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[00:00:02]

OKAY.

I'D LIKE TO CALL THIS MEETING TO

[I. Call to Order]

ORDER LIKE TO CALL THIS MEETING TO ORDER AT 1235, UH, THIS, UH, THANK YOU FOR JOINING THE AUGUST MEETING OF THE CAP METRO BOARD OF DIRECTORS.

UH, I'LL CALL THIS MEETING TO ORDER.

TODAY IS MONDAY THE 29TH.

THE TIME IS 1235.

SO, UH, WE HAVE, UH, AFTER THE CALL TO ORDER, WE'RE GOING

[II. Public Comment (please see instructions at the bottom to participate)]

TO HAVE A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD, UH, FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE, ARE, UH, COMING TO TALK ABOUT, UM, ACCESS TO RIDERSHIP.

AND, AND, UM, NOW I UNDERSTAND THAT WE HAVE OVER, UH, 20 PEOPLE THAT ARE HERE TO, UH, THAT ARE HERE TO SPEAK.

SO WHAT WE'RE GONNA DO IS WE'RE GOING TO ALLOW EVERYONE TO SPEAK, FIRST OF ALL, THAT THAT IS THERE THIS YEAR.

UM, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT WE GIVE YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO DO SO, BUT, UH, BUT WE'RE GOING TO HAVE TO KEEP RUNNING A PRETTY TIGHT SHIP BECAUSE WE DO HAVE A LONG AGENDA AS WELL.

SO WE WILL ASK THAT YOU KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO THREE MINUTES.

AND WHEN YOU HEAR, UH, THE LAST BEEPER AND, AND THE, UM, AND THE ITEM TURNS RED, THEN YOU PLEASE BRING YOUR, YOUR COMMENTS TO A CLOSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, BECAUSE WE DO WANT TO HEAR EVERYONE.

SO THE FOLKS THAT HAVE BEEN LISTED, UH, TO, UH, TO SPEAK FIRST AND I HAVE THE PUBLIC COMMENT SIGN IN SHEETS, SO I SHOULD GET TO EVERYBODY.

UH, BUT THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN LISTED TO SIGN UP FIRST, I'LL START WITH LYRIC WARREN, UH, WARDLOW LYRIC WARDLOW.

HERE IS LYRIC WARDLOW HERE, NOT HERE.

OKAY.

SO THAT WOULD BE NUMBER ONE IS EMILY.

UH, SELL US HERE, PLEASE COME FORWARD AND YOU HAVE THREE MINUTES.

THANK YOU.

ALL RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

I'M EMILY SEALS AGAIN, I'M A SOCIAL WORKER WITH SUNRISE HOMELESS NAVIGATION CENTER.

I ALSO SERVE ON THE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL OF THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY HOMELESS RESPONSE SYSTEM.

I'M ALSO THE CHAIR OF THE FREE TRANSPORTATION FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS WORK GROUP THAT CAME INTO EXISTENCE IN 2019.

THANK YOU FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK TODAY.

THANK YOU ALSO FOR SUPPORTING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE FREE RIDES FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS POLICY THROUGH SEPTEMBER 30TH.

LAST MONTH, WHEN WE SPOKE WITH YOU ALL, I GAVE TESTIMONY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A SOCIAL WORKER AND SERVICE PROVIDER IN OUR COMMUNITY FOR FAR TOO MANY YEARS, SERVICE PROVIDERS, FAITH-BASED GROUPS IN LOCAL NONPROFITS HAVE HAD TO MAKE DAILY DECISIONS ABOUT WHO IS THE MOST DESERVING TO RIDE THE BUS.

WE ASK OUR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS TO WALK MILES, STAND IN LINES FOR HOURS AND PARTICIPATE IN LOTTERY SYSTEMS AND OTHER DEHUMANIZING PROCESSES FOR A CHANCE AT A BUS PASS, WE NEVER HAVE ENOUGH BUS PASSES AND PEOPLE ARE TURNED AWAY DAILY.

AS A SOCIAL WORKER.

I HAVE TO SIT WITH THE REALITY THAT SOMEONE MAY END UP MISSING A DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT, A JOB OPPORTUNITY, OR A CHANCE TO SEE SOMEONE AND THEIR SUPPORT SYSTEM.

AND MAY INSTEAD END UP IN ONE OF OUR EMERGENCY ROOMS OR IN ANY NUMBER OF WORST SITUATIONS WITHOUT ACCESS TO TRANSPORTATION.

THIS TYPE OF EXTREME SERVICE FASHIONING IS WHAT LEADS TO 10 SITUATIONS AND FRUSTRATIONS.

THIS THEN CARRIES OVER TO THE NEXT SITUATION OR HUMAN INTERACTION.

SOCIAL WORKERS AND SERVICE PROVIDERS SHOULD NO LONGER BE THE GATEKEEPERS TO THESE LIFE SAVING RESOURCES.

THIS IS A CONSISTENT CONCERN FROM SERVICE PROVIDERS WHO ARE AWARDED DISCOUNTED BEST PASSES THAT THE TRANSIT EMPOWERMENT FUND THAT THE PROCESS AND DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED AS A SIGNIFICANT BURDEN AT ONE FAITH-BASED PROGRAM.

I LEARNED THAT IT TAKES AT LEAST THREE VOLUNTEERS.

EVERY TIME THEY DISTRIBUTE BUS PASSES TO KEEP UP WITH ALL OF THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION.

ADDITIONALLY, THOSE WHO ARE AWARDED BUS PASSES TO THE TRANSIT EMPOWERMENT FUND STILL MUST FUNDRAISE TO PURCHASE THE DISCOUNTED TICKETS.

WHY IN A CITY AS WEALTHY AS AUSTIN, ARE WE ASKING PEOPLE TO FUNDRAISE, THEN ASK VOLUNTEERS OR STAFF WHO COULD USE HER SKILLS MORE APPROPRIATELY TO PASS SOME OUT AND THEN SPEND HOURS DOCUMENTING WHO USED THE BUS AND WHY IT IS TIME FOR THIS PROCESS TO CHANGE NO LONGER SHOULD PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS OR THE SERVICE PROVIDERS BE A SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR OUR TRANSIT SYSTEM TODAY.

MANY OF US ARE COMING FORWARD TO ASK SPECIFICALLY FOR THE BOARD TO REQUEST THAT KAT METRO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY IN PERSON, A PROPOSAL AT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING ON MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, WE NEED THE FULL SUPPORT OF THE CAP, METRO BOARD, THE UNWAVERING COMMITMENT FROM THE CAP, METRO STAFF AND THE COLLABORATION WITH PEOPLE WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE SERVICE PROVIDERS AND EXPERTS TO COME TOGETHER AND PRIORITIZE THIS INITIATIVE.

THANK YOU.

[00:05:09]

I UNDERSTAND THAT MISS WARDLOW HAS ARRIVED.

SO, UM, WOULD YOU, UM, WOULD YOU COME UP AND YOU'LL HAVE THREE MINUTES TO PRESENT? THANK YOU.

OKAY.

HI.

UM, GOOD AFTERNOON.

MY NAME IS LYRIC WARDLOW.

I AM THE COMMUNITY TRAINING MANAGER AT ENDING COMMUNITY HOMELESSNESS COALITION.

UM, I AM ALSO A PERSON WITH LIVED EXPERIENCE OF HOMELESSNESS.

SO WHEN I FIRST MOVED HERE WITH MY MOTHER WHO IS NOW 55 YEARS OLD, SHE WAS PERMANENTLY DISABLED IN A CAR ACCIDENT WHEN I WAS A YOUNG CHILD AND WE EXPERIENCED HOMELESSNESS.

UM, NOT ONLY WHILE WE WERE HERE IN AUSTIN, BUT FROM MY HOMETOWN IN SOUTH BEND INDIANA.

SO FROM THE AGE OF NINE, UNTIL I WAS BASICALLY 18 AND I'M 24 NOW BLESSED TO BE HERE.

I WAS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN SHELTERS AND MY MOM NEVER HAD THE ABILITY TO DRIVE A CAR.

SO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION WAS USUALLY MY ONLY OPTION UNLESS I HAD A FRIEND WHO HAD A CAR OR A FAMILY MEMBER IN A SHELTER ALONG THE WAY WHO HAD A CAR AS WELL.

UM, SO I RELIED ON PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, ALMOST MY ENTIRE LIFE UNTIL I HIT 18 AND SAID, I WANT TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS THINGS A LITTLE BIT QUICKER AND I'VE HAD A CAR EVER SINCE THEN, BUT I UNDERSTAND THE IMPACT OF HOW PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION CAN BE, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'RE LOW INCOME.

IT IS A BARRIER TO HAVE TO GO OUT OF YOUR WAY EVERY DAY TO FIGURE OUT HOW YOU'RE GOING TO ACCESS THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM WITH THAT MONEY.

YOU COULD BE USING THAT FOR A CUP OF COFFEE.

SOME PEOPLE USE THAT FOR STARBUCKS, FOR US, FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, JUST ACCESSING A DAILY FARE IS AN ISSUE.

AND IT'S AN UNNECESSARY ISSUE THAT COULD JUST BE A FREE TRANSPORTATION FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

UM, SO I'M ADVOCATING FOR FREE FAIR, NOT BECAUSE IT'S, UM, REQUIRED OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT, BUT BECAUSE IT'S, IT'S JUST A NUN, AN UNNECESSARY BARRIER FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS THAT COULD JUST BE PUT AWAY.

UM, THE PERSON WHO WAKES UP EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, DOESN'T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT HOW ARE THEY GOING TO MAKE THE FAIR, TO BE ABLE TO ACCESS TRANSPORTATION TO THEIR DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT, TO VISIT THEIR CASE MANAGER, TO SEE A FAMILY MEMBER WHO MIGHT BE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN.

IT SHOULD NOT BE ANOTHER STRESSOR FOR SOMEONE IN THEIR DAY TO DAY TO FIGURE OUT HOW THEY CAN ACCESS THE BUS SYSTEM.

UM, JUST BEING ABLE TO GET A CUP OF WATER COULD BE TAKING YOUR TIME OUT OF YOUR DAY TO GET FAIR, JUST TO GET THE BUS, JUST TO GET TO A LOCAL AREA WITH WATER.

