Transportation can be a major barrier to employment. Rio Metro’s Job Access Transportation Program (Job Access) was developed to overcome transportation obstacles and help people like Fabian Chavez get work or retain employment.
Chavez entered the Job Access program in January 2022. A resident of Albuquerque, Chavez found employment in Rio Rancho at an assisted living facility. After utilizing the program, which provides transportation to and from job sites for qualifying individuals, he was able to save up enough money to take care of his own transportation.
For the year that he was in the program, Chavez scheduled rides to and from work using Z-Trip, one of the Job Access authorized providers. Individuals in the program pay a $1 or $2 co-pay (drop fare) per ride up to $20, providing access to affordable and reliable transportation.
“I’m a success through your program,” said Chavez. “I got a car so I will be driving to work and back. It was through your program that I was able to do all this.”
“I enjoy working with this program because you help individuals. You get to see people like Mr. Chavez thrive and do better,” said Jocelyn Martinez, Job Access Transportation Planner. “He overcame many challenges to get to work. He’s always been on time. I believe that the program helped him become a successful employee because he had reliable transportation.”
According to Martinez, Job Access helps many individuals each year. “Right now we have approximately 75 active daily participants,” she said.
About Job Access
The Job Access Transportation Program is available to low-income individuals living in Bernalillo County who are working, or anyone who is a new hire. It’s a door-to-door transportation program that utilizes ride share and taxi services to bring people to and from work.
Riders pay $1 to $2 drop fare on a sliding scale for each one-way ride with a meter reading of $20 or less. If the final meter reading is over $20, the customer also pays the difference.
According to Martinez, there is no age limit to use the service – participants must just be eligible to work and meet the program’s federal income guideline requirements.
When an individual is approved to participate, they can remain in the program for a full year. However, they must re-qualify after six months.
“Another benefit is that the first 60 days are free,” said Martinez. “After that riders begin to pay their drop-fare. This helps participants save even more.”
To learn more about Job Access, including eligibility guidelines and how to apply, visit www.riometro.org/jobaccess.