El Paseo - The Heartbeat of the Southwest Region

Public Notice

The Southwest Area Regional Transit District (SWART) is planning to modify its fare structure and route schedule. SWART is inviting public feedback on these proposed changes. For details on the new fare rates and route schedule, please contact Sarah Hidalgo-Cook, General Manager, at [email protected] or call 830-278-4155 ext. 3009. The proposed changes are also available on the SWART website at www.paseoswart.org. The deadline to request a public hearing to provide comments is June 3, 2024, at noon. If no public hearing is requested, the new fare changes will take effect on June 4, 2024.
Run once each on the week of May 20th and May 27th.

What Sets SWART Apart from Other Transit Authorities

At SWART, we pride ourselves on our flexibility and reliability. The people of Southwest Texas depend on us to provide them with safe and affordable transportation services, and we are more than happy to oblige.


To provide safe, reliable public transportation with integrity to guide mobility enhancements in support of our communities’ quality of life to benefit local economic development.   


Be the leader in quality public transportation in the Southwest Region.


The Southwest Area Regional Transit District (SWART) has been a stand-alone transit system since June of 2012. As a political subdivision of the state of Texas, SWART is a Rural Transit District under the Texas Transportation Code, Title 6, Subtitle K, Chapter 456.

The agency serves the Middle Rio Grande Region of Texas, which includes the counties of Dimmit, Edwards, Kinney, La Salle, Maverick, Real, Uvalde, and Zavala. Some services are also provided in the county of Val Verde.

Also known as Southwest Transit, SWART has been providing rural public and medical transportation services since 1981.


SWART Announces Updated Service Rules Effective February 1st

ISWART Staff Shine with Statewide Accolades

The Southwest Area Regional Transit District (SWART) is thrilled to announce the recent honors bestowed upon two of its exceptional staff members, Sarah Hidalgo-Cook and Frank Villalobos, on March 17th during the Texas Transit Association Statewide Conference Awards Luncheon in San Antonio.

Sarah Hidalgo-Cook, serving as SWART's General Manager, has been awarded the esteemed title of the 2024 Texas State General Manager of the Year. With a career spanning over three decades, Sarah has been a driving force in revolutionizing public transit in Southwest Texas. Her visionary leadership, innovative strategies, and tireless dedication have significantly elevated the transit landscape, earning admiration and respect from peers and passengers alike. This is the 3rd time in which Sarah has been recognized by her peers for her leadership, as she was recognized as the Texas State General Manager of the Year in 2008 and 2014.

With her vast experience in non-profit and local government administration, finance, and operations, Sarah excels in grant writing, fundraising, and planning. Her expertise has facilitated SWART's successful implementation of enhancements, including technology upgrades, route development, and grants management. A dynamic public speaker, she has been a continued speaker and panelist for the Community Transportation Association of America, the Southwest Transit Association, and the Texas Transit Association, as well as showcasing her legislative expertise during Texas legislative sessions.

Beyond being a job, Sarah's career in transit reflects a life dedication to enabling those with mobility challenges. Her leadership in SWART extends beyond the services on the roads, aiming to build a legacy of individuals dedicated to carrying on the SWART mission and vision for decades to come. As a servant leader, she consistently seeks innovative ways to improve SWART's operations, always keeping the rider and rural Texas in mind.

Frank Villalobos, SWART's esteemed Safety & Training Technician, has been recognized as the 2024 Texas State Customer Service Representative of the Year. Frank's journey within SWART began in 2010 as a driver, where his exceptional service and genuine care for passengers quickly made him a favorite among riders. Recognizing his potential, SWART entrusted Frank with enhancing their training program. Since then, Frank has wholeheartedly embraced his role, implementing comprehensive training initiatives that prioritize passenger safety, comfort, and satisfaction. His commitment to excellence and unwavering dedication to providing top-

notch service has set a standard of excellence within the organization and the broader transit community.

Despite his extensive credentials, Frank's true passion lies in customer service. His commitment to others' well-being remains a priority in SWART's service provision due to Frank’s leadership as a trainer. Collaborating with the SWART Southwest Initiative for Mobility (SWIM) program, Frank works with mobility managers to ensure potential riders receive optimal services and a wealth of resources to ensure access to public transit.

Maintaining a customer-centric approach in the training program, Frank actively seeks client feedback to improve SWART services. He employs a grassroots approach, personally reaching out to riders, and even conducting home visits. His genuine care for riders reflects his dedication to SWART's mission and vision. Frank's focus on customer satisfaction is evident, reflected in SWART's impressively low complaint rate, which stands at less than 1%.

These well-deserved accolades not only underscore the exceptional talent within SWART but also highlight the organization's unwavering commitment to excellence and customer-centric service. For more information about SWART service, contact Hidalgo-Cook at 830-278-4155 or at [email protected] .

SWART Announces Updated Service Rules Effective February 1st

In a recent announcement, SWART, the leading transportation service provider, has informed its riders of important changes and reminders to its service rules, set to take effect from February 1st. The modifications are detailed in the latest edition of the SWART Passenger Rules Handbook.

