Catch a free ride to the polls

a bus turningTrinity Metro’s fixed-route buses are one of six transportation options for voters.

Beginning Feb. 18, Tarrant County voters will be able to take free rides to the polls on six transit services.

The Tarrant County Commissioners Court approved a partnership with four transportation services in Tarrant County to pay for customer trips to voting locations for the entire early voting period (Feb. 18-28) and Election Day on March 3.

The Commissioners Court approved the plan, which is not to exceed $20,000, on Jan. 28.

Last month, the Commissioners Court also approved early voting locations at nine college campus sites. The Texas Secretary of State also signed off on countywide vote centers, meaning Tarrant County voters can go to any polling place on Election Day.

“With vote centers, early voting sites on college campuses and free rides to the polls, Tarrant County is giving voters every opportunity to participate in the upcoming March 3 primaries,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley. “We are including as many public transit providers as possible within Tarrant County, from accessible services for the elderly and mobility-impaired, to on-demand service in Arlington.”

Tiffany Moore-Turner, general manager at Trinity Metro, said this partnership encourages voter participation. “Providing free transportation is an excellent way to help voters get to the polls. We appreciate the Tarrant County Commissioners Court for funding this initiative.”

The six transit services included in the program are Trinity Metro’s fixed-route bus, ACCESS paratransit, Tarrant County Transportation Services (TCTS), Northeast Transportation Services (NETS), Arlington’s Via and Handitran.

Those who qualify and want to ride to vote on ACCESS, TCTS, NETS or Handitran should call the provider at least 48 hours aheadPDF File of the trip to schedule their free ride to any of the voting centers.

To use Via’s on-demand service in Arlington to vote, riders simply download Via’s app, enter the address of a Vote Center within Via’s service area along with promo code ARLINGTONVOTE, or call 817-794-7382 to hail a ride by phone. The rider will not be charged for trips scheduled to or from a Vote Center location.