oversight

Welfare Reform: Implementing DOT's Access to Jobs Program in Its First Year

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-11-26.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                 United States General Accounting Office

GAO              Report to Congressional Committees




November 1999
                 WELFARE REFORM
                 Implementing DOT’s
                 Access to Jobs
                 Program in Its First
                 Year




GAO/RCED-00-14
      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Resources, Community, and
      Economic Development Division

      B-283299

      November 26, 1999

      The Honorable Phil Gramm
      Chairman
      The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Bud Shuster
      Chairman
      The Honorable James L. Oberstar
      Ranking Democratic Member
      Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
      House of Representatives

      To transition welfare recipients to employment, it is important to provide
      them with transportation to the workplace. Three-fourths of welfare
      recipients live in central cities or rural areas, while two-thirds of the new
      jobs are located in the suburbs. Many of these new jobs are in areas with
      limited or no public transportation systems and are accessible primarily by
      car.1 However, many welfare recipients do not have cars. To address this
      mismatch, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
      (TEA-21) authorized the Access to Jobs and Reverse Commute (Job Access)
      program. The program authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT)
      to provide grants to local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and transit
      authorities, among others, to improve transportation to employment.
      Within DOT, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is responsible for
      implementing the program. TEA-21 authorized up to $750 million for fiscal
      years 1999 through 2003 to implement the program.

      TEA-21 requires us to review the Job Access program every 6 months. This
      report describes (1) DOT’s implementation of the Job Access program,
      particularly its approach for selecting awards in fiscal year 1999; (2) the
      fiscal year 1999 grantees and their planned approaches for providing
      transportation services to low-income workers; and (3) the changes DOT is
      making to the program in response to our prior recommendations,
      including the establishment of specific objectives, performance criteria,
      and measurable goals for evaluating the program’s success.



      1
      The need for transportation services to move people from welfare to work is discussed in Welfare
      Reform: Transportation’s Role in Moving From Welfare to Work (GAO/RCED-98-161, May 29, 1998).



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                   As required by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, DOT
Results in Brief   established and implemented a process for competitively selecting Job
                   Access grantees. DOT selected 179 grantees from 266 applications and
                   awarded almost $71 million of the $75 million provided for the Job Access
                   program for fiscal year 1999. However, DOT did not select grantees
                   consistently, and the basis for those selections was not always clear.
                   Reviewers did not uniformly apply the criteria for ranking and selecting
                   the applications because applications were not standardized, making them
                   difficult to review. In addition, the guidance to DOT reviewers was not
                   sufficiently specific, leading to varying interpretations of how to apply
                   DOT’s criteria for ranking and selecting the applications. DOT officials said
                   that this was a new program and that they designed the process to select
                   applicants based on legislatively established criteria. However, they agreed
                   on the need to improve the process for ranking and selecting applications.
                   In this regard, they plan to develop a standard application format and to
                   revise the process for ranking and selecting applications for fiscal year
                   2000.

                   About 67 percent of the grantees in the first year of the Job Access
                   program were traditional transportation organizations, such as
                   metropolitan transit agencies. According to a DOT official, some
                   nontraditional organizations were involved in designing the selected
                   projects and are involved in their implementation. DOT officials awarded
                   selection points to applicants who demonstrated that, in designing a
                   project, they included nontraditional organizations, such as human service
                   agencies, employers, and metropolitan planning agencies. Most grantees
                   plan to rely primarily on expanding or providing links to existing transit to
                   meet the identified needs in their areas. Many grantees also plan to
                   provide other transportation assistance, such as informing welfare
                   recipients about how to use existing transportation systems.

                   DOT  concurred with the three recommendations that we made in May 1998.2
                   It has implemented two of them and is still determining how to address the
                   third. First, we recommended that DOT coordinate with other federal
                   agencies in implementing welfare-to-work programs. In response, DOT has
                   coordinated with other federal agencies, as called for in TEA-21, by
                   establishing and participating in interagency councils and working groups
                   and by issuing guidelines jointly with other agencies. Second, we
                   recommended that in its welfare-to-work initiatives, DOT require
                   collaboration among local organizations. DOT ranked the grant applicants
                   for fiscal year 1999, in part, on the basis of this level of coordination with

                   2
                    See GAO/RCED-98-161.



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             local agencies that serve various communities. Third, we recommended
             that DOT establish specific objectives, performance criteria, and
             measurable goals for evaluating the program. DOT is still determining how
             to evaluate the Job Access program. It has not yet developed a complete
             set of specific objectives, performance criteria, and measurable goals for
             evaluating the program.


