Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

ridership - commuting, place - urban, place - low density, mode - bus, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro


Workshops, Welfare to work, Welfare recipients, Vanpools, Transit, Temporary Aid to Needy Families (Chicago, Illinois), Seminars, Ridership, Public transit, Patronage (Transit ridership), Passes (Transportation), Pace Suburban Bus Service (Arlington Heights, Illinois), Mass transit, Local transit, Grant aid, Data collection, Data acquisition, Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago Metropolitan Area


In the first round of Welfare to Work (WtW) competitive grants, the Department of Labor awarded $3 million to the Mayor's Office of Workforce Development for a regional public transportation program for the Chicago area. The proposal was submitted on behalf of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), which operates bus and rail service in the city of Chicago and 38 suburbs, and Pace, which operates the suburban bus service in the region. The service area for the program includes the following counties: Cook, Chicago, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will. The program consists of three components, CTA/Pace 30-day passes, a regional vanpool program, and train-the-trainer workshops in which job developers and caseworkers learn about public transportation options in the region. Program participants are Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) clients who are new to or reentering the workforce. The TANF population, like the general population, is diverse. However, there are common challenges that must be overcome by many of the people who qualify for the regional program. CTA and Pace automated fare collection equipment data were used to examine ridership of WtW passes compared with the ridership of regular 30-day passes.