The purpose of the study is to evaluate the impact of access to an array of subsidized transportation options on individual mobility, employment, and other socioeconomic outcomes.
We will recruit 100 study participants from the Manchester and Chateau neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
To be included in the study, subjects must meet the following criteria:
- Lack regular access to a car
- Age 18 through 50
- Are seeking a job, interested in finding a better job, or hoping to work more hours
- Have a smartphone
- Have a phone plan that allows their phone to send and receive data over the internet
- Are willing to download mobile apps onto their phone for the study
- Are a resident of the Manchester or Chateau neighborhood of Pittsburgh
- Are not a teleworker, meaning they do not work from home
- Are receiving some government-funded social assistance, such as housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, Unemployment Insurance, or SSI
- If placed in the experimental group and want to be eligible to receive the free ride credits, are willing and able to sign up for accounts with the relevant transportation providers by September 9, 2022.
- If placed in the experimental group and want to be eligible to receive the free ride credits, have a valid driver’s license and credit/debit card, if needed, to sign up for accounts and/or use certain transportation services.
Subjects will enroll in the study via a website. They will first complete a baseline survey to determine their eligibility. Eligible applicants will then provide informed consent, followed by randomization into treatment or control group. The treatment group will then receive the intervention described above.
The treatment group’s access to the intervention will be conditional on transmitting GPS data to the researchers via the smartphone app. Treatment group subjects who fail to transmit GPS data for a sustained period of time will be suspended from receiving the intervention.
We will collect several forms of outcome data for both the treatment and control groups:
- Follow-up surveys at 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 24 months after random assignment.
- GPS location data from subject’s phones every 8 to 15 minutes for 12 months
- Information on subjects’ use of the Spin scooter platform, the POGOH bikesharing platform, and the Zipcar car sharing platform, including:
o Length of ride
o Dollar among of ride
o Start and end locations of the ride
- Administrative records from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, including:
o Receipt of Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, SSI, child care subsidies, and housing subsidies
o Pennsylvania unemployment insurance quarterly earnings records