SO I JUST THINK IT'S REALLY NECESSARY.

AND IN 10 YEARS, I WANT YOU TO THINK BACK AND THINK, WHAT DID I DO TO TRULY HELP THE COMMUNITY EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS? UM, BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO ASK, WHAT DID YOU DO? AND IF YOU HAVE NO ANSWER TO SAY, I TRULY DID SOMETHING THAT IMPACTED, NOT JUST ONE PERSON EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, BUT ALL OF THEM IN THE COMMUNITY, WE HAVE A PROBLEM.

UM, AND SO I JUST HAD TO SAY THAT TODAY AS SOMEONE WHO'S COME FROM IT, THAT I WANT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE AN IMPACT.

AND I KNOW THAT YOU GUYS CAN TOO.

SO THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TODAY.

AND I ADVOCATE FOR FREE FARE EVERY SINGLE DAY OF MY ENTIRE LIFE.

AND THAT'S WHY I DO THE STUFF THAT I DO WITH INDIAN COMMUNITY HOMELESSNESS COALITION IS BECAUSE THIS STUFF MAKES AN IMPACT.

AND IF YOU CAN HELP A PERSON EXPRESSES THE ALMONDS, HOMELESSNESS, WAKE UP AND NOT FEEL LIKE THERE'S ANOTHER BARRIER, THAT'S JUST THERE FOR NO REASON.

THAT'S EXACTLY WHY I DO WHAT I DO.

SO THANK YOU.

RIGHT.

THANK YOU.

I THINK THE NEXT PERSON IS GOING TO BE REMOTE AND, AND, UH, THE NAME IS SASHA ROSE.

UM, SASHA ROSE AND DO WE HAVE THEM ONLINE? OKAY.

MS. ROSE, ARE YOU WITH US TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES? WE SHOULD GET THERE PRETTY SOON.

OKAY.

THAT'S RIGHT.

MS. ROSE, DO YOU WANT TO TRY IT ONE MORE TIME, MR. JERRY, LET ME GET AN IT PERSON AND I'LL UH, OKAY, SO WE'LL GO TO MAGDA, MS. ROSE.

OKAY.

WE'LL COME BACK TO MS. ROSE AND WE WILL CALL ON FILL SESSION, FAIL SESSION.

OKAY.

SO I GUESS WHAT WE WILL, SO WHAT WE'LL DO IS WE WILL GO OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE HERE AND, UM, AND THEN WE'LL COME BACK TO THE, UH, TO THE OTHERS.

OKAY.

HALLEL PEREZ, MR. PEREZ,

[00:10:03]

I GUESS IT'S ON.

OKAY.

MY NAME WAS JOEL PETTIS AND, UH, EXCUSE ME, I'M NOT MUCH OF A SPEAKER, BUT I'LL TRY TO BEAR WITH ME.

YEAH.

OKAY.

MY NAME I'M HOMELESS IS IT IS.

AND I, I TRIED TO GET BUS PASSES WITH TEXAS HARM REDUCTION.

I WORKED WITH THEM OR, UH, SHOULD I SAY VOLUNTEER WITH THEM? AND, UH, I GO TO METHADONE WHERE EVERYDAY I USE THE BUS EVERYDAY AND IT'S HARD FOR ME TO HAVE BUS SPRAYS AND STUFF.

LIKE I SAID, TASTES HARM REDUCTION.

THEY DO EVERYTHING THEY CAN TO GIVE US BUS SPURS, BUT IT'S HARD FOR THEM TO SUPPORT US ALL.

AND WE, UH, ASK HIM TO CPL, CAN, YOU KNOW, HELP US OUT.

BUT BUSPAR IS HARD.

YOU KNOW, I, I TRY TO VISIT MY FAMILY.

I'M BLESSED TO HAVE MY FAMILY TO INVITE ME TO DINNER AND STUFF LIKE THAT.

IT'S HARD TO GET OVER THERE AT TIMES.

AND I'M BLESSED TO HAVE THEM TO INVITE ME OVER, TO GET OUT OF THE HEAT.

AND, UH, I HAVE DINNER WITH THEM AND WHENEVER I CAN TO GET THERE.

AND RIGHT NOW IT'S REALLY HARD.

AND I DEPEND ON TEXAS HARM-REDUCTION TO GIVE ME BUS SPURS.

IT'S HARD FOR THEM TO, LIKE I SAID, UH, SUPPLY US ALL.

AND I DO HAVE DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND EVERYTHING TO GET TO AND HARD A BUS BUNCH OF US, NOT JUST MAKING IT ON ME.

SO I ASKED Y'ALL CAN, YOU KNOW, FIND A WAY FOR US, YOU KNOW, LIKE IT'S HARD TO TELL WHO'S HOMELESS AND WHO'S NOT, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? RIGHT.

Y'ALL SAID THAT LAST TIME ON THE MEETING, BUT MAYBE WE CAN GET THOSE PASSES BACK ON THE ROAD THAT LIKE, YOU KNOW, MOBILITY, DISABILITY, UH, SOMETHING THAT THEY CALLED IT.

SO Y'ALL COULD, YOU KNOW, WORK WITH US AND TRY TO HELP US ALL GET A WAY TO GET TO WHERE WE GOT TO GO WITH.

GOD.

BLESS Y'ALL.

THANK Y'ALL.

Y'ALL CAN DO THAT.

THANK YOU FOR COMING TO PRESENT TODAY.

THANK YOU.

UM, THE NEXT SPEAKER IS BARRY JONES, BARRY JONES.

OKAY.

HELLO.

UH, MY NAME IS BARRY JONES.

I'M ONE OF YOUR UNHOUSED NEIGHBORS.

UH, I'M COMING UP ON EIGHT YEARS ON HOUSED IN OCTOBER.

UM, THE FIRST THING I WANTED TO SAY TODAY WAS I WANTED TO GIVE SOME COMMENDATIONS TO METRO.

UM, I KNOW, UH, TEXAS I'M WITH A VOLUNTEER WITH TEXAS HARM REDUCTION.

AND WE TALKED TO THEM RECENTLY ABOUT THE ISSUE OF PETE RIDES RIDES TO HEAT COOLING CENTERS.

AND, UH, I THINK THEY REALLY STEPPED UP ON THAT ISSUE AND, UH, WE REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

IT MAKES A BIG DIFFERENCE TO EVERYBODY.

SO THANKS A LOT FOR THAT.

UM, IS PROBABLY EVERYONE HERE KNOWS WE'RE GOING THROUGH A PERIOD OF STEEP RISES IN HOUSING PRICES COSTS.

AND, UH, WHAT THAT MEANS IS THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE GOING TO BE, UH, EXPERIENCING EVICTION.

UH, AND EVEN THOUGH FOR MOST PEOPLE THAT WILL BE A SHORT-TERM PERIOD OF HOMELESSNESS FOR A CERTAIN PORTION.

I KNOW THEY'RE GOING TO GET STUCK IN HOMELESSNESS.

AND IF, IF YOU'RE GOING TO EVEN KEEP THE NUMBERS OF HOMELESS THE SAME, YOU REALLY HAVE TO THINK ABOUT HOW TO OFFER A PATH OUT OF HOMELESSNESS FOR THOSE WHO ARE MOTIVATED TO GET OUT OF HOMELESSNESS.

THAT'S JUST TO KEEP THE NUMBERS THE SAME, UM, WHEN I WAS MADE HOMELESS, UH, I THINK YOU REALLY JUST CAN'T UNDERSTAND.

I THINK YOU, IT'S JUST VERY HARD FOR SOMEONE WHO HASN'T BEEN THROUGH IT TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO BE IN A DEPARTMENT ONE DAY AND BE OUT ON THE STREETS WITH NO RESOURCES THE NEXT DAY.

AND YOU MAY MEET SOMEBODY ON THE STREET AND THEY SAY, OH, WELL, YOU CAN GO DOWNTOWN AND YOU CAN ALWAYS GET SOMETHING TO EAT DOWNTOWN, BUT I DON'T HAVE MONEY TO GET DOWNTOWN TWO 50 FOR A DAY PASS.

UH, THEY MAY SAY YOU CAN GO SEE SUCH AND SUCH A PLACE AND GET A SHOWER OR GO TO YOUR DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT.

THERE'S A RESOURCE CENTER DOWNTOWN, BUT HOW DO YOU GET THERE? AND THAT'S WHAT I WANT TO SAY TO YOU IS THAT THIS TRANSPORTATION ISSUE IS REALLY, REALLY CRITICAL TO THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY.

THAT'S WHY WE GOT OVER A THOUSAND SIGNATURES ON OUR PETITION.

UM, AND, UH, WE WANT TO OFFER A REAL PATH OUT OF THAT SITUATION, TO THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY AND, UH, MS. WATKINS AT OUR MEETING, SHE AGREED WITH US THAT, UH, METRO'S COSTS ARE PRETTY MUCH

[00:15:01]

FIXED AS FAR AS ROLLING THEIR BUSES.

UM, A FEW MORE RIDERS DON'T COST ANY EXTRA, AND SHE AGREED WITH US THAT, UH, METRO DOESN'T NEED TO LOOK TO THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY FOR INCOME, WHICH I THINK IS GREAT.

I THINK THAT'S A GREAT THAT WE CAN COME TOGETHER THAT WAY.

WHAT WE NEED NOW IS A PLAN TO GET TO THAT, TO WHERE THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY HAS A WAY TO RIDE ALL THE YEAR ROUND.

OKAY.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR COMING DOWN TO SPEAK TO US TODAY.

THANK YOU.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU.

I APPRECIATE IT.

LET'S SEE.

UM, UH, THE NAME IS TINY, TINY, AND SHE, OKAY.

HI, GOOD MORNING OR AFTERNOON.

UM, MY NAME IS PAULETTE SOLTANI.

THANK YOU ALL FOR HAVING ME.

I'M THE DIRECTOR OF ORGANIZING AT THE TEXAS HARM REDUCTION ALLIANCE.

