Photo by Desiree Williams / Flickr

There are many transport assistance programs available in Allegheny County. In fact for many people, the real challenge isn’t finding a service — it’s navigating the many options and their accompanying rules and regulations to actually get a ride.

That can be especially daunting for the older and disabled commuters who rely on these programs most.

To help close the transit gap, The Port Authority has teamed up with the advocacy group Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh to create A to B, an online portal that connects county residents with the more than 20 different transport providers across the region.

“A to B offers freedom, opportunity and access, regardless of age or ability,” said Port Authority CEO Katharine Kelleman in an announcement about the program. “So riders can determine for themselves the best transportation option that meets their unique mobility needs.”

Users begin by filling out a 10-minute survey with basic information such as age, insurance coverage and general internet literacy. From there, they receive a list of programs and providers based on their needs and preferences.

The service was designed in collaboration with a range of regional stakeholders, including the County Health Department, Wesley Family Services, the City of Pittsburgh and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Age-Friendly, which is supported by the Mary Hillman Jennings Foundation, advocates a wide range of public policies aimed at supporting and enhancing the lives of our region’s aging residents.

In the next two decades, the number of residents over age 65 in our region is projected to increase by 40 percent, making programs like A to B a necessity.

“The ability to have diverse and easily accessible transportation options is important for Allegheny County residents of all ages and abilities,” said Laura Poskin, director of Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh. “This is one way of connecting riders with resources to get them where they need to go.”

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.