If you’re part of the workforce, the chances of you being forced to travel for your job are pretty high.
However, not everyone has access to their own means of transportation, and it can be crucial at times when you’ve got a doctor’s appointment or an important meeting at work.
The last thing you need when you’re in a tight spot is to lose access to your only source of income, and it’s exactly why the government created these transportation assistance programs.
In fact, a report by the Leadership Conference Education Fund shows that the average low-income American spends up to 42% of their total income on transportation costs.
These numbers are devastating, and could easily be part of why so many Americans are struggling to keep up with their basic needs.
You may gain access to a free car
As it turns out, gaining access to a car isn’t as difficult as you may have thought, as there are several government-funded programs that provide assistance for low-income families that need one.
Many people actually prefer owning a car to other methods of transportation specifically due to it allowing for an extra layer of freedom.
There are more than a few programs that offer free cars to low-income families and individuals, one of which is Charity Cars, an organization that’s been around since the 90s to provide free transportation options to those in need.
They also offer transportation to disabled, elderly, and veteran Americans, with the only requirements being that you’re a legal US resident, age 18 or over, and have a valid driver’s license.
You will, however, need access to an internet connection to apply for their program over at freecharitycars.org, where you’ll complete an application and get put on a waiting list.
In an economic crisis like this one, even public transportation can feel a bit too pricey for some, and getting to work by foot may be their last option.
Thankfully, a lot of the public transportation services have discounts or even offer free services to those in need, although you will have to contact your local public transit system if you want to know more about these programs in your area.
This stuff can vary from place to place, and having access to affordable transport can be crucial for your and your family’s well-being.
The last thing you need is to walk over a mile for work every day, especially if you’re nearing retirement age, as it may take a toll on your health.
This is particularly true in the cold winter months, so make sure to get informed and make use of the discounted transport options that may be available to you in your area.
While it’s not a perfect option every time of the year, sometimes a nice, short bike ride to work may actually be enjoyable.
You get to feel the breeze on your face as you ride down the busy streets, unphased by the traffic knowing that you’ll get to work on time regardless of it being rush hour.
This is partially why bike-sharing programs have popped up everywhere across the country, and with fees being as affordable as they come, many people are making use of these programs.
The best thing about it is that most of the service providers actually offer discounts to low-income citizens, and if you qualify, you could gain access to a fairly affordable method of transportation.
Medicaid transportation assistance
Healthcare can be a huge expense if you’re not particularly wealthy, and US healthcare is infamously expensive, so much so that the entire world has been made aware of it.
What’s often overlooked is the availability of programs such as Medicaid, which offers free healthcare for all low-income Americans, so long as they can meet the program’s requirements.
However, this also includes transportation assistance, whether it’s in the case of an emergency or for regular doctor’s appointments.
Federal regulations make it so any Medicaid user can receive free transportation when necessary, and based on where you live, this can be either by taxi, subway, or via public bus.
The downside is that you may end up having to share your ride with others, but in dire times when transport to the doctor’s office is too expensive to handle on your own, you best take what you can get.
The best way to gain access to this form of transportation is by contacting your caseworker or the office administering the Medicaid program in your area.
Lyft discounts for low-income Americans
The Lyft company conducted research in 2019 which found that almost half of all the rides they provided with their service either started or ended in a low-income neighborhood.
In order to help those that need transportation, the company created LyftUp, which offers free transportation to low-income workers for their first 3 weeks of employment.
By doing this, they’re ensuring that the person in question is on time for work while they get enough time to find transportation on their own and receive their first salary.
It’s important to note that this program works much differently from how standard Lyft rides do, and you will have to book a ride ahead of time if you want to use the LyftUp service.
The LyftUp service is currently available in various cities across the nation, including Austin, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, Oakland, Philadelphia, and San Diego.
Access to transportation is integral at times like these, and this is particularly true now that workers are returning to working standard hours and being back in the office.
Not everyone has a car or enough money for public transport, and with gasoline prices hitting an all-time high last year, it’s safe to say that owning one is an expense in and of itself.
Despite this, you still have to get to work somehow, and walking isn’t exactly the best option, especially if your commute to work would take hours that way.
Look through the options available to you and find one that works best for your circumstances.