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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Travel Patterns and Welfare to Work


The nation is about to enter into the second stage of welfare reform with its federal reauthorization within the upcoming year. The first stage of welfare reform started the enactment of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA), which transformed welfare from an income entitlement program to transition-to-work program. As the federal and state government reauthorize welfare reform with the goal of refining existing policies and programs to enhance the ability of welfare recipients to find and hold employment, it is worthwhile to examine what we have learned about the travel patterns of welfare-to-work participants during the initial phase of welfare to work. The shift to a jobs-first approach has made transportation barriers a top priority (Blumenberg and Ong, 2001). Our recent research demonstrates that employment and earnings are tied to access to private and public transportation. Here, we examine another dimension of the nexus between welfare and transpiration: the impact of travel patterns.

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