MTA and the United Way grant bus passes to those in need

Representatives from 10 local agencies were on hand to receive bus passes from the MTA and the United Way. Photo provided

Representatives from 10 local agencies were on hand to receive bus passes from the MTA and the United Way. Photo provided

FLINT — The Mass Transportation Authority and the United Way of Genesee County have partnered to grant the wishes of agencies in need of bus passes this holiday season.

Last Thursday, 10 agencies in Genesee County received bus passes courtesy of an Emergency Bus Pass Program. Recognizing the transportation barrier that the Genesee County community faces, the MTA and United Way launched the program for nonprofits in need of quality transportation for clients. MTA, Huntington Bank (via a special grant to the United Way) and the United Way have donated to the program to start the campaign off. In total, 15,000 passes will be given out during the year.

Ed Benning, MTA General Manager/CEO, said that the need for public transportation is serious for agencies that don’t have the money to give bus passes to their clients.

“We are sending out a challenge to the community to keep the pass program going, and we are hopeful that agencies, individuals, foundations and organizations will step up to help these people by donating to the pass program,” he said. “The passes will help people in the community with accessing badly needed services.”

The Emergency Bus Pass Program is available to 501c3 entities whose clients are in need of transportation for shelter, access to fresh foods, employment and medical appointments.

“Nonprofits across our county are working hard to meet the needs of their clients,” said James Gaskin, CEO United Way of Genesee County. “We are grateful for the partnership with MTA to help ease the burden of accessing high-quality transportation.”

The agencies that received bus pass wishes were Genesee Health Plan, St. Luke’s New Life Center, St. Mary’s, St. John Vianney, Catholic Charities, Salvation Army, Shelter of Flint, Family Service Agency, Crosstown Ministries and Foster Grandparents.

Interested agencies should contact Mary Bishop (mbishop@unitedwaygenesee.org) for more details on the new application process. Persons or agencies interested in donating to the Emergency Bus Pass Program can go online to the United Way website at: www.unitedwaygenesee.org/donate. B.G.