Improve Auto Access To Pave The Way To Work

In this brief, Evelyn Blumenberg and Margy Waller argue that the strong link between car ownership and employment suggests automobile access assistance should play a key role in efforts to support low-income workers.
August 2, 2003, 7am PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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To work, low-income adults need to get to work. However, traveling to jobs is frequently easier said than done, particularly for those without access to fast, reliable transportation. In almost every city, automobiles remain the fastest and most reliable way to get around. Moreover, the continuing decentralization of population and employment has exacerbated the isolation of many low-income families who lack reliable auto access. This brief examines the serious transportation challenges facing low-income workers as they seek employment and offers specific policy responses. Central to the argument is research evidence showing that improved transportation services can enhance economic outcomes, with the most compelling evidence centered on access to automobiles. But the transportation needs of the poor vary by metropolitan area and by neighborhood; therefore, this brief provides a full menu of practical policy options, including automobile access programs, improved fixed-route transit services, and expanded paratransit and other door-to-door transit services.

Thanks to Elena Sheridan

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Published on Friday, August 1, 2003 in The Brookings Institution
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