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Westmoreland County leaders reviewing new ride-share option

Westmoreland County considers new ride-share option
Westmoreland County considers new ride-share option 02:13

GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — A new ride-share option could be coming to Westmoreland County. 

The Westmoreland County Transit Authority, with the help of a consultant, spent the last year analyzing the transportation needs of the county. 

What it came up with is a plan that includes changes to existing routes to better serve the community and a ride-sharing program similar to Uber and Lyft. 

"If we can do a better job serving them so they can get to jobs, to social activities, that was the goal of this planning process," said Alan Blahovec, executive director of the Westmoreland County Transit Authority. 

The most significant upgrade, Blahovec said, is a concept called micro-transit and it's the newest thing in public transportation. Passengers would hail a ride through an app to specific locations within a set boundary. 

"Uber and Lyft, you can kind of go wherever you want. This, you would have to stay in that zone," Blahovec said. 

To get the proposed pilot program up and running, the authority would have to purchase the software needed and at least two passenger vans. 

The first zone in the program would be for customers in New Kensington, Arnold and Lower Burrell, adding Irwin, North Huntingdon and Herminie the following year.

The authority serves roughly 16,000 riders a month and has 17 daily routes, including commuter service to Pittsburgh and local service to 33 communities in the county. 

Public comments are being accepted until March 22. The authority is expected to approve the plan this summer.

If all goes well, the first set of changes could come at the beginning of next year.

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