Access to Driving

The Mobility Agenda addresses and pursues opportunities to improve access to private vehicles for low-wage workers in need of reliable, flexible, affordable transportation. 

For more information on the work that we are doing in this area, please visit our other pages:

Transportation, Work, Life

Driver's License Suspension

Car Ownership and Financing 


Making Connections
Data Sets & Results

Driver's License Suspension Policies
(Including Survey 1 Results & Analysis) 
Brookings Institution 2005



Results: Individual Cities
Survey 1 & 2 Results


Des Moines


San Antonio








Results: All Cities
Survey 1 & 2 Results

All City Comparison
(This is a large file and may take a while to download.)

 Survey 2 Results (2005-2007)
By Individual City
By Pooled Data

Affordable and reliable transportation is a necessity for a strong economy in every community. Public transit in dense areas with housing and employment opportunities can serve a large population. Yet transit is only one part of a menu of options, because it does not serve all areas or all workers.

Private vehicle ownership for low-wage workers is an important factor in a strong economy and an inclusive society and has significant benefits for individuals and families. Cars ensure that more people can fully contribute to the local economy because vehicle ownership increases employment opportunities, hours worked, and wages earned. For more information about transportation and a strong economy, visit our transportation resource page.

On this page you can access data regarding the relationship between access to driving and employment from unique surveys sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation in the ten "Making Connection" initiative cities.

These surveys took place in two waves, between 2000 and 2007, and include information about employment, car ownership, license holding, and citizenship. The survey results give an indication of the strong correlation between access to driving and employment. In Denver, for example, the results from the second wave survey show that while 78% of employed respondents have a car, only 47% of respondents who are not employed have one. The disparity highlights the fact that people with access to a car are more likely to get a job. This trend is repeated across every city in the study. Moreover, these results are consistent with other academic research.

Making Connections

"Making Connections is the flagship initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Its core strategy helps children succeed based on the belief that the best way to improve outcomes for vulnerable children living in tough neighborhoods is to strengthen their families’ connections to economic opportunity, positive social networks, and effective services and supports. Launched in 1999, Making Connections is a decade-long effort to demonstrate this theory in disinvested communities across the country, and in full partnership with residents, community-based organizations, local government, businesses, social service agencies, community foundations, and other funders."

The Making Connections sites are Denver, CO; Des Moines, IA; Hartford, CT; Indianapolis, IN; Louisville, KY; Milwaukee, WI; Oakland, CA; Providence, RI; San Antonio, TX; and Seattle, WA.

For more information please visit The Annie E. Casey Foundation website.

See also the resources from our October 3, 2008 event in Seattle, Keys to Opportunity: Car Ownership and Financing.

Access to Driving - In the News

Want to help the unemployed? Give them wheels
June 20, 2008 (Canada)

The government wants to spend $1.5 billion on job training.  Providing access to driving may be more effective, according to Margy Waller and the Brookings Institution.

Drive out of poverty with a car
May 5, 2008
CNN Money

Rising fuel prices are hurting drivers, but those without access to a car are hurting even more.  Some organizations are working to provide a remedy.