Lack of reliable transportation to and from work and to and from child care providers is one of the most serious barriers to the employment of TANF recipients in Indian country. Several of the WtW grantees in this study developed approaches that addressed the transportation problems WtW participants face. For example, grantees in our sample developed van service to shuttle workers from home to work, leased or otherwise provided refurbished automobiles to people successfully placed in jobs, and reimbursed participants for travel costs. Tribal WtW programs might also consider the following transportation-related options/strategies:
- If public transportation exists on or near the reservation, purchase and distribute bus vouchers/passes for participants (for example, for up to six months after job placement, to provide an opportunity to keep regular contact with participants after job placement).
- Conduct needs assessments for expanding van/shuttle services on and off the reservation (number of vehicles needed, vehicle maintenance, safety, and warehousing; availability of drivers). If warranted, purchase and operate such van/shuttle services.
- Advertise and otherwise promote the use of tax deductions or credits to individuals and companies that donate serviceable automobiles to tribal TANF/WtW programs.
- Facilitate coordination among tribal TANF, school-based, and other automobile repair programs, and resellers of used automobiles (for example, car rental agencies).
- Acquire and use software that identifies the most efficient routes to serve a dispersed group (in this case, WtW participants) traveling from their residences to or from work or child care facilities.
- Support efforts of the tribe to obtain federal or state funds to improve roads and public transportation on the reservation and to and from the reservation to nearby employment centers.