Merski resumes EMTA senior bus pass program
District office will provide eligible seniors passes to ‘ride the e for free’
ERIE, March 24 – The return of a popular program offered by state Rep. Bob Merski, D-Erie, will make it easier for Erie seniors to “ride the e for free,” Merski announced today at a news conference with Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority CEO Jeremy Peterson.
Merski said a combination of factors prompted him to resume the program, which provides seniors who visit his 3901 Liberty St. office same-day service in applying for and obtaining the Senior Citizen Transit Identification cards that allow residents 65 or older to ride any EMTA bus for free.
“The pandemic kept some seniors home and discouraged others from using mass transit more than strictly necessary,” Merski said. “Now, with more folks vaccinated and COVID-19 posing less of a severe threat, we’re anticipating seeing more seniors return to riding the bus more regularly – especially as gas prices continue to rise.
“Our bus pass program will provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ in which seniors can obtain an application, receive any help they need completing it, and get their Senior ID card issued – all in one visit to our office. I encourage anyone who is eligible for a pass but does not yet have one to stop by.”
“EMTA is proud to partner again with Representative Merski on this,” Peterson said. “We fully support efforts like this that facilitate easy access to the Senior Pass program.”
Merski said seniors who come in to apply must bring an acceptable proof-of-age document, which may include a valid driver’s license, birth certificate, armed forces discharge or separation papers, passport or naturalization papers, PACE card, Statement of Age Verification issued by the Social Security Office, baptismal certificate, PennDOT non-driver’s license, veteran’s universal access card or resident alien card.
The passes may be used on any public bus route in the commonwealth. Those interested in learning more about EMTA’s senior ride program can visit www.ride-the-e.com/fixed-route and scroll down to the section “Senior Citizen Route – Fixed Route” or call 814-459-8922, ext. 101.
Seniors can visit Merski’s office to apply for and receive their ID cards on a walk-in basis and do not need an appointment. They can also apply online at the website listed above or by visiting the EMTA office at 208 E. Bayfront Parkway.
Anyone with questions about obtaining a pass from Merski’s office should call 814-455-6319. The senior free fare program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery.