Tasks For Transit Launches its Second Program, the TFT Job Fare Program

April 2018: This month, Tasks for Transit Inc. (TFT) launched its second program, the TFT Job Fare Program. The Job Fare Program is intended to help individuals who are starting a new job and won't see a paycheck until the third week.
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News

  • This month, TFT launched its second program, the TFT Job Fare Program. (Featured Article below)
  • TFT attended a two-day Transportation Conference in Worcester in mid-April, run by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. There were many sessions on a wide variety of subjects from Asphalt to Uber.
  • The WRTA continues to struggle to absorb yet another funding deficit due to insufficient state funding of all the Massachusetts transit authorities. Lobbying efforts have intensified by the WRTA, the WRTA's union, and riders hoping to get the legislature to add an additional $8 million to the state's budget for regional transit authorities.

Tasks For Transit Launches its Second Program, the TFT Job Fare Program

This month, Tasks for Transit Inc. (TFT) launched its second program, the TFT Job Fare Program. The Job Fare Program is intended to help individuals who are starting a new job and won’t see a paycheck until the third week. At the request of one of TFT’s partner charities, the new employee will be given a Job Fare Kit. The most important item in a kit will be a WRTA 31-day bus pass, which will allow the new employee to collect at least two paychecks, before having to allocate some of his or her earnings to on-going transportation. There will be other items in the Job Fare Kit that will provide both information and ways to save money. TFT’s intent is that as the program proceeds, the content of future Job Fare Kits will increase in value as more things are added to the kit.  
 
Currently, in addition to the bus pass, the kit contains:
 
  • WRTA schedules for the bus routes from the individual’s residence, through the WRTA hub and out to the job site.
  • A page entitled, “Tips for Bus Riders.”
  • A list of free health care clinics in the Greater Worcester area.
  • A list of many other “free” services in the area.
  • A list of food pantries and places to get a meal.
  • A voucher for a free haircut courtesy of Rob Roy Academy.
  • A flyer on the new Bank On Worcester County program of bank accounts for low income individuals.
  • A book, courtesy of YOU Inc. Worcester Community Connections Coalition, that lists all the services, by category, available to economically disadvantaged individuals who qualify.
 
The TFT Job Fare program will benefit the recipient, especially those who would have walked across Worcester for the first two weeks of the new job. It should be emphasized that Job Fare Kit recipients are individuals with no income or low income. These individuals often run out of money before the end of each month. Sometimes walking is their only alternative, even if it is six miles one way.  With a 31-day bus pass, there are no daily limits on the number of trips taken, so the new employee can more easily get to other appointments, thus improving his or her quality of life.
 
The TFT Job Fare Program also benefits employer because they will be assured that the new employee will more often be on time, rested and ready to work. By benefiting the employers, the Job Fare kit also helps the greater Worcester economy.
 
Tasks For Transit’s first program, the TFT Free Single-day WRTA Bus Pass Program, has been in operation since 2015 and will continue to operate indefinitely. TFT operates in a collaborative fashion through a network of partner charities (currently 22) that dispense free individual single-day WRTA bus passes, one at a time, to those in need. TFT gives each partner charity 10 day passes each month. It will use this same network of 22 partner charities to dispense its Job Fare kits in an “on-demand” basis. Tasks for Transit expect to distribute over 200 Job Fare Kits in 2018.
 
Through both of its programs, Tasks for Transit expects to dispense over $25,000 worth of bus passes to the economically disadvantaged in greater Worcester in 2018.

Stats from the March 2015 launch of Tasks for Transit through April 2018

2
Partner Charities
3370
Bus Passes Dispensed

More to explore

Eight Perspectives on Homelessness in Worcester

1Q 2020: According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) a person is homeless if they are staying/sleeping in a shelter or in a place not fit for human habitation (i.e., there are sheltered homeless and there are unsheltered homeless).

Tasks for Transit Accomplishments for 2019

4Q 2019: TFT’s plan for 2019 was to continue its steady growth by adding four Partner Charities to its network. As has been done for the previous two years, one more was added during each quarter of 2019. TFT ended 2019 with 30 Partner Charities.

The Status of the Fare Free WRTA Idea

3Q 2019: In April 2019, the Greater Worcester Research Bureau published a report analyzing the possibility of the WRTA running a “fare free” bus system. Other cities, e.g., Portland, Oregon, are doing this or have done it in the past. Clearly, a fare-free WRTA would be a great benefit for those living in poverty.

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