UH, OUR ORGANIZATION IS ORGANIZING, UM, WE HAVE AN ORGANIZING PROJECT AND WE'RE BUILDING POWER AMONG LOW INCOME PEOPLE IMPACTED BY THE WAR ON DRUGS, HOMELESSNESS AND MASS INCARCERATION.

WE'VE BEEN ORGANIZING AROUND THIS ISSUE FOR THE PAST COUPLE OF MONTHS.

AND I WAS BARRY MENTIONED, WE DELIVERED A PETITION OF OVER A THOUSAND SIGNATURES LAST WEEK AT A RALLY OUTSIDE OF THIS BUILDING.

WE ALSO PRESENTED AT THE JULY BOARD MEETING WHERE WE REQUESTED THAT CAP, METRO PROVIDE FREE FARES.

UM, DURING THE MONTHS OF AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER, WE WANTED TO THANK YOU ALL FOR REALLY TAKING ACTION ON THAT STEP AND HELPING PROTECT PEOPLE DURING THESE REALLY EXTREME TEMPERATURES.

WE REALLY, REALLY HOPE THAT NOW CAP, METRO GOES A STEP FURTHER TO DO WHAT'S RIGHT FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN THE CITY, WHICH IS TO PROVIDE FREE FARES FOR FOLKS.

UM, I MENTIONED THIS DURING THE LAST BOARD MEETING, BUT I WANTED TO READ SOME QUOTES OF WHAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING AT OUR ORGANIZING MEETINGS, UM, IN REGARDS TO GETTING FREE FARE OR IN REGARDS TO BUS FAIR PERIOD.

THEY SAY, IF YOU AREN'T WELL CONNECTED, YOU DON'T KNOW WHERE OR HOW TO GET A BUS PASS.

PEOPLE START TO FORM LINES AT THE CHURCHES AROUND FOUR OR 5:00 AM LINES BECOME REALLY TENSE.

PEOPLE FIGHT AND CUT LINES BECAUSE EVERYONE KNOWS THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH PASSES TO GO AROUND.

SOMETIMES YOU WALK AWAY EMPTY HANDED.

IF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO TRINITY CENTER ON WEDNESDAY MORNINGS, I REALLY ENCOURAGE SOME OF THE BOARD MEMBERS HERE TO CHECK THAT OUT, UM, TO CHECK OUT THE LINE THAT PEOPLE START MAKING AT FOUR OR FIVE IN THE MORNING, HAVE A HUNDRED PEOPLE EASILY JUST WAITING TO GET 50 PASSES, DISTRIBUTED 50 PEOPLE OR MORE ARE TURNED AWAY.

UM, IT'S JUST, IT'S, IT'S NOT WHAT OUR CITY SHOULD, SHOULD.

OUR CITY SHOULD NOT BE FUNCTIONING THIS WAY.

AND OUR TRANS AGENCY REALLY NEEDS TO STEP UP TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE DO NEVER HAVE TO STAND IN THESE LINES TO GET, TO GET BUS FARE.

UM, IT'S DEEPLY HUMILIATING.

IT'S, IT'S JUST NOT, IT'S A MORAL IT'S INHUMANE.

IT'S ALL OF THOSE WORDS THAT, THAT COME TO MIND WHEN PEOPLE ARE NOT GETTING THE THINGS THAT THEY NEED.

UM, WE WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST THAT THE BOARD, UM, REQUEST THAT CAP, METRO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY AND PRESENT A PROPOSAL FOR FREE FAIRS AT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING, WHICH IS MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26TH.

WE, WE REALLY HAVE BEEN WORKING, UH, IN ALIGNMENT AND LIKE CLOSELY WITH CAP METRO.

SO WE HOPE THAT THERE ARE CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF SEPTEMBER SO THAT WE CAN HAVE A PROPOSAL FOR A PROGRAM BY THE NEXT BOARD MEETING.

AND AGAIN, THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

IT'S NOT A QUESTION OF MONEY.

THIS IS REALLY A QUESTION OF POLITICAL WILL TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR PEOPLE WHO NEED THIS IN THIS CITY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR PRESENTING.

AND IT LOOKS LIKE WE HAVE OUR, UM, WE HAVE OUR INTERNET ACCESS GOING, SO I WILL CALL, UH, SASHA ROSE.

YES.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ADS ARE WORKING ON THAT WITH US AS WELL.

UM, I JUST WANT TO START OUT BY ACKNOWLEDGING THAT I DO NOT, I'VE NEVER BEEN EXPERIENCED HOMELESSNESS MYSELF.

I'VE NEVER LIVED ON HOUSE.

HOWEVER, I HAVE A FAMILY, UM, WHO HAS, SO I HAVE WITNESSED AND HAVE EXPERIENCED WHAT IT'S LIKE TO SUPPORT PEOPLE WHO ARE, UM, AND I'M THE DIRECTOR OF AUSTIN MUTUAL AID.

OUR ORGANIZATION CAME INTO PLACE BECAUSE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH RESOURCES CURRENTLY PROVIDED TO, UM, A LOT OF DIFFERENT MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES.

BUT WE DO DO AN OUTREACH ONCE A WEEK TO ABOUT 60 MEMBERS, UM, WHO ARE UNHOUSED ON THE NORTH SIDE OF TOWN AND IN THE NORTHWEST AUSTIN SIDE OF TOWN.

[00:20:01]

UM, I WANTED ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THERE ARE SOME RESOURCES IN THAT AREA, BUT IT IS FAR FAR BETWEEN EVERYBODY.

AND SO SOMETHING I'VE HEARD FROM THE FOLKS WHO ARE IN THE SIDE OF TOWN IS THAT THEY ARE UNABLE TO ACCESS A LOT OF RESOURCES BECAUSE EVERYTHING IS SO FAR APART.

ANOTHER THING I'VE HEARD AND WE SEE THESE PEOPLE ONCE A WEEK, IS THAT THEY'RE BEING TURNED AWAY FROM THESE BUS SERVICES.

SO EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE BUS PASSES SOMETIMES ARE BEING TURNED AWAY BECAUSE THEY'RE BRINGING THEIR BIKE OR THEY'RE BRINGING THEIR TRAILER, OR THEY'RE BRINGING, THEY'RE BRINGING THINGS THAT THEY NEED IN ORDER TO SURVIVE WITH THEM.

AND THEY'RE BEING TOLD THAT THEY CAN'T.

SO I THINK THAT ADDITIONAL TRAINING IS NEEDED FOR SOME OF OUR BUS DRIVERS AS WELL, BECAUSE THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO ANYONE.

UM, I WANT TO ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THAT EVERY TIME AT ALMOST EVERY CAMP THAT WE GO TO WHEN WE ARE PROVIDING FOOD AND, AND, YOU KNOW, JUST BASIC SUPPLIES WE ARE ASKED, DO YOU KNOW WHERE WE CAN GET BUS PASSES? HOW CAN WE GET PAST BUS PASSES? DO YOU ALL HAVE BUS PASSES? WE ARE BEING ASKED FOR BUS PASSES AS WELL.

WE ARE A FAIRLY SMALL ORGANIZATION.

NOW WE'RE A FAIRLY NEW ORGANIZATION NOW.

AND TO ASK FOR US TO PROVIDE BUS PASSES ON TOP OF THE SERVICES THAT WE'RE ALREADY ATTEMPTING TO PROVIDE IS, IS A BIG ASS.

WE DON'T HAVE THE FUNDS FOR THIS.

UM, WE WILL, WE HAVE FUNDRAISING IN ORDER TO PROVIDE THESE FUNDS.

AND I AGREE WITH, WHAT'S BEEN SAID BEFORE, IS THAT OUR FUNHOUSE COMMUNITY SHOULD NOT BE ASKED TO BE A WAY OF INCOME.

WE SHOULD NOT BE ASKING.

WE HEAR A LOT OF PEOPLE SAY, WELL, YOU KNOW, THERE ARE SERVICES FOR EVERYBODY, BUT THEY'RE INACCESSIBLE.

AND IF THEY ARE INACCESSIBLE TO EVERYONE, THEY ARE NOT SERVICEABLE SERVICES PROVIDED FOR EVERYONE.

SO I JUST WANT TO ADD THAT.

I DO APPRECIATE THAT THE, UM, SERVICES HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE UP INTO SEPTEMBER, AND I ENCOURAGE US TO EXTEND THAT.

AND I ALSO ENCOURAGE MORE TRAINING SO THAT WE CAN RECOGNIZE WHEN THERE IS BEING DISCRIMINATION TO OUR UNHOUSED MEMBERS AND COMMUNITY, FRIENDS, AND NEIGHBORS.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

ALRIGHT.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENTATION.

NEXT.

I WILL CALL PHIL SESSION.

FILL SESSION, MR. SESSION, ARE YOU WITH US? YES, YES, YES, YES.

THANK YOU.

UH, SO MY NAME IS, UH, AS PHIL, I AM THE COORDINATOR FOR OUR AUSTIN ATHEIST, HELPING THE HOMELESS, UH, HERE IN AUSTIN.

I WANT TO THANK THE BOARD FOR GIVING ME AN OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY TODAY AND FOR SENDING AN EMOTION, THAT PLAN TO AID THOSE TRAVELING TO A COOLING CENTER THROUGH THE END OF NEXT MONTH.

UM, AUSTIN HH IS A SMALL COMMUNITY GROUP FOCUSED ON SERVING THOSE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS AS THEY AWAIT HOUSING ASSIGNMENTS, CASE MANAGERS AND OTHER INTEGRAL SERVICES ON THE WAY TO BECOMING HOUSED FROM INITIALLY SERVING LESS THAN 20 PEOPLE PER MONTH.

WE NOW DISTRIBUTE, UM, TOILETRY SANITARY SUPPLIES, FOOD AND OTHER SPECIAL ITEMS TO AN AVERAGE OF 200 INDIVIDUALS PER MONTH IN THE CENTRAL AUSTIN AREA.

AND ALSO FURTHER AWAY AS KIND OF EXACERBATED BY THE ENFORCEMENT OF PROPERTY TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST.

