Costs and benefits of employment transportation for low-wage workers: An assessment of job access public transportation services

Thakuriah, P., Persky, J., Soot, S. and Sriraj, P. (2013) Costs and benefits of employment transportation for low-wage workers: An assessment of job access public transportation services. Evaluation and Program Planning, 37, pp. 31-42. (doi: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2012.11.004)

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This paper focuses on an evaluation of public transportation-based employment transportation (ET) services to transport low-wage workers to jobs in the US. We make an attempt to capture a more comprehensive range of intended and unintended outcomes of ET services than those traditionally considered in the case of public transportation services. Using primary data from 23 locations across the country, we present a framework to evaluate how transportation improvements, in interaction with labor markets, can affect users’ short-run economic welfare, users’ long-run human capital accumulation and non-users’ short-run economic welfare. These services were partially funded by a specialized program – the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program – which was consolidated into larger transit funding programs by recent legislation. In the sites examined, we found that low wage users benefited from self-reported increased access to jobs, improvements in earnings potential, as well as from savings in transport cost and time. Simulations show the potential of users to accrue long-term worklife benefits. At the same time, users may have accrued changes in leisure time as a result of transitioning from unemployment to employment, and generated a range of societal impacts on three classes of non-users: the general tax-paying public, the general commuting public in the service operating area and other low-wage workers in local labor markets.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Thakuriah, Professor Piyushimita
Authors: Thakuriah, P., Persky, J., Soot, S., and Sriraj, P.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences
Journal Name:Evaluation and Program Planning
ISSN (Online):1873-7870

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