WESTPORT, Conn. – If you rely on Westport’s shuttle buses to take you to and from the train station, a new service guarantees you a free ride in the event of an emergency and no shuttles are available — instead of having to pay for a cab.
Imagine you need to leave work early because you’re sick or there’s a family crisis, or you need to work later than expected and there are no shuttles at the train station when you arrive. Through the Guaranteed Ride program, you can call to arrange for a taxi to take you where you need to go, at no cost.
Available through CTrides, a service of the state Department of Transportation, the Guaranteed Ride program offers commuters up to four free emergency taxi rides a year to or from Westport’s two Metro-North stations.
“There aren’t a lot of shuttles running in the middle of the day or later in the evening,” said Kay Carson, project manager for CTrides. “The idea is to assure those taking public transit they can get back to their home or car, in case of an emergency.”
Here’s how it works: Rides are available to or from the Westport and Greens Farms stations whenever New Haven Line trains are running and the Westport shuttles are not available. Only commuters who are Uniticket shuttle pass holders are eligible to use this service. Eligible commuters are granted a maximum of four free rides a year.
To arrange a ride, Carson said commuters have to call 1-877-CTrides (287-4337). From there, a representative will ask for your Uniticket serial number and the reason why you need a ride. A taxi will then be arranged to pick you up from either station and take you to your destination, or take you to either station. The service covers both the fare of the ride as well as the driver’s tip.
Westport is the first town on the New Haven line selected to offer this service, Carson said. The program is run by CTrides and there is no cost to the town, she said.