City Funds Commuter Options to provide reverse commute assistance to inner city Philadelphians

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The Philadelphia Unemployment Project announced that the recently passed City Budget contained an appropriation to cover matching funds for Commuter Options’ PennDOT grant. While not as much as the $250,000 that PUP and much of City Council was pushing for, the $55,000 appropriated represents the first time the City has directly supported our car/van pooling approach to reverse commute options for inner city workers. We will be able to continue to provide rides for city workers to suburban jobs.

“We believe that the issue of Transportation Justice is of critical importance to low income people in Philadelphia and needs to be addressed with far greater resources than have been provided to date,” said Reverend Randy Barge Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Olney and PUP board member. “We do believe, however, that our efforts are starting to raise the level of the debate and plan to continue to make plain that the resources similar to those bringing suburbanites to center city on Regional Rail need to be offered to inner city residents to reach employment opportunities in the suburbs.”

“This is a great first step toward helping our citizens who have a reverse commute to jobs outside our City,” said Councilman Derek Green (At-Large). “Yes, $250,000 would have been ideal. However, $55,000 in addition to PennDOT’S grant gets the momentum going. This is very heartening news for our citizens who must travel outside of Philadelphia to provide for their families. Job retention is a key component in shrinking the population of those in poverty or deep poverty. It’s not enough to just simply provide employment opportunities – people need to be reassured they can get to and from work without it being a major burden.”

“As someone who represents a district that borders Montgomery County, it’s a no-brainer that we should do everything possible to maintain and expand the Commuter Options program so that Philadelphia residents can access living-wage jobs in the suburbs. Addressing this transportation problem will allow these residents to not only provide for their families, but also contribute to the city’s tax base,” said Councilwoman Cherelle L. Parker, 9th District.

Commuter Options provides cars and vans for Philadelphians to car pool to hard to reach suburban employment.

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