Marshfield Public Transit: The city’s shared-ride taxi service
The city speaks
By Keith Strey
City of Marshfield Finance Director
Have you noticed Marshfield Public Transit vehicles traveling through the city and wondered what services they provide or who runs the service? They are part of a shared-ride taxi service provided by the city of Marshfield that is operated by a contracted service provider.
Currently, Running Inc., operating as Marshfield Public Transit, provides this service within the city limits of Marshfield and has since 2014. The purpose of this program is to promote the general public good by providing surface public transportation within the city limits as a shared-ride service that has reduced fares for seniors and disabled passengers.
A shared-ride taxi service is different from a demand service in that riders do not have exclusive use of the service when picked up. As part of federal and state grant funding requirements that assist with minimizing passenger fares, the service has to operate in the most cost-efficient method. What that means to riders is that multiple passengers may be picked up and dropped off for service rather than one passenger going solely from Point A to Point B with no other stops.
Significant funding — over $300,000 every year — for this service comes from federal and state grants, which covers operations and 80 percent of vehicle equipment costs. Little to no annual property tax levy is needed as the grants and passenger fares fund this service.
The city of Marshfield owns 13 taxi vehicles and leases them to Running Inc. to provide the service.
Another of many conditions for receiving federal and state grant funding, the city is required to bid out the contract for this service at least once every five years to ensure the best pricing and service in a competitive process, which was last done in 2013.
2016 fares are $4.85 as the base (full) price or $2.75 for seniors or those with disabilities.
Service hours are 6 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. Friday through 3 a.m. Saturday, and 6 a.m. Saturday through 3 a.m. Sunday.
The telephone number to call for service is 715-384-6550. Customer complaints can be reported to the mayor’s office at 715-384-2919. General questions regarding this service can be addressed by Keith Strey, finance director, by calling 715-387-3033.