HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Wolf Administration is urging Pennsylvanians to review transit options and apply for transportation assistance programs amid rising gas prices.
Public transportation services are available in every county in Pennsylvania, including:
- Shared ride service in all 67 counties;
- Fixed route bus service in 49 counties; and
- Fixed route rail service in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
“Transit provides a vital connection to jobs, to medical appointments, and to our communities,” PennDOT Deputy Secretary for Multimodal Transportation Jennie Louwerse said. “We urge Pennsylvanians to try transit, and we’re excited that it’s now easier to access these services.”
PennDOT said FMR Apply was developed collaboratively with transit agencies and streamlines the application process for the five largest transportation assistance programs in the state, including the Senior Shared Ride program, the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP), ADA complementary paratransit, the Persons with Disabilities program and the Free Transit Program. Additionally, FMR Apply allows third parties, such as a family member or healthcare provider, to apply for services on behalf of a rider.
Collectively, it’s reported that 24.4 million trips supported by these programs were provided to Pennsylvanians in the 2020-21 fiscal year. An additional 141 million trips – including 17.7 million free senior trips – were provided through fixed route service in the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Since the rollout of FMR Apply in May 2021 via transit agencies, assistance-program applications have been processed for nearly 8,000 Pennsylvanians and benefits to transit agencies, PennDOT, the Department of Human Services (DHS), and customers have been considerable.
Customers do not need to determine what programs they are eligible for, and this, coupled with the user-friendly application, has resulted in an increase in applications submitted, according to PennDOT. Automatic data validation within the application has resulted in improved data accuracy, saving transit agencies time and money in processing applications. Transit agencies can process applications more efficiently, which allows transit users to access benefits more quickly.
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DHS’ MATP program provides non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible consumers who do not have access to transportation. It’s reported that MATP funds more than 9 million trips annually, and each county provides the type of transportation that is the least expensive while still meeting an individual’s needs. Contact information specific to each county MATP provider can be found at matp.pa.gov.
Find My Ride’s education and application modules were developed over two years, made possible by $1 million from the Federal Transit Administration and $1 million in state transit funding.
More information on public transit and alternative transportation options like ridesharing, biking, and walking, is available on PennDOT’s website.