A wide array of initiatives supporting job access and reverse commuting has been introduced in California over the past 5 years. Experiences were reviewed in five areas: schedule extensions, new fixed bus routes, shuttle services, user-side assistance, and automobile loan programs. Schedule extensions have provided much-valued mobility for the poor, but at high costs. New bus routes have been most productive when operating over long distances and delivering inner-city patrons to concentrated job hubs. Door-to-door shuttle services have mainly supplemented fixed bus routes and in some instances have been used to train former welfare recipients how to drive. Santa Cruz County has been a leader in crafting client-based programs that provide a menu of mobility options from which unique programs are custom designed to meet the job access needs of individuals. Automobile loan initiatives have been controversial; statistical evidence from San Bernardino County and case experiences from San Mateo County indicate that automobiles have aided Welfare-to-Work transitions.
Transportation Research Record, Vol.1859, pp.79-86