The discounted transit fare program is being run by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, but we are a coalition of transit riders and advocates who have been calling for more affordable fares for years. Here is our press statement on Allegheny County DHS’s announcement of the program, and some recent news articles on the announcement to fill you in on this campaign:
Fair Fares Coalition Celebrates County Launch of Reduced-Fare Pilot; Cautions Details Are Key to Success
September 27, 2022
The Fair Fares for a Full Recovery Coalition led by Just Harvest, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, Pittsburghers for Public Transit, and UrbanKind, and advanced by the Equitable and Just Greater Pittsburgh network, commends Allegheny County Department of Human Services (ACDHS) and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald for their leadership in creating a public transit reduced-fare pilot project. For years, members of our coalition, along with other advocates, transit riders, and community members, have been urging Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT, formerly Port Authority of Allegheny County) to provide fare relief for low-income households. Organizations and transit riders have uplifted this call for relief and its expansive public health benefits in public testimony, op-eds, rallies, sign-on letters and in research. Many other cities provide fare relief for their low-income populations. In the Pittsburgh region, PRT fares fall heaviest on low-income households, who are the most reliant on public transit and the highest likelihood of paying the full cash fare for every trip. As such, we are excited to see this substantial step forward in providing much needed fare relief.
read the full press statement here
This pilot is the first step towards affordable public transit, a critical human need that, if met, would unlock access to healthy food, health care, child care, employment, and all of civic life. A long-term, zero fare program for all SNAP households will ensure freedom of movement, economic opportunity, and investment in underserved areas, while strengthening the county’s transit system as a whole. We know that in cities like Kansas City and Boston, the removal of long-standing public transit cost barriers has yielded immediate, expansive benefits such as improvements to the health and employment of riders, increased ridership, bus safety, as well as decreased greenhouse gasses.
Read the news coverage of the new program’s announcement
- WESA: Allegheny County to test drive a discount transportation program
- Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Allegheny County to test reduced transit fares to low-income riders in one-year pilot program
- PGH City Paper: Pilot program extends reduced bus fare to some SNAP-eligible adults
- Trib Live: Allegheny County to launch pilot program for low-income public transit users
- PublicSource: Transit fare breaks coming for some Allegheny County riders
- WESA’s The Confluence: Allegheny County will soon offer some low-income residents reduce transit fares as part of a study