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Demonstration Projects

The Transit Empowerment Fund (TEF) invites local non-profits and community organizations to submit letters of interest for planning or demonstration projects designed to address mobility and transportation gaps for low-income populations within the CapMetro Service area.

The Board is interested in learning about projects that:

(1) address a demonstrated need in the community;

(2) leverage existing resources or partnerships efficiently;

(3) support or leverage environmentally efficient modes of transportation such as shared rides, public transit, or active modes; and

(4) could be sustained through follow-on funding after the demonstration period. The Board will consider both planning and demonstration projects.

Project Types
  • Planning (up to $25,000): One-year award to develop a plan or project that addresses a specific challenge.
  • Demonstration ($50-75,000 per award): Multi-year award to launch, run, and evaluate a program or service.
  • Applicant Eligibility: Lead applicant must be either a 501(c)3 organization or a governmental entity.
  • Target Population: Project must serve individuals who are at or below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level and are transit-
  • Purpose: The primary purpose of the project must be increasing access to employment, education, healthcare, basic needs, and/or community
  • Service Area: Projects must operate within, or improve connectivity to, the CapMetro Service Area.
How to Apply

To apply, please submit a letter of interest (LOI) including a project description, timeline, and budget. Please follow the instructions outlined in this document.


TEF accepts applications on a rolling basis and reviews submissions quarterly.

• Submitted by: June 21, 2024, reviewed on June 28, 2024
• Submitted by: September 20, 2024, reviewed September 27, 2024
• Submitted by: February 21, 2025, reviewed on February 28, 2025
• Submitted by: April 19, 2025, reviewed on April 26, 2025

If you have questions about the application, please contact Madeleine Jordan-Lord at

      Current Demonstration Projects:

      • In 2021, the Fund awarded Capital Area Private Defender Service a demonstration project grant to employ a case management system to utilize rideshare to court appointments, access to legal services, etc. for their clients directly impacted by the criminal justice system. Click here to learn more!
      • In 2022, the Fund awarded Jail to Jobs a demonstration project grant to support their Smart Hub in the Georgian Acres neighborhood. Click here to learn more!
      • In 2022, the Fund awarded United Way for Greater Texas a demonstration project grant to support their Transportation For Living Pilot.

      Past Demonstration Projects:

      • In 2013, the Fund invested in a demonstration project that provides transportation to clients of AVANCE living in Far Northeast Austin and Del Valle in order to access Parent-Child Education programs. This program provided transportation for 70 clients at a cost that was lower than the provision of special transit services. The program was such a success that the Manor and Del Valle Independent School Districts are working with AVANCE to continue the services.
      • In 2014, the Fund partnered with AGE of Central Texas to identify gaps and resources, and create a plan to address the transportation needs of older adults in the Austin area. The report was completed in February 2015 and is guiding the future work of the Board to expand transportation access for seniors in our community.
      • In 2017, the Fund provided a grant to Ride Austin, a local app-based, on-demand transportation service. This grant allowed the non-profit rideshare organization to partner with Community Care Collaborative for a pilot program in which those without the means to pay for healthcare are able to request no-cost rides medical appointments or pharmacies within the Collaborative’s network.
      • Also in 2017, the Fund awarded the Housing Authority of the City of Austin funds intended to expand and enhance the impact of its Smart Work, Learn Play-Mobility Equity Program. With the funds, the program was able double the number of residents served and add supplemental transportation literacy classes to its offerings.
      • In 2019, the Fund awarded United Way for Greater Austin a planning grant to explore and create collaborative and innovative transportation solutions for food-serving nonprofits. This included planning for a centralized hub.
      • In 2020, the Fund awarded Equidad Express/Live Well Vive Bien a demonstration project grant to create a mobile ecosystem to coordinate access to services in underserved communities in the Eastern Cresent. Services included prepackaged meals, culturally appropriate food, diet-sensitive foods, and hygiene products delivered by buses.
      • In 2020, the Fund awarded Sendaride/United Way support for medical rides for five local nonprofit organizations: United Way for Greater Austin, Senior Access, Meals on Wheels, Family Eldercare, and WellMed.