The NY Times features a story in their "The Neediest Cases" series that demonstrates the importance of transportation access. Jessica Torres received an $89 grant with which she purchased a one-month unlimited Metrocard which she used to attend a job-training program with Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. Her experience their led to paid work. This is a nice example of how valuable transportation access is for household welfare.
Transportation costs are, on average, the second largest household expense after housing and access to quality transportation choices is critical to take advantage of employment opportunities throughout the city. Simply providing transportation facilities isn't enough if people can't afford them, and in New York transit can be prohibitively expensive in time and out-of-pocket costs for many families. Direct subsidy to people who need access to transportation is one way to improve accessibility and move towards better alternatives for transportation finance.