Voters get free Election Day rides in S.O. and Maplewood

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — For Election Day, Nov. 6, the two towns of South Orange and Maplewood worked to ensure that no resident would miss out on their chance to vote due to a lack of transportation. Black Crown Taxi provided free rides to residents to and from any polling location on Election Day.

According to Village President Sheena Collum in a Facebook post on election night, Black Crown Taxi provided free rides to more than 150 voters in South Orange and Maplewood.

“We’re encouraging everyone to vote and trying to eliminate one of the barriers to voter participation, which is transportation,” Collum said prior to the election about why she pushed so strongly for this service. “We have community members with mobility challenges and some without cars or means of transportation. The weather forecast is showing rain and possible thunderstorms and, as we all know, NJ Transit has become completely unreliable. This is a small but important offering to our residents to know they have options to get to and from their polling location.”

And it did indeed storm all day Tuesday, with driving rains and poor visibility. Luckily, the bad weather did not deter many SOMA voters from casting their votes.

The free rides were being offered through donations made to Collum’s annual birthday fundraiser, which she uses each year to support local groups and initiatives.