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600451-00115-1 Report Abstract

The Conceptual Mismatch: Transportation Stressors and Experiences for Low-Income Adults

Kate Lowe, Kim Mosby, and Tara Tolford, October 2015

Physical access to jobs has long been identified as a barrier to employment and earnings, with prior research identifying the “spatial mismatch” between suburban entry-level jobs and low-income workers. However, existing transportation research on physical access fails to adequately account for the complex role that transportation needs, stressors, benefits, and costs play in low-income households. Through qualitative analysis, this study examines the role of transportation in the lives of low-income adults in two medium-sized metropolitan areas and how their actual, lived transportation experiences function as stressors with potentially compounding impacts. The study finds that job accessibility models that only account for travel time and location may not reflect the transportation time tax associated with accessing employment for some low-income households.

Keywords: Transit, Spatial Mismatch, Job Access, Well-being

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 445 KB)