It’s time for Board Elections! Meet this year’s candidates and cast your ballot before 8/14/24

image description: photos of all nominated candidates running for the PPT board with words encouraging members to vote

PPT’s election for our Board of Directors will run from July 10th-August 14th. All PPT Members in good standing should cast their ballots for our next leadership team!

Please read this blog with bios on all the candidates before casting your vote. An overview of our election process and a guide on how to vote and the ballot are at the bottom of this blog.

We are excited to announce the following slate of candidates who were nominated to join the PPT Board of Directors. PPT Member can vote for the next round of leaders who understand the importance of our work for transit justice in Allegheny County – leaders who are looking to become more involved in directing the course of our campaigns, communications and actions.

Learn more about the nominees in their bios below and select the one who you feel can help usher our organization and movement into a new era of advocacy, connectivity and engagement. 

As a reminder, there are 5 board seats available for PPT General Members and 1 seat available for a unionized transit worker PPT Member. All those elected will serve from August 2024 to August 2026.

All candidates are listed below in alphabetical order by first name. There is a photo and short bio for each candidate to give background on their past work for transit justice and other issues. Each nominee has approved and contributed to their bio.

PPT Members can vote for up to 5 of the following candidates to fill PPT General Member seats on our Board of Directors:

Then, PPT Members can vote for up to 1 of the following candidates to fill seats reserved for Transit Workers on our Board of Directors:


Andrew Hussein

image of Andrew Hussein
image of Andrew Hussein reading a book

My name is Andrew Hussein, and I live in Penn Hills. My primary routes are 77, 79, P17, 86, and P16…. but to be truthful, you can find me on just about any route (no exaggeration) because I eat/sleep/breath/live all things public transit. Anyone who knows me knows that that is true. Transit is my sole means for transportation so I am acutely aware of the very real need for public transit to have a positive community impact. 

I am a long-time member of PPT who has been working with the org since a brief few-month stint in the early days, back in an earlier iteration of the org called “Save Our Transit”. Years later I reconnected with PPT on their community campaign in Baldwin. We won that campaign and restored service to that neighborhood and I never looked back. 

The skills that I bring to PPT are a significant all-around and general knowledge of the Port Authority system. I have a sincere passion for transit and its improvement. When I think of better transit I think of transit that is Fair, Equitable, reliable, useable, sustainable, readily and widely available – for as many folks as possible. Transit needs to fit as diverse a clientele and public needs as much as possible and I think that that is what we need to fight for together.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • Current Vice President of the Allegheny County Transit Council (ACTC), current Executive Committee Member, and have been involved here for 8 years
  • I am also the founder and COO of the Bus Info Hotline, a Twitter and phone info line that is open for people to find out info and ask questions about Port Authority that I’ve been running for nearly 25+ years. Check out our Twitter at @PGH_BUS_INFO
  • Involved in many of the successful neighborhood service campaigns started in 2014 that restored service to transit deserts through our county.
  • I am a PPT Communications Committee Member. I lead the creation of our Blog Series on the Quarterly Service Updates.
  • I have a significant all-around and general knowledge of the Port Authority system, PPT staff calls me all the time with questions about our system.

Bill McDowell

image description: image of Bill at a bus stop shelter holding up a fist

Bill McDowell is a long-time disability rights advocate. He has been a member of PPT for more than eight years and is passionate about equitable infrastructure, accessibility, and fair fares. 

Bill has been a member of the PRT’s Committee for Accessible Transportation for many years and in that role has listened to the concerns and needs of the disability community in depth and has learned from those conversations over the years. Bill also believes that no one should be turned away from public transportation for the inability to pay a fare. Bill’s fight for an equitable transit system in Pittsburgh has been long, but is long from over. He appreciates the ability to do the work alongside so many other passionate transit justice advocates. 

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • PRT Committee for Accessible Transportation
  • PPT Research Committee
  • Fair Fares Coalition
  • PPT Organizing committee – organizing for better sidewalk infrastructure

Fawn Walker Montgomery

image of Fawn Walker Montgomery with red hair and a white t-shirt

Fawn Walker-Montgomery is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Take Action Mon Valley (TAMV). She is a former candidate for Mayor in McKeesport and a past candidate for State Representative in the 35th District. Fawn was the first black person & woman to run for a State seat in the Mon Valley. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Johnson C. Smith University (HBCU) and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Point Park University. Fawn has worked with PPT on various projects such as the BRT, fair fees, and removing cops from transit stops. She is also a past second-term Councilwoman in McKeesport and has 18 years of experience in the human services field. Fawn’s vision for PPT is that they increase membership in the smaller communities outside the City of Pittsburgh such as the Mon Valley. In addition, create specific campaigns to address the lack of transportation in these areas. Thus, having more of a county-wide focus.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • CEO of Take Action Advocacy Group-A Black liberation organization who has worked on various efforts such as police accountability and food insecurity.  
  • Leading efforts on environmental justice in the Mon Valley and beyond. 
  • Has supported various PPT projects over the years, including community organizing to defeat the Bus Rapid Transit service plan that would have cut service to her city, co-developed & launched the “Fair Fares” platform, and many more!

