Welfare Reform:

DOT Has Made Progress in Implementing the Job Access Program but Has Not Evaluated the Impact

GAO-02-640T: Published: Apr 17, 2002. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 2002.

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The Department of Transportation's (DOT) Job Access and Reverse Commute (Job Access) Program, has presented implementation challenges for the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). In November 1999, DOT's process for selecting Job Access grantees was inconsistent and the basis for some selections was unclear. In response, DOT took steps to improve its process for selecting grantees by developing a standard format for reviewing proposals and providing more detailed guidance to its reviewers. Grantees reported problems in meeting standard grant requirements for obtaining Job Access funding. Half of the respondents GAO surveyed said that it took too long to satisfy standard FTA grant requirements--on average, about nine months from the time an applicant had been selected for a grant until the time the applicant had satisfied the requirements and received its grant. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century required DOT to evaluate the Job Access program and issue a report by June 2000. However, DOT reportedly has no estimated date for issuing the report. DOT developed a plan and selected an increase in access to employment sites as the sole measure of program success. The use of employment sites as the sole measure of program success neither addresses key aspects of the program nor specifically relates to DOT's criteria for selecting Job Access grantees.

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