State expands shared ride program to Blair

State Senator Robert Jubelirer yesterday announced the approval of a $252,438 grant that will permit Blair Senior Services to offer discounted fares for shared-ride transportation services to persons with disabilities.
“Mobility is very important to our quality of life,” said Jubelirer. “This grant will make shared-ride affordable to people who otherwise could not get out to do some everyday things many of us take for granted.”
The program began in 2000 as a pilot project in eight counties to provide transportation in rural areas not served by fixed-route transit services and is now underway in twenty four counties. Under the program, eligible riders pay $1.50 per ride, or roughly 15 percent of the per-ride cost, and the Commonwealth picks up the other 85 percent.
“The credit for this expansion to Blair County belongs to the many individuals and families who have long advocated the transportation needs of disabled individuals,” Jubelirer added. “The service will take riders to medical appointments, shopping and other daily activities that they might not otherwise be able to do. In over half the cases, the service will take people to and from a job.”
Executive director Dave Slat, says that Blair Senior Services will purchase five vehicles and that they expect service to begin February 1, 2003. They hope to provide 1,500 trips with this grant. Amtran provides door-to-door service for the disabled along its current routes but does not extend into all areas. This service will extend services into areas not served by Amtran.