Lubin, A. and D. Deka. 2012. “The Role of Public Transportation as a Job Search Mode: Lessons from a Survey of Persons with Disabilities in New Jersey.” Transportation Research Record, 2277: 90–97.
Transportation barriers are often the reason for the discrepancy in the employment rate between people with disabilities and others, yet little information about the transportation barriers and the needs of people with disabilities who are searching for employment is available. The primary objective of this paper is to share valuable information from a unique survey of people with disabilities who were actively searching for employment in New Jersey. The paper examines the role of public transportation in providing job access to people with disabilities and provides information and insights on the availability, use, needs, barriers, and perceptions of the survey respondents about different public transit modes. The paper also discusses the implications for agencies that provide transportation for people with human services needs. Research shows that despite the frequent use of public transportation by job-seeking people with disabilities, many of them are dissatisfied with public transportation. Although satisfaction with vehicle equipment compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act seems high, many individuals are dissatisfied with the level of transit service and environmental barriers between homes and transit stations and stops. It can be inferred from the results that a multitude of strategies will be needed to address the travel needs and barriers of job-seeking people with disabilities in the state. In addition to providing assistance with transportation for people with human services needs and providing insights to vocational rehabilitation counselors, the study will serve as a means for laying the framework for more rigorous research on the transportation needs and barriers of people with disabilities.