Transportation leaders will ask for bids to establish rides for elderly and disabled people with special needs. If all goes well, the service could begin in the summer.
State law allows agencies to set aside 5 percent of a source called Local Transportation Funds for such services, which could amount to $675,000 in Stanislaus County.
Instead, Stanislaus Council of Governments policy board members Wednesday decided to set aside $100,000 for startup costs and charge the eventual bid winner with seeking state and federal grants.
An analysis last year estimated that 5,800 homebound people throughout the county might go without rides 780,000 times a year. Consultants talked about establishing a driving corps of volunteers who would be reimbursed or creating a "mobility management office" that would refer callers to appropriate services.
Most effective would be boosting awareness of buses and dial-a-ride, the study suggested.