Long before Uber, Clackamas County, Oregon set up a dispatch center and recruited drivers, mostly retired, who were reimbursed for mileage only. They thought of themselves as volunteers. The passengers paid no fares. The cigarette tax helped pay for staff and computer services — where I came in, as a programmer. Why? Tri-Met, which runs the bus service, has a mandate to provide transportation solutions and this is what worked for older non-drivers, not near any bus routes, who needed to see doctors and buy groceries. My point? Uber is one model among many. New fixed route solutions are likely feasible as well.

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