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.

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.

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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