CAPITAL METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY

Cap Metro, in conjunction with the ad agency Sherry Matthews, produced the Austin Collective project, which highlights the stories of public transit riders through portraits and interviews. Liz worked as a photographer and interviewer on the project. In addition to using her photos for social media and print advertising, The Austin Collective exhibited Liz's photos from the project during the East Austin Studio Tour, where she participated in a panel discussion about the project.

 
  Chris is a brand ambassador and actor. He takes the bus downtown to work and to visit his friends who live in South Austin. His photo was taken at a couple different bus stops that are somewhat near his house.   “Acting is my biggest passion. It’s completely shifted my life. Before that, I thought I was going to be an astronomer. And then I took an astronomy class and I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this. Nope, not for me.’ It really keeps the creative soul alive in me. Especially when life gets hard, it’s the one thing I can always look to to keep me really alive.”

Chris is a brand ambassador and actor. He takes the bus downtown to work and to visit his friends who live in South Austin. His photo was taken at a couple different bus stops that are somewhat near his house.

“Acting is my biggest passion. It’s completely shifted my life. Before that, I thought I was going to be an astronomer. And then I took an astronomy class and I was like, ‘I don’t want to do this. Nope, not for me.’ It really keeps the creative soul alive in me. Especially when life gets hard, it’s the one thing I can always look to to keep me really alive.”

  Addie is a retired social worker and actor. She’s a one-car family, so when her husband has to take the car to work, she takes public transportation. She likes the safety of taking public transportation in Austin. Her photo was taken at the acting studio where she takes classes.   “I like the empathy that acting gives me. I was a social worker for over 30 years and so I interacted with all kinds of people in Brooklyn. Becoming an actor allowed me to walk in their shoes. It really raised the bar on empathy for me by becoming other characters. I’m glad I was the social worker first because even though I’m not a hot beauty, I have so much experience and becoming other characters is not so hard for me.”

Addie is a retired social worker and actor. She’s a one-car family, so when her husband has to take the car to work, she takes public transportation. She likes the safety of taking public transportation in Austin. Her photo was taken at the acting studio where she takes classes.

“I like the empathy that acting gives me. I was a social worker for over 30 years and so I interacted with all kinds of people in Brooklyn. Becoming an actor allowed me to walk in their shoes. It really raised the bar on empathy for me by becoming other characters. I’m glad I was the social worker first because even though I’m not a hot beauty, I have so much experience and becoming other characters is not so hard for me.”

 
  Abe is a semi-retired social worker who has played handball since he was a little kid. He likes that the bus allows him to be around other people who live in Austin. His photos were taken at Kocurek Elementary School and his home in South Austin.    “I don’t think about stopping, but I know there’s going to be a time. It’s probably going to be due to injury. I expect to get hurt in a way where I really can’t recover well enough to play again. I’m going to hate it. I just like the competition and the game itself. So I’ll be very unhappy. But I’ve got the gym. I can continue going to the gym and getting exercise that way. But it’ll be a sad day.”

Abe is a semi-retired social worker who has played handball since he was a little kid. He likes that the bus allows him to be around other people who live in Austin. His photos were taken at Kocurek Elementary School and his home in South Austin.

“I don’t think about stopping, but I know there’s going to be a time. It’s probably going to be due to injury. I expect to get hurt in a way where I really can’t recover well enough to play again. I’m going to hate it. I just like the competition and the game itself. So I’ll be very unhappy. But I’ve got the gym. I can continue going to the gym and getting exercise that way. But it’ll be a sad day.”

 
 
  Jason is a delivery truck driver and a father. He takes the bus to and from work. His photo was taken at Kocurek Elementary School.   “I have children. They’re my world and everything I do is for them. I’ve had employment to where I had to catch the bus two hours to work, two hours home. It wasn’t a good paying job, but I had to do it. My children are my biggest job. Just to better myself in any area.”

Jason is a delivery truck driver and a father. He takes the bus to and from work. His photo was taken at Kocurek Elementary School.

“I have children. They’re my world and everything I do is for them. I’ve had employment to where I had to catch the bus two hours to work, two hours home. It wasn’t a good paying job, but I had to do it. My children are my biggest job. Just to better myself in any area.”

 
  Corey lived in Hawaii for six years, and volunteered at the Lyon Arboretum, which is the only arboretum in a rainforest in the U.S. He hasn’t had a car in ten years. He likes being a minimalist and doesn’t want to drive in Austin traffic. His photo was taken at East Austin Succulents.   “The train bypasses all the traffic. It’s a known quantity. It’s a 13 minute trip no matter what, which is really nice as opposed to 30 or an hour. I like the ability to do stuff on the train or bus, like read or work online or do something productive as opposed to just sitting behind a wheel.”

Corey lived in Hawaii for six years, and volunteered at the Lyon Arboretum, which is the only arboretum in a rainforest in the U.S. He hasn’t had a car in ten years. He likes being a minimalist and doesn’t want to drive in Austin traffic. His photo was taken at East Austin Succulents.

“The train bypasses all the traffic. It’s a known quantity. It’s a 13 minute trip no matter what, which is really nice as opposed to 30 or an hour. I like the ability to do stuff on the train or bus, like read or work online or do something productive as opposed to just sitting behind a wheel.”

