Westmoreland County shared ride program sees drop in usage
More than 174,000 reduced-fare trips have been taken by senior citizens and others under the Westmoreland County Transit Authority's paratransit program.
Officials have been pleased with the overall performance of the unified service, which links four social service-based transportation programs, but ridership is down during its first year under authority control.
“We still have some issues, but we've become much more efficient,” authority Executive Director Larry Morris said.
In July, the authority took over coordination and scheduling for the senior shared ride program as well as transportation for medical assistance patients and two programs for disabled riders.
Ridership for those programs has dipped by 9 percent, according to the authority's latest statistics made available last week.
Morris said ridership was off during the first month, as staff and customers learned the new scheduling system.
“Most of the declines, a lot of it, is due to the weather. From November through March, seniors just weren't riding,” Morris said.
In March, the authority provided nearly 18,000 paratransit rides, compared to about 21,500 rides on the system the previous year.
Ridership is expected to pick up in the last quarter of the fiscal year, which runs through June.
Signs of improvement have been seen. Officials said the growing pains from last fall have eased, as it is taking less time for passengers to schedule trips on the system.
Kinks are still being worked out, however.
Last week, the authority approved renegotiated contracts with two taxi companies that provide paratransit services in the northern and eastern sections of the county. Renegotiations were needed because of the large amount of miles driven by the companies, Morris said.
Overall ridership on the authority's fixed-route bus service climbed by 5 percent in March.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writerfor Trib Total Media. He can bereached at 724-830-6293 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.
- Expansion in works for Mt. Pleasant Glass Museum
- Harhai campaign emails from 2007 under review, Westmoreland County DA says
- Ligonier Township considers cellphone tower requests
- 2 suspects charged with second robbery in Hempfield
- Walker: Scottdale Fall Festival kicks off this weekend
- Police investigate Hempfield fight
- Judge: Former Latrobe man can proceed with civil rights action
- Mt. Pleasant hospital sets ‘exceptional’ example
- Latrobe Municipal Authority to replace solicitor
- Greater Latrobe elevates lacrosse teams
- Ligonier Township man jailed in alleged assault of police chief