TriMet provides more than $250,000 in fare grant awards to aid low-income riders

Posted in Media Releases

Access Transit: Fare Relief Program grants awarded to service organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties

TriMet is awarding $251,672 in grants in the form of fares to 17 local nonprofits and community-based organizations. These organizations reach low-income members of the community within the TriMet service district. The Access Transit: Fare Relief Program grants help low-income individuals access public transit. The program is part of a $1.3 million effort to mitigate the impact of the 2012 fare increase, the largest in the agency’s history, on low income riders.

TriMet has partnered with local nonprofit, Ride Connection, to administer the program. Ride Connection is dedicated to providing responsive, accessible transportation options for those in need. The Access Transit grants range from $900 to $22,500 in value, with the focus to reach more low-income riders. The initial amount set aside for the grant program was $300,000, TriMet and Ride Connection awarded $251,672 so far, holding the remaining $48,328 for additional 501(c)(3) non-profits and community-based organizations in Clackamas and Washington Counties.

501(c)(3)Non-profits/Community-based organizations Award amount
Bradley Angle $10,210
Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare $20,320
Central City Concern $22,500
Hacienda $22,500
Hollywood Senior Center $9,000
HomePlate Youth Services $900
Human Solutions $21,610
Impact Northwest $22,500
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) $22,500
Neighborhood House $19,890
New Avenues for Youth $22,500
Northwest Pilot Project $6,284
Outside In $3,000
Pathfinders of Oregon $925
REACH $10,281
Self Enhancement Inc $14,252
Transition Projects $22,500

“Access to transit is access to opportunity,” said TriMet General Manager, Neil McFarlane. “These grants are going to qualified non-profit and community-based agencies that offer valuable programs and assistance to low-income individuals and families who strive to better themselves and the community.”

The awards sent out April 17, 2013 mark phase two of TriMet’s Fare Relief Program. Phase one, the Access Transit: Fare Assistance Program, provided fares to more than 40 non-profits and community-based organizations at a 20 percent lower cost.

“These grants mean increased independence, access to employment and employment resources, and improved community connections for thousands of low-income members of our community,” said TriMet Diversity and Transit Equity Director, Johnell Bell.  

The Access Transit fare grants allow organizations to provide transit fares to additional clients beyond those served under the Fare Assistance Program. The following are short profiles of four of the organizations serving a diverse segment of the community that were awarded the fare grants.

Hacienda Community Development Corporation – $22,500 Access Transit grant
Portland

Hacienda CDC is a Latino Community Development Corporation that strengthens families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, economic advancement and educational opportunities. “TriMet’s discounted fares have helped our programs and residents immensely,” said Hacienda’s Fund Development Coordinator, Courtney Trezise.

Here’s a story from Hacienda about the impact of the Access Transit grant:

Yeni is an active community member, participating in  Hacienda's programs. Hacienda strengthens families by providing affordable housing, education and support

Yeni is an active community member, participating in Hacienda’s programs.

Yeni is a member of Andando en Bicicletas en Cully (ABC), a group of Hacienda residents who promote bicycling use as a safe and healthy form of exercise and transportation. They also advocate for bicycle amenities and bike-friendly design in the Cully neighborhood. The group meets monthly and Yeni must travel from her apartment to the Baltazar Ortiz Community Center. Because her husband works and affordable childcare is not easy to find, Yeni brings her three daughters along on each trip. Without the assistance Hacienda receives from TriMet, Yeni and her children could not afford to attend these meetings frequently. The support from TriMet has helped Yeni to grow into a powerful leader and a strong advocate for healthy living and active transportation in our community.


Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization –
$22,500 Access Transit grant
Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties

Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) promotes the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy, and inclusive multiethnic society. “TriMet’s extremely generous grant of tickets will profoundly benefit four distinct groups of IRCO clientele including IRCO’s Established Employment Services (EES) program, Refugee and Immigrant Family Strengthening (RIFS) program, African women’s refugee literacy program, and the Senior program,” said IRCO’s Director of Community and Donor Relations, Margaret Malarkey.

Here’s a story from IRCO about the impact of the Access Transit grant:

TriMet’s grant will assist women who attend class and become literate in English; empowering them to acquire jobs, help their children with homework and engage in the community.

TriMet’s grant will assist women who attend class and become literate in English.

Due to budget cuts there were absolutely no resources for clients to get to interviews, IRCO for job coaching and to other vital destinations. With TriMet’s help, EES clients will be empowered to become self-sufficient by using the tickets to actively apply and interview for jobs, and then get to their places of employment. RIFS clients will have the resources to safely leave an abusive situation without worrying about transportation costs. They’ll be able to apply and procure jobs; utilize vital social services at IRCO and at other agencies and gain a sense of autonomy and independence through TriMet transportation. Additionally, clients will be empowered to become engaged in the community, attend classes and services at IRCO, get to doctor appointments and visit their family members.


Central City Concern –
$22,500 Access Transit grant
Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties

CCC aided Salina Perez who now works at Burgerville in SE Portland.

CCC aided Salina Perez who now works at Burgerville in SE Portland.

Central City Concern (CCC) provides affordable housing, healthcare, employment and peer support to people who are homeless or very low income, helping them stabilize their lives and achieve self-sufficiency.

Here’s a story from CCC about the impact of the Access Transit grant:

Central City Concern provides direct access to housing, integrated healthcare services and employment resources. CCC enables people to become productive citizens who want to “give something back” to the community. Most clients are starting over and have very few resources. Lack of transportation can be an enormous barrier to their success. CCC clients will gratefully use TriMet tickets to get to job interviews, medical appointments, recovery groups, new jobs and their homes.


Pathfinders of Oregon – $925 Access Transit grant

Multnomah County

Pathfinders of Oregon breaks the cycle of criminality through prevention and intervention focusing on high risk individuals, families and children. The organization works with the Oregon Department of Corrections to provide thoughtful, reflective, goal-oriented programs that strive to educate adults in the Oregon prison system and support their children and families in the community. Pathfinders endeavors to change the way the prison system interacts with and impacts children, families and individuals through developing and using evidence-based programs and practices. “With TriMet’s support, we are working toward successful, stable families in our community!” said Pathfinders’ Development Director, Brooke Crews.

Here’s a story from Pathfinders about the impact of the Access Transit grant:

Kids and parents enjoy pro-social activities at the Center for Family Success

Kids and parents enjoy pro-social activities at Patherfinders Center for Family Success

With the generous support of TriMet, parents at the Center for Family Success in Rockwood are able to commute to and from parenting classes and other key appointments with their children. These parents often experience many barriers to success, including long commutes and low household income, which prevent them from furthering their education and participating in positive activities. TriMet fares allow families to participate in a wide variety of services at the Center, which allow them to develop more positive behaviors and stable families. For example, parents take “Parenting Inside Out” and “Healthy Relationships: Successful Families” classes while their kids participate in positive, pro-social activities with nutritious meals provided.

 

As part of TriMet’s Access Transit initiative, a grant through the Fare Relief Program is not meant to replace existing resources used to purchase fares at a reduced rate through the Fare Assistance Program. Rather, a grant will increase the assistance an organization can provide to those in need in our community. TriMet’s proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget includes funding to continue the Fare Relief Program.

For more information about TriMet’s Access Transit initiatives, contact TriMet Diversity and Transit Equity Director, Johnell Bell, at bellj@trimet.org or via www.trimet.org/accesstransit.