Transit riders and advocates have been working towards this victory for years – but the fight isn’t over. Our coalition is going to keep on organizing until all can access high-quality public transportation in our county.

In the Spring of 2020, as the pandemic isolated thousands of families across Western PA, the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council together with Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Just Harvest, and the Urban Kind Institute’s Equitable and Just Greater Pittsburgh Network convened a coalition of organizations who began advocating for a free fare program for Allegheny County Residents who receive SNAP/EBT benefits.

This coalition of more than 50 organizations issued a letter to PRT CEO Katharine Kelleman in August of 2021 asking them to institute an affordable fare program to help families recover from the pandemic’s economic impact. 

In the years since, these organizations have issued reports to detail how Allegheny County could implement a discounted fares program; collected thousands of petition signatures in support of the effort; released surveys and stories about the transformational impact that affordable fares would have on riders; organized dozens of transit riders to speak up for more affordable transit fares in public hearings; and held rallies to build public pressure for such a program.

This advocacy has been successful in encouraging 19 local political leaders to sign on to a letter of support for a program, it elevated affordable fare programs as the #2 policy priority in PRT’s long-range plan, and now that the Department of Human Services has announced the launch of a discounted fares pilot program, we are one step closer to making this a reality for all. 

We celebrate that we are now one step closer to our goal, but our work is far from over. Transit riders have shown that their advocacy can have an impact. Now it’s time to organize so that everyone in Allegheny County has the freedom to move.

Members of the Fair Fares for a Full Recovery Coalition:

Pittsburgh Food Policy Council
UrbanKind Institute
Pittsburghers for Public Transit
Just Harvest
Kingsley Association
412 Food Rescue
Casa San Jose
Black Women’s Policy Agenda
Opportunity Fund
Bloomfield Development Corporation
House of Manna
Moishe House Pittsburgh
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United
East End Food Coop
E.A.T. Initiative
Homewood Concerned Citizens Council
Lawrenceville United
Hill District Consensus Group
Harvie Farm Stand
Breathe Project
Pittsburgh Budget and Policy Center
Catapult Greater Pittsburgh
Community Kitchen PGH
Alliance for Police Accountability
Pittsburgh United
Pittsburgh Mutual Aid
Black Urban Gardeners and Farmers of Pittsburgh Co-Op
Mayor Nickole Nesby, City of Duquesne & City of Duqesne Planning Department
Pittsburgh Human Rights City Alliance
Primary Care Health Services, Inc.
Grow Pittsburgh
Project Silk
Oakland Planning and Development Corporation
Bridge Outreach
Pittsburgh Chamber of Cooperatives
Plant-Based Pittsburgh
Human Services Center Corporation
Open Up
Bellevue Farmers Market
Repair the World – Pittsburgh
APALA Pittsburgh – Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Work Hard PGH
Green Party of Allegheny County
Central Outreach Wellness Center
Community & Students for All Workers – CSAW
Academy Pittsburgh
Disability Options Network