UM, ONE ITEM THAT KEPT ARISING IN THESE DISTRIBUTIONS, PARTICULARLY IN 2018 WAS THE LACK OF THE ABILITY FOR PEOPLE TO MOVE AROUND EASILY, TO GET TO PLACES LIKE WORK TO NGO SERVICE PROVIDERS SCATTERED AROUND AUSTIN TO CASE MANAGERS, RECOVERY SERVICES AND OTHER ITEMS. THESE COMMUNITY EXPERIENCES LED US TO FORM A PARTNERSHIP WITH, UH, SEVERAL LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS TO PROVIDE 231 DAY PASSES EVERY THREE MONTHS UNDER OUR TRANSIT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM THAT BEGAN IN SEPTEMBER OF 2019.

THE TAP PROGRAM WILL BE THREE YEARS OLD AS OF NEXT MONTH.

AND AS OF TODAY HAS DISTRIBUTED 68,450 CUMULATIVE DAYS OF TRAVEL AT NO CHARGE TO OUR COMMUNITY.

HOWEVER, THIS IS NOT A PERMANENT SOLUTION AND IT COMES WITH SIGNIFICANT COSTS AND COMPROMISES, THE TAP PROGRAM DRAWERS, ALL OTHER SPENDING, WE HAVE EASILY SURPASSING OUR FOOD AND HYGIENE, WHICH WAS OUR PRIMARY PROGRAM.

UM, SO PASSING IT AND ACTUALLY DOUBLING IT.

AND MOST YEARS, EVEN WITH THAT, WE REGULARLY RUN OUT OF PASSES AND HAVE THE HEARTBREAKING SITUATION WHERE WE HAVE TO EXPLAIN TO THOSE REMAINING IN LINE THAT WE JUST DON'T HAVE ANYMORE BECAUSE WE JUST DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES, UM, TO HAVE MORE LET ALONE THIS ALSO DISCOUNTS PEOPLE THAT ARE UNABLE TO FIND WE'VE HAD TO GO OUT AND SEND OUT OUR VOLUNTEERS SPANNING OUT ACROSS AUSTIN TO FIND PLACES IN WOODED AREAS AND OTHER THINGS, AS I MENTIONED, UH, DUE TO THE ENFORCEMENT OF PROP B TO FIND PEOPLE, BUT THERE'S GOING TO BE SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WE DON'T FIND AND LET ALONE, WHEN WE FIND THEM HAVING A BUS PASS IS SUFFICIENT ENOUGH TO SERVE.

EVERYONE HAS BEEN A CONSTANT STRUGGLE

[00:25:01]

AND ONE THAT WE HAVEN'T BEEN ABLE TO BRIDGE, WE HAVE SEEN THE DIRECT ACCESS, THE DIRECT IMPACT THAT TRANSIT ACCESS CAN HAVE ON OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN AUSTIN, ALONG WITH THE HOPE AND EMPOWERMENT THAT IT CAN BRING TO AN INDIVIDUAL.

UH, THE SOLUTION MUST BE A SYSTEMIC ONE.

I ASKED THE BOARD TO CONTINUE WORKING WITH THE COMMUNITY TO IMPLEMENT A FREE TRANSIT ACCESS PROGRAM FOR OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS.

IT'S AN IMPORTANT MEASURE.

IT'S ONE THAT WE, AS SMALL ORGANIZATIONS CAN NOT HANDLE ON OUR OWN.

IT'S GOING TO TAKE A SYSTEMIC MOVE AND COURAGE BY EVERYONE INVOLVED TO REALLY MAKE AN IMPACT AND CHANGE THE LIVES OF OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS SURROUNDING US.

AND SO WITH THAT, THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK TODAY.

THANK YOU.

UH, SHERRY TAYLOR, SHERRY TAYLOR OH, GOOD AFTERNOON.

THE AFTERNOON.

MY NAME IS SHERRY.

TAYLOR HAPPENED TO BE A RESIDENT AT WILDFLOWER TERRACE.

UM, I DIDN'T, I, I PREPARED A PROPOSAL TO CHANGE BUS ROUTE 3 35.

I SPOKE ABOUT IT LAST MONTH IN JUNE AND MAY.

AND I WAS SO EARLIER THAT THIS PROBABLY WOULDN'T HAPPEN, BUT MY POINT IS AT, IF YOU INCREASE RIDERSHIP, THEN IT MAKES MORE MONEY FOR YOU GUYS BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT JUST GOING STRAIGHT IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD DOWN BERKMAN FOR NORTH SOUTH TRAVEL AND STRAIGHT ON BARBARA JORDAN FOR EAST WEST TRAVEL.

SO I READ THIS THEN I HOPE I DON'T RUN OUT OF TIME.

UH, THE PROPOSAL 28TH, AUGUST, 2022 CAP, METRO BUS, ROUTE 3 35, TRAVELING EAST ON 38TH, TURN NORTH TO AIRPORT, RIGHT ON ANTON TO GO INTO THE NEIGHBORHOOD ON TOM MILLER AND GO ACROSS BERKMAN.

IT'S A BEAUTIFUL PARK OVER THERE.

A LOT OF PEOPLE MISS KEEP GOING ACROSS BERKMAN TO TILLY AND TURN LEFT TO GO DOWN TO 51ST STREET.

THERE'S A BRAND NEW OPENING ON 51ST STREET, NEAR MAIN ROAD.

A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE THAT THERE'S A BIG TOWER RIGHT THERE, AND YOU GO, UH, ANY STOP SIGN.

UM, THEN YOU WOULD TURN AND GO WEST ON 51ST STREET TOWARDS HEB TO THE FIRST DRIVEWAY.

AND THAT WAY FOLKS, UH, WHO NORMALLY GO TO HANCOCK CENTER AND SOUTH MEADOWS, YOU WOULD BE ABLE TO GO TO HEB AND BE DROPPED OFF WITHIN THE MALL, WITHIN THE HEB, INSTEAD OF GOING ACROSS THE STREET AT THE BUS STOP, UH, THEN RIGHT ON FILOMENO GOES TO THE FOUR-WAY STOP CROSS BERKMAN AGAIN, UNTIL YOU GET TO THE FOUR WAY, STOP ON ALDRICH, WHICH IS THE BUSIEST DISTRICT OF MUELLER CONTINUED WEST ON PHILOMENA ALL THE WAY DOWN TO THE DELL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL.

THIS IS CRITICAL BECAUSE THE MEDICAL PERSONS THEY'RE THE PEOPLE WHO KEEP MAINTENANCE.

THE VISITORS THERE ALL WOULD BE ABLE TO RIDE THE BUS AND ELIMINATE A LOT OF TRAFFIC IN MUELLER.

UM, THERE'S MORE HERE, BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS TRYING TO GET CAP METRO TO RECOGNIZE IF WE CAN INCREASE RIDERSHIP BY HAVING BUS AVAILABILITY FROM BEST BUY ALL THE WAY TO THE NEW SKATE PARK, THEN IT WOULD BE LESS DANGEROUS FOR THE CHILDREN.

I WAS AT THE SKATE PARK LAST NIGHT.

IT'S FANTASTIC.

IT RUNS RIGHT ALONG MAIN ROAD, BUT IT'S NO STOP FOR THE MAIN ROAD BUS 20 TO LET THE KIDS OFF.

SO THE PARENTS ARE CROWDING UP THE PARKING LOT, WAITING ON THEIR KID TO FINISH, UH, RIDING.

SO ANYWAY, I WROTE IT ALL OUT AND, UH, REFERENCED.

THE OTHER THING IS ABOUT THE FREE RIDE.

I SPOKE LAST MONTH ABOUT MATCHING UP THE CITY LIBRARIES WITH THE PROGRAM THAT INCREASES ATTENDANCE IN THE CITY LIBRARY CLASSES.

IF YOU GO TO THE CLASSES AND THE ATTENDANCE RECORD IS SCANNED, IT WILL FEED RIGHT INTO TRAVIS COUNTY.

AND IT WOULD GIVE RIDERSHIP FREE RIDERSHIP TO THOSE WHO ARE ENROLLED WITH INTEGRAL CARE.

THOSE WHO ARE ENROLLED WITH, UH, SOCIAL SERVICES, BECAUSE YOU WOULD HAVE A PHOTO ID RIDER CAR, JUST LIKE I HAVE FOR REDUCED.

AND IT WOULD ENCOURAGE FOLKS TO ATTEND THE EDUCATION CLASSES THAT ARE ALREADY, UH, GOING ON IN THE LIBRARY, BUT THEY'RE NOT WELL ATTENDED BECAUSE THERE'S NO INCENTIVE TO GO IN THERE.

SO, I MEAN, I LOVE LEARNING SOMETHING.

I LOVE TO BE ENTERTAINED.

EVEN IF YOU'RE GOING TO

[00:30:01]

WATCH A MOVIE, YOU WOULD STILL GET BUS PASS CREDITS ON YOUR PHOTO ID WITH THE BUS.

SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR PRESENTATION.

NEXT IS MR. BREN PAIN.

FIRST OF ALL, BUT EVEN THE CHAIRMAN SHIRT TO VIDEO DOTTIE AND THE REST OF THE MEMBERS OF THE BOARD.

MY NAME IS BRENT PAYNE.

I'M THE ATU PRESIDENT AND BUSINESS AGENT.

I REPRESENT ALL THE OPERATORS AND MECHANICS THAT WORK FOR SUBCONTRACTOR, MV TRANSPORTATION, AND ALSO MTM.

UM, I GUESS I HAVE A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON HOW WE FIX THE HOMELESSNESS AND THE TRANSPORTATION.

MY OPERATORS.

I COME FROM A POINT OF VIEW OF SAFETY FOR MY OPERATORS.

UH, A LOT OF TIMES, SOME OF THEM, THE UNFORTUNATE INCIDENTS, WHEN YOU HAVE PEOPLE ON YOUR BUS ALL DAY IS THEY GET INTO IT WITH THE OPERATORS OR THEY GET INTO IT WITH THE OTHER PASSENGERS WHO MAY BE RIDING TO WORK ALSO, OR RIDING TO THEIR DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND HOW WE FIGURE OUT HOW TO HAVE THAT HAPPEN.

I SPOKE WITH SOME PEOPLE EARLIER TODAY.

