I was at a Wendy's late tonight and I noticed that the parking lot was empty, except for a customer car. Yet there were 7 or 8 employees inside. The location is not accessible by public transportation.

Low wages often mean that having a reliable car is not always possible, in fact unlikely. What methods are available for low-wage workers, such as fast food workers, to reliably get to work?

  • 5
    Maybe there's a separate parking area for employees. – AffableAmbler Jul 5 '18 at 4:03
  • 2
    Have you tried asking them? – Masked Man Jul 5 '18 at 4:17
  • 1
    This question is being discussed on Meta. – David K Jul 5 '18 at 12:28
  • 3
    @MaskedMan Please do not use your moderator privileges to close a question and then reopen it later. It only serves to erase the close votes of community users. If the question was close enough to on-topic that an edit could fix it, then you should not have used your moderator powers in the first place. – David K Jul 5 '18 at 13:14
  • 3
    @DavidK I apologize. My intention was not to override the community. I just wanted to avoid having too many opinionated answers, especially since the original version was more of a "I am curious to know how they got to work" rather than "what options do they have to get to work", especially since that would have probably pushed it to HNQ, and made it harder to clean up later. – Masked Man Jul 5 '18 at 13:35

Having worked minimum wage (or slightly better), I can offer some insights).

It largely depends on your circumstances, but it's usually a mixed bag.

  1. Public transportation not always reliable and sometimes doesn't drop you near enough to work.
  2. Family or friends drop you off.
  3. For the elderly or disabled, there is something called "Para transit", which is publicly funded transportation for people with mobility issues.
  4. Bicycling (not good in the rain)
  5. Picking a job that is local, or close enough to walk to. This is common in both urban and semi rural areas. (In the American Midwest it is more practical as the weather is drier, and rain is less of a problem
  6. In some cases, the employer may provide transport.

Most often, you are going to have to use multiple methods and have a few backups.

When I had to do it, I had to walk 1.6 miles to the bus stop, then take the bus, then walk another half mile to get to work, in one case.

In another, I had to take a bike to the bus stop. This presented another problem because the bus only had a rack that would hold two bicycles. If that was full, you had to wait for the next bus, which meant you always had to plan as if you were going to miss the first bus.

You can also bum the occasional ride. You want good relations with your coworkers if you do this, because you cannot always rely on family and/or friends.

If it's to far to walk, and no public transportation, a bicycle will do, but again, you have to watch out for flat tires and weather. You will need a backup plan in case of weather/flats. Get puncture resistant tires and always have a patch kit if you take this plan.

Walking as an option will work if you are within two miles, otherwise it's just too far to be practical in most cases unless you are in very good shape. But do this for a few weeks and you will be regardless.

Most likely, you are going to be using several of these options, possibly even at once. (Bike to a stop, lock up your bike, take the transit, walk the rest of the way) et cet.

Lots of planning is required.

  • 1
    The employer sometimes handles the transport as well. It's pretty common here for that to happen. – Kilisi Jul 5 '18 at 14:14
  • 1
    I agree with @Kilisi, where I've lived it's also common for the employer to arrange such transportation. Otherwise good answer – DarkCygnus Jul 5 '18 at 16:20

When I was a student, I worked in a rural beach resort as a cleaner. This was a significant trip from the closest city by public transport and a reasonable one by car still. A special staffing company arranged transport between their office in the larger city and the resort. I lived about a mile from their office, so I would use my bicycle to get down to their office. Various co-workers of mine cycled too, took the public transport to the office (which had a bus stop in front) or hitched rides from colleagues. Side note: the two hours each way on the bus was not paid for, only 4 hours of cleaning.


What methods are available for low-wage workers, such as fast food workers, to reliably get to work?

This depends highly on the region, time of year and distance from your home to the working facility. My suggest

Good weather/summer:

  • Assuming that the place of work is not more than 10 km away you could go by bike. Bikes are relatively cheap, easy to maintain and can be used by nearly everybody. Bear in mind if you are living in the swiss alps this might not be the best solution ofc.

  • Walking: No need for any infrastructure and cheap. is an option if you live near by.

For bad weather, winter or long commutes you could do carpooling. Relatively cheap and the responsibility is shared with your co-workers. With this, a car does not need to be there all the time which helps in case one of the cars of your co-workers broke down

  • 1
    Speaking from experience: good weather is a luxury. Bills are there in winter too! Just wear thicker boots. – Belle Jul 5 '18 at 14:34
  • To echo Belle-Sophie's sentiments: I see no reason why you cannot bike in bad weather too (maybe excluding black ice or winter storms). Head over to bicycles.stackexchange.com if you want to know more :-). – sleske Jul 5 '18 at 14:45

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .