SOUTH BEND - The city of South Bend has launched a new initiative to help a select number of residents who don’t have reliable and easy access to transportation get to work. The program is called Commuters Trust.

Participating employees are offered a free bus pass as well as a limited number of discounted classic Lyft rides on trips taken to or from their worksite.

The program is a result of South Bend winning a $1 million three-year grant through the Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge. 

The city says access to reliable transportation is often a hindrance to getting and keeping a job in the South Bend-Elkhart area. Many of the 200 workers to be selected for the program do not have their own vehicles.

Beacon Health System, Notre Dame and South Bend’s Parks Department are the initial employer partners. They all pledged to help defray some of the costs of the program during this first phase.

The city says it will use the first phase of the program to further study the impact of the program.

By the end of the three-year grant period, South Bend aims to establish a sustainable program operated by a partner organization and funded by employer and employee contributions.