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June 15, 2024 7:48 am

Local News

Allegheny County makes discount fare program permanent for low-income transit riders

(Credit: Pittsburgh Regional Transit)

Kim Lyons, Pennsylvania Capital-Star
May 20, 2024

Allegheny County is making permanent a pilot program giving people who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits a discount on public transit fares.

Every Allegheny County resident eligible for SNAP will be able to apply for a 50% discount on Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) fares under the Allegheny GO program beginning June 3. County officials said more than 130,000 county residents will be eligible to participate.

“Expanding transit access to serve low-income residents of Allegheny County will help improve their ability to get around and their quality of life,” Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato said in a statement Monday. 

PRT CEO Katharine Kelleman said the program was about more than just discounted fares. “It’s about recognizing that access to reliable transportation is a fundamental right that should be available to everyone,” she said.

The program launched as a pilot under Innamorato’s predecessor Rich Fitzgerald in December 2022. According to a report from the county, a total of 9,544 adults and 4,928 children enrolled in the pilot, which provided participants with free and reduced-price rides. The majority of adult participants were female (72%) and Black (59%), the county found. 

“We are very pleased to see the results of the pilot confirm that simply making transportation a more affordable option for people can have a positive impact in their lives,” said Erin Dalton, director of Allegheny County Department of Human Services. The ACDHS will fund the program with operational support from PRT.

The county said the Allegheny GO program will be available initially to applicants with smartphones, and will eventually be available on PRT’s new smartcard, set to launch in 2025.

Those interested in applying should download PRT’s Ready2Ride app before applying at the Allegheny GO website.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Pennsylvania Capital-Star maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kim Lyons for questions: info@penncapital-star.com. Follow Pennsylvania Capital-Star on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Pennsylvania Capital-Star under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.