WE NEED TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION.

I DON'T DOUBT THAT WE NEED TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION, BUT WE NEED TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION.

SOMEONE RIDING THE BUS ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, IT'S JUST NOT PALATABLE FOR ATU BECAUSE MY CONCERN IS THE SAFETY OF MY OPERATORS.

MY CONCERN IS ALSO THE SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC THAT THEY CARRY.

THESE OPERATORS HAVE TO CONCENTRATE ON DRIVING THESE UNITS AND MAKING SURE THAT THEY CAN GET PEOPLE SAFELY TO POINT A AND P AND POINT B.

SO I I'M GLAD THAT CAPITAL METRO WITH BOARD IS ENGAGING WITH THIS CONVERSATION, BUT WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE DO NOT LEAVE OUT THE SAFETY OF THE OPERATORS WHO HAVE TO DRIVE THESE UNITS AND THE CONDITIONS WE PUT THEM IN TO DRIVE THESE UNITS.

I DON'T HAVE ANYTHING ELSE.

RIGHT.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENTATION.

UH, NEXT UP WILL BE ALVIN SANDERSON.

UH, HELLO, GOOD AFTERNOON.

MY NAME'S ALVIN SANDERSON.

I WANT TO THANK THE BOARD FOR GIVING ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEAK.

I'M A HOMELESS ADVOCATE AND OUTREACH TEAM LEADER FOR TEXAS HOMELESS, UH, TEXAS OUTREACH NETWORK.

UM, I'VE, I'VE GIVEN YOU A, A COPY OF IT.

SO I, I CAN WITHIN THE THREE, THREE MINUTES, BUT I'D LIKE YOU TO LOOK AT THAT AND KNOW THAT I REPRESENT THE HOMELESS COMMUNITY HERE IN AUSTIN.

I'M ALREADY ON THE STREETS AND FIND OUT WHAT THEY NEED FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, TAKING THE BUSES OFF IN LUXURY WITH MINIMAL INCOME.

THEY OFTEN FIND THEMSELVES WITHOUT THE MONEY NEEDED TO PAY THE BUS FARE, TO GET MONEY, TO GET FOOD, MEDICAL TREATMENT OR SHELTER.

THEY MUST WALK LONG DISTANCE OFFICES SOON, OFTEN IN HARSH RATE WEATHER CONDITION WITH THEIR BELONGING.

FOLLOWING THE NOW COMMON LOGIC OF HOUSING.

FIRST, WE WISH TO EMPHASIZE THE NEED FOR BUS PASSES AS PART OF THE EFFORT TO END CHRONIC HOMELESSNESS.

AS WE CONSIDER DIFFERENT POLICIES TO ADDRESS HOMELESSNESS, WE URGE YOU TO CONSIDER THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SUBSIDIZED BEST PASSAGE THAT WOULD PROVIDE PHYSICAL MOBILITY.

IN A CHANCE OF SOCIAL MOBILITY BUS PASTOR WOULD MAKE IT EASIER FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF THEMSELVES.

BY OBTAINING THE MEDICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE.

THEY NEED PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS, SUFFER FROM PHYSICAL AND MENTAL ILLNESS AT HIGHER RATES THAN THE GENERAL POPULATION, GETTING THE HELP THEY NEED.

SEEING THE DOCTOR, SOCIAL WORKER, GETTING MEDICINE TO THE SEEDLING, CHALLENGING WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO MOVE AROUND FREELY, UNABLE TO USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

THEY MAY DROPPED OUT OF SEEKING THE HELP THEY NEED.

THEREFORE, HAVING A BUS PASS IS ONE LESS CYCLICAL AND GETTING BACK ON THEIR FEET, MOVING AROUND FREELY ALSO PROMOTES BETTER ACCESS TO FOOD, CLOTHING, AND SOCIAL BENEFIT.

FOOD PANTRIES AND CHARITIES ARE SPREAD AROUND THE CITY AND ACCESSING THEM OFTEN REQUIRES WALKING LONG DISTANCES.

THE MORE THE HOMELESS POPULATION IS SPREAD AROUND THE CITY, WHICH IS FOLLOWING THE KEMP AND BAN THE HARDER IT IS FOR THEM TO GET DOWNTOWN.

A BRUSHED PAST CAN ALSO ENABLE PEOPLE TO FIND SAFER SLEEPING SPOTS ALONG THE SAME LINE WITHOUT SUBSTAIN ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

PEOPLE OFTEN PREFER TO STAY IN FAMILIAR PLACES, EVEN WHEN THEY'RE NOT SAFE, WALKING LONG DISTANCE TO FIND GOOD AND SAFE SPOTS IS RISKIER AND ATTACHING.

SO PEOPLE AND WOMEN IN PARTICULAR OFTEN PREFER TO REMAIN, PUT, UH, GETTING TO THESE SAFE SPOTS IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE PEOPLE

[00:35:01]

SUFFERED.

THEY'D GO THROUGH A LOT OF HARM, A LOT OF SALT, AND THEY NEED TO BE SHAPED.

UH, ALSO ADDITIONALLY BUS PASSES HELP PEOPLE MAINTAIN CONTACT WITH FAMILIES AND FANS IN ORDER TO GET IT ON SLEEP ON A COUCH, UH, MORE THAN THE PHYSICAL LOSS OF A DWELLING PLACE.

HOMELESSNESS OFTEN ENTAILS A LOSS, A PERSONAL TIED WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS BUS PASSES CAN MAKE IT EASIER TO KEEP IN TOUCH, MAINTAIN CONTACT, AND GET HELP FROM THE PERSONAL NECK.

LASTLY, AT BUS PASSES NEEDED FOR STEADY EMPLOYMENT.

HAVING THE BUS PASSION ENABLES ONE TO GET TO WORK EVEN BEFORE THE PAYCHECK ARRIVED AND ENABLES ONE TO GET TO THE JOB INTERVIEW AND SHAKE A JOB NEEDED THIS, TO SAY THAT THESE BARRIERS ARE INSURMOUNTABLE FOR THOSE SUFFERING FROM DISABILITY.

AND I THANK FOR THE OPPORTUNITY AND, UH, I THANK YOU FOR GIVING THE PRIEBUS RIDES TO SEPTEMBER 30TH HAS, UH, PROMOTED BY, UH, A HARM REDUCTION ALLIANCE.

AND THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR CHRIS BAKER, CHRIS BAKER.

HEY GUYS.

UM, IT'S PROBABLY NO BIG SURPRISE TO MOST OF YOU, UM, WHERE I STAND ON THIS.

UM, I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME HERE AND TALK ABOUT IT BRIEFLY.

I JUST WANT TO KIND OF ASK A QUESTION, I GUESS, MAYBE FOR YOU GUYS AND IS, IS THERE ANYBODY HERE WHO THINKS THAT INCREASING ACCESS TO TRANSPORTATION FOR PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IS A BAD IDEA, ANYBODY? OKAY.

SO I THINK THAT'S A GOOD STARTING POINT.

SO WE ALL AGREE THAT THIS IS NOT A BAD IDEA.

SO THE QUESTION IS REALLY HOW DO WE DO IT AND HOW ARE WE DOING IT NOW, HOW WE'RE DOING IT NOW IS THROUGH THE TRANSPORTATION EMPOWERMENT FUND, WHICH IS KIND OF A MESS, UH, ON THE FRONT LINES.

YOU KNOW, WE GET THESE BUS PASSES THAT COME IN WELL, I'M HERE IN THIS LIKE BEAUTIFUL BUILDING.

THIS IS NOT LIKE OUR OFFICES.

OUR OFFICES ARE LIKE HELD TOGETHER WITH LIKE DUCT TAPE AND OUR FURNITURE IS FALLING APART AND WE CAN BARELY KEEP THE LIGHTS ON.

AND MEANWHILE, WE'RE RUNNING AROUND FUNDRAISING TO BUY THESE BUS PASSES, THE TRANSIT EMPOWERMENT FUND, WHICH THEN THEY GET A LIMITED NUMBER OF, AND THEN ARE DISTRIBUTED TO PEOPLE BASED ON WHO'S THERE FIRST, A LOT OF THE TIME SO THAT THESE LIKE, AND ALL OF THIS, LIKE APPARATUS FOR DISTRICT DISTRICT DISTRIBUTING THESE BUS PASSES REALLY SORT OF LIKE GOES AGAINST THESE, YOU KNOW, THIS, THIS IDEA OF EQUITY BECAUSE IT'S USUALLY THE MOST ABLE-BODIED PEOPLE, UH, USUALLY THE LEAST MARGINALIZED PEOPLE WHO ARE THE FIRST IN LINES TO GET THESE BUS PASSES.

AND SO LOOK, HERE'S THE THING, RIGHT? WE'RE DOING IT.

AND I HEAR THE CONCERNS ABOUT SAFETY, BUT LOOK, OUR FRIENDS THAT ARE LIVING ON THE STREETS ARE ALREADY ON THE BUS.

WE'RE NOT CHANGING ANYTHING.

WE'RE JUST SORT OF TAKING THIS, THIS, UM, THIS DISTRIBUTION NETWORK, WHICH HAS SPREAD, WHICH IS SPREAD OUT THROUGH ALL THESE LIKE SMALL NON-PROFITS AND SMALL COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS AND CENTRALIZING IT.

THAT'S KIND OF THE IDEA.

SO THE, THE QUESTION IS HOW DO WE DO IT? AND I THINK WHAT YOU'VE GOT HERE IS A BIG GROUP OF PEOPLE WHO ARE ALL WILLING TO PUT IN THE WORK TO DO IT.

AS LONG AS THE BOARD IS WILLING TO ENCOURAGE CAP METRO TO GO AHEAD AND WORK WITH US TO DO IT.

EMILY STEELS OVER HERE CAME UP AND TALKED FIRST, WE'VE BEEN WORKING ON WHEN WE FIRST STARTED THIS CONVERSATION FIVE YEARS AGO, AND WE'VE BEEN HAVING THIS CONVERSATION FOR FIVE.

AND FOR FIVE YEARS, WE KEEP GETTING THESE, THESE LITTLE PACKAGES OF BUS PASSES AND, AND TRYING TO LIKE DOLE THEM OUT IN SOME WAY THAT'S EQUITABLE.

