RideShare may be coming to the falls in the near future after all.
On Tuesday city council members spent time with local taxi cab operators to revised the city ordinance that governs their business.
“We want to make sure that if we bring RideShare to Wichita Falls that we try and put them on an equal playing field with our local taxi businesses that are already in existence,” said City Attorney, Kinley Hegglund.
During the session, councilors heard the suggestion of including a proposed new chauffeur policy that would to do away with permits. They also discussed proper background checks for drivers.
Director of transportation, John Burrus, believes this could be a game changer for the city of Wichita Falls.
“I think ShareRide is actually going to open up a whole new segment to the public, a whole new public segment out there, that will take public transportation in this case that have never used it before.”
Another hot topic was access to Sheppard Air Force Base, something one safe ride service is fine with.
“There gonna be happy with getting their airman to the base more safe. So if that is something they are more passionate about, then I'm sure we can work together and find an agreement to make that happen,” said Director of Business Development for Ride Fare, Andrew Cox.
Cox thinks long term the services can work in Wichita Falls and help more people get around.
“We have a lot of elderly riders that use this in Austin that didn't know anything about RideShare. But they found out they could schedule a ride with a driver they are comfortable with, real time, and have that person be on time. And they can call them and have conversations. As long as, again, the city can do the background checks in a timely manner, we will have an influx of quite a few drivers.”
John Burrus said he believes ride share services are the future of transportation and it is inevitable we will see it in Wichita Falls.