Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Perceived accessibility of employment sites by jobseekers and the potential relevance of employer-subsidised demand responsive transport to enhance the commute

Calvert, Tom; Crawford, Fiona; Parkhurst, Graham; Parkin, John


Thomas Calvert
Research Fellow in Transport and Urban Planning

Profile Image

John Parkin
Professor in Transport Engineering


The constraints placed by the transport options available to job-seekers are key factors for the accessibility of employment locations and therefore social inclusion. The present paper investigates the importance of these constraints and the potential appeal of an employer-subsidised Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service to job-seekers at risk of social exclusion. Mainly quantitative questionnaire data were obtained from a survey (n = 254) of jobseekers attending three ‘Jobcentre Plus’ government agency offices in Bristol (UK) during September 2017. The offices, which integrate the provision of social security benefits with support to secure work, were in inner-city, intermediate, and peripheral locations. Comparative spatial analysis was conducted both within and between the locations. The respondents emerged as having high public transport dependence for the commute, and transport-related perceived barriers emerged as second in importance only to ‘qualifications and skills’ and were reported as having inhibited attendance at job interviews and jobs. The preferences identified from the literature for finding work near home or in the city centre was confirmed. Reaching employment locations on the periphery of the city was particularly problematic. Job-seekers interviewed at the intermediate location reported the widest geographical scope of search. Logistic regression modelling confirmed the perceived options for public-transport commuters were somewhat different. Gender and the type of work sought also influenced spatial perceptions. Respondents were more willing to share the commute with ‘people they knew’, and strongly supported the concept of employer-subsidised DRT, with some statistically significant gender differences in attractiveness regarding the specific nature of the service offer. It is concluded that employer-subsidised DRT services would be most appropriate for remote sites, in situations in which the labour force is likely to be drawn from areas hard to connect with public transport, and where car use is either low, or being reduced by car use restraint policies. Future research into the context of real-world applications is required to examine whether benefits to employers, including staff recruitment and retention, would be sufficient to justify employer subsidies.


Calvert, T., Crawford, F., Parkhurst, G., & Parkin, J. (2022). Perceived accessibility of employment sites by jobseekers and the potential relevance of employer-subsidised demand responsive transport to enhance the commute. Cities, 130, 103872.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 6, 2022
Online Publication Date Jul 27, 2022
Publication Date Nov 1, 2022
Deposit Date Jul 27, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jul 28, 2022
Journal Cities
Print ISSN 0264-2751
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 130
Pages 103872
Keywords Employment; Job-seekers; Demand responsive transport; Travel; Shared-ride; Commute
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations