Salem taxi company offers cabs to help homeless stay warm

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A Salem taxi company is offering homeless residents a seat inside its cabs on chilly nights when the city’s warming centers are not open.

The Statesman Journal reports Friday that Willamette Valley Yellow Cab offers free rides to shelters on cold nights but this winter they are going a step farther.

The nonprofit in charge of opening Salem’s warming centers doesn’t do so unless the overnight temperature is forecast to dip to 27 degrees or below for three nights in a row.

Critics say the policy developed by Mid-Valley Community Action Agency needs to change.

The cab company says drivers can let homeless people stay in the cabs for 10 to 15 minutes.

Homeless customers will have to wait for a free cab like anyone else hailing a ride.