LIMA — With limited access to transportation often being a barrier for people trying to enter the workforce or for those with limited mobility trying to access medical services, a new ride-sharing service launching soon in Allen County aims to bring that barrier down.
Liberty Mobility Now and the city of Lima announced a partnership to provide independent contractor-based ride sharing, akin to Uber and Lyft, to Allen County residents. This is the second ride-sharing service to open in the Lima area, with Change Transportation opening earlier this year.
Drivers can log in and passengers can book rides through Liberty apps, available from both the Apple App Store and Google Play, with rides able to be booked up to five days in advance. Rides can also be booked over the phone or online at libertymobilitynow.com. The service launched in February in Van Wert County and in June in Athens County.
“We’re really excited to be able to launch in Lima and Allen County,” according to Kim Bruns, Northwest Ohio Area Manager for Liberty. “It’s an Uber-like transportation service, but it’s geared for smaller communities. In Van Wert County, it has filled a lot of the transportation gaps we had in that community.”
Lima Mayor David Berger welcomed the service, saying that transportation has been an issue for many in the area trying to enter the workforce. With Lima too small a market to attract companies such as Uber and Lyft, Liberty was an ideal solution, he said.
“One of the biggest barriers to long-term employment for folks is, indeed, transportation, and I’m talking about transportation across day and night, available 24/7 and transportation needs that exist on weekends, holidays and the like,” he said. “Employers have a need for employees to get there on time.”
Along with working directly with passengers, Liberty can also work with third-party agencies to pay for rides, according to Berger.
Liberty is looking for independent contractor drivers, with Bruns saying there could be a need for as many as 25 drivers in Allen County. To learn more, download the smartphone apps, go to http://bit.ly/2wTZMU6, or call 888-785-4237.