Public invited to ride HCT at no cost; unlimited free rides through March 31
PITTSBURGH – For people in this region who don’t have a vehicle or reliable transportation to get to work, the grocery store or a bus stop, Heritage Community Transportation (HCT) has been there for 23 years, offering a convenient fixed-route transit service for only 25 cents a ride. To celebrate this milestone, HCT is inviting the public to ride for free through March 31, 2023. Riders can board an HCT vehicle at one of many stops along three routes in Eastern Allegheny County.
As the only human services nonprofit designated as a provider of public transportation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, HCT has provided more than 1.5 million rides across 16 communities. “Our work has never been more relevant than in the past few years and today, as public transportation needs continue to evolve in the aftermath of the pandemic,” says Paula G. McWilliams, president & CEO of Heritage Community Initiatives.
“As HCT marks 23 years of operations on March 23, we are honored to continue to serve riders in Eastern Allegheny County,” she adds. “Most of our riders (91%) hold at least one job, and (79%) do not have access to a vehicle. They rely on HCT for transportation to provide for their families, receive health care services, or connect to a transit stop. Many riders (79%) live within a mile of an HCT stop. And as our riders’ mobility needs change, we want them to know HCT is here to serve them.
To that end, Heritage Community Transportation continues to analyze the needs of their ridership in order to make the routes as efficient and effective as possible. HCT has been working in conjunction with Pittsburgh Regional Transit (PRT), Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) and Carnegie Mellon University, resulting in a steady increase in ridership to nearly 60% of pre-pandemic levels. While the availability of drivers continues to be an issue throughout the country, HCT is now able to respond to requests from riders to re-establish Saturday service on one of the routes at the end of April.
“Through our longstanding partnership with Heritage Community Transportation, riders at points east of the city can access the region’s public transit system and the Greater Pittsburgh community,” said Katharine Kelleman, Chief Executive Officer of Pittsburgh Regional Transit. “Today’s anniversary milestone could only have been reached because of Heritage’s commitment to public transportation and their care and respect for the rider. Their reliable and affordable means of transportation enables riders to connect with PRT as well as providing access to health care and other key destinations. Our two organizations will continue to work together to develop innovative ways to better serve riders and the community.”
HCT has also helped families get easier access to food with the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as well as access to services through a new partnership with several offices of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program in Allegheny County. “Service is at the heart of what we do,” adds Ms. McWilliams. “Thanks to the vital support of our partners and funders and the commitment to community transportation by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Allegheny County, we are positively impacting the socioeconomic mobility of thousands of individuals, families, and children in our region.”
To learn more about Heritage Community Transportation, including schedules and route maps, please visit https://heritageserves.org/transportation/.
About Heritage Community Initiatives
For 40 years, Heritage Community Initiatives has been dedicated to making a positive impact on the socioeconomic mobility of thousands of individuals and families through pragmatic programs in Transportation, Education and Nutrition. Heritage is privileged to be a cornerstone for those who are under-resourced in 49 communities throughout Eastern Allegheny County. Each year, Heritage provides highly accredited academically based early learning and out-of-school time programming for more than 250 at-risk children. Heritage Community Transportation, an affordable fixed-route transit service in operation for 23 years, has provided more than 1.5 million rides for residents in largely transit-isolated communities. Heritage is the only human services nonprofit in the Commonwealth designated as a provider of public transportation, and its rides are offered at only 25 cents a ride. Additionally, more than 100,000 meals are served each year by Heritage Nutrition Services, which offers solutions in meal planning, ordering, preparation and delivery while creating healthy options for youth and senior populations. For more information on our services and how to get involved, visit heritageserves.org.
Photograph: HCT accessible vehicle
For 23 years, Heritage Community Transportation has provided riders with affordable access to key destinations in Eastern Allegheny County. HCT’s fixed-route service traverses 16 communities charging only 25 cents a ride.
Tina Richardson, 412-605-2851