If you need free rides to work near the end of your pay cycle, you’re not alone. It is incredibly frustrating and disheartening when you can’t afford to get to work. After all, how are you supposed to get ahead when you don’t have the money it takes to make money?
Fortunately, we’ve found 10 ways that you can get free rides to work when you need them. If you don’t have enough money, make sure you try this!
Transportation Assistance Programs
Even if you don’t live along a public bus route, there are many transportation assistance programs that may be able to help you find a way to work.
Free Gas Vouchers
Many of the gas voucher programs we’ve found are catered to low income people who cannot afford to get to work. The nonprofits and organizations that offer these vouchers recognize that you need to be able to get to work to earn money, so they can help you with a gas voucher or gift card to a nearby gas station.
We have a list of nationwide and local churches, charities and organizations that offer free gas vouchers! Here’s the list.
Free Bus Passes
If you live in an area with public transportation service, you may be able to get a free bus pass! Many areas offer free or discounted passes for low income residents. There are also churches and charities that offer free bus passes for people who are trying to get to work.
If you need a free bus pass, consult this list for guidance on which organizations offer them in your area!
Rideshares and carpools are a great way to cut down on the cost of getting to work. With a rideshare or carpool, you can share the transportation cost with someone else who works near you.
If you don’t have a designated carpool program in your area, don’t worry! There are many online programs that can help you connect with others who are interested in sharing rides. Some websites that you may want to check out include:
Remember to stay safe when you meet new people online! It’s wise to meet in public at first and get to know them before you hop into their vehicle. Trust your instincts, and if something feels wrong then don’t follow up with the carpool. Always plan an exit strategy in case things are uncomfortable.
The popular rideshare company Lyft offers a helpful program called LyftUp. This program provides free rides to people who are engaged in specific work activities. You may be able to get a free ride to your interview, training, and for the first few weeks of work while you wait for that first paycheck.
Funding for this program is provided generously by Indeed, United Way and Goodwill. It is only available in certain areas, so you’ll need to check the Lyft website for details.
There are many nonprofits and organizations that are dedicated to helping unemployed or underemployed people overcome their financial hardships by improving their access to employment. Some of these programs may provide free rides to work for people who qualify.
For example, in Pennsylvania, an organization called Step Inc. offers an employment transportation assistance program. This program provides up to $5,000 in transportation assistance through a variety of bus passes, rideshares, mileage reimbursement, and taxi services. If you live in the Williamsport area, you may want to check this out.
There are some government programs that may also be able to help you find free rides to work. These programs are generally tied to vocational rehabilitation, workforce services or other programs that help low income people find employment opportunities.
Department of Workforce Services
Most states in the U.S. have a government agency that is dedicated to providing services related to the workforce, including unemployment insurance, job training, and job placement services. However, these departments may not be named the “Department of Workforce Services” in every state. The name of this agency varies from state to state.
Here are a few examples:
- California has the Employment Development Department (EDD).
- In New York, these services fall under the Department of Labor.
- Texas has the Texas Workforce Commission.
- Florida’s equivalent is the Department of Economic Opportunity.
- In Utah, it’s called the Department of Workforce Services.
Regardless of what they’re named, these departments or agencies generally have similar goals: to help job seekers find employment, help employers find qualified workers, administer unemployment benefits, and provide resources for job training and career development.
Because this department focuses on helping people get and keep their jobs, they often have transportation assistance programs or resources that can help you. If you are looking for free rides to work, it never hurts to check in with your state’s department to see what options are available near you.
For information specific to your location, you can search online for your state’s name followed by “Department of Labor,” “Workforce Services,” or similar terms. This will typically lead you to the correct agency for your state.
Job Access & Reverse Commute (JARC)
The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program was established to help low income people get to work and back home. The program was established because many entry-level jobs require late hours or weekend shifts when traditional public transit may not be available.
However, in 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act restructured federal funding for transit programs and the JARC program was consolidated under the Federal Transit Administration’s Urbanized Area Formula Grants (Section 5307) and Formula Grants for Rural Areas (Section 5311). This restructuring meant that the specific grant program for JARC no longer exists separately, but its objectives are covered under these other grant programs.
Thus, although the JARC program itself has been discontinued, there are still many JARC-inspired programs that still exist in communities around the United States. You can call your local town hall or county government to see if there are any JARC-like programs available in your area.
Vocational Rehabilitation programs help people who have physical or mental disabilities get or keep a job. As part of these services, many vocational rehabilitation programs offer assistance with transportation to and from work.
If you are interested in connecting with a vocational rehabilitation service, you will need to contact your state for more information. There are state vocational rehabilitation services, supported employment services, and independent living services in all 50 states.
If none of these solutions work for you, there is a chance that your employer may be able to help! Many employers coordinate carpools or offer company shuttles to help employees get to work.
Many large companies located in urban environments, like Seattle, offer company shuttles to their employees. These services can help you avoid driving into the city and dealing with the hassle of parking.
If you need free rides to work, it may be worth asking your employer if they have (or have considered) a company shuttle program.
If you need free rides to work, it’s likely that your coworkers are also struggling to afford their own transportation. You can help each other out by carpooling to work! It is often best to alternate who is driving to make sure that one person doesn’t bear the cost of vehicle maintenance and fuel.
You could find a coworker to carpool with by posting a notice on a company bulletin board, sending out an email through company channels, or initiating a conversation about commute methods during lunch or break times.
If your workplace isn’t too far away, you may be able to save money by biking to work instead of driving. Biking is good for your health and the environment, too!
No bike? No problem! There are bike share programs in cities all over the United States. With these programs, you can use a shared bike and leave it at your workplace when you’re done with it.
Walking to work can be a really affordable and healthy way to get around. It can also help you stay fit, feel good, and keep your heart strong. It’s also good for the environment!
Now, not everyone can walk to work. It really depends on how close your job is to your home. If your job is far away, walking might take too long. You also need safe paths to walk on, like sidewalks, and traffic lights that let you know when it’s your turn to cross the street. Sometimes, it might be too cold, too hot, or too rainy to walk.
However, if you don’t have any other options, walking is always there as a fallback.
There are many different ways that you can get free rides to work! These programs typically fall into a few categories, such as community resources, government programs, and active transportation. If you need help getting to work because you have no money for transportation, the programs outlined in this article should be able to help you.