Ms. Pearl Hughey

image description: image of Ms. Pearl with white hair in a green shirt

Pearl Hughey is a resident of Rankin Borough a Mon Valley community in the East portion of Pittsburgh. Over the years Pearl has been involved in many activities within her community as well as participant in activities in Greater Pittsburgh area. Pearl was a public official in her community, a member of the Rankin Christian Center board of directors, a founding member of the Rankin Community Development Corporation and actively participated in a computer tutoring program for Woodland Hills youth. 

Most recently Pearl became involved with Pittsburgh Public Transit (PPT) when the expansion of the East Busway was being discussed. Pearl has been a transit rider for her entire work career (40+ years). She feels that transit opportunities for people in the Mon Valley are essential for the livelihood, growth and development of people that live in this region. It is important for all voices to be heard, and that is the main reason Pearl stays involved with PPT.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • East Busway Project
  • Continued P3 Service to Swissvale Stop
  • Fair Fares Coalition

Ms. Verna Johnson

Ms. Verna smiling, wearing a blue shirt
image of Ms. Verna wearing glasses and smiling

My name is Verna Johnson and I am a resident of Lincoln-Lemington. I am a disability justice activist and serve as the current chair of PPT’s Board of Directors. 

I first became involved with PPT in 2015 during the campaign to save service on the 89 Garfield Service campaign. The fight for better public transit in communities receiving less and less public transit resonated with me, and I continued to join PPT meetings and joined as a member. One benefit of being a PPT member that surprised me was the democratic decision-making process, and I felt that my lived experience was valued. I began to see how people from different walks of life could work together and make decisions that directed campaigns and the course of PPT. I have helped grow PPT by organizing riders during my time on the board. Being a board member has given me a greater understanding of how change can happen on a systemic level. 

In addition to working on issues surrounding transit justice, I have been co-chair of the Allegheny County Coalition for Recovery’s Commission on Health and Human Services as co-chair and helped people receive financial assistance. I’ve also rallied outside of elected officials’ offices to support federal workers during the previous government shutdown with fellow members. I also phonebank with Just Harvest and register community members to vote at Veterans Affairs. I am deeply committed to bringing more people into the fight for transit justice and holding our transit agency accountable to the riders and workers.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • 89 Service Restoration Campaign 
  • #FairFare for a full recovery in 2020
  • Don’t Criminalize Transit Fares campaign
  • Canvassing at transit stops, talking with riders, and public speaking on behalf of PPT

Sue Scanlon

image description: photo of Sue Scanlon

I absolutely love PPT. I am so proud of all the work we’ve done to defend jobs, expand routes, and help passengers. The work we have done over the last 10+ years has saved the whole community because we connect people to the things they need in our city and region. We have built such a community with our organizing. It feels like being part of a superhero squad.

I have been a bus operator at Port Authority (ahem, I mean, Pittsburgh Regional Transit) for 22 years. I have seen the agency during its highs and its very lows. Unfortunately, we are now at one of those lows. I want to continue being part of the movement to fix it. I consider myself a pretty good activist. I have the conviction to be out in the street, although I am always learning as an organizer. 

How can we bring people together with love and consciousness to fight for our common good? When I look to the future of PPT, I want to see us keep building our base of organizers and activists. We are going to keep spreading our message across the city, state, and the entire country. We will remain on the cutting edge of activism for transit justice. 

Our movement isn’t about me or any individual person. It is about what we can all do when we work together. It is about building a better world out of the situation we are in today. Everything is about community.

List of 3-5 projects or campaigns that the nominee has been involved with related to PPT, transit justice, activism, and/or movement building:

  • The very first campaign I was involved with was restoring transit service in Baldwin, circa 2014. It was such a great campaign because it showed how communities can come together to fight for each other’s needs.
  • I was also involved in the fights for Act 89, rallies Downtown, and Squirrel Hill, circa 2011. We shut down Forbes Avenue and Murray Avenue. It was an example of how labor and organize together with communities to improve service and jobs.
  • In 2020 and 2021 I helped my ATU brothers and sisters start and eventually win the right to wear Black Lives Matter masks on the job. We staged protests and brought the case to court. You can read more about the win here.
  • I’ve also been involved with helping other unions in solidarity – I started the campaign for workers at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to get a contract. Helped organize PPT members to picket in front of John Block’s house and at the Post Gazette. Met a ton of great people in this work.
  • I also represent PPT on the PA Poor Peoples Campaign steering committee. I have traveled to DC, I don’t even remember how many times, to fight for the working class. I have been working to help people realize we’re all in this together and that we all have to work together to get what we need.

Overview of PPT’s Board Election Process

Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grassroots, democratic, member-led organization that fights for racial justice and public transit as a human right. The election of a Board of Directors from and by our general membership is a cornerstone of what keeps us accountable to our members. The Board is responsible for strategizing and executing the organization’s campaigns, outreach, governance, and fundraising.

The Board’s Executive Committee chooses how many seats will be up for PPT’s board election each year. Our bylaws say that our Board can be anywhere from 5 to 15 people and that 2 seats are reserved for transit workers connected to a local transit union. Earlier this year our Board’s Executive Committee decided to open 6 seats to be elected from our general membership, and 1 seat to be elected to a transit worker.

