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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis February 10, 2012
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Foundation Connects Workers to Jobs
BY JOE CURRY, Executive Director, Everybody Rides Metro Foundation, Cincinnati, OH

Getting a job is great, but being able to get to the job is just as important.

The Everybody Rides Metro Foundation, administered by Metro in Cincinnati, provided more than a million free rides between May 2008 and the end of 2011 to help low-income workers get to and from jobs, job training, and related activities. Almost 100 agencies partner with the foundation, including Talbert House, Freestore Foodbank, St. Vincent de Paul, Lighthouse Youth Services, and Cincinnati Works.

To provide job-related free rides, the Everybody Rides Metro Foundation uses a federal Job Access-Reverse Commute grant, which is matched by the partner agencies to provide bus tokens at no charge to low-income residents to connect them with job counseling, job interviews, job training and exams, and job-related child transportation, in addition to transportation to and from work.

Temporary public transportation assistance helps people get jobs and then helps them keep those jobs. Without transportation, neither can happen—and in a tough economy, tokens are very important to prospective employees. Without the free bus tokens, many low-income residents who want to work could not afford their job-related transportation.

“For people returning to a job after extended unemployment or working in a low-wage position, the bus tokens provided by Everybody Rides Metro are truly a godsend,” said Liz Carter, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. “It’s the difference between getting to work until the first paycheck arrives or losing out on a much-needed job.”

Other partner organizations are also pleased with the results. “The Cincinnati Works partnership with Everybody Rides Metro Foundation is a cost-effective, efficient partnership that makes it possible for our members who live below the Federal poverty level to have adequate transportation for their training and job search activity,” said Dave Phillips, Cincinnati Works co-founder. “This is truly a win/win partnership.”

The Everybody Rides Metro Foundation provided more than 300,000 free rides to more than 30,000 individual riders in 2011 alone. This number is expected to grow by 10 percent in 2012, based on partner agency projections. More than a third of the free rides provided by the foundation were used for job training, an increase over the previous year.


Representatives of the 96 agencies that partner with the Everybody Rides Metro foundation to provide public transportation fare assistance to help low-income job seekers.


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