Welfare Reform:

GAO's Recent and Ongoing Work on DOT's Access to Jobs Program

GAO-01-996R: Published: Aug 17, 2001. Publicly Released: Aug 17, 2001.

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Jayetta Hecker
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Without adequate transportation, welfare recipients face significant barriers in moving from welfare to work. Three-fourths of welfare recipients live in central cities or rural areas, while two-thirds of the new jobs are in the suburbs. For many of these new jobs, access to public transportation facilities, such as buses or subways, is limited or nonexistent. To address this issue, the Department of Transportation (DOT) implemented the Job Access and Reverse Commute program. GAO's previous reviews of this program found that, although it would help support the reform of the welfare system by providing transportation resources to welfare recipients, DOT needed to improve several aspects of the program. GAO made several recommendations to enhance DOT's evaluation of the program and to promote coordination with other agencies. GAO reported that in 1999 and 2000, DOT had implemented the recommendations and had taken steps to refine its grant selection process. GAO plans to issue a report on the Job Access program in December 2001, and, in 2002, GAO expects to report on grantees' experiences in implementing their Job Access projects.

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