Transportation Assistance ProgramLife without a car can be difficult at best and unmanageable at worst. For low-income families across Maryland, especially recipients of funds from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, transportation may be a significant hurdle in finding gainful employment and moving toward financial independence. Indeed, employers cite transportation problems as the second-most common reason for losing entry-level workers. Through a network of partners across the state, TAP provides reliable used vehicles that will serve eligible low-income families for two years or 24,000 miles, often leading to the following dramatic improvements:
- Better Jobs with Greater Incomes Even in regions with a strong transit system, many low-income families have trouble getting to jobs for which they’re qualified. Some are even forced to turn down good positions in favor of lower paying jobs with better transit access. A car gives people access to better job opportunities and the flexibility to work extra shifts or overtime.
- Shorter Commutes It isn’t unusual for low-income families to spend four to five hours a day commuting to and from work, sometimes taking multiple modes of transportation. For parents, a reliable vehicle translates into more time spent at home with children, and more flexibility to take care of life’s unforeseen needs.
- Healthier Families Vehicles enable positive behavioral changes. Access to a car makes it easier for families to seek preventive medical care, find the time to exercise, and make trips to grocery stores that sell fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Richer Lives When parents have shorter commutes, children are much more likely to play on sports teams and participate in special after-school activities. Without the restrictions of public transit, families can take advantage opportunities for enrichment that weren’t previously possible.