AND SO IT'S NOT ABOUT, IT'S NOT NECESSARILY ONLY ABOUT GETTING PEOPLE ON THE BUS.

IT'S ABOUT HAVING ABOUT PUTTING THE, THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE SORT OF DISTRIBUTION EQUITABLY OF, UH, THIS, THIS RESOURCE TO ALL PEOPLE HERE IN AUSTIN.

SO THAT'S ALL I GOT.

THANK YOU GUYS FOR, UM, EVERYTHING YOU'VE DONE SO FAR.

AND FOR A LOT OF YOU GUYS, I KNOW THAT YOU'VE DONE A LOT OF WORK ON THIS ISSUE.

UM, SO WE APPRECIATE IT AND WE'LL HOLD ON ONE SECOND.

WE'VE GOT A BOARD, CHRIS, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR WORK AT THE ESPERANZA COMMUNITY AND REALLY APPRECIATE THAT AND ALL THAT YOU DO IN THE COMMUNITY.

SO, UM, JUST, JUST A QUICK QUESTION AND I COULD HAVE ASKED EMILY THIS AND OTHERS THIS, BUT DO YOU FIND YOURSELF IN TERMS OF YOU FIND YOURSELF PAYING FOR BUS PASSES, THAT YOU CAN DISTRIBUTE IT AT THE ESPERANZA COMMUNITY? OR GIVE ME A LITTLE BIT MORE DETAIL ABOUT WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO AS THE ESPERANZA COMMUNITY? YEAH, SO WE PAY FOR THEM.

WE PAY, WE PAY A REDUCED AMOUNT.

UM, I THINK IT'S ABOUT, I COULD BE WRONG.

I THINK IT'S ABOUT 60% OF THE, OF THE MARKET VALUE FOR THE, FOR THE BUS PASSES.

SO WE GET THEM IN BULK, UH, THROUGH THE TRANSIT EMPOWERMENT FUND.

WE, UH, THEY, THEY COME, THEY COME TO US, UH, WITH SORT OF PAPERWORK THAT HAS TO BE FILLED OUT.

SO THE PAPERWORK GETS FILLED OUT BASED ON LIKE, WHO GETS THE,

[00:40:01]

WHO GETS THE BUS PASS.

UM, AND SO THERE'S LIKE A LOT OF ADMINISTRATIVE BANDWIDTH THAT GOES INTO THAT GOES, THAT GOES INTO IT.

SO WE GET THE BUS PASSES WHEN AFTER THE BUS PATCHES HAS BEEN DISTRIBUTED, THAT PAPERWORK IS THEN RETURNED TO, UH, THE TRANSMIT EMPOWERMENT FUND FOR US.

WE ACTUALLY, THERE'S, THERE'S ANOTHER STEP OF COMPLICATION FOR US, WHICH I WON'T EVEN GET INTO, BUT OKAY.

THANK YOU.

YOU BET.

OKAY.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENTATION.

I JUST PRESS CHRIS.

SORRY.

I JUST WANT TO SAY, DID YOU SAY YOU ALL HAVE BEEN AT THIS NOW FOR FIVE YEARS? YEAH.

YEAH.

WE'VE THE CONGRESS IS SO WE, WE WERE PART OF SOMETHING CALLED THE COMMUNITY WIDE OUTREACH WORK GROUP THROUGH THE, THROUGH THE COC, WHICH IS LIKE THE, UH, THE ORGANIZING BODY FOR THE HOMELESS RESPONSE SYSTEM HERE IN AUSTIN.

AND SO WE DECIDED DUDE, FIVE YEARS AGO THAT THE THING THAT WE, WE DECIDED TO FORM A WORK GROUP FOR ADVOCACY, EVERYBODY IN THAT GROUP AGREED THAT ONE PIECE OF LOW-HANGING FRUIT THAT WE COULD ADVOCATE FOR WAS THIS WAS FOR, FOR, YOU KNOW, JUST EQUITABLE FREE ACCESS TO, UH, TO, TO BUS FARES FOR EVERYBODY.

BECAUSE LOOK AT THE END OF THE DAY, RIGHT? LIKE WE, WE, WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS GET EVERYBODY INTO HOUSING, BUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE ISN'T THERE, THE HOUSING ISN'T THERE, THE STICKS AND BRICKS AREN'T THERE, BUT THE BUSES ARE ALREADY THERE.

YOU KNOW, LIKE THIS IS, THIS SEEMS LIKE IT SHOULD BE A RELATIVELY EASY LIFT.

UM, BUT HERE WE ARE NOW, UM, FIVE YEARS LATER STILL TALKING ABOUT IT.

AND WELL, I, YOU KNOW, I, I DO WANT TO THANK YOU FOR THIS.

CAUSE I'VE BEEN ON THE BOARD FOR FOUR YEARS WHEN YOU ALL SHOWED UP LAST MONTH, THIS WAS THE FIRST I'D HEARD OF IT, THAT THIS WAS A PROBLEM.

AND I, THIS IS IMPORTANT TO ME BECAUSE WE CAN'T, AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, I CAN'T ADDRESS ANYTHING THAT I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT.

SO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING AND LETTING US LETTING US KNOW ABOUT THIS.

BECAUSE AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED, IT'S IMPORTANT TO MAKE IT BETTER SO THAT WE, IF WE KNOW THERE'S A PROBLEM, WE CAN WORK TO TRY TO MAKE IT BETTER.

I DIDN'T REALIZE THAT THIS WAS AN ISSUE FOR FIVE YEARS.

SO I LED TO, YEAH, THAT'S WHEN WE ALL STARTED.

SORRY.

OKAY.

LET'S START TALKING ABOUT AGAIN, THANK YOU FOR, FOR BRINGING THIS TO OUR ATTENTION LIKE THIS.

AND I APPRECIATE THE TIME Y'ALL HAVE TAKEN AND BUREAUCRATS, YOU KNOW, THEY LOVE IT.

THEY LOVE, THEY LOVE SAYING NO.

WELL, SPEAKING OF BUREAUCRACY, P GONZALEZ.

HE SAYS P GONZALES.

GOOD DAY.

YEAH.

MY NAME IS BY DENVER.

I'M A TRISH VOLUNTEER AND BEEN HOMELESS HERE IN AUSTIN FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS.

I'M ALSO AN ASPIRING ARTISTS AND AN ENTREPRENEUR.

AND SOMETIMES I'M ALSO ON PROBATION.

AND SOMETIMES, UH, I DON'T HAVE, UH, OPPORTUNITIES TO GO TO WORK BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE MONEY OR A BUS PASS.

AND SOMETIMES I DON'T GET BUS PASSES FROM MY PO, BUT SHE EXPECTS US TO BE THERE OR A WARRANT IS GOING OUT FOR MY ARREST.

AND THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED BEFORE, UM, SOMEONE WHO IS STARTING A BUSINESS, IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT, IT'S THE CHANCE OF YOUR BUSINESS BEING, UH, CREATED IS ACTUALLY A MORE LIKELY, SO HELPING, I GUESS, NOT JUST THE OUTHOUSE COMMUNITY, JUST THE LOWER CLASS IN GENERAL, MOVE AROUND, GET AROUND.

WHAT KIND OF, I THINK WILL BENEFIT THEM IN MAYBE CREATING MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHERS THAN THEMSELVES.

YEAH.

THAT'S HOW I GOT.

THERE YOU GO.

THANK YOU.

I THINK IT IS STEVEN POTTER, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

MY NAME IS STEVEN POTTER.

I HAVE BEEN AN ADVOCATE FOR THE HOMELESS FOR A NUMBER OF YEARS.

I WEAR A LOT OF HATS AS A STAFF MEMBER OF THE CITY'S STORAGE FOR THE HOMELESS.

I SEE THIS NEED IN THE FACES OF ALL MY CLIENTS AS A MEMBER OF AUSTIN'S HOMELESSNESS ADVISORY COUNCIL, I ADVISE CITY LEADERS ON POLICIES AND PROGRAMS THAT IMPACT THE HOMELESS.

I'VE HEARD.

YOU'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE WHY I'D LIKE TO OFFER A FEW SUGGESTIONS ABOUT THE, HOW TO REACH OUT TO DIANA GRAY AND THE HOMELESS STRATEGY OFFICE

[00:45:01]

WORK WITH HER WORK WITH REACH OUT TO THE I'M SORRY, SEEK ADVICE AND INPUT FROM THE HOMELESSNESS ADVISORY COUNCIL UNDER DOC HAVE IDEATION SESSIONS WITH THE HOMELESS WORK WITH THE OFFICE OF DESIGN AND DELIVERY BUILD IN SOME ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY, SAFETY RESPONSIBILITY, BUT MOST OF ALL MAKE AN INVESTMENT IN THE AUSTINITES WHO WERE IN THE MOST NEED.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

ALICIA TORRES.

UH, I CAN'T BE HERE.

UH, HELLO.

MY NAME IS .

UH, AND I WORK WITH GRASSROOTS LEADERSHIP OR LOCAL NONPROFIT THAT WORKS TO END MASS INCARCERATION.

UM, I'LL START OFF BY THANKING THIS BOARD, UM, FOR THE TIME IT HAS GRANTED US, THE COMMUNITY THAT BOTH YOUTH AND PAY FOR CAP METRO SERVICES, UH, FOR THE TIME TO SPEAK TODAY.

UM, I'M HERE TODAY TO REQUEST THAT CAP METRO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY AND DIRECTLY IMPACTED STAKEHOLDERS AND PRESENT A PROPOSAL ON A FREE, UH, TO PRESENT A PROPOSAL ON A FREE FARES PROGRAM FOR OUR ON HOUSE.

AUSTINITES AT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING, WHICH IS COMING UP MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26TH.

SO WE CAN MARK IT IN OUR CALENDARS, UM, AS AN ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS TO END, UM, THAT WE'RE SUING, UH, AS AN ORGANIZATION, SORRY, THAT WORKS TOO.

THAT WORKS WITH FOLKS THAT ARE INCARCERATED THEIR FAMILIES, AND RECENTLY RELEASED FOLKS.