Each spring, the PPT membership nominates fellow members to run for the Board of Directors. If those members accept the nomination, then they are invited to submit a photo and bio to be placed on the ballot, and they are invited to speak about their qualifications at the July General Member Meeting.

PPT Members in good standing can cast their ballots for two weeks in July. The nominees with the highest vote totals are invited to join the Board of Directors for a 2-year term.

How can PPT members vote?

PPT Members in good standing can cast their ballots from July 12th to August 9th using the form below. The nominees with the highest vote totals are invited to join the Board of Directors for a two-year term. As a reminder, all active PPT members commit to doing the following:

  1. Agree to uphold PPT’s Transit Bill of Rights. 
  2. Pay dues to support our budget. We encourage members to give at least $2.75 monthly (the cost of a single PRT fare), but no one is turned away because of funds.
  3. Take part to help us win our campaigns. PPT Members contribute to our campaigns in many different ways, and you can find the way that’s right for you. This could mean anything from joining meetings to voting in our elections, participating in a committee, spreading the word on social media, to speaking up for transit at a public meeting.

If you are unsure of your PPT Membership status, you can check by email (info@pittsburghforpublictransit.org) or by phone ( 412-626-7353 ).

PPT Members can vote below:

New Advocate Energy on the Pittsburgh Regional Transit Board of Directors!

image description: photo of Bobbie Fan with caption “Bobbie Fan, PPT Member newly appointed to the PRT Board of Directors” next to text that reads “Congrats, Bobbie!”

County Executive Sara Innamorato appoints PPT Member Bobbie Fan to the Pittsburgh Regional Transit Board of Directors! Congratulations, Bobbie!

On July 2nd, Allegheny County Council confirmed County Executive Innamorato’s appointment of Bobbie Fan to the Pittsburgh Regional Transit Board of Directors. Check out the official vote here.

Bobbie Fan is a long-time member at Pittsburghers for Public Transit and an active transit rider. They have led our Research Committee for years and were instrumental in the publication of our many reports. Bobbie’s work and these reports have been the backbone of our campaigns and have led to some big victories like winning the new Allegheny Go low-income fare program, winning improvements to extend the East Busway, and defeating the Mon Oakland Connector.

It is a major win for transit riders to have Bobbie’s data-skills and deep belief in grassroots organizing added to the board. Getting riders and transit advocates appointed to the agency board was one of our core demands in last year’s County Executive Race. And because thousands of people organized with Pittsburghers for Public Transit during last year’s race to make transit a top issue, County Executive Innamorato promised to appoint riders and workers to the board. With this appointment, the Executive begins to make good on that promise.

After the County Council approved their appointment on 7/2, Bobbie said:

Pittsburghers for Public Transit has been pushing for years and years for the Pittsburgh Regional Transit board to be more representative of transit riders, workers, members of the disability community, advocates and communities of color. Joining the PRT Board as a nominee from Pittsburghers for Public Transit is just one step in continuing to make sure that rider voices and needs are heard and acted upon.  I look forward to pushing for structural changes and improvements for a better transit system and more livable region that elevates the knowledge and visions of transit riders and workers.

We send huge thanks to Sara Innamorato and all County Councilmembers for the nomination an approval. This is a major win thanks to grassroots organizing. We encourage all to become a PPT Member today and grow our power!

Lorena in black with people in the background to her right and red and yellow in the foreground of her photo

PPT’s Summer Membership Drive is Underway: Hear the stories of our members and their transit justice why // La campaña de membresía de verano de PPT está en marcha: escuche las historias de nuestros miembros y entérate por qué luchan por mejoras en transporte público

image description: Lorena wearing black and denim sitting in a chair with people in the background to her right and a yellow quote and yellow and red background behind her

Lorena shares her story of being a Latino member of PPT and her important work connecting communities – join as a PPT member and help Lorena organize with the Latino Community for better transit access!

Lorena comparte su historia de ser miembro latino de PPT y su importante trabajo conectando comunidades – ¡únase como miembro de PPT y ayude a Lorena a organizarse con la comunidad latina para un mejor acceso al transporte público!

Every year PPT does a Summer Member Drive where we focus on our member relationships by making hundreds of calls with our members to other members to hear their stories and encourage them to get re-engaged with transit justice work. Some of our most engaged members are the best people to have those conversations, so they lead our phonebanks and conversations with other members, by sharing their experiences in the transit system, and their experiences as a member of Pittsburghers for Public Transit. 

Cada año, PPT realiza una campaña de verano para miembros en la que nos centramos en las relaciones con nuestros miembros haciendo cientos de llamadas con nuestros miembros a otros miembros para escuchar sus historias y animarlos a volver a comprometerse con el trabajo de justicia del transporte público. Algunos de nuestros miembros más comprometidos son las mejores personas para tener esas conversaciones, entonces ellos dirigen nuestras llamadas telefónicas y conversaciones con otros miembros, compartiendo sus experiencias en el sistema de transporte y sus experiencias como miembros de Pittsburghers for Public Transit.

