Welfare Reform:

DOT Is Making Progress in Implementing the Job Access Program

GAO-01-133: Published: Dec 4, 2000. Publicly Released: Dec 4, 2000.

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Welfare recipients who plan to move into the workforce face significant barriers. Three-fourths of welfare recipients live in central cities or rural areas, while two-thirds of new jobs are in the suburbs. Public transportation offers little or no access to many of these jobs. The Job Access and Reverse Commute program authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to provide grants to local agencies, nonprofit groups, transit authorities, and others to improve transportation to employment. This report examines DOT's implementation of the program in fiscal year 2000. GAO found that (1) DOT took steps to improve its process for selecting Job Access proposals for grant awards, (2) almost 90 percent of the fiscal year 1999 Job Access grantees that responded to GAO's survey were satisfied with the goals and intent of the program and, (3) DOT developed an evaluation plan that included specific performance criteria and requested specific information from the grantees for use in evaluating the program.

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