My company has recently decided to impose a mandate on all employees to hold a driver's license and insurance, and anyone not in compliance within the next 60 days will be terminated. I appear to be the only one (or the only one willing to talk) that has voiced opposition to this, so I am looking for literature that may support how this type of mandate can adversely affect the city/community in terms of public transportation, cost (to the driver and to personnel to audit),etc. I'm not having much luck through typical search channels, especially for a city the size of mine in the South (lacking the alternative transportation infrastructure found in more urbanized parts of the country), so I thought I'd take it to the forum.
If anyone cares for details, they follow below.
I live in the Deep South, in a small city with a pop of about 50,000 (metro 100,000). In case you couldn't surmise, alternative transportation hasn't really been at the top of our to-do list what with the crippling health and educational problems we face. But just recently, at my company's first FY meeting, we were told that a new policy - effective immediately - will require us all to have a valid driver's license and auto insurance (meaning, of course, we will also need an automobile to insure). While I am already in compliance, this sent up a number of red flags for me, the token liberal arts college kid, in a way that immediately sent me searching for ways to defend my position in saying this mandate needs to be recanted.
I work for a large economic development company that owns and operates several tourist attractions around town. The company strives to put forth the best image of the city we possibly can in order to revitalize communities which were once major economic hubs of the state that have fallen victim to neglect and abandon. Many of these communities are serviced through our city bus system, which has been in operation for more than 60 years. In fact, many people in these communities rely heavily on the buses to get from one place to another, since many businesses and services have left their areas in a slow dissipation since the mid-1970s (I'll spare you the history lesson here). That is, this is a city plagued by racialized food deserts and major spatial segregation. The link that is keeping some communities a part of the city at all is the bus.
For that reason, myself and a handful of other residents in town take the bus just to provide service revenue for the routes to stay in operation, as well as to connect to other communities (I can totally admit I'm guilty of never leaving my own neighborhood for a week or more except to go to work). While I am thankful I also have the capability to drive to work, I also appreciate that there are other options available to me, especially in a town of this size. However, this city doesn't have the highest rate of compliance with automobile legality, and there are ebbs and flows on the bus when some people haven't paid their insurance, or their car isn't running, or whatever. Frankly, without this periodic influx, I'm not sure public transportation here will last another 5 years.
All that said, I fear that if a company our size, which is centrally located in the city, serviceable by 80% of our bus routes, and a very public face of city business itself can pull off a massive company-wide automobile mandate, that other companies will do the same. Since we are pretty profitable for our size and scope, and this is a way for us to save a little bit on our company insurance, that other companies will inevitably follow our model. *IF* (big if) other companies follow suit, I fear that those who rely on the bus to get to work (approximately 40% of all riders according to the assessment I did for my Masters thesis in 2011) will face a similar mandate, but not be as lucky as other individuals with access to some form of private transportation. One could speculate the slew of other economic impacts that could have, as well as the obvious economic impact to the bus route.
Here, I should tack on that when I asked about people who got rides from friends, etc., I received no solid answer about what would happen to them. The mandate has already been written into the contracts, which is not to say it can't be rewritten, but I'm not sure they considered that alternative (yet).
But, in addition to the above, I just don't see the economic value of hiring mixed-time staff to conduct the first sweep and subsequent audits in addition to having employees pay for a car, a license, and insurance (or any combination thereof). Furthermore, I don't know that this is entirely legal, but I don't really know anything about the law in that respect.
So, like I said, if anyone knows of any literature (or any projects, theses, etc.) on the impact of mandated modes of transportation, I'm all ears. I would like to present a decent case to the executive director.