image: La Crosse Tribune
The Women’s Transportation Fund program created by the La Crosse County Health Department is increasing self-sufficiency for women in the community. The Transportation Fund provides flexible funding for women in the community facing transportation related barriers.
For over 15 years, the Women’s Transportation Fund has been able to help women in La Crosse County in a variety of ways. The need for transportation assistance is high, and many women who access this program are struggling to get from point A to point B in their daily lives.
A large gap between wealth and unlivable income makes accessible transportation a societal challenge. One that is faced within the La Crosse community.
Recently, a woman turned to the Women’s Transportation Fund after a semi hit and completely totalled her car on her way to work. Determined to make a good impression as her job was fairly new, she made her way to work that day. However, facing a large accident, her work sent her home that day to deal with the repercussions of the unfortunate events of the morning.
Shortly after the accident, the woman’s daughter needed emergency surgery. Which in turn, caused her to miss another day of work. Due to new employment and multiple absences in a short period of time, this woman found herself fired from her job.
Jobless and carless, the woman turned to a friend that allowed her access to their car in order to drive her eldest daughter to her regular doctor’s appointments as she has a medical condition that requires frequent visits. The woman expressed that she feels unsafe driving her friend’s car especially with her daughter inside due to a broken windshield.
Without access to a safe car, the woman and her daughter have been taking the bus. Since the woman and her daughter live in West Salem, they are sometimes forced to face the cold for an hour and a half as they wait for the bus to arrive.
Determined to make the best out of the situation and offer reciprocation to her, the woman called multiple windshield repair shops in the hopes one would let her set-up a payment plan. Not finding any luck, she attempted to access Couleecap’s Work & Wheels program but was unable to participate due to an existing lien that was left abandoned when fleeing an abusive relationship.
This story is just one example of circumstances many women in La Crosse face every day in transportation injustices alone.
According to the County Health Department’s 2018 Annual Report, the most common request for assistance from its Community Liaison Program was for transportation assistance (61%).
In order to help as many women as possible with their transportation needs, individuals can only get support through the Women’s Transportation Fund one time.
With this knowledge, the Women’s Transportation Fund creates actionable goals with all the women that walk through the door. This additional conversation along with the funding provided gets women one step closer to sustainable transportation.
Women are encouraged to fill out an application and the program manager processes those generally within 24 hours. The Women’s Transportation Fund has aided in purchasing new car parts, bus passes, bicycles, cab fares, registration and licensing renewals, and anything else related to transportation that may come to mind.
The Women’s Transportation Fund works tirelessly to create the most flexible and sustainable transportation solutions for every single woman seeking assistance.