Why Employers Should Encourage Using Public Transportation

I’m talking to the bosses in the cities right now.

The bosses in the cities that are using public transportation, like buses and Ubers, and subways and trains if you’re so lucky. I’m not talking to the bosses of delivery drivers, truck drivers, or event planners. Well, unless those event planners don’t have to haul anything very often and primarily handle local businesses anyway; they don’t need vehicles either in bigger cities. But for everyone else, how sure are you that your employees need to have their own vehicle? Because honestly, they probably don’t. Not on most days.

The days they do need to get somewhere fast, they probably could’ve just hopped on a bus to go get you your coffee or to drop off that deposit at the bank, or to meet that client at their office or out for lunch. That occasional time that some equipment needs dropped off to the sister location across town could probably be taken care of by someone else who voluntarily has their own vehicle. If not, they can Uber. Seriously. And yes, you should probably pay for it. Just like you’d compensate your employees for gas anyway. Companies do that, right? I wouldn’t know. I can’t drive.

Not everyone can have a car.

Some people have medical problems that prevent them from being able to drive safely. Others just don’t like to drive. Some folks who live in bigger cities have never had the need for a car and have never even tried to drive before. Cars are expensive and require too much upkeep. Not to mention parking costs, both at work and at home if they live in an apartment in a congested area. In areas like that, the cons to having a car outweigh the pros. There’s hardly any need for a car if you don’t have a problem with using public transportation. Oh, that’s right. Some people don’t like using public transportation.

Public transportation is cheaper and reduces carbon emissions and energy costs.

I don’t know why there’s even still a debate about that. Or climate change. Climate change is real, people. Employers, do the world a favor and stop requiring your employees to have personal vehicles before you’ll hire them. Encourage that extra ten minutes that public transportation requires of your employees’ schedules. It’s called eating costs. Well, that’s what I call it. Stop letting ignorant people who don’t understand the value of the Earth set the standards of the business world.

Sit down and assess your company’s needs before you write “must have own car” in the job description on Indeed. If it looks like they’ll need their own car, try to think up realistic ways to avoid it. If you really can’t, then go ahead. Just know that you’ll be eliminating a lot of good candidates for your position. Oh, and definitely DO write it in the job description if you require it. Don’t assume that based on the title of the job that people will know they need a car, especially if they probably actually don’t need one anyway.

Don’t make your candidates leave from their current job and deal with the long commute using public transportation only to find out they need a car to work there.

Yes, it took a really long time to get to this area of town by bus from where I was at this morning. Yes, I’m prepared to deal with that on a daily basis if I get the job. No, it’s not okay that you’re immediately eliminating me as a job candidate because I don’t own a gas guzzling, laziness-encouraging, earth-killing machine. What am I going to do? I’m going to get back on the bus for an hour and a half and apply to 10 more jobs on Indeed on the way home. Also, I made sure to check that each one didn’t have “requires own car” in the description. I’ll probably be overly paranoid about it for a few weeks now.

I know there are always exceptions.

There will be companies that require the use of personal vehicles as a part of the job description. However, it shouldn’t have become “a thing”, like it seems to be now. A discussion of personal transportation should in no way surprise the interviewee, not in a major metropolitan area. It probably shouldn’t ever even really come up in conversation unless you’re interviewing for a transportation company, or an event-based company and even then, only if it’s actually necessary. Bosses, you’re our leaders. Act like it. Stop encouraging expensive, ineffective, outdated ways of doing things. Even in Louisville, KY, where the TARC takes double the time, it’s still possible to run a business without requiring personal vehicles.

Yes, I got hit with the personal vehicle requirement at my last job interview.

It kind of makes sense for that position, which is why I can’t be too mad, even though it wasn’t in the job description I had. However, when I checked Indeed to apply for some more jobs on the way back from it, I found some administrative assistant positions that would’ve been great for me. A few of them stated that they wanted me to have transportation to run errands every now and then. I skipped those.

That’s a ridiculous requirement for an administrative position in a city as big as Louisville. It’s not New York or Chicago, don’t get me wrong. But it’s big enough that not having a personal vehicle shouldn’t be a big deal.

If using public transportation for work is a big deal, it really shouldn’t be and steps need be taken by our leaders to make personal vehicles for work less of a thing and using public transportation more commonplace. I’d vote for that. You’ll save money only reimbursing cheap bus fares instead of miles of gasoline. The cost of running your business will be cheaper and therefore you’ll be able to charge less for your products. More customers. More money. Everyone wins, even people without cars. Unless you’re selling cars, but whatever. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to my vehicle-less resume.

I wrote this a month ago when I was job hunting. Now that I’m job hunting again, it came back up. I don’t have a car. I’ll never own a personal vehicle. I have peripheral vision problems. I can get to and from work on a daily basis without a vehicle. I do not need a vehicle. I live in the largest metropolitan area in Kentucky. This personal-vehicle nonsense shouldn’t even be a thing. Stop putting it on your job listings unless you really do actually need your employees to be able to drive, and for the love of God, think about it for five minutes before you decide that you need your employees to be able to drive.

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