Today we wanted to highlight a PPT member who is super active in making sure that Spanish speaking people and the latino community at large, have equitable access to transit all across Allegheny County. We have learned so much and made so many more connections in the community because of Lorena. 

Hoy queríamos resaltar a un miembro de PPT que es muy activa para garantizar que las personas de habla hispana y la comunidad latina en general tengan acceso equitativo al transporte público en todo el condado de Allegheny. Hemos aprendido mucho y hemos hecho muchas más conexiones en la comunidad gracias a Lorena.

Lorena encourages you to become a PPT member! Do that today by using this form:

¡Lorena te anima a convertirte en miembro de PPT! Hágalo hoy utilizando este formulario:

 

In her own words, Lorena tells us why she is involved with PPT and transit justice work:

En sus propias palabras, Lorena nos cuenta por qué está involucrada con el PPT y la lucha para justicia en transporte público:

“I have been a member of Pittsburghers for Public Transit for two years. I support their laudable mission to ensure that all Pittsburgh residents have access to  efficient and equitable public transportation through advocacy campaigns, community collaboration, projects, and partnerships. As a Latina, I am proud to  be part of an organization that promotes social inclusion and equity. 

“He sido miembro de Pittsburghers for Public Transit durante dos años. Apoyó su loable misión de garantizar que todos los residentes de Pittsburgh tengan acceso a transporte público eficiente y equitativo a través de campañas de promoción, colaboración comunitaria, proyectos y asociaciones. Como latina, estoy orgullosa de ser parte de una organización que promueve la inclusión social y la equidad.

The Latino community is an important and growing part of Pittsburgh’s  population. For many Latinos, public transportation is crucial for overcoming economic and linguistic barriers, allowing them to integrate into city life. The  opportunity to provide our community with a train/bus tour to teach them how  to purchase the Connect card, how to use transportation apps, and the possibility  of accessing jobs, medical appointments, and essential services is a great  initiative by PPT. 

La comunidad latina es una parte importante y creciente de la población de Pittsburgh. Para muchos latinos, el transporte público es crucial para superar las barreras económicas y lingüísticas, permitiéndoles integrarse a la vida de la ciudad. La oportunidad de brindarle a nuestra comunidad un recorrido en tren/autobús para enseñarles cómo comprar la tarjeta Connect, cómo usar aplicaciones de transporte y la posibilidad de acceder a empleos, citas médicas y servicios esenciales es una gran iniciativa de PPT.

By advocating for more accessible and reliable transportation services, PPT  ensures that all citizens have equal opportunities regardless of their background. In the long term, we will consolidate a positive impact and increase community support for PPT initiatives.”

Al abogar por servicios de transporte más accesibles y confiables, PPT garantiza que todos los ciudadanos tengan las mismas oportunidades independientemente de su origen. A largo plazo, consolidaremos un impacto positivo y aumentaremos el apoyo de la comunidad a las iniciativas PPT.”

Lorena Pena, PPT Member
image description: Lorena showing members of the community how to purchase a Connect Card to ride the T and the bus

We have just begun! The PPT Summer Membership Drive will end with our Summer Party on August 14th. Sign up for the opportunity to talk to our members with us! Below you will find the phonebanking schedule:

¡Acabamos de empezar! La campaña de membresía de verano de PPT finalizará con nuestra fiesta de verano el 14 de agosto. ¡Regístrese para tener la oportunidad de hablar con nuestros miembros con nosotros! A continuación encontrará el horario de la maratón telefónico:

Wednesday, July 17th | 11am-1pm

Thursday, July 25th | 5-7pm

Tuesday, July 30th | 11am-1pm

Tuesday, August 6th | 4-6pm

Wednesday, August 7th | 5-7pm

Thursday, August 8th | 11am-1pm

Monday, August 12th | 11am-1pm

Tuesday, August 13th | 5-7pm

Become a member today! // ¡Hazte miembro hoy!

South Hills Riders Learn to Get Around Without the Red Line this Summer // Los pasajeros de South Hills aprenden a trasladarse sin la línea roja este verano

Pictured left: PPT member, Lorena, and Community Organizer, Nicole, pose for picture wearing red PPT t-shirts and sunglasses, standing in front of train tracks. // En la foto a la izquierda: Lorena, miembro de PPT, y Nicole, organizadora comunitaria, posan para una foto con camisetas rojas de PPT y gafas de sol, de pie frente a las vías del tren. Pictured right: PRT map illustrating the routes of the temporary buses running in place of the Red Line. // En la foto a la derecha: Mapa del PRT que ilustra las rutas de los autobuses temporales que circulan en lugar de la Línea Roja.

In the third week of Red Line repairs, PPT members share instructions for getting around on the shuttle buses and some observations. // En la tercera semana de reparaciones de la Línea Roja, los miembros del PPT comparten instrucciones para desplazarse en los autobuses temporales y algunas observaciones.