The key update revolves around the type of service provided to riders based on their needs. Moving forward, door-to-door service will be exclusively available for elderly or disabled passengers, emphasizing SWART's commitment to ensuring their convenience and accessibility. On the other hand, all other riders can expect curb-to-curb service, not necessarily a change but just a reminder to riders that aims to streamline the overall transportation process.

Notably, SWART drivers will no longer be notifying riders of their arrival at their doors unless they qualify as elderly or disabled. This means riders falling outside these categories are urged to be vigilant and prepared for prompt pick-up, as the previous courteous door notification service will no longer be extended to them. In addition, SWART drivers are prohibited from entering riders' homes for any reason.

Due to a high volume of riders, promptness is now of the essence, as SWART drivers will wait for a maximum of 5 minutes for riders to board the vehicle. Failure to be ready within this stipulated time frame will result in being left and a no-show charge applied, underlining the importance of riders adhering to the service rules already in place for a smooth and efficient service experience.

In another aspect of the updated rules, SWART clarifies its stance on assistance with carrying grocery bags. This service will be exclusively provided during door-to-door service for elderly or disabled passengers. For all other riders, assistance with bags will be limited to the curb, aligning with the tailored services aimed at different rider categories. SWART regulations dictate that only six bags per rider are permitted, and items weighing over 10 pounds are not allowed.

These changes come as part of SWART's ongoing efforts to enhance the overall rider experience, ensuring a more efficient and accommodating service for all. As riders prepare for the implementation of these rules on February 1st, SWART remains committed to providing reliable and convenient transportation solutions.

For more information, contact Sarah Hidalgo-Cook, General Manager at 800-499-1617 ext. 3009 or [email protected]..

Swart Forms a Non-Profit to Support Mobility Initiatives

The Southwest Area Regional Transit District (SWART) announces the formation of the non-profit organization, Partners In Transit, Inc. which will support mobility initiatives in the Middle Rio Grande Region. The newly formed organization will be a separate entity of SWART and will operate as an educational and charitable organization in support of addressing mobility challenges and public transportation services.
As stated in its Summary of Purpose outlined in its legal filing with the Texas Secretary of State, Partners In Transit will operate in the following manner: “Allowing our rural communities to have access to mobility solutions such as public transportation will provide residents the freedom to go anywhere they choose thus, enhancing their quality of life. In addition, public transportation is an economic driver that impacts the Middle Rio Grande Region by providing access and support to retail, employment, health care, higher education, tourism, and socialization. Partners In Transit, Inc. is being established as a non-profit entity to enhance transportation services within the Middle Rio Grande Region, especially for those with special needs who depend on public transit as their lifeline to their community. Partners in Transit, Inc. will raise funds through grant awards and donations. Funds raised will be used to assist the transit stakeholders in creating new programs, funding unique transportation services, and implementing ongoing transportation options. Door to Public and specialized transportation services providers are more than the buses they operate. They have a level of care and concern for those who use the services, and as SWART has experienced, we create a safe, reliable, and affordable transportation alternative to enhance mobility. Partners In Transit, Inc. needs to ensure this type of transit service is maintained and enhanced as we move into the next phase of serving the rapidly growing population of Southwest Texas.”

The mission is to support mobility solutions for all through the promotion of collaboration, advocacy, and education. The vision is to provide mobility and self-sufficiency to residents of the Middle Rio Grande Region of Texas while supporting & enhancing community development and economic development.

According to SWART’s General Manager, Sarah Hidalgo-Cook, who will also serve as the Executive Director for Partners In Transit, Inc., “We have been working on the formation of the non-profit for almost a year with the blessing of our board of directors. SWART is a local government, and we will be the first standalone rural transit district in Texas to form a non-profit to support mobility, although there are others across the nation who have done so very successfully. We are beginning to see other rural transit districts following our lead. We are excited with the opportunities it will create for the region by being able to tap into alternative funding resources, generate matching funds to support public transit, and to enhance mobility management initiatives. ”. Cynthia Rodriguez, SWART’s Assistant General Manager, will serve as the Deputy Director, while the SWART Board of Directors will also serve as the governing board of the non-profit organization. The board members include Judge Bella Rubio (Real County), Judge Souli Shanklin (Edwards County), Judge John Paul Schuster (Kinney County), Judge Bill Mitchell (Uvalde County), Judge Cynthia Martinez-Rivera (Zavala County), Judge Leodoro Martinez III (La Salle County), Judge Martha Alicia Ponce, (Dimmit County), and Judge Ramsey English-Cantu (Maverick County).

For more information about Partners In Transit, Inc. or SWART, please contact Sarah Hidalgo-Cook, at 830-278-4155 x 3009 or [email protected].

Our Credentials

SWART is affiliated with several prominent transit organizations. These are:

  • American Public Transit Association
  • Community Transit Association of America
  • Southwest Transit Association
  • Texas Transit Association


We have transportation routes running through eight counties in the Middle Rio Grande region of Southwest Texas:

  • Dimmit
  • Edwards
  • Kinney
  • La Salle
  • Maverick
  • Real
  • Uvalde
  • Zavala

For more information on our routes, click here.

Contact Us

Are you interested in learning more about our organization and services? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today.



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