HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania will be expanding access to its transportation assistance programs.
Governor Tom Wolf today announced that the Pennsylvania departments of Transportation (PennDOT) and Human Services (DHS) have been awarded a $750,000 grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to expand its Find My Ride (FMR) online tool.
Pennsylvania was among 17 states that received funding through FTA’s Innovative Coordinated Access & Mobility (ICAM) Pilot Program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
FMR Apply was developed collaboratively with transit agencies and streamlines the application process for the five largest transportation assistance programs in the state, including the Senior Shared Ride program, the Medical Assistance Transportation Program (MATP), ADA complementary paratransit, the Persons with Disabilities program and the Free Transit Program. Additionally, FMR Apply allows third-parties, such as a family member or healthcare provider, to apply for services on behalf of a rider.
The new FTA funds will allow for the expansion of upgrades of FMR to simplify the public’s access to the tool as well as streamline processes for healthcare providers and MATP administrators. Some examples of enhancements to the system supported by these new grant funds include:
- Allowing consumers to request fixed route and mileage reimbursement assistance directly via FMR and give them the option of having reimbursements transmitted directly to their bank account;
- Creating an interface between FMR and DHS’s PROMISe system, which will allow MATP administrators to verify a consumer’s MATP eligibility automatically;
- Allowing MATP administrators to issue fixed route tickets and passes directly to a consumer’s mobile ticketing app; and
- Giving health care providers a means to verify a visit occurred using the system.
DHS’ MATP program provides non-emergency medical transportation for Medicaid-eligible consumers who do not have access to transportation. MATP funds more than 4 million trips annually, and each county provides the type of transportation that is the least expensive while still meeting an individual’s needs. Contact information specific to each county MATP provider can be found at matp.pa.gov.
“Since taking office I have committed to expanding access to health care to ensure that Pennsylvanians have the opportunity to lead healthier lives,” said Gov. Wolf. “This grant through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law builds upon my commitment and will help some of the commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens get to and from their health care appointments by reducing transportation barriers they would experience otherwise.”
“Public transportation is available in every county in Pennsylvania, and people depend on it every day,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Often, the folks who rely most heavily on the human services transportation system are the most vulnerable among us, and I’m proud that Find My Ride has made it easier than ever to access these services. We’re grateful that these funds will help us make it even better, for both the people who help administer these critical programs as well as those who rely on them.”
In addition to FMR Apply, the FMR Educate site provides information on how to use public transportation and the kinds of public transportation options available.
More information on public transit and alternative transportation options like ridesharing, biking, and walking, is available on PennDOT’s website.