UM, WE OFTEN WITNESS, UM, WE ARE ALSO OFTEN WITNESS, UH, TO WHEN THE PERCEIVED SOCIAL FABRIC OF HELP SERVICES FAIL AND LEAVE THIS FOLKS ON THEIR OWN MANY TIMES.

WE ALSO WITNESSED HOW RECENTLY RELEASED HOW HE RECENTLY RELEASED PERSON DESPITE ALL OF THEIR BEST EFFORTS END UP IN SITUATIONS THAT LEAVE THEM UNHOUSED, MAKING THEIR JOURNEY TO REINTEGRATE BACK INTO YOUR COMMUNITY.

THAT MUCH HARDER WHEN ONE IS RELEASED, YOU STILL HAVE OBLIGATIONS LIKE PAROLE AS SOMEONE BEFORE ME MENTIONED, UM, PAROLE, CHICKEN CHECK, AND SPECIFICALLY THAT IF MISSED CAN BE THE END OF YOUR FREEDOM, IF YOU'RE A RECENTLY RELEASED, YOU'RE OFTEN STRUGGLING TO FIND WORK AND WHATEVER PROFIT YOU ARE MAKING IS SOMETHING GOING TO TRY AND SECURE HOUSING, WHICH IN AN OVERGROWING GENTRIFIED CITY LIKE OURS IS A CONSTANT UPHILL BATTLE.

LEAVING TRANSPORTATION COSTS, FEELING LIKE A LOT OF LUXURY COSTS TO CONSIDER COST TO CONSIDER THIS SHOULD BE DISH SHOULD NOT BE THE CASE.

OUR UNHOUSED COMMUNITY DESERVES BETTER.

WE AS A CITY WITH A STORE PLUS AS SURPLUS CAP, METRO BUDGET THIS YEAR HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO ENSURE THE BEST QUALITY OF LIFE FOR ALL OF OUR COMMUNITY.

YES, THAT INCLUDES OUR OWN HOUSE COMMUNITY.

THAT IS WHY TODAY WE'RE ASKING THE CAP, METRO WORK WITH THE COMMUNITY AND DIRECTLY IMPACTED STAKEHOLDERS TO WORK AND CREATE A 10% A PROPOSAL ON F UH, FOR A FREE FARES PROGRAM FOR ON HOUSE.

AUSTINITES AT THE NEXT BOARD MEETING.

THE TIME IS NOW WE'VE BEEN AT THIS FOR FIVE YEARS, AS SOMEBODY ELSE HAS MENTIONED, OUR COMMUNITY IS NOT ONLY DEMANDING THIS, BUT AS YOU ALL HAVE ALL WITNESS, IT'S ALSO SUPPORTING THIS AND WILLING TO PUT IN THE WORK THEY HAVE.

SO PRIOR TO THIS BEING A CONVERSATION THEY HAVE, SO FOR THE LAST YEAR, THEY'RE SHOWING UP IN AN UNCONVENIENT PLACE.

UNCONVENIENT TIME WHEN PEOPLE ARE WORKING TO DEMONSTRATE TO YOU ALL THAT THE TIME IS NOW AND TO CREATE, UH, IF WE SHARE FREE BUS, A FAIR PROGRAM, THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

ALRIGHT.

THANK YOU FOR PRESENTING.

AND PAUL MULLIN IS NEXT PALM ISLAND.

UM, ALRIGHT, THANK YOU.

UM, I'VE BEEN WORKING WITH THE HOMELESS FOR OVER 50 YEARS NOW.

UH, PART-TIME OF COURSE, IN DIFFERENT CITIES ACROSS THE WORLD.

UH, I ALSO FIND MYSELF A FRO BACK SITUATION BECAUSE MY ORIGINAL CAREER WAS AS A TRANSPORT ECONOMIST WHEN I WAS A CONSULTANT ON FAST POLICY, 2 30, 3 DIFFERENT MAJOR BUS OPERATORS IN EUROPE.

SO I KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE SUBJECT.

THEY, UH, FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, KNOWING THE HOMELESS PEOPLE WE SERVE AT SUNRISE, THESE ARE PEOPLE WHOSE MEDIAN INCOME IS LESS THAN HALF OF FPL.

AND IN MANY CASES, MUCH LESS THAN HALF OF FPL.

THESE ARE

[00:50:01]

PEOPLE WHO, IF IT WEREN'T FOR BUS PASSES, DISTRIBUTED BY, UH, VARIOUS CHARITIES COULD NOT RIDE THE BUS THAT TALL YET THEY HAVE NO CAR, THEY HAVE NO HOME, THEY ARE CAMPED WHEREVER THEY CAN FIND A PLACE TO CAMP.

AND IF THEY CAN'T USE THE BUS TO GET TO THEIR MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS, THEIR SOCIAL WORK APPOINTMENTS, OR EVEN TO BE FED AT A, AT A SUNRISE, THEN THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE IS TO COME IN A CITY, COME RIGHT NEXT TO A SERVICE PROVIDER, EITHER DOWNTOWN UNDER 35 OR A LONG BEN WHITE THEY'RE THERE BECAUSE THEY CAN'T AFFORD A BUS TO GET THERE.

AND THIS IS ONE REASON WHY THE CITY ARE HAVING SO LITTLE SUCCESS IN CLARE AND HOMELESS CAMPS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO ALTERNATIVE, BUT TO COME BACK TO THE LOCATIONS, YOU JUST CLEARED THEM OUT FROM.

UH, SO WE REALLY NEED TO HELP THESE PEOPLE OUT.

THEY ARE THE POOREST OF THE POOR IN, IN AUSTIN.

THEY, UH, VERY MUCH MINORITIES, THE BLACK ON HISPANIC, UH, UH, REPRESENT AMONGST THE HOMELESS ABOUT TWICE THE AVERAGE FOR THE AUSTIN METRO AS A WHOLE.

UH, THEY HAVEN'T GOTTEN THE LATEST FIGURES HEIGHTENS BECAUSE THEY'RE A LITTLE BIT BEHIND IT, BUT, UH, UH, MOST OF THEM HAVE A WELL ON THE HALF FAMILY POVERTY LEVEL, THEY WON'T BE HELPED BY DISCOUNTS AS THE TEAM.

YOUR 20% DISCOUNT FOR EQUIFAX IS JUST TOTALLY USELESS TO THEM.

SO THEY NEED FREE FAST IN ORDER TO GET TO THE PLACE THEY NEED TO GO AND TO GET THE HELP THE MEDIC MEDICINE, THEIR HOUSING, HEALTH, EVEN BASICS OF FOOD.

THANK YOU.

UM, THANK YOU.

AND THE NEXT PERSON IS CHRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ.

HELLO, GOOD AFTERNOON.

UH, MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN RODRIGUEZ AND I'M THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AT TRINITY CENTER.

UH, WE HAVE BEEN A LONG PARTNERS WITH THE TRANSIT EMPOWERMENT FUND FOR MANY YEARS.

UM, AND I'LL SAY AS SOMEBODY PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, UM, WE HAVE A PROCESS THAT HAPPENS EVERY WEDNESDAY OR IN PAST YEARS, OTHER DAYS OF THE WEEK.

AND, UH, THAT WOULD TYPICALLY INCLUDE ABOUT 50 TO 100, UH, NEIGHBORS, UH, OF OURS, WHO, WHO ARE STANDING OUTSIDE IN LINE, UH, WAITING FOR US TO DISTRIBUTE OUR BUS PASSES THAT WE HAVE AVAILABLE.

UH, CURRENTLY WE HAVE ABOUT, UH, 50 THAT WE CAN GIVE OUT ON A GIVEN WEEK.

UM, AND THAT BEING SAID, WHAT HAPPENS TO THE OTHER, YOU KNOW, 30 TO OTHER 50 PEOPLE THAT ARE WAITING IN LINE, UH, HOPING THAT MAYBE WE'LL HAVE SOME EXTRA.

AND SO WE HATE TURNING PEOPLE AWAY.

IT'S NOT FUN TO HAVE TO SAY, THIS IS ALL WE CAN GIVE.

UM, BUT AS A LOT OF, UH, YOU KNOW, OUR CO LABORERS AND PEOPLE THAT DO SIMILAR WORK HAVE SAID ALREADY, UM, YOU KNOW, WE'RE JUST ONE, ONE SMALL AGENCY, UH, AMONG THE MANY THAT CAN GIVE WHAT WE CAN GIVE.

AND I THINK, UH, THE IDEA OF FREE FAIRS IS, CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING, UH, FOR A PERSON THAT'S SPECIFICALLY WITHIN THIS POPULATION OF FOLKS.

UM, YOU KNOW, IT'S FUNNY, I, I BARELY STARTED GETTING INTO THIS CONVERSATION AS, AS, UH, I USED TO HAVE AN OLD ROLE WITH, WITH MY AGENCY.

AND, UM, AS I'VE BEEN A PART OF IT HEARING A LOT OF THE SIMILAR THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON AND ALL THAT, LIKE I HAVEN'T SPOKEN TOO MUCH WITH ALL THESE FOLKS IN THE, IN THE SENSE OF THE COLLABORATION AND YET THE THEMES ARE ALL THE SAME.

AND SO I'M JUST SAYING THAT IN THE SENSE OF LIKE THIS, ISN'T A PLAN THING WHERE WE'RE ALL GONNA SAY THE SAME THING, BUT NO, THIS IS, THIS IS ACTUALLY WHAT'S HAPPENING.

AND, UH, THE IDEA OF FREE FARES CAN CHANGE LIVES.

IT CAN CHANGE LIVES.

AND I THINK, UM, YOU KNOW, YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT PEOPLE BEING ABLE TO BE MORE SELF-SUFFICIENT PEOPLE BEING ABLE TO MAKE APPOINTMENTS, TO BE ABLE TO, UH, MAKE IT TO, TO, UH, FORMS OF EMPLOYMENT, WHERE THEY CAN MAKE MONEY, WHERE THAT MONEY CAN ACCUMULATE, WHICH CAN GIVE THEM STABILITY.