  Sarah Beth is a hairstylist at Bird’s Barbershop, and takes public transportation because it improves her quality of life. Her photo was taken at the shop where she works.    “I feel like when you’re on the bus, you can smell the roses a little bit instead of feeling like you’re rushing through things. You can actually enjoy just taking a ride and see the city in a different way.”

Sarah Beth is a hairstylist at Bird’s Barbershop, and takes public transportation because it improves her quality of life. Her photo was taken at the shop where she works.

“I feel like when you’re on the bus, you can smell the roses a little bit instead of feeling like you’re rushing through things. You can actually enjoy just taking a ride and see the city in a different way.”

  Tom is a software engineer and received his hat as a going away gift when he moved to Austin. He was taking the train from where he lives in North Austin.   “I’m taking the train into the Zilker Park area for Austin City Limits. I haven’t been to the festival before and I’m not sure how parking is going to be. And they have the train extended schedule which helps out alot with the festival.”

Tom is a software engineer and received his hat as a going away gift when he moved to Austin. He was taking the train from where he lives in North Austin.

“I’m taking the train into the Zilker Park area for Austin City Limits. I haven’t been to the festival before and I’m not sure how parking is going to be. And they have the train extended schedule which helps out alot with the festival.”

  Pedro is a climate scientist. Him and his partner are trying to share one car. He thinks it’s important to set a good example and have a smaller fingerprint on the planet by taking public transportation. His photo was taken on his way to work.   “I’m sort of a pessimistic optimist. Things are going to get bad in the next twenty or thirty years, but at some point we’re going to be able to turn it around. Once we have more solar panels, we change our lifestyles, and we use less resources. I think we can do it.”

Pedro is a climate scientist. Him and his partner are trying to share one car. He thinks it’s important to set a good example and have a smaller fingerprint on the planet by taking public transportation. His photo was taken on his way to work.

“I’m sort of a pessimistic optimist. Things are going to get bad in the next twenty or thirty years, but at some point we’re going to be able to turn it around. Once we have more solar panels, we change our lifestyles, and we use less resources. I think we can do it.”

 
  Victoria is a biology student at UT who has never gotten her license. Taking the bus to lab is really convenient for her to do. It’s also really important to her to have an easy way to get to lab since she is trying to work on her honor’s thesis and graduate early. Her photo was taken at the James Turrell Skyspace on UT campus.   “Even though my parents and I disagree on things, they’ve always told me about the importance of working hard and pursuing my goals, not giving up on things. Especially since both of them were in science related fields and that was really important because women are pretty disadvantaged in scientific fields in general. So, for both my parents to be in those fields and then tell me, ‘no, you can do this. And you’re going to go out there. And you can be a scientist if you want to be.’ That was pretty cool.”

Victoria is a biology student at UT who has never gotten her license. Taking the bus to lab is really convenient for her to do. It’s also really important to her to have an easy way to get to lab since she is trying to work on her honor’s thesis and graduate early. Her photo was taken at the James Turrell Skyspace on UT campus.

“Even though my parents and I disagree on things, they’ve always told me about the importance of working hard and pursuing my goals, not giving up on things. Especially since both of them were in science related fields and that was really important because women are pretty disadvantaged in scientific fields in general. So, for both my parents to be in those fields and then tell me, ‘no, you can do this. And you’re going to go out there. And you can be a scientist if you want to be.’ That was pretty cool.”

 
  Chalanna is an Americorps member who takes the train to work because it’s an easier commute than driving. She sometimes catches Pokemon Go characters on her commute. Her photo was taken at the Capitol.    “I grew up playing games. My dad would show us how to do all that stuff. I’m kind of a competitive person, so it’s good to be able have that level of competition that doesn’t mean I have to ruin all my friendships. Because I’m pretty intense. I really want to win.”

Chalanna is an Americorps member who takes the train to work because it’s an easier commute than driving. She sometimes catches Pokemon Go characters on her commute. Her photo was taken at the Capitol.

“I grew up playing games. My dad would show us how to do all that stuff. I’m kind of a competitive person, so it’s good to be able have that level of competition that doesn’t mean I have to ruin all my friendships. Because I’m pretty intense. I really want to win.”

  Doug is an actor, server, and pedicab driver. He primarily bikes, and so when the weather is bad, public transportation is the way he gets around. His photo was taken at the pedicab shop and on East 6th street.    “One of the things I really enjoy about riding the Metro Rapid, the 801 and the 803, is that they have free wifi. I was actually just riding it today and I was like, ‘oh, I’ll just watch the latest episode of The Voice. On Hulu for free.’ So that’s a great perk. And it’s comfy.”

Doug is an actor, server, and pedicab driver. He primarily bikes, and so when the weather is bad, public transportation is the way he gets around. His photo was taken at the pedicab shop and on East 6th street.

“One of the things I really enjoy about riding the Metro Rapid, the 801 and the 803, is that they have free wifi. I was actually just riding it today and I was like, ‘oh, I’ll just watch the latest episode of The Voice. On Hulu for free.’ So that’s a great perk. And it’s comfy.”

 
  Jo is a photographer and photo editor. She has started hula hooping because it’s a fun, easy way to help curb stress and anxiety. Her photo was taken at her house.   “If you were to drive to work, it’s another step in the daily grind. The train takes away that stress of sitting in traffic.”

Jo is a photographer and photo editor. She has started hula hooping because it’s a fun, easy way to help curb stress and anxiety. Her photo was taken at her house.

“If you were to drive to work, it’s another step in the daily grind. The train takes away that stress of sitting in traffic.”