Brian uses the bus every day to get around Greeley – to go to work, the grocery store, doctor appointments, and more. When Brian lost his job, though, his bus pass was one more expense he had to juggle. He tried to walk as much as possible, but it was difficult in the winter, especially when he was going to job interviews and wanted to look professional.
Public transportation provides people with mobility and access to employment, community resources, medical care and recreational opportunities. It benefits those who choose to ride, as well as those who have no other choice; nationally, over 90% of public assistance recipients do not own a car and must rely on public transportation. The incorporation of public transportation options and considerations into broader economic and land use planning can also help a community expand business opportunities, reduce sprawl and create a sense of community through transit-oriented development.
Did you know? Public transportation…
- creates and sustains employment
- saves households money
- connects workers to jobs in suburban areas
- conserves energy
- reduces oil dependence
- relieves congestion
- improves air quality and health
- provides critical support during emergencies and disasters
- offers mobility and access
Residents in Greeley and Evans who are working toward self-sufficiency and financial stability and cannot afford transportation are able to receive bus passes for free from a variety of nonprofit agencies through a collaboration between the City of Greeley and United Way of Weld County. In the early 2000s, a more efficient and effective management system for bus passes that supported low-income riders was desired by the City of Greeley. At the same time, United Way was exploring ways to support increased financial stability for individuals and families.
Through this partnership, at the beginning of each year United Way receives bus passes from Greeley Evans Transit (GET) and then distributes a beginning amount to participating agencies. Additional passes are provided either quarterly or as requested. The amount allocated is based on the prior year usage and efficiency in usage (passes given versus utilized). At the end of the year, GET and United Way determine the number of passes that will be made available for the following year.
“GET bus passes are an essential part of the package of support we provide to our program participants. Without them, many of our participants would not be able to obtain additional assistance, travel to medical and other appointments and, most importantly, get a new job.”Ernest Cienfuegos-Baca, Executive Director, Jobs of Hope