past event
Employment and Jobs

Getting to Work: Improving Public Transportation for America’s Workers, Employers and Economies

Audio (MP3)

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About the Event

Lack of affordable, reliable, and efficient transportation options is one of the most common challenges for low-income workers and job seekers, and, by extension, their employers. Read more about this topic here.

Americans spend an average of 18 percent of household income on transportation and the poorest one-fifth of families spend more than twice as much; the vast majority of these transportation costs are for buying, operating, and maintaining an automobile.

Public transportation can be a much cheaper option, but millions of workers lack access to buses and trains, the routes often do not efficiently connect workers from their homes to their jobs (and stops in between such as child care), and budgets for public transportation are consistently under threat. However, improved and expanded public transportation remains an important part of the solution to helping low- and moderate-income workers get to work and helping employers get access to the workforces they need.

Panelists will discuss the specific transportation challenges workers face, creative and cost effective solutions being explored and implemented across the country, and examples of how communities, organizations, and employers have mobilized to address this critical workforce issue.


Featured speakers

Joan Byron
Director of policy, Pratt Center for Community Development

Anita Hairston
Associate director, PolicyLink

Yvonne Hunter
Chair, Friends of Transit, and Leader in the employer-driven campaign, Transit Means Business

Beverly A. Scott, Ph.D.
General manager, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) and administrator, MassDOT Rail & Transit administrator



Emily Badger
Reporter, The Washington Post


Related resources

Creating More Accessible Public Transportation By Alice Lee, Guest Blogger, in The Aspen Idea Blog


This event is part of the Working in America series, an ongoing discussion series hosted by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program that highlights an array of critical issues affecting low- and moderate-income workers in the United States and ideas for improving and expanding economic opportunities for working people. For more information, visit




Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #talkgoodjobs.

Event information
Wed Oct 1, 2014
12:00pm - 1:30pm GMT+0000
Aspen Institute
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 700, Smith Large Conference Room
DC, United States