Canton, Ohio-based Stark Area Regional Transit Authority (SARTA) launched the "Transporting Stark County Back to Work" program, which will offer up to 90 days’ worth of free bus passes for those seeking work or who have recently obtained employment. The goal of the program is to enable individuals who, due to low-income and job loss, cannot afford transportation to find/reach new employment.
According to the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Service, more than 20,000, or 11.1%, of individuals in Stark County were unemployed as of December 2011. Many of these individuals face transportation barriers that prevent them from completing applications, attending job interviews or reaching employment once a job is obtained. By removing the transportation barrier, SARTA hopes to increase the access to jobs and ultimately assist in decreasing the overall unemployment rate.
The Transporting Stark County Back to Work program will be executed through SARTA’s partner agencies that specialize in unemployment services.