PITTSBURGH (AP) – A western Pennsylvania transit system says a half-fare rate for people with disabilities during nonpeak hours will be available all the time beginning this fall.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s board of directors approved the change at a meeting Friday.

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Board member John Tague Jr., who uses a wheelchair, said the authority’s switch to a smart-card pay system will make it easier to process the half-fare riders when the change takes effect in September.

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The authority previously restricted senior citizens from riding free during peak hours, but since 2007 has allowed them to ride free anytime.

Officials also Friday approved a new operating budget with no discussion of fare hikes or service cuts for the first time in many years.

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