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Braddock nonprofit says commuter shuttle has enough cash for one more week

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013, 3:09 p.m.
 

Officials with a Monongahela Valley nonprofit said Tuesday they have enough money to extend free shuttle service to some area commuters by one week.

Braddock-based Heritage Community Initiatives had said its WorkLink service would end Sunday, the same day funding for the program dried up. Now officials say they have enough money — about $20,000 — to extend the program through July 6 while waiting for state leaders to pass a bill to preserve it for years to come.

WorkLink has received $860,000 a year in state and federal money through the Job Access and Reverse Commute, or JARC, program. About $20,000 remains from the last installment, Heritage spokeswoman Amy Schnarrenberger said.

“This gives our riders an opportunity to plan for one more week. But after that, without more funding, we're done,” Schnarrenberger said.

Established to provide residents from urban and low-income areas with access to suburban jobs, the federal government eliminated the JARC program last year.

The Senate passed a bill last month that includes $4 million to preserve WorkLink and seven other JARC programs across the state. The House is considering the measure.

WorkLink provides 13,000 rides a month to area commuters, connecting areas without transit service to existing Port Authority routes, said Sarah Morgan, Heritage's transportation manager.

Another local JARC program, the Airport Corridor Transportation Association's RideACTA, will discontinue service on Saturday as planned unless a funding deal is reached, Executive Director Lynn Manion said. It shuttles about 80,000 passengers a year between Port Authority's 28X Airport Flyer bus route to businesses in the Robinson area.

Tom Fontaine is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7847 or tfontaine@tribweb.com.

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