Allegheny County’s Discounted Fares Pilot pilot is a 12-month program that is providing Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) fare discounts for working-age Allegheny County recipients of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and their children. Enrollment for the Pilot began on November 17, 2022 and ended on February 12, 2023.
The dashboard displays information on individuals participating in Allegheny County’s Discounted Fares Pilot (“Pilot”). Individuals qualified for the Pilot if they met the following criteria:
- Live in Allegheny County
- Are 18 to 64 years old
- Received SNAP benefits at any point between 9/1/2022 and 11/30/2022
- Are not already receiving a PRT discount through a school or employer
- No other 18 to 64 year-old in the person’s SNAP household is already participating in the Pilot
Applicants were also given the option to include the 6 to 17 year-old children from their SNAP household in their Pilot enrollment case. If an eligible applicant chose to include their children, each child received a ConnectCard with the same fare discount level that the adult received. Children age 5 and under and adults age 65 and over always ride for free on PRT vehicles.
If an applicant was deemed eligible, they were immediately randomly assigned to one of three possible fare discount levels:
- Unlimited free PRT trips for 12 months
- 50% discount on all PRT trips for 12 months
- A ConnectCard with $10 preloaded cash but no further discount
All enrollees had an equal one-third chance of being assigned to each discount level. Learn more information about the Pilot at https://discountedfares.alleghenycounty.us/.
What are the takeaways?
- A total of 14,523 people are enrolled in this pilot. 66% (9,574) of these people are adults (aged 18 to 64) and 34% (4,949) are children (aged 6 to 17).
- 33% (4,749) of the people did not receive a discount, 34% (4,905) received a 50% fare discount and 34% (4,869) received a 100% discount.
- Of the adults:
- 72% (6,902) are women, 28% (2,649) are men and 23 people did not list a legal sex.
- 63% (5,995) identified as Black, 34% (3,229) as white, 2% (170) as American Indian, Alaska Native or indigenous, 1% (82) as Asian or Asian American and 1% (49) as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. 3% (317) of people described themselves as Hispanic/Latino.
- 42% (4,089) of the adults were employed at the time of the baseline survey. 31% (1,262), the largest group, of these adults worked between 40 and 45 hours per week.
How is this being used?
The main purpose of the pilot is to inform the long-term design of a discounted fares program. This design centers on two key decisions: (1) What amount of fare discount should be offered to low-income riders as part of the permanent program? (2) Which local population group(s) should receive a discounted fare, given that the budget for this program will not allow us to serve every Allegheny County resident who faces public transit affordability barriers? The preliminary results of the Discounted Fares Pilot program will be publicly reported at 6 months and 12 months after the program’s launch. The final evaluation report will be released in mid-2024.