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New discount transit fares pilot launches for Allegheny County

 

Last updated 12/13/2022 at 3:17pm

Enrollment is now open for a new 12-month pilot program to test how providing free and discounted transit fares to low-income riders on Pittsburgh Regional Transit (formerly Port Authority of Allegheny County) improves their health and well-being.

Any Allegheny County resident who was receiving EBT/SNAP benefits in September of 2022 (or someone who is the guardian of a child who was receiving benefits) can enroll their entire household in the program.

People can visit https://discountedfares.alleghenycounty.us to enroll in the program or should go to https://discountedfares.alleghenycounty.us/support/ to find a list organizations that can help them enroll by phone or in person. Enrollment will continue until the county reaches its target number of 14,000 participating households, which it is hoping to do by year's end or early 2023.

The program is being administered by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. It comes after years of advocacy and organizing from transit riders together with organizations like the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Just Harvest, UrbanKind, and Pittsburghers for Public Transit to help make costly fares more affordable for those who rely on public transit most.

Who qualifies for the Allegheny County Discounted Fares Pilot Program?

Eligible participants:

• Currently reside in Allegheny County Were receiving SNAP benefits in September 2022 or are the parent of a child who was

• Are between the ages of 18 and 64 or are 65+ and have household members below age 65

• Do not have another household member ages 18 through 64 who is already participating in this pilot

Why is it a pilot rather than a permanent program?

A pilot program is a trial run. Participant experience in this pilot will influence the design of the permanent program. The Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services will use this pilot to understand how local residents may benefit from making public transit more affordable. It will measure the impact on ridership and whether lower fares increase access to jobs, services, and other things residents need.

How does the pilot work?

Participation in the pilot is voluntary but includes agreeing to share info about your household and transit use. All participants will have the opportunity to receive additional compensation for participating in occasional surveys. Eligible participants will be randomly put in one of three groups:

Free fares: This group will receive unlimited free fares on all PRT trips for 12 months.

50% discount: This group will receive a ConnectCard that reduces the cost of all PRT trips by half for 12 months, and is pre-loaded with $10.

No discount: This group will receive a ConnectCard pre-loaded with $10 but will not receive a fare discount.

Anyone interested in enrolling in the pilot or learning more should visit https://discountedfares.alleghenycounty.us

 

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