Access Transit: Fare Relief Program

This program provides grants of up to $30,000 in TriMet fares for qualified nonprofit and community-based organizations.

Who can apply?

The program provides grants to eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that purchase TriMet fares, which are disbursed to low-income recipients. It is administered by Ride Connection, a Portland-area nonprofit that connects people to transportation options. To be eligible, organizations must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Must serve low-income clients
  • Must serve a majority of clients whose residence is in the TriMet service area
  • Must use the fares to help low-income clients access services critical to employment, housing and personal stability
  • Must be in good account standing with TriMet
  • Must agree to only distribute fares to its clients
  • Must agree to not supplant existing resources dedicated to fare purchase


To participate in the program and receive a grant, eligible organizations will be required to enter into an agreement with Ride Connection that includes administrative duties such as verification of fare recipient low-income status; intake, processing and fulfillment of orders to qualifying recipients; and record keeping and management of fare inventory, including reporting of fare disbursements as described in the agreement.

Your organization’s Fare Relief Program application will be reviewed using the following criteria:

  • Your organization must have nonprofit status or partner with a fiscal agent that has nonprofit status
  • You must serve low-income populations as described in the grant description
  • An eligibility and documentation process must be in place to ensure that recipients meet the program criteria, and you must agree to review eligibility of continuing recipients annually
  • Demonstrate that funds received through the program will not supplant existing resources used for the purchase of fares, but instead will be used to increase the amount of assistance you provide
  • You must demonstrate the ability to track fare usage and compliance with monthly reports to Ride Connection

Award amount

Grants are awarded by Ride Connection. Award amount will vary, but generally will not exceed $25,000.

Application and selection process

After your application is reviewed, TriMet and Ride Connection will issue a letter indicating the status of the request. For more information, contact Ride Connection at 503-528-1720 or email.


How to apply

1 Complete the Budget Worksheet

Download and fill out the Budget Worksheet document (Excel document):

Budget Worksheet: Fare Relief Program

2 Gather documenation

Next, make sure you have the following documents in digital format (XLS, PDF or similar):

  1. Budget Worksheet from Step 1
  2. IRS letter confirming 501(c)(3) eligibility
  3. Your organization’s annual budget for FY 2019–2020

3 Submit the form

Last, complete the online form:

Online Fare Relief Application


Want to apply by mail or email?

Download and fill out the application form and Budget Worksheet:

Application Form: Fare Relief Program

Budget Worksheet: Fare Relief Program

Send completed applications to us by email or by mail:

ATTN: Fare Relief Program
1800 SW 1st Ave. #300
Portland, Oregon 97201

Need a hard copy? Email Wes Charley