The stories and testimonials of low-income families reveal the profound impact Vehicles for Change has had on their lives. Meet some of our families and learn more about the impact of transportation on low-income families.
The results of our 2011 study illustrate the dramatic impact a VFC car can have on the lives of a low-income family:
Better Jobs, Greater Income
Why a car makes a difference: Even in regions with a strong transit system, many low-income families have trouble reaching jobs for which they’re qualified. Some are forced to turn down good positions in favor of lower paying ones with transit access. A car gives them access to better job opportunities and the flexibility to work extra shifts or overtime.
Why a car makes a difference: Even the best transit has limited routes and makes numerous stops. It isn’t unusual for low-income families to spend four to five hours a day commuting to and from work, sometimes taking multiple modes of transportation. For parents, this translates into less time spent at home with their children.
Why a car makes a difference: Without a car, many low-income families have no access to routine medical care, so they use emergency medical transportation for simple illnesses. This translates into crowded emergency rooms and higher medical costs, which are ultimately subsidized by taxpayers. Inadequate transportation and a lack of time, due to long commutes, and can also prevent low-income families from getting regular medical care, exercising and taking care of themselves.
Why a car makes a difference: When parents have long commutes and are pressed for time, children from low-income families are much less likely to play on sports teams and participate in special activities. Restricted by the route and schedule of public transit, parents are unable to take their children to practice on time or pick their children up from after-school activities such as tutoring or sports. When parents own a car, it opens up opportunities for their families that weren’t previously possible.