Union Cab Cooperative of Madison Commute to Careers Program Evaluation 2018–2019

Despite decades of research and government investment in commute options for low-income workers, mobility barriers are still a major hindrance for low income workers and employers alike. In this case study, the authors analyze a traditional taxicab firm’s initiative to enter the employment transportation arena with a ride service. The business model proposes that employers and workers share the cost of the rides in order to sustainably operate without grant funding in the long term. This service, in theory, should benefit all three major stakeholders; workers would have affordable transportation, employers would retain and recruit workers, and the taxicab firm would increase the utilization of its services, especially during off-peak hours. The authors evaluate the implementation of this intervention through rider surveys, taxicab operations data, and interviews with key stakeholders. Six months into operation, the authors found that the program has reached its target population of low-income, transportation-limited members of the workforce in Madison, Wisconsin who are largely African-American, underemployed hourly workers receiving limited to no work benefits, limiting access to both employment and healthcare. Furthermore, the authors found that the program is meeting its targets for serving riders and operating outside of peak hours, though ride-sharing is lower than anticipated. Numerous special operating procedures and detailed problem solving for individual riders raises administrative costs that could be addressed through hiring personnel. With two employer partners on board, and ongoing recruiting to adopt the intervention, the authors see the potential to develop a sustainable program model. Finally, the authors translate the lessons learned from program into a startup guide, which is intended to serve as a set of guidelines for other transit organizations who wish to establish this intervention model. The authors strongly recommend that the process of employer partner recruitment is initiated either prior to or immediately upon program inception. This approach ensures long-term sustainability and prolongs the life of grant funding. Program operations should be overseen by a dedicated administrator in order to ensure timely reporting and monitoring activities, including compiling quarterly operations reports, addressing copay delinquencies, identifying program abuse, and enforcing program policies.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Title on cover: Union Cab of Madison Cooperative Commute to Careers Program Evaluation, 2018–2019. This research was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Wisconsin, Madison

    Madison, WI  United States  53706

    Center for Transportation Equity, Decisions & Dollars (CTEDD)

    University of Texas at Arlington
    Arlington, TX  United States  76019

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

    University Transportation Centers Program
    Department of Transportation
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Allon, Alexander
    • Ruth, Annette Marie
    • Davis, Tammie
    • Carter, Bill
    • McAndrews, Carolyn
  • Publication Date: 2019-10-31


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 76p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01727570
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Contract Numbers: CTEDD 018-13
  • Created Date: Jan 8 2020 5:06PM