You may have noticed that we often include bus slips on our wish list. Most of our families do not have cars and rely on the bus to get them to housing and doctor appointments, child care, school, and their jobs or job interviews. Access to reliable transportation is crucial for families who are trying to rebuild their lives.
You may be wondering:
1. How much does it cost to ride the bus and why do we ask for so many bus slips?
Currently it costs our families $2.25 per adult and $1.10 per child over 6 years old to take the bus from Denver to our shelter, one-way. If a family wanted to take the light rail from nearby Oxford Station to Denver, it would cost $4.00 per adult and $2.00 per child, one- way.
That means for a mom with two children to take the bus into Denver and back from the Father Ed Judy House the total cost is $8.90 for one family for one round trip on the bus. The light rail costs more.
A monthly bus pass costs $79.00 for an adult and $39.50 for a child. A monthly pass for light rail costs $140 for an adult and $70 for a child who ride on the light rail through 3 zones (note: the Oxford Station is in the beginning of zone C, which means that in order to avoid receiving a ticket, families need to pay for a three zone fare to get into Denver. Many of our families are ticketed because they don’t have the money or don’t understand that they need to upgrade their fare when they ride the light rail.)
Temporary Aid to Needy Families (commonly called TANF – also the program that replaced ‘welfare’) will often provide families a transportation stipend to buy a bus pass, once they have completely enrolled in TANF and have begun a qualifying activity. Because of the increased need and lack of public funding, it can take months for families to get to this point in their benefit acquisition process. Families who work, receive child support or who survive on disability income do not qualify for transportation benefits.
Local public schools will also provide a bus pass to moms and children who attend public schools but who are not able to use the regular school bus system. Happily, most of our children go to local schools and are able to be picked up by the school bus here. Therefore, most families do not qualify for this option.
We get a small, and much appreciated, allotment of bus slips from Denver Human Services to help our families. In April we received enough for 16 adult round trips.
RTD also sells 10 pass booklets for $20.00 for adults/ $10.00 children (also called discount passes) on the bus and $36.00 for an adult/$18.00 for children on the three zone light rail.
Link for more pricing information: http://www.rtd-denver.com/FaresPasses.shtml
2. Where can I buy bus slips to donate to the Father Ed Judy House?
You can buy 10 pass booklets online and have them shipped directly to us. Here is the online order link: http://store.rtdpasses.com/2010ti.html
Our mailing address is Catholic Charities, Father Ed Judy House, 4024 South Newton Street, Denver CO 80236.
Many King Soopers and Safeway stores sell bus slips in ten-slip-packs at their customer service desk. (Call ahead to make sure your local store has them.) Here is a link to all the RTD sales outlet locations: http://www.rtd-denver.com/SalesOutlets.shtml