After an abrupt disruption of the Red Line in 2022 that left riders in the cold with inconsistent shuttles and little information, no bilingual communications, community members of Beechview were determined not to have a repeat. With the scheduled maintenance this year, residents demanded to see a plan from the agency on how they could reliably get around and get clear communications in English and Spanish with updates to plan for their trips. Our members in the South Hills helped make a video on the changes and documented observations on the temporary shuttles and changes thus far. // Después de una interrupción abrupta de la Línea Roja en 2022 que dejó a los pasajeros en el frío con transportes inconsistentes y poca información, sin comunicaciones bilingües, los miembros de la comunidad de Beechview estaban decididos a que no se repitiera. Con la construcción programada para este año, los residentes exigieron ver un plan de la agencia sobre cómo podrían desplazarse de manera confiable y obtener comunicaciones claras en inglés y español con actualizaciones para planificar sus viajes. Nuestros miembros en South Hills ayudaron a hacer un video sobre los cambios y documentaron observaciones sobre los autobuses temporales y los cambios hasta el momento.

Here you have two videos, one in Spanish, the other in English, detailing basic shuttle bus information, with a focus on the 42 Potomac bus that runs through Beechview. // Aquí tiene dos videos, uno en español y el otro en inglés, que detallan información básica sobre los autobuses temporarios, con un enfoque en el autobús 42 Potomac que pasa por Beechview.

Observations made by riders recently include // Los observaciones hechas por los pasajeros recientemente incluyen: 

  • Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) representatives on site at varying stops to guide riders // Representantes de Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) en el lugar en distintas paradas para guiar a los pasajeros
  • Clear signage posted at stops // Señalización clara colocada en las paradas.
  • The shuttle bus has arrived more than 5 minutes early on many occasions // El autobús ha llegado más de 5 minutos antes en muchas ocasiones
  • Riders’ commute times have increased due to having to transfer and wait for multiple vehicles // Los tiempos de viaje de los pasajeros han aumentado debido a que tienen que hacer transbordos y esperar por varios vehículos
  • When sharing the Red Line construction plan this past Spring, PRT indicated that the work would be happening in 2 phases. During the second phase, the Red Line short, running from Overbrook Junction to Dormont Junction, would extend to Potomac Station, allowing more riders to access the rails at Willow Street Station. That change was not reflected in the schedules they released a few weeks ago. // Al compartir el plan de construcción de la Línea Roja la primavera pasada, PRT indicó que el trabajo se realizaría en 2 fases. Durante la segunda fase, el corto de la Línea Roja, que va desde Overbrook Junction hasta Dormont Junction, se extendería hasta la estación Potomac, permitiendo que más pasajeros accedan a los rieles en la estación Willow Street. Ese cambio no se reflejó en los horarios que dieron a conocer hace unas semanas.
  • PRT has extended their digital customer service hours by 2 hours during the week (5am-8pm) and 1 hour on the weekends (8am-5:30pm). You can reach representatives via livechat on rideprt.org or Twitter @pghtransitcare // PRT ha ampliado su horario de atención al cliente digital en 2 horas durante la semana (5 a. m. a 8 p. m.) y 1 hora los fines de semana (8 a. m. a 5:30 p. m.). Puede comunicarse con los representantes a través del chat en vivo en rideprt.org o Twitter @pghtransitcare

Our advice: Allow 20-30 minutes of extra travel time. // Nuestro consejo: calcule entre 20 y 30 minutos adicionales de tiempo de viaje.


Have observations you’d like to share about your commutes on the shuttle buses? We want to hear them! ¿Tiene observaciones que le gustaría compartir sobre sus viajes en los autobuses? ¡Queremos escucharlos!

We won Half Fares, now let’s get our community enrolled!

image description: a photo of people smiling and holding “transit moves us” signs with white words spread across the photo


Thank you for joining us to celebrate our VICTORY for fair fares! Now it’s time to get our community registered for this new half-fare program that will enable half-price fares for 130,000 residents! This is a major step toward more accessible transit for all.

Here’s what you need to know about the program and resources to help you enroll your members:

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is funding a county-led half-fare program. The Allegheny Go program launched on June 3, 2024 with the opportunity to sign up for the program through the Allegheny Go website and via the Ready2Ride app. 

With this launch we’re asking you to do four things:

1. Educate yourself on the new program

2. Educate and train your membership on the program

3. Share the resources with your community and help get them signed up for the Allegheny Go half-fare program!

4. Share on your social media and in your newsletter

You can start by watching this video for step by step instructions to enroll in the program:

Learn how to apply for Allegheny Go!

Take a look at the fact sheet How-To Guide in English or Spanish:

How to in English

How to in Spanish

image description: People standing in a line, smiling; tan buildings appear in the background

Now we’ve won half fares for all qualifying Allegheny County residents. We know that we’re not done until we win free fares, but this is a vital milestone in that fight.

More than one hundred organizations pushing for this program for the past four years have made this happen. And for that, we thank you. The fight for fully free fares for low-income residents is much stronger with our coalition. We know that with your partnership we will get there!

We also want to thank the county-wide leadership that our legislators have shown in working with us to get this half-fare program launched. Co-governance is the cornerstone of political progress and getting this program launched is a win for all communities, including our political representatives. Thank you for standing with us in this fight. 

Allegheny Go will enable all residents who currently receive SNAP/EBT benefits and their entire household to access half-priced transit fare on all Pittsburgh Regional Transit buses and trains.

