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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government


U.S. Department of Transportation
July 5, 1999

Monday, July 5, 1999
Contact: Ben Langer
Telephone: (202) 366-5571or (202) 267-3333
DOT 99-99

Connecting workers and jobs is common sense, says Transportation Secretary Slater

Building upon President Clinton’s commitment to expand economic opportunities in the Mississippi Delta Region, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater, Greyhound Bus Lines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jack W. Haugsland, and Federal Express Chief Operating Officer David Bronczek today announced a unique partnership to provide low-cost transportation connecting workers in Clarksdale, Mississippi, with jobs in Memphis, Tennessee.

The announcement was made as part of the President’s New Markets initiative, which seeks to expand the record six-and-a-half years of economic prosperity under President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore to the people of untapped areas of the nation.

"This program is an investment in the people of the Mississippi Delta region. Connecting people to jobs through reasonably-priced transportation is just plain common sense," said Secretary Slater. "It demonstrates what I’ve said all along: transportation is about more than concrete, asphalt and steel. It’s about investing in people and providing the opportunities to pursue better lives."

"FedEx connects millions of customers to markets in 210 countries around the world daily, and they depend on us to deliver outstanding service with a talented workforce and leading-edge technology systems," said David Bronczek, FedEx Chief Operating Officer. "We’re delighted to be a strong partner in this innovative program connecting Clarksdale with employment opportunities at FedEx and with other businesses throughout Memphis."

"Greyhound is proud to connect more than 3,700 communities across North America as the largest provider of intercity bus transportation," said Greyhound Chief Operating Officer Jack Haugsland. "But we’re even prouder when we can connect one more passenger with one more good job in this country."

Greyhound will offer service every day between the cities, three times in each direction, for a round-trip price of $4.00, under the new program. Morning, late afternoon and evening service seven days a week will be scheduled to coincide with standard and extended working hours.

The new program is designed to address the challenges of a labor shortage in Memphis, a joblessness rate above eight percent in Clarksdale, and a lack of efficient transportation between the two cities.

(Under the current Greyhound schedule, the 90-minute service between the two cities departs Clarksdale in the late afternoon and evening, and departs Memphis in the early morning and at noontime, making it largely unusable by workers.)

Funding for the program, which is expected to begin in the fall, will be provided in part by an in-kind contribution by Greyhound and a $100,000 contribution by Memphis-based Federal Express. Additionally, the program would be eligible for federal Access to Jobs funding through the Clinton Administration’s Welfare to Work initiative.


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