Take advantage of the new Pocono Pony Plus transit service in Monroe County in the Poconos.
Selenny Garcia is one of the drivers taking the reins of a Pony Plus van. The new service resembles Uber and Lyft but is much more affordable. It's public transit, minus the waiting around at a bus stop.
Operated by Monroe County's Transportation Authority, Pony Plus runs within two distinct zones. The first includes Delaware Water Gap, Stroudsburg, and East Stroudsburg. The second encompasses Pocono Summit and Mount Pocono. These zones cover urbanized areas including downtown districts, resorts, and other major attractions.
“If it's successful there, we can implement it in other places such as Marshalls Creek or Brodheadsville. Areas that might not have such a large population, but still need a service like this," said Rich Schlameuss, assistant executive director.
Each ride costs just $2 dollars, and the service is beneficial for locals and visitors. It's a great way for tourists to explore some Pocono places beyond their hotel or resort without worrying about driving and finding parking. “It makes it more immediate to get to those locations without having a whole lot of hassle,” Schlameuss added.
As PTN learned firsthand, the process is simple. Just download the free Pony Plus app, follow the registration prompts, then book your trip. You can pay using a credit card via the app, or in-person with cash. In just a few minutes, we traveled from the Penn Stroud Hotel in downtown Stroudsburg to the Village Farmer and Bakery in Delaware Water Gap.
“The plan they've put forth in this program is amazing to me. I think it's brilliant and it's going to be a real asset to the entire community,” explained owner Susan Cooper.
After filling up at the Village Farmer and Bakery, walk it off on the nearby Appalachian Trail, explore small shops, enjoy a jazz performance at The Deer Head Inn, or even rent a canoe or kayak and hit the Delaware River. “We're a great hub. It's a small town but we have a lot to offer,” Cooper added.
After a day in Delaware Water Gap, we're back on the Pony Plus. Each van is ADA accessible and equipped with safety features such as cameras. The service is available Monday through Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., meaning there's lots of time to explore the Pocono Mountains.