Not having a car can hamper a job search. If the location is miles from home, how do you find a reliable way to get there?
Transportation alternatives in Central and Northern Indiana include:
- Car sharing
- Car/van pooling
- Public transit
Uber and Lyft are two popular ride-sharing services. Download the app and register, using your credit card for payment. The cost will depend on the type of service and distance. You may be able to reserve a ride for greater efficiency.
Ridesharing is affordable for occasional one-way trips but can add up if used daily. Also, prices may surge during times of greater demand.
Car sharing services, such as Zipcar, provide the car, insurance, and gas. Instead of a driver picking you up, you pick up the car at a designated spot. To start, you’ll need the Zipcar app, a driver’s license, and a credit card. Application and membership fees apply when you first register. Round trips are the only service option.
Can you catch a ride with someone at work? If you don’t have a car and can’t return the favor, maybe your co-worker will accept a regular donation for gas.
The Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority (CIRTA) Commuter Connect program facilitates commuter options in the 10 counties in and around Indianapolis. Assistant Director Jennifer Gebhard calls Commuter Connect “Match.com for car-pooling.”
A database matches commuters based on their schedule and where they live and work. Commuters can create their own car-pool group or participate in van-pooling, using vans partially subsidized by Commuter Connect. Van pool costs are calculated on a sliding scale based on van size, number of passengers, and commute distance. A Commuter Connect van pool coordinator can work with employers to coordinate routes.
“Anyone who lives or works in one of the counties can use our services or database to form carpools and vanpools to get to work,” said Gebhard. Commuter Connect also runs three buses from Marion County to Plainfield and Whitestown to access jobs in suburban communities.
Indianapolis, Gary, and Fort Wayne are among the regional cities offering public transportation. Supplementing the IndyGo bus system, Indianapolis’ Red Line operates along 13 miles of the densest part of the city, with frequent pick-ups along the way.
In Fort Wayne, Citilink fares continue to be free through November 30, 2021.
- Taxis are an option, especially during hours when public transportation is unavailable.
- Already common in Europe, commuting by bike is catching on in the U.S., especially as more cities upgrade roads to improve bike safety. If you can’t bike the whole way, consider riding to the nearest bus stop. Many buses now offer special accommodations for cyclists.
- Moving a walkable distance to work might be an option for the long haul. You won’t have to rely on anyone’ else’s schedule – and it’s good exercise!
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