Transforming lives and Northeast Ohio’s economy
Far too many Northeast Ohioans face a critical paradox: They don’t have a car, so they can’t get a job. And since they can’t get a job, they don’t have a car. In June 2019, the Fund for Our Economic Future set out to solve this chicken-and-egg challenge with up to $1 million in funding to support new and innovative ways to connect people to jobs and employers to the talent they need. Through a public competition known as The Paradox Prize, the Fund and its partners sourced more than 150 proposals from across the region—proving high demand for efficient, affordable and accessible transportation solutions.
Ultimately, eight ideas rose to the top. With funding and technical assistance, the pilot teams have spent the last few years refining and implementing their visions. On the whole, their efforts benefited more than 1,300 people, connecting them to jobs that were previously inaccessible and lowering the time and cost of their commute, and connected more than 400 employers to needed talent.
The Paradox Prize demonstrated Northeast Ohio is capable of developing and supporting a variety of affordable, efficient transportation options that help people get, keep and advance in jobs. In short, the paradox is solvable.
Read on to learn about the individual pilots, our major takeaways and where this work is headed.