency, to provide limited taxi service to all citizens and guests of Garrison under a proposal originated and endorsed by the Community Development Committee of the Garrison Chamber of Commerce.
That endorsement (and agreement to sponsor the project) came Monday at a meeting of the committee, according to Sarah Gehring, committee chair. That endorsement will be advanced to the full membership of the chamber at its next regular meeting on Tuesday, July 6. (Chamber members meet every first and third Monday of the month for luncheon sessions at the Garrison Church of God but on Tuesdays when a meeting date falls on a Monday holiday).
West River Transportation, which operates the city bus service, has agreed to work with the community by adding a van to its vehicle fleet. But the community would own the vehicle, according to Mike Matteson, vice chairman of the committee. Matteson, a former chairman of the committee, originated the idea, Gehring said.
Under the proposal, individuals would be able to schedule the van (taxi) to transport them within a service area, a three-mile radius of Garrison. That would allow travel, for example, to Fort Stevenson State Park and other sites, and then return later, said Matteson. He was unable to attend the Monday meeting but had backgrounded the Independent earlier. The service would be for all citizens of the community and visitors on a per ride fee.
While a written agreement has not been approved, a vehicle would be leased to West River Transportation for $1 a year. West River, in turn, would provide drivers, maintenance and insurance and receive all fee income. West River would also be the contact point for riders, Matteson said.
While the proposal is being spearheaded by the Community Development Committee of the chamber, other groups are expected to become involved with moving the project forward, along with West River Transportation, Matteson said. Specifically mentioned by Matteson were the Garrison Area Improvement Association, City of Garrison, Convention & Visitors Bureau and Better Living for Garrison (BLFG).

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