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Getting to Work: Transportation Policy and Access to Job Opportunities

Going to Work“Getting to Work: Transportation Policy and Access to Job Opportunities,” is the fourth in a series of reports by The Leadership Conference Education Fund examining the key roles transportation and mobility play in the struggle for civil rights and equal opportunity. The reports highlight critical issues and make recommendations for policymakers as they draft a reauthorization of the nation’s surface transportation programs, which will allocate hundreds of billions of federal dollars for transportation projects that will have a profound impact on every person in our county. Transportation policies can have a significant impact on employment opportunity. Congress is now considering the surface transportation reauthorization bill, which will allocate funds for highways, rail, bus, and other modes of transportation across the country. The projects it funds will not only affect Americans’ access to existing jobs, it will generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs and have a significant impact on employment opportunity. Lack of transportation isolates many Americans from jobs. For decades, metropolitan areas have been expanding outward, and jobs have been moving farther away from the low-income and minority people who disproportionately remain in urban cores. For many of these people, inadequate or unaffordable transportation is a significant barrier to employment.