A few US cities have begun piloting a UBI program--but for transportation, they call is Universal Basic Mobility. They are focusing on subsidies for the at-need populations for bus rides, e-bikes and electric scooters. The goal being to help low-income individuals get to work and, in turn, boost the economy.
Bloomberg News recently covered this issue with the example of Bakersfield, California, a town that has a ton of factories in the outskirts that were lacking employees due to transportation constraints. Oftentimes, transportation gets in the way of someone being "employable", even when the interest is there. Especially for lower-level jobs where there tends to be more turnover (even under normal circumstances), employers are reluctant to shoulder the bill for transportation. In this particular example, the majority of the unemployed people were youth who were not in school, and eager to work under the right conditions.
The potential for UBM (Universal Basic Mobility) underscores just how big of an issue transportation is not only for families, but for everyone across major cities. While they may have been temporarily less congested during the pandemic, it appears that now that life is almost back to 100%, traffic is back in full force. Inflation, with rising gas and childcare costs, has also contributed to this phenomenon of a shrinking workforce.
Buggy, while focused on school transportation, sees an opportunity to tackle this issue head-on. While we are focused on our “core” market right now and scaling within Miami, we are also looking towards the future and potentially getting into childcare as well. There’s tons of opportunity to innovate in both of these spaces, and we are excited about effecting change within our communities.
The Buggy Team