Since our campaign kicked off more than 4 years ago our advocacy has encouraged thousands of transit riders, hundreds of volunteers, dozens of elected officials, and dozens of organizations to uplift the call for more affordable fares. We would not be here today if it was not for their organizing. You can check out fairfaresnow.com to learn more about the campaign’s history.

It’s time to go!
Share on your social media!

DHS invites you to share more about the program on your social media.
Share on social media, including Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).

Promote the Allegheny Go program to your community with this flyer from the Department of Human Services:

Download and share the flyer.

For any more details on the Allegheny Go program visit: https://discountedfares.alleghenycounty.us

This website is where you will find information on whether you qualify for the program, how to enroll in the program, direct contacts for any issues or questions with enrolling, how-to information, and more! 

The Allegheny Go program is being managed by DHS with organizations like ours advocating for the registration of over 100,000 qualifying residents by doing our part to make sure we understand the program, that we can register eligible members, and spread the word about the program. 

The DHS contact if you were to have questions that aren’t answered on the website or in these resources is Terrance McGeorge, who can be contacted at Terrance.McGeorge@alleghenycounty.us

You can help PPT organize to make the Allegheny Go income-based transit fare program a success by signing up to spread the work during our summer organizing push! Stay tuned for opportunities to join us for tabling in the community!

Come out and talk to riders this summer with PPT!  Want to ensure the success of this campaign and show Allegheny County that we are more than ready for fair fares? We need your help to spread the word about the new discounted fares program to riders and urge them to enroll. Sign-up to volunteer and we will contact you about training and upcoming tabling events!

Sign up to help us make the program a success

Having issues with the app?

We encourage you, as our partners, to reach out to us with any feedback you have for the app if you hit any roadblocks, or just have general feedback. 

Together we know we can make this app what it needs to be for transit riders to easily enroll in and use the program. 

We’d love to hear from you so we can share the feedback with PRT so that they may make necessary changes to the app. 

Contact us at: info@pittsburghforpublictransit.org

Pick up the phone for the future of transit justice

image description: a white dog cocks its head sideways and holds a corded telephone in its mouth. To the left is an animated bus with the word “Future” on the head-sign

Volunteer for one of PPT’s Summer phone banks to help us connect with members.

Every year PPT volunteers make hundreds of phone calls to connect with members. We talk about people’s experiences on transit throughout the year; we invite them to our summer picnic; we ask for their continued support of our work. This year, we’re also talking to members about where we are in our strategic plan as we are now halfway through the year. This is a time to talk to our members about why transit justice moves them, and how we can get more of our community involved with this important community work. These conversations with our members are important to our organizing, and by joining a phone bank you can help PPT strengthen our work by volunteering below. 

Check out the shifts below:

  • June 18, 5-7pm 
  • June 20, 4-6pm 
  • June 25, 4-6pm 
  • June 26, 11am-1pm 
  • June 27, 5-7pm 
  • July 8, 6-8pm 
  • July 17, 11am-1pm
  • July 25, 5-7pm 
  • July 30, 11am-1pm 
  • August 6, 4-6pm 
  • August 7, 5-7pm
  • August 8, 11am-1pm
  • August 12, 11am-1pm
  • August 13, 5-7pm

Join our ONLY membership text bank July 8 6pm-8pm

Our phonebanks and textbanks are virtual events.
For access needs please contact info@pittsburghforpublictransit.org

PRT’s Ridership Decline (And How to Reverse It)

Authored by the PPT Research Committee, 6/10/24

Pittsburgh’s getting national recognition, and it’s not good. 

Over the last two weeks, a chart has been circulating on social media showing the change in transit ridership from 2023-2024 as we emerge from the low-point of the pandemic. 

Image Description: Bar graph showing Top 25 US Bus Agencies by ridership in the first quarter of 2023 and 2024, pictured in red and blue bars. Pittsburgh Regional Transit is the only transit system with lower ridership this year that last. Source was Federal Transit Administration, chart by Naqiy Mcmullen.

Notably, of the top 25 cities for bus ridership in the United States, all of them saw increases to transit ridership — except for Pittsburgh. (The New York City MTA is not represented on this chart, although it also saw increases to transit ridership over the past year.) On average, over the first quarter of 2024 compared to the first quarter of 2023, Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT) saw a daily weekday ridership drop of 9.4%. 

Discouragingly, PRT CEO Katherine Kelleman seemed to dismiss this alarming statistic this in her May PRT Board meeting remarks, saying:

“it’s good to be noticed by transit junkies in NY…there’s been a percolating story about ridership at the top 25 properties in the US and what’s going on in Pittsburgh. Looks like we have a data anomaly…and we’re looking at a couple different scenarios on reporting and tracking, and if there’s an adjustment to be made, we’ll be coming back out… there’s some administrative stuff we’re working on.”  

PRT CEO Katharine Kelleman at May 2024 PRT Board Meeting

Amy Zaiss, a member of PPT’s research committee, pulled data from PRT’s Performance Metrics portal on their website from January, February, and March of 2023 compared to the same period in 2024, and looked at ridership changes by route. This data seems to confirm the statistics shared in the Twitterverse.

