Tarrant County transit service providers to offer free rides to polls starting next week

Early voting in Texas begins Oct. 13 for the Nov. 3 election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Early voting in Texas begins Oct. 13 for the Nov. 3 election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Early voting in Texas begins Oct. 13 for the Nov. 3 election. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

Tarrant County voters can catch free rides to the polls throughout the early voting period and on Nov. 3 via Trinity Metro and other transit providers in the county.

Tarrant County Commissioners Court approved a partnership with Tarrant County Transportation Services to pay for customer trips to voting locations. The partnership should not cost more than $20,000.

Riders can show their voter registration card or current Texas ID to ride for free during Oct. 13-30 and on Election Day, Nov. 3.

“We are trying to give every eligible voter in Tarrant County the ability to vote in the November 2020 election,” said Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley in a press release. “We are offering free rides on as many public transit providers as possible, including accessible services for the elderly and mobility-impaired as well as on-demand service in Arlington and Fort Worth. These rides will be available during early voting and on Election Day.”

The transit services included in the program are Trinity Metro’s bus routes, Near Southside ZIPZONE, Crowley ZIPZONE, Mercantile ZIPZONE, ACCESS paratransit, Tarrant County Transportation Services, Northeast Transportation Services, and Arlington’s Via and Handitran. For ZIPZONE riders in Crowley and Near Southside, free rides will be determined by the pickup’s or destination’s proximity to a voting location.

“Voting is an important right, and we want to do our part to help voters get to the polls,” said Wayne Gensler, vice president and chief operating officer for bus and paratransit at Trinity Metro, in a press release. “We appreciate the Tarrant County Commissioners Court for funding this initiative.”

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

In line with health precautions and guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic, all passengers and operators must be wearing masks. Enhanced cleaning protocols, implemented in March, will ensure cleaning of high-touch areas. Buses and vans will be sanitized daily and are equipped with ionizers to help purify the air as it recirculates.

Transparent shields will be placed between drivers and customers, and limited capacity will promote social distancing.

A complete list of polling places served by Trinity Metro can be found on their webpage.

Check out Community Impact Newspaper's Tarrant County voter guide for more information on where and when to vote.
By Sandra Sadek
Sandra Sadek covers the cities of Grapevine, Southlake and Roanoke as well as Carroll ISD for Community Impact. She graduated from Texas State University where she majored in journalism and international relations. She has experience working for several local papers including the University Star, the Katy Times, and the Fort Stockton Pioneer. When she's not on the ground reporting, she enjoys a good book and a hot drink. Follow her on social media @ssadek19.