Emergency funds save WorkLink for 2 weeks
There will be no WorkLink vans in 13 area communities today because of the holiday, but for at least the next two weeks low-income clients will be able to get rides to work.
Heritage Community Initiatives spokeswoman Amy Schnarrenberger said on Wednesday that PennDOT has committed to an extension of Heritage's WorkLink service, which since 2001 has been used 13,000 times a month by 3,000 Mon Valley families.
“They can extend their service until July 20,” PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt said.
Heritage found $20,000 in unused federal funds, allowing WorkLink to continue through Saturday.
PennDOT found more money, but even more needs.
“We have roughly $16.4 million in uncommitted transit funds,” Waters-Trasatt said. “We have about $34 million in needs between the $30 million Port Authority commitment and nearly $4 million from seven transit services.”
Those include WorkLink and RideACTA, provided by the nonprofit Airport Corridor Transportation Association in the western suburbs.
RideACTA had to suspend trips on Monday for lack of funds but will resume on Friday. RideACTA and WorkLink tie users with areas where they can transfer to Port Authority buses.
Port Authority received a $30 million commitment earlier this year to prevent service cuts and layoffs in exchange for concessions by the transit agency's employees.
“We have some tough decisions to make,” Waters-Trasatt said. “This two-week period gives us some more time.”
Schnarrenberger said her agency is hoping for a more sustainable solution.
“We talked initially about two weeks but it is our hope that the (state funding) can be continued beyond that,” she said.
Heritage Community Initiatives is a nonprofit that provides education, transportation and community outreach services.
WorkLink and RideACTA previously were funded by the federal Job Access Reverse Commute program.
State Senate Bill 1 included funds to replace JARC, but failed to clear the state House before the General Assembly went on summer recess.
“It is hoped that a legislative solution will be resolved when the House reconvenes in the fall,” Schnarrenberger said.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Grant will benefit Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin
- County shuts down Clairton demolition work
- Mon Valley steelworkers rally for new contract
- Paving, electronics upgrades evident at Steel Valley
- Serra has cause to celebrate as new year starts
- Wilson Christian upgrades facility
- Allegheny DA’s office ends probe of school administrator Martell
- West Mifflin Area boosts technology
- McKeesport Area schools to provide outreach activities