Notably, 57% of the total ridership loss over that period was due to significant drops in ridership on the 61D, 71A, 71C and 71D.

All of these routes used to go to Downtown, but in October 2023, they were permanently short-turned in Oakland. These service changes were implemented despite much vocal public opposition from PPT riders and workers. 

In advance of these cuts, PRT argued that riders would shift to alternative routes, including 61A, 61B, 61C, 71B. While these routes did see a total average weekday ridership gain of 1173, it didn’t make up for the short-turned routes, which saw a ridership loss of 5231 in that same time period. 

Other alternative routes that were floated included the 65, 67, 69, 82 and 87, but in total ridership fell by an average of 185 riders on weekdays over those routes as well. Therefore,  it’s clear from the data that riders of short-turned routes did not switch to alternate routes but instead opted for other modes of transportation.

One of the other routes that experienced the steepest ridership percentage decline over the past year was the 89, where service changes cut off the Harriet Tubman apts. In addition, the 89 route no longer services the Kingsley Association and the library. This route experienced a 27% (or 56 average daily riders) drop between 2023 and 2024.

The Takeaways: PRT needs to trust riders and workers when we say what changes will make our transit worse. We’re calling for PRT to reverse the cuts on the 61 & 71s and proceed carefully with the “Bus Line Redesign” to increase ridership.

Our region needs a transit system that grows service and ridership, one that should be an outlier in positive ways. We believe that Allegheny County can be a national leader with a vision and a plan for ridership growth.  

Last year, hundreds of bus riders and workers spoke up with concerns about the impact of the 61 and 71 bus short-turns on the Downtown to Oakland Bus Rapid Transit corridor and called for PRT to amend its plan. With this data in hand, we call on PRT to reverse these harmful cuts and restore the direct connections between communities in the East End and Homestead to Uptown and Downtown. 

As PRT continues with its bus line redesign, they must listen to riders and workers in decision-making around service changes because they are experts in their own needs and experiences. The bus short-turns in Oakland prove what the data already shows: riders prefer reliable schedules and 1-seat rides. According to PRT’s 2015 rider survey, 80% of riders don’t require a transfer when using the route they ride most often. The transit network has existed roughly in the same layout for decades. People have chosen where they live, work, and spend time with their friends and family based on this network. The haphazard plan to change some of the largest routes by ridership should be a signal to PRT to approach the Bus Network Redesign with a do-no-harm approach.

However, right now PRT wants a Bus Network Redesign plan to be cost-neutral, leaving some communities to gain better transit at the expense of others. While the plan is still in development, changes to the network will cause further disruptions and schedule unreliability, making it difficult for riders to plan their trips. Over the past year, this has severely hurt ridership levels. 

PRT must not let this happen again. We need a bigger vision for the Bus Line Redesign, one that expands service and access to transit for all of Allegheny County. Even in PRT’s most ambitious plan, they only want to increase funding by 10%, which is less total funding than pre-pandemic levels. 

We call on PRT to lead the charge by re-imagining what’s possible. They need to be more proactive with advocating for funds and develop strategies to regain ridership. They need to fix schedules and create real goals and metrics to hire workers. Most importantly, they need to put riders and workers at the forefront of their plans.

Support Students. Support Ceasefire. Support Divestment from War & Investment in Public Goods.

photo credit TribLive. image description: photo of pro-Palestine Cease Fire activists in Pittsburgh holding signs and a Palestinian flag\

People at the Pitt Solidarity Encampment are asking for you to support them with your presence on Bigelow between Fifth and Forbes. They are also looking for the following supplies: 

  • Portable power banks
  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Snacks

Support students. Support ceasefire. Support divestment from war and investment in public goods – transit, housing, healthcare, education, and all that people need to thrive.

We at Pittsburghers for Public Transit support the Pitt community encampment against the genocide in Palestine and in favor of the divestment of institutional resources from this military action. Many of our members are leaders in this movement, and we honor the courage and moral leadership of the students who are standing for justice in this moment.  We oppose the violent police and military response to these peaceful protests. 

The participants in these encampments have a right to this city and to public space. We all have a right to have our public tax money serving our needs – for affordable housing, public transit, public healthcare, quality education, and more – and not being directed towards war and the killing of innocent families in Gaza.

Follow these local organizations leading this movement for the most up-to-date information:

Transit Tour With Casa San Jose Creates Community // Tour de Tránsito Con Casa San José Crea Comunidad

Credit Evelyn Ulysse. Image description: 10 people smile while standing shoulder to shoulder in downtown Pittsburgh during May 2024 Transit Tour. Some hold children, others hold bags, and others wear PPT and Casa San Jose t-shirts.

Public transit connects communities and creates community. Pittsburghers for Public Transit and Casa San Jose take new Pittsburgh residents on a Transit Tour from Beechview to Downtown Pittsburgh.

Being new to town is not easy. Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) and Casa San Jose understand that. That’s why we teamed up to introduce members of the Latino community to our public transportation system. We believe that being able to get around independently can bring a sense of security and dignity to people’s lives, assuring that they can access important resources and events. 

