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Employment transportation for low-wage workers: A report on the Federal Transit Administration’s Job Access and Reverse Commute Program

Date Added to Library: 
Monday, April 2, 2012 - 15:44
Individual Author: 
Thakuriah (Vonu), Piyushimita
Tilahun, Nebiyou
Soot, Siim
Vassilakis, William
Cottrill, Caitlin
Blaise, Edward T.
Reference Type: 
Place Published: 
Chicago, IL
Published Date: 
Published Date (Date): 
Thursday, October 20, 2011

This report presents perceptual, mobility and employment outcomes self-reported by 573 users of 26 transportation services funded by the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program. The respondents were predominantly low income with 42 percent reporting 2008 personal incomes less than $10,000 and two-thirds of the respondents earning $20,000 or less for the same year. Nearly half the respondents have no household vehicles. Nearly three in five respondents reported that their travel has become reliable and convenient after using the services. Workers using the services have benefitted from overall reductions in the cost of commuting to work.

Close to 94 percent rated the service as being important or very important in keeping their jobs. Respondents also self-reported that the services allowed them to access a job with better pay or better working conditions, and to improve their skills. Both median hourly wages and median weekly earnings are reported to have increased since using the service for those workers who use the service to commute to work and were employed in the one-month period prior to starting use of the service. Alternative reasons may exist for these wage changes, including overall changes in the economic conditions of the locations where the services operate, as well as changes in the personal conditions of the workers that are unrelated to the JARC program in the period between starting use of the service and the time of the survey, such as graduation from job-training or school, residential relocation and so on. Because of the lack of a probability sample of services, the results cannot be generalized to the entire JARC program. Detailed case studies of the 26 services yield insights into the types of benefits that are being provided overall in these cases and the planning and programmatic environment within which they operate. (author abstract)

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