Photo provided by Capital Metro.

Success Stories

“As a young teen mother with two children, working and going to school and just physically getting from A to B with all of our items can sometimes be a struggle, but knowing that we have steady and consistent means of getting to where we need to go, whether it’s school, childcare, doctor’s appointments, or visiting family is a relief. The bus passes give one less barrier to fight through on the way to becoming more self-sufficient.”

Participant in LifeWorks’ Teen Parent Services Program

“I came to ARCIL after I went to the Travis County Counseling and Education Resource Fair. I am a re-entry so I was homeless sleeping under bridges, hungry with no money and no transportation. I am a veteran but when I called the VA I could not get any assistance and I tried calling a lot of times but I could not find anyone to help me. I met with Ms. Hope and she told me about ARCIL’S Travel Voucher Program and said I could qualify for free bus passes. She said I could use it to go to my job, medical & housing appointments. I completed an application and was eligible to receive a bus pass for the next 3 months. I kept coming every day to see Ms. Hope for a job and a place to live. One day we made a phone call for me to get a place to live and I was told they had an opening. I went and they accepted me for housing. During the next couple of days I was offered a job. I called Ms. Hope and told her “Thank You” for the bus passes; if I had not had the bus pass I would not have been able to get housing or a job. I like the fact that they will help me for the next couple of months because this will let me save my money to buy a bus pass on my own. Now I have a place to live and a job and that is a great start.”

Veteran in ARCIL’s Travel Voucher Program

“Our clients, almost all of whom are low income and receive disability benefits, have greatly benefitted from TEF bus passes. These passes allowed more of our clients to regularly attend our behavioral health group services, that focus on Community Integration, Skills Training on Whole Health (managing both mental and physical), improved communication and socialization. Many of these clients reported that without the monthly bus pass they would be unable to afford the cost to attend regularly.”

Austin Travis Integral Care (ATCIC)

“Our refugee ESL students are folks who have only lived in the United States for a few weeks or months. Forced to flee from their home countries because of political, religious and ethnic persecution, they live in refugee camps for years before finally being resettled in the U.S. They arrive in Austin with just a few possessions, often with only the clothes on their backs. Our clients rely 100% on the bus to get around – they don’t own cars, and they don’t have friends or relatives with cars. Receiving a bus pass so that they can come downtown four times per week to attend English class makes a huge impact, educationally and financially. And through the TEF, our agency can help many more students in this way than we ever could before.”

Interfaith Action of Central Texas (iACT)

“The bus passes enable our youth to learn how to navigate the public transportation system so that they are prepared to use this skill when they live independently. We have young people who attend ACC, who work part time (sometimes even full time) while in high school, and who do this all, primarily, using the bus system and the passes that we provide.”

Austin Children’s Services

“As a mother and survivor of domestic abuse, our client’s main concern was to maintain a normal, regular routine for her four children after they entered the SafePlace shelter to feel from abuse in their home. The TEF passes provided a way for her children to get to their schools, so she could focus on getting a job and getting their lives back on track.”


“In fall of 2013, a mother and her four children moved into Saint Louise House. Not having a car, she used the transit passes daily to get her children to and from daycare and school and herself to and from work. At one point, her baby had several episodes during which she stopped breathing and had to spend several days at Dell Children’s Hospital. Thus the mother added trips to the hospital to her daily bus routes. Thankfully, the crisis is now past and mother and children are doing well. They still use the transit passes daily for school, work, and doctor appointments.”

Saint Louise House

“DeKarea moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 from Louisiana. DeKarea had dropped out of school after completing the eighth grade, and he needed extra support in order to get a GED and achieve his dream of becoming a pastry chef. Through Goodwill’s programs, DeKarea was able to obtain a job, internship and academic classes necessary to achieve his dreams. Attendance for class and the internship would not have been possible at all without the transportation assistance he obtained from Goodwill and the Transit Empowerment Fund.”

Goodwill Industries of Central Texas

“Robert has struggled with severe rheumatoid arthritis for many years, and has frequent visits to doctors and specialists to help manage his symptoms. He was able to use a monthly bus passes from the Transit Empowerment Fund provided by Front Steps, to help him get to these appointments. The passes also helped him take care of other daily activities like buying groceries and getting to his belongings in his storage unit. In part because Robert was able to take care of his health and his other needs, he has now successfully transitioned from living in his car to his own apartment.”

Front Steps

“For the past eight years, Bruce has been a member of Easter Seals’ paid job training program (PJT) which offers a unique opportunity for people with disabilities and/or other barriers to employment to earn a living wage while also developing a positive work history. Through the years, with the help of the TEF transit pass program, Bruce has established a positive work history and become financially independent. His financial independence even allows him to take his parents out to eat on pay days! Bruce’s success in the program can be largely attributed to his ability to get to work and get home each day on the bus without the burden of paying for a bus pass.”

Easter Seals Central Texas

“Eight years after a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down, Jo relies on the TEF transit pass program to get places. A client of Meals on Wheels and More (MOWAM), she suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and has frequent medical appointments. She also lives on a very limited income, so she’s grateful for the free booklet of bus passes she receives every month from MOWAM, courtesy of the Transit Empowerment Fund (TEF). Her main use for the vouchers is to get to and from the doctor’s office. Jo has been receiving the passes since late 2014 and can’t imagine her life without the TEF program. ‘I really appreciate it,’ she says.”

Meals on Wheels and More