Capital Area Private Defender Service Rides to Re-entry Project

In 2021, the Transit Empowerment Fund (TEF) granted Capital Area Private Defender Service (CAPDS) with a Demonstration Project Grant to start a Rides to Re-entry program. CAPDS has been a recipient of CapMetro transit passes through the TEF Transit Pass Program for many years, but they have also seen an ongoing need for transportation case management and rideshare options for their clients. The Rides to Re-entry project connects CAPDS attorneys with rideshare funds to support their clients’ needs while navigating the criminal legal system and reentry from jail or prison.

One of the primary barriers to success that CAPDS has identified over the last six years is a lack of safe and reliable transportation. With limited access to transportation, clients struggle to comply with court ordered conditions, secure employment, access medical and mental health treatment, and provide for other daily needs. While traditional CapMetro transit options meet the needs of some CAPDS clients, the goal for Rides to Re-entry is to ensure that all of CAPDS clients are able to be served, regardless of medical, mental, or physical disabilities and diagnoses or their location of residence within Travis County.

The Rides to Re-Entry Demonstration Project supports CAPDS staff in assessing individual client transportation needs and barriers to match available transportation services as appropriate. To accomplish this, the assigned CAPDS social services team member works with the client and/or CAPDS attorney in establishing critical locations or services the client would need to access in a specified time frame, the clients’ place of residence, financial restraints, and time restraints. The social services team member then reviews partnership services, public transportation options, and rideshares to determine the most effective option for each the client. A transportation plan is created to provide information and allocate finances and/or transportation vouchers to that client. The social services team works closely with clients in an effort to obtain least restrictive outcomes, optimize likelihood of client success in the community, and reduce recidivism through accessing the support and resources they need to avoid future interaction with the criminal justice system.


Total number of unique riders who have used the Rides to Re-entry program: 295

Total number of coordinated releases (court-ordered component of releasing on bond or dismissal of charges): 126

Examples of ride destinations:

  • Substance use treatment facilities
  • Stable housing
  • Court settings
  • Integral Care appointments
  • Employment sites
  • Long haul bus stations (going on to treatment or stable housing)
  • Court-mandated probation appointments
  • Connection to CARTS rides for rural housing destinations
  • Medication refills
  • Benefit application and/or reinstatement appointments
  • ID appointments
  • Therapy appointments
  • Social Services and attorney appointments
  • And more!