TriMet has enrolled 25,000 riders in its low-income fare program in less than 18 months, resulting in an estimated $3.3 million in transit cost savings.
The regional transit agency announced the progress on Tuesday with the release of a video focusing on Centro Cultural in Cornelius, a community center that serves as a resource for the region's growing Latino population. It is also one of 14 community partner locations in the tri-county region where the public can enroll in the program.
"We try to connect families who need services to services to help them navigate systems — the education system, the health care system and others," Executive Director Maria Caballero Rubio said in the video that was released on Nov. 19. "Our clients come here looking for opportunities to improve their lives."
The program is available to anyone in Multnomah, Washington or Clackamas counties who has a government-issued ID and proof of income less than double the federal poverty level. For an individual, that's about $25,000. For a family of four, it's more than $51,000.
Once qualified, TriMet issues participants a personalized Honored Citizen Hop card, to which they load funds to purchase fare. They receive a 50% discount on two-and-a-half hour tickets and day passes and a 72% discount on month passes. Over the course of a year, they can save more than $864 on transportation costs, when compared to buying Adult fare.
"Low-income fare has been a godsend to our community. It's something that people count on," Rubio said. "If they can pay a quarter of what they would have to pay, that's a little bit more money that they can use to pay for rent and pay for food and other things."
TriMet launched the low-income fare program following the state's adoption of the Keep Oregon Moving Act. Also known as HB 2017, the legislation created the first-ever, ongoing, source of stable funding for public transportation.
"It's really exciting to me to see the relief in people that they don't have to pay the full fare and that they can come here and access it, locally and close to home," Rubio said.
The video also features Maria, a volunteer at Centro Cultural, who qualified for the program.
"It's a very good service," Maria said. "It can help a lot of people."
You can find the release and see the video here.
To learn more about the program and see if you qualify, visit trimet.org/lowincome.
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