Seeking A Sustainable Journey to Work: Findings from the National Bridges to Work Demonstration

by Anne Roder; Scott Scrivner

Jul 11, 2005
The Bridges to Work demonstration was designed to test whether efforts to help inner-city job seekers overcome barriers to accessing suburban jobs would result in better employment opportunities and earnings for these workers. This report examines outcomes for more than 1,800 applicants to Bridges to Work, half of whom were randomly selected to receive the programs transportation, job placement and supportive services for up to 18 months and half who were not offered these services. The researchers found that Bridges to Work did not positively impact participants employment and earnings, results that were consistent across cities and across various strategies for providing transportation services. Given the programs implementation challenges, costs and lack of results, the report concludes that the Bridges model is not a viable policy response to the mismatch between the location of jobs and the location of unemployed workers. However, the models lack of success does not diminish the importance of improving transportation options to increase workers access to employment, and the authors derive a number of important lessons from the demonstrations experience to inform future mobility efforts.
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