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Secretary Carroll Outlines How Governor Shapiro’s Proposed Transit Investment Would Benefit Westmoreland County

February 29, 2024 01:00 PM
By: Elizabeth Foose

​PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll recently joined officials from the Westmoreland County Transit Authority (WCTA) and Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce in Greensburg to underscore how Governor Shapiro's budget proposal to invest in transit agencies is a commonsense way to create good-paying jobs, spur economic development, and help Pennsylvanians reach their destinations safely.

The Governor's budget proposes an additional $282 million investment for transit – the first of its kind in over a decade. This would be achieved with an additional 1.75 percent of the Pennsylvania Sales Tax being deposited into the Public Transportation Trust Fund. The proposal would invest an additional $955,084 in WCTA in the 2024-25 fiscal year.

"More investment in public transit is long overdue, which is why Governor Shapiro proposed the first major new investment in public transit in over 10 years," Secretary Carroll said. "This is an investment in reliable public transit that can meet our residents' current and future needs. With nearly one million Pennsylvanians using public transit daily, we have an obligation and opportunity to invest in them and our communities' futures." 

On average, 64 percent of the people who use fixed-route services say that they have no alternate means of transportation. Nearly 38 percent of WCTA's riders have no other option. Westmoreland Collage for blog .png

The investments proposed by the Governor would secure the county's transit services while making it possible to act on proposals from WCTA's development plan. The draft plan describes the state of the county's current transit service and various improvement options grouped into improved, enhanced, and aspirational categories. The improved network options are based on the current WCTA budget while enhanced and aspirational network enhancements would require additional funding.

"The additional funding included in the Governor's proposal would not only allow the WCTA to implement the changes included in the improved network, but we could also focus on some of the recommendations included in the enhanced network," said WCTA Executive Director Alan Blahovec. "Specifically, the enhanced network included extended service hours on weekdays and Saturdays which was a priority from the public input."

“The acknowledgement of public transit as a catalyst for our region and connectivity is a boost to our economic footprint, and investment to our communities resonates deeply within us," said Westmoreland Count Chamber President & CEO Dan DeBone.

Public transportation services are available in every county in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Shared ride service in all 67 counties;
  • Fixed route bus service in 49 counties; and
  • Fixed route rail service in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Learn more about public transit options and apply for transportation assistance programs through the Commonwealth's Find My Ride (FMR) tool. ​

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