             The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of
Background   1996 dramatically altered the nation’s system for providing assistance to
             the poor. Among the many changes, the act replaced the existing
             entitlement program for poor families (Aid to Families With Dependent
             Children) with fixed block grants to the states to provide Temporary
             Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF imposes work requirements on
             adults and establishes time limits on the receipt of federal assistance.
             However, for welfare recipients trying to move from welfare to work, a
             lack of transportation to the places of employment can pose significant
             barriers. Existing public transportation systems cannot always transport
             low-income people from their homes to the entry-level jobs they would
             likely fill. Many of these jobs are located in suburbs beyond the reach of
             public transportation, or they require shift work in the evenings or on
             weekends when public transportation is unavailable or limited.

             To help address this lack of transportation, TEA-213 established the Job
             Access program. In implementing the program, DOT provides grants to
             local agencies, nonprofit organizations, and transit authorities, among
             others, to improve mobility for low-income individuals seeking
             employment. TEA-21 authorized up to $150 million each year through fiscal
             year 2003 for the Job Access program. The Department of Transportation
             and Related Agencies Appropriations Acts for fiscal years 1999 and 2000
             each provided $75 million for the program.4 TEA-21 also required DOT to
             allocate 60 percent of the program’s funds each year to projects in urban
             areas with populations of at least 200,000; 20 percent of the program’s
             funds to projects in urban areas with populations of less than 200,000; and
             20 percent of the program’s funds to projects in areas other than urban
             ones (“nonurban areas”).5


             3
              P.L. 105-178.
             4
              The Conference Report accompanying the fiscal year 2000 appropriation specifically provided for
             approximately $50 million in funding to individual projects.
             5
              Areas other than urban ones are those with populations of less than 50,000. These areas include small
             towns and rural areas.



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                        TEA-21 required the Secretary of Transportation to solicit grant applications
                        nationwide and to select grant recipients competitively. The Secretary
                        must consider several factors when reviewing and selecting grant
                        applications. To select grants for fiscal year 1999, DOT synthesized these
                        factors into four criteria that applicants had to address. In examining the
                        applications, DOT reviewers could assign up to 110 points, and each
                        criterion was weighted by its relative importance. The criteria were (1) the
                        degree of local coordination when a project was being designed, 25 points;
                        (2) an area’s need for services, 30 points; (3) a project’s effectiveness in
                        providing job access services, 35 points; and (4) the sustainability of a
                        project’s financing—defined as the ability to obtain funding after the
                        termination of Job Access funding—10 points. DOT could award up to 10
                        bonus points for innovative approaches (such as the use of geographic
                        information systems to identify available transportation), links to
                        employment support services, and employer-based strategies (such as
                        employer-run shuttles). According to its program guidance, DOT also
                        considered other factors, including the schedule for implementing a
                        project, the extent to which the Job Access program’s funds remained
                        available for awarding to lower-ranked applications after the
                        highest-ranked applications were selected, and the geographic distribution
                        of grants throughout the country.


                        As required by TEA-21, DOT established and implemented a process to
DOT’s Process for       competitively select grantees for the Job Access program. DOT selected 179
Ranking and Selecting   grantees from 266 applications and awarded almost $71 million of the
Applications            $75 million provided for fiscal year 1999. However, the process was not
                        always consistent, and the basis for those selections was not always clear.

                        According to DOT officials, in establishing a process to review Job Access
                        applications, DOT provided grant reviewers with a guide that contained a
                        number of factors to be considered when scoring each of the four
                        selection criteria. They said that when FTA’s regional offices conducted the
                        initial reviews, individual reviewers assigned a numerical score to each
                        project that was based on the weighted score for each criterion. According
                        to DOT officials, the leaders of headquarters teams then converted the
                        scores of multiple reviewers into a high, medium, or low rating for each
                        criterion, and the headquarters review teams performed additional
                        reviews. Then, the leaders of the headquarters teams made
                        recommendations to the FTA Administrator to fund or not to fund projects.6

                        6
                         These recommendations were contained in project summaries that also included written justifications
                        and any stipulated corrective actions that were required for funding to proceed.



