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Empowering people

by increasing access to transit options

Photo provided by Capital Metro.

More than 11 million rides provided to date.

Transit Pass Distribution

We work with local non-profit partners to distribute transit passes to low-income individuals dependent on public transportation in the CapMetro service area.

Demonstration Projects

We fund innovative demonstration projects that expand transit services in underserved neighborhoods.

Community Engagement

We identify transportation challenges and opportunities in the region and engage community members and leaders in transit solutions.


Microgrants are designed to provide additional opportunities to meet the TEF mission of enhancing access to transportation for low-income, transit-dependent individuals in the Austin area.

In Partnership With:

Our generous partner CapMetro has invested $1.2 million in the Transit Empowerment Fund to date, and currently provides $350,000 annually.

The Austin Community Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor and maintains the Transit Empowerment Fund.

The Application Process: 
The Transit Empowerment Fund releases an annual Request for Applications (RFA) for deeply discounted and no-cost CapMetro transit passes. Applicants must be 501(c)3 organizations, 501(c)9 organizations, or government entities that serve low-income individuals within the CapMetro service area who are dependent on public transportation. The Fund may also call for proposals for innovative demonstration projects that expand transit opportunities for low-income individuals.

Why Donate?
The lack of affordable and reliable transportation is often all that stands in the way of receiving medical care for a chronic condition, getting a GED, or finding work. Your tax-deductible gift will help us serve thousands of individuals who depend on the Transit Empowerment Fund, one transit pass at a time.

Success Stories

“As a founding partner of the Transit Empowerment Fund, Capital Metro sees the value of providing access to transportation through the agencies that are helping individuals and families work toward self-sufficiency. By working through the fund, we know that our investment is being used wisely by the agencies that are supporting work skills, education, healthcare and independence.”

“The Transportation Empowerment Fund is an innovative partnership that brings local government, social service non-profits and the business community together to meet a real need, and that’s making sure everyone has access to transit. Austin is grateful for the 1.7 million rides the fund has provided so far, and we’re looking forward to many millions more. Thanks for making Austin more mobile.”

“I want to say I would not have been able to find a job without the MetroAccess pass …Now I can work and help support my wife and my children. Thank you for helping me be independent.”

“One of our site coordinators told me “I don’t know what I’d do without bus passes.  My students come from long distances, and especially in bad weather, the kids wouldn’t come to school without them”.  We are grateful for the critical resource of transportation to empower our students’ engagement at school.”