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Transportation barriers are regularly identified as persistent challenges to finding, securing and maintaining employment for lower-income workers and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) participants. Specific barriers include: a mismatch between the location of jobs and affordable housing; access to reliable automobiles; limited public transportation routes; and lack of adequate coverage for shift, “off hours,” and weekend schedules. Research on these key issues is featured in the Transportation section of the SSRC, along with resources on different types of programs, such as car ownership programs, transportation subsidies, travel vouchers, and other State and local approaches to transportation access for low-income individuals.

View recommendations from the SSRC Librarian on Transportation and relevant Federal laws and regulations below. 


A man sitting on a city bus and reading

Lack of access to reliable transportation--whether public transit or a privately owned car--can pose significant challenges for low-income individuals, especially those in rural areas, seeking stable employment. In response, community-based organizations and federal agencies have developed programs which provide transportation subsidies and vouchers to assist low-income individuals in traveling to job interviews and jobs. Subsidies and vouchers offered vary by program, with some programs providing support for purchasing a used car and others providing funds for public transit fares, gas, and/or repairs. Click the phrase below to view selected research and resources on transportation subsidies and vouchers.

A gavel resting on an open book

Legislative and regulatory requirements frame allowable programs and initiatives designed to increase low-income individuals' access to affordable, reliable transportation. Click the first link below to view legislative resources specific to transportation programs. Click the second link to browse additional self-sufficiency legislation and policy in the SSRC library.