Activity and Travel Changes of Users of Job Access Transportation Service: Analysis of a User Survey

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - route design, planning - surveys, planning - education, ridership - commuting, ridership - demand


Welfare recipients, Transit riders, Surveys, Social factors, Poverty, Poor people, Part time employees, Low income groups, Low income families, Jobs, Job Access and Reverse Commuting program, Income, Impact studies, Full time employees, Fixed routes, Education, Economic indicators, Driving licences, Driver licenses, Demand responsive transportation, Data collection, Data acquisition, Automobile ownership, Access


The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program of the FTA provides funding to improve the access to and from jobs for welfare recipients and low-income individuals. The objective of the study was to develop a comprehensive profile of JARC service riders on several economic, social, perceptual, and travel-related indicators on the basis of a data set that was collected by the authors from riders of fixed-route and demand-responsive services in 23 locations across the country that were funded by this program. The economic indicators considered include incomes of riders, full- and part-time work status, employment tenure, reported changes in employment status (transitioning from unemployment to employment), and changes in wages incurred after using the service. Social indicators include vehicle ownership, driver’s license, and educational attainment. Where possible, JARC service riders were compared with a national sample of automobile and transit users; the data for these measures were obtained from the decennial census. Two measures of perceived service dependency that indicate the importance of the service to the riders are discussed. In addition, a profile of travel-related changes incurred by riders as a result of service use is developed, including changes in mode of travel and travel times. Many of these indicators are differentiated on the basis of type of area and type of service. This analysis brings a user perspective into the discussion about low-income employment transportation services and highlights the diversity of impacts that job access transportation is having on the work and nonwork activities of low-income riders.