The group traveled from Beechview on the light rail, locally nicknamed the “T,” to downtown Pittsburgh, where they toured important destinations, like the passport and WIC offices and Pittsburgh Regional Transit Service Center. Along the way, participants learned how to purchase ConnectCards and use transit apps to plan their travels, as well as local transit etiquette, i.e. when to request a stop on the bus, or always use headphones when using your phone, etc. The tour ended at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Downtown, where participants received library cards and information about family programming. Faces were beaming with excitement and pride!

If you want to learn more about PPTs Transit Tours and how to bring one to your community, reach out to us at info@pittsburghforpublictransit.org


El transporte público conecta comunidades y crea comunidad. Miércoles 22 de mayo Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) y Casa San Jose organizaron un recorrido de transporte para nuevos residentes de Pittsburgh desde Beechview hasta el centro.

Ser nuevo a una ciudad no es fácil. Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) y Casa San José lo entienden. Por eso nos hemos juntados para orientar a miembros de la comunidad latina de Pittsburgh a nuestro sistema de transporte público. Creemos que poder desplazarse de forma independiente puede aportar una sensación de seguridad y dignidad a la vida de las personas, garantizando que puedan acceder a recursos y eventos importantes. 

El grupo de nueve viajaron desde Beechview en el tren, también conocido como el “T,” al centro de Pittsburgh, donde fueron a destinos importantes, como la oficina de pasaporte y WIC, y también al Centro de Servicio de Pittsburgh Regional Transit. A lo largo del camino, los participantes aprendieron cómo comprar ConnectCards (tarjetas de tarifas) y usar aplicaciones de transporte para planificar sus viajes, así como normas básicas, cómo cuándo solicitar una parada en el autobús. El recorrido terminó en la biblioteca, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Downtown, donde los participantes recibieron tarjetas de la biblioteca y aprendieron sobre programas familiares. Todos se emocionaron sobre sus nuevos conocimientos. 


VICTORY: Transit Riders Win Permanent Discounted-Fare Program called “Allegheny Go”!

image description: Advocates from PPT, Just Harvest, the Food Policy Council, and the Alliance for Police Accountability pose with County Executive Sara Innamorato, and staff from the Department of Human Services and Pittsburgh Regional Transit at the Allegheny Go program launch.

The County’s new Allegheny Go program will enable half-price fares for 130,000 residents! Transit riders celebrate this announcement as a major step toward a more accessible transit system for all.

Whether you’re Black or white, whether you’re rich or poor, the price of transportation should never keep you from the food, healthcare, and the things your family needs to thrive. This belief has guided our organizing since February of 2020 when the Fair Fares Coalition first kicked off our campaign for more accessible transit fares at PRT.

image description: Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato kicks off the press conference to launch Allegheny Go, the County's new income-based transit fare program
image description: Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato kicks off the press conference to launch Allegheny Go, the County’s new income-based transit fare program

On the afternoon of May 20th advocates from Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Just Harvest, the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, and the Alliance for Police Accountability celebrated as we stood alongside Allegheny County Executive Sara Innamorato, and leadership from the Department of Human Services and Pittsburgh Regional Transit to launch the Allegheny Go program, a brand-new program to enable more than 130,000 of our neighbors to access transit for half fare.

The program will enable all residents who currently receive SNAP/EBT benefits and their entire household to access half-priced transit fare on all Pittsburgh Regional Transit buses and trains.

This is an incredible milestone in our campaign for more affordable fares. Since our campaign kicked off more than 4 years ago our advocacy has encouraged thousands of transit riders, hundreds of volunteers, dozens of elected officials, and dozens of organizations to uplift the call for more affordable fares. We would not be here today if it was not for their organizing. You can check out fairfaresnow.com to learn more about the campaign’s history.

image description: Sherai Richardson, PPT Member and affordable fares advocate, speaks at Allegheny Go program launch

The Allegheny Go program goes live on June 3rd. We encourage all people who receive SNAP/EBT to learn more about Allegheny Go and apply when the application becomes available 6/3/24. Additionally, we encourage all people who were included in the County’s year-long discount fare pilot program to check their phones and emails, because invitations went out last week for them to join the trial phase ahead of the June 3rd launch.

PPT will be organizing this June to ensure the Allegheny Go program is a success. Sign up at the bottom of this blog to join us for a canvass or tabling event. We need to connect with riders and people on the SNAP/EBT program to spread the word about the program and enroll their families.

Learn more about the new income-based transit fare program, Allegheny Go, and get ready to sign up before June 3rd!

image description: Staff and board members of Pittsburghers for Public Transit and the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council pose together for a photo holding signs at the Allegheny Go program launch

You can help PPT organize to make the Allegheny Go income-based transit fare program a success by signing up for to spread the work during our June organizing push!

Come out and talk to riders in June with PPT!  Want to ensure the success of this campaign and show Allegheny County that we are more than ready for fair fares? We need your help to spread the word about the new discounted fares program to riders and urge them to enroll. Sign-up to volunteer and we will contact you about training and upcoming tabling events!

Read news stories about the Allegheny Go Income-Based Transit Fare program launch: