The Frederick County Council has approved a request to apply for a $250,000 state grant to help expand the county’s successful local ride-hailing program for low-income families and individuals.
At its June 14 meeting, the Frederick County Council voted unanimously to allow the county to apply for a $250,000 state grant to expand an existing local ride-share program for low-income families and individuals.
The state grant funding would come from the federally funded Maryland Community Development Block Grant Program, established to “help strengthen Maryland’s communities by expanding affordable housing opportunities, creating jobs, stabilizing neighborhoods and improving the overall quality of life.”
The county has partnered with Ride United, a program through the United Way of Frederick County, to offer some Lyft riders up to $25 in credit per one-way ride. According to a news report, “it has provided thousands of free or reduced-fare rides,” and Ken Oldham, the president and CEO of United Way of Frederick County, estimated that the program will serve roughly 4,000 rides by the end of June.
Frederick County launched a pilot version of the program last October, during the pandemic, to help “asset-limited and income constrained but employed” (ALICE) households get to COVID-19 vaccine clinics.
After a successful pilot, local nonprofit Good Works Frederick partnered with the United Way earlier this year to expand the program with funding from the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allocation.
Should the state accept the application for the grant funds, block grant funding will be used to reimburse the program’s volunteer drivers for gas and mileage.