Implications of the Welfare Reform Law On Suburban Chicago Transit Demand

In this report we present our recommendations regarding ways in which Pace the Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority in Northeastern Illinois can alleviate many of the access-to-jobs problems imposed on Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) clients. The scope of the planning process is region-wide and includes the six-county Northeastern Illinois region the service area of Pace. This regional approach is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the Access to Jobs and Reverse Commute grant program established by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA 21) which establishes a regional Access to Jobs and Reverse Commute Transportation Plan. Nationally this study is unique with the rigor with which it matches TANF clients and jobs over such a large region.

The study looks at the two components of the transportation problem for welfare-to-work:

1)      The supply side the characteristics of jobs and the nature of the transportation

2)      The demand side the characteristics of public assistance clients and their transportation-related behavior. The ultimate design characteristics of transit services provided  for welfare-to-work  must address concerns raised by both supply-side and demand-side concerns.

The project has used planning models and tools extensively including travel-demand models to
locate potential corridors of TANF clients and the travel costs that would be incurred by these
individuals. The entire travel-demand analysis was conducted at a very fine geographic resolution of roughly half- mile by half-mile zones called quarter sections.

All travel-time estimates reflect network congestion and are the results of transportation demand models implemented over the six-county area. Statistical analysis was conducted to arrive at many conclusions that further aided our understanding of transportation needs for the TANF clients. In addition outputs from Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was invaluable  in obtaining a graphical view of issues relating to accessibility of jobs by TANF clients.

Please click on the links below to download the complete “Implications of the Welfare Reform Law on Suburban Chicago Transit Demand” report.


Author / Presenter:

Piyushimita Thakuriah, Ashish Sen, Siim Soot, Paul Metaxatos, George Yanos, Lise Dirks, Duck-hye Yang and Trisha Sternberg   

Presentation Date / Publication Date: