What is reliable transportation and why do employers typically include a question about it in their applications? Simply put, the meaning behind asking about “reliable transportation” is that make sure you can get to work on time each day. Employers want consistency and want to ensure that you have a safe and consistent means to get to work.
Unless frequent travel is required for the job you’re applying for, a car isn’t the only mode of reliable transportation. All of these options can be considered dependable ways to get to work.
To accurately answer the transportation question on an application, do your homework. Where is the location of the job? How will you get there? If you’re driving, what is the best route? If you're traveling by public transit, what lines will get you closest to the job site? If you miss one bus, are there alternative options? To help you determine the best course, try using Google Maps to get a sense of the distance and different times/routes you can take via car, public transit, walking, etc.
Be prepared to talk about how you plan to commute to work. If the question of reliable transportation comes up, here are some sample answers to give the hiring manager confidence that you’ll be a smart, reliable hire.
Question: Do you have reliable transportation?
Answer 1: Yes, I have a well-maintained car.
Answer 2: Yes, I’m fluent in the local bus system. The No. 43 bus arrives one block from the facility every 30 minutes. I can be ready for an 8:30 shift by 8:20.
Answer 3: I’m an avid cyclist. I’m eager to use my commute as my daily exercise. Are there showering facilities here? Or should I just plan to bring a change of clothes each day?
Answer 4: My neighbor, Suzanne Flett, has worked here for the past 2 years. We’ll be carpooling together if you hire me on. (Make sure your friend has a solid history of timeliness and reliability!)
Boost your chances of getting the job by developing a solid commute plan. To create a solid commuting plan try driving the route, taking the bus, riding your bike, or walking — see which is more reliable. Time yourself, and make note of anything that could interrupt getting to work on time. Without reliable transportation that delivers an employee to work on time everyday, great skills and experience are useless to an employer - so make sure to have a plan!