YOU KNOW, THERE'S SO MANY, UH, POSITIVES TO THE IDEA OF SOMEBODY BEING ABLE TO NOT HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT GETTING FROM POINT A TO POINT B.

AND SO I THINK, UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S, YOU KNOW, THIS, THIS CONVERSATION WILL CONTINUE AND I JUST HOPE THAT, UH, JUST HEARING ALL OF OUR VOICES AND, AND HEARING, UH, THE NEED AND THE POTENTIAL BENEFITS, I THINK NOT ONLY FOR THE PEOPLE IN PARTICULAR, BUT EVEN FOR THE CITY, YOU KNOW, AND TALKING ABOUT, UH, HOMELESSNESS AND TALKING ABOUT, UH, THE POTENTIAL TO BE BETTER.

UM, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT'S THERE AND, AND I THINK IT, IT JUST TAKES SOME DECISIONS,

[00:55:01]

UH, YOU KNOW, FROM THE TOP.

SO, UH, SO I HOPE YOU WILL CONSIDER, YOU KNOW, EVERYTHING THAT'S BEING SAID HERE, AND I HOPE THIS CONVERSATION CAN CONTINUE.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU FOR ONE QUESTION FOR YOU.

SO THOSE PASSES THAT YOU DISTRIBUTE ARE THERE WEEKLY OR DAILY THEY'RE WEEKLY, SIR.

UM, WE TYPICALLY WE'LL GET, UH, WE'LL, WE'LL PURCHASE UP TO ABOUT 3000 OR SO FROM THE TRANSIT EMPOWERMENT FUND AND DON'T GET ME WRONG.

IT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT, BUT IT'S NOT IN THE SENSE OF HAVING TO RATION THEM OUT.

THAT'LL LAST US A YEAR UNTIL THE NEXT DISTRIBUTION.

AND, YOU KNOW, PART OF OUR BUDGET GOES TOWARDS BUYING THOSE PASSES, WHICH YOU'VE HEARD SOME OF MY COLLEAGUES ALREADY TALK ABOUT.

AND, UM, SO ANYWAY, YEAH, WE DO HAVE WEEKLY PASSES.

WE CAN ONLY GIVE A CERTAIN AMOUNT TO BE ABLE TO MAKE IT FOR THE WHOLE YEAR AS PART OF OUR BUDGET, BUDGETARY EXPENSE.

SO, AND THAT MONEY THAT WE PURCHASED FOR THOSE PASSES, I CAN GO TO SOMETHING ELSE THAT COULD BETTER BENEFIT THE PEOPLE THAT WE SERVE.

GO, GO TOWARDS, YOU KNOW, WE HELP WITH IDS, WE'LL HELP WITH OTHER THINGS.

AND, YOU KNOW, IT COULD JUST MEAN BETTER THINGS FOR, FOR PEOPLE RATHER THAN HAVING TO WORRY ABOUT BUS PASSES, HAVING TO PURCHASE THEM EVERY YEAR.

SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRESENTATION, MR. CONLEY, HELLO BOARD MEMBERS.

IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE AGAIN TODAY.

UM, I'M, UH, AS WELL, PAULA CONNOLLY AND THE ORGANIZING DIRECTOR AT THE AUSTIN JUSTICE COALITION, AND I'M ALSO THE CHAIR OF THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY, UH, THE BOARD FOR THE AUSTIN TRAVIS COUNTY CONTINUUM OF CARE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL.

AND IN BOTH OF THOSE SPACES, THE CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW OUR NEIGHBORS WHO ARE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS ACCESS THE BUS IS A TOP POLICY PRIORITY, WHICH IS WHY I THINK YOU'VE SEEN THIS ROOM FULL TODAY.

AND I EXPECT THIS ROOM WILL BE FULL, UM, FOR MEETINGS MOVING FORWARD UNTIL WE CAN COME UP WITH SOME BETTER ANSWER FOR THE COMMUNITY, BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT PEOPLE WANT TO TALK ABOUT.

UM, FORTUNATELY WE ACTUALLY HAVE A PATH FORWARD.

UM, WE, WE HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO WHAT CAP METRO CURRENTLY CANNOT DO, WHICH IS DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN EVERY OTHER BUS RIDER AND PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

AND THIS IS NOT A PERFECT SYSTEM, BUT WE DO HAVE THE HMES DATA.

UM, AND H M I S ALLOWS US TO TRACK A WHOLE RANGE OF DIFFERENT DATA POINTS AROUND PEOPLE IN OUR HOMELESS RESPONSE SYSTEM.

AND SO A NEW PILOT PROGRAM THAT COULD INTEGRATE HMES WITH THE APP SYSTEM, OR THAT COULD SOMEHOW BRING HMES WRITERS INTO A FREE BUS ACCESSING PROGRAM WOULD NOT ONLY BE RADICAL AND TRANSFORMATIVE.

IT WOULD PUT CAP METRO IN LEADERSHIP OF A SMALL SELECT GROUP OF METROS IN THE NATION THAT ARE WORKING ON THIS KIND OF POLICY.

RIGHT NOW, IT WILL PUT US ON THE CUTTING EDGE, BUT NOT ONLY WOULD IT DO THAT.

AND NOT ONLY OF COURSE THE, THE CORE MORAL ARGUMENT IS THAT WE SHOULD NEVER CONSIDER THE POOREST PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY AND OUR HOMELESS SERVICE PROVIDERS TO BE A SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR CAP METRO.

SO NOT ONLY WOULD IT ADDRESS THE MORAL QUESTION, IT WOULD ALSO ALLOW US TO TRACK A WHOLE BUNCH OF DATA AND OUTCOMES.

IT WOULD ALLOW US TO MEASURE, YOU KNOW, MISSED DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENTS AND APPOINTMENTS WITH CASE MANAGERS AND THE RATE OF, UH, THE SPEED IN WHICH PEOPLE ACCESS NEW HOUSING.

SO IT WOULD ALLOW US TO TELL A REALLY POWERFUL STORY IN THE DATA ABOUT THE ROLE THAT THE BUS PLAYS IN HELPING PEOPLE ACCESS OUTCOMES, HEALTH OUTCOMES, AND IT WOULD TELL OUR HEALTH SERVICE PROVIDERS A WHOLE LOT ABOUT THE ROLE THAT THE BUS PLAYS IN MAKING SURE THAT PEOPLE GET TO THEIR DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENTS.

I'M SURE THAT, UH, THE COST OF ONE MISSED DOCTOR'S APPOINTMENT IS, IS A LOT MORE THAN, THAN, YOU KNOW, MANY, MANY, MANY, MANY BUS PASSES.

SO, UM, WE HAVE, UH, AN OPPORTUNITY TO DO SOMETHING REALLY SPECIAL HERE, WHICH IS A NEW PILOT PROGRAM THAT WILL ALLOW PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS THAT ARE IN OUR HMI S DATABASE TO HAVE ACCESS TO THE BUS.

NOW, I HEAR THE SAFETY CONCERNS RAISED BY ATU.

THOSE CONCERNS ARE OURS AS WELL, BUT THE FACT IS, YOU KNOW, THOSE CONCERNS ALREADY EXIST WITH THE CURRENT SYSTEM.

WE HAVE THE CURRENT SYSTEM WE HAVE, AND THE CURRENT SYSTEM WE HAVE IMPOSES ON BUS DRIVERS.

I THINK A JOB THAT THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE TO DO, THEY SHOULDN'T HAVE TO REGULATE YOU WHO ACCESSES THE BUS.

THAT'S NOT THEIR JOB.

THEIR JOB IS TO BE OPERATORS.

SO WE HAVE A SYSTEM THAT CAN TAKE CARE OF THAT.

THEN THE BUS DRIVERS SHOULDN'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THAT, AND IT KEEPS EVERYONE SAFER, REDUCES DISCRIMINATION AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.

THE OTHER PART THAT I THINK I MUST ADDRESS, I KNOW MY TIME IS UP.

UH, I SEE, I HEAR THE BEEPER, UM, BUT IS THE RACIAL EQUITY COMPONENT TO THIS BECAUSE THE CURRENT POLICY, WHICH DEPENDS ON FIRST COME FIRST SERVE AND WHERE WE'RE DOING THIS KIND OF INSANE, 63 BUS PASSES TO YOU, 140 BUS PASSES TO YOU.

25 BUS PASSES TO YOU MODEL WITH THE CURRENT TA T IS NOT EQUITABLY DISTRIBUTED BUS PASSES

[01:00:01]

TO PEOPLE WHO ARE UNDERSERVED IN OUR COMMUNITY, HISTORICALLY UNDERSERVED AND OVERREPRESENTED IN OUR SYSTEM, BUT ALLOWING EVERYBODY IN HMES TO ACCESS A NEW BUS PILOT PROGRAM WOULD EQUITABLY DO THAT.

UM, AND IT WOULD DO THAT VERY EFFECTIVELY TOO.

SO IT WOULDN'T BE PERFECT.

THERE ARE STILL PEOPLE WHO WOULD FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS, ANY SYSTEM THAT ISN'T A UNIVERSAL SYSTEM, WE'LL HAVE PEOPLE THAT FALL THROUGH THE CRACKS, BUT IT WOULD BE A PILOT.

IT WOULD ALLOW US TO TRACK DATA AND IT WOULD ALLOW US TO MOVE FORWARD IN A REALLY MEANINGFUL WAY.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU.

YEAH, JUST A QUICK QUESTION.

AND YOU, I'M SURE YOU SAY, UH, SHARED THIS MS. WITH MS. WATKINS, BUT I'M CURIOUS ABOUT, UM, UH, OTHER COMMUNITIES.

IF YOU'VE SEEN THAT, I, I AGREE IT WOULD BE TRANSFORMATIVE TO BE ABLE TO CONNECT THE HMI SYSTEM.

AND FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH THAT, THAT'S THE CENTRAL POINT OF CONTACT IN A COMMUNITY IT'S A NATIONALLY, I GUESS, MANDATED, BUT FOR IT, BUT IT'S A CENTRAL POINT OF CONTACT IN THE COMMUNITY FOR DATA ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS.

ARE YOU AWARE OF ANY OTHER PLACES THAT WE CAN CONNECT WITH OR LOOK TO