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Specifically, projects ranked “4” or “5” were highly recommended for
funding with few or no stipulated corrective actions needed, projects
ranked “3” were deemed marginal but eligible for funding, and those
ranked “1” or “2” were not recommended for funding because of major
deficiencies or because they were not responsive to the grant
requirements. The FTA Administrator selected for funding all the projects
that the FTA staff ranked “4” or “5,” 7 of the 30 projects ranked “3,” and
none of those ranked “1” or “2.”

While this process was used, the proposals were not selected in a
consistent fashion, and the basis for some selections was unclear. This
inconsistency occurred because the information supplied by applicants
varied in detail and quality and the guidance to DOT’s reviewers on how to
review and rank the applications was not specific enough to ensure
consistent results. Although DOT officials attempted to minimize the
variations among application reviews, they stated that the ranking and
selection process needed to be improved. On the basis of their experience
from the first year of the program, the officials plan to standardize the
application format to ensure that applicants provide more consistent data
in their grant applications. Also, DOT plans to revise the process for ranking
and selecting applications to ensure more consistent results when grants
are awarded for fiscal year 2000.

According to DOT officials, the grant applications for fiscal year 1999 varied
greatly in length and format, making the reviews very time-consuming.
According to these officials, while most of the applications addressed the
criteria that DOT used to review them, some were formatted in a manner
that made them difficult to review. For example, one applicant provided
extensive information about the decline of the industrial base in the state,
which, in the view of DOT officials, was not necessary to document a need
for job access services. Nevertheless, the reviewers had to examine and
synthesize the voluminous documentation. Other applicants did not
provide such extensive information about changes in the economies of
their states. Another difficulty, according to these officials, was that the
guidance given to reviewers was not detailed enough to ensure consistent
scoring. Thus, there were some wide variations in the review results. For
example, some reviewers scored one application as being of “medium”
quality in meeting one criterion and “low” in three other criteria, while
other reviewers scored the same application as “medium” in one criterion
and “high” for the others.




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DOT officials said they designed the award process to select applicants
based on the criteria established in TEA-21. DOT officials said that they
converted the initial numerical scores to the qualitative scores to minimize
the variation in the scores for individual applications. They explained that
some initial reviewers had scored applications more conservatively than
others had and that converting the initial numerical scores to qualitative
scores was an attempt to equalize the reviews performed by different staff.
However, this effort was not entirely successful, and DOT officials could
not demonstrate how numerical scores were directly and consistently
converted to the qualitative scores. For example, a score of 24 out of 35
was considered “high” or “medium” in one case, while a score of 17 was
considered “high” or “medium” in another case.

DOT  officials also could not consistently demonstrate how applications’
overall rankings (1 through 5) were determined from the qualitative scores
for each of the criteria. For example, an application from a city that DOT
classified as medium-sized with qualitative scores of medium in all
categories received a low overall ranking. However, another application in
the medium-sized group had the same qualitative scores but was given a
higher overall ranking. Similar inconsistencies existed in the scores and
selections of applications for urban and nonurban areas.

After DOT had selected the applications with the highest overall rankings,
program officials decided to use some of the remaining fiscal year 1999
funds for other lower-ranked applications. Staff reviewers recommended
that DOT fund some of these lower-ranked applications because they
considered those applications to represent viable projects. However, DOT
management officials did not always select those applications
recommended by the staff reviewers. Moreover, in some cases, DOT
management officials selected other applications with lower qualitative
scores. For example, two applications from medium-sized cities received
the same overall ranking, but DOT funded the applicant with lower
qualitative scores. According to FTA’s deputy administrator, DOT decided to
fund some applications with lower rankings to serve Native American
tribal communities and to provide greater geographic balance in awarding
grants.

DOT officials told us that this is a new program and that the ranking and
selection process needs to be improved. For fiscal year 2000, they plan to
make several changes to the process, including (1) standardizing the
application format to ensure that applicants provide all the required
information, thus helping to eliminate the submission of unneeded



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                           information and helping to speed DOT’s reviews, and (2) developing a
                           uniform application review process to promote greater consistency in the
                           selections. DOT will also eliminate the awarding of bonus points. Instead,
                           when ranking and selecting applications for fiscal year 2000, DOT will
                           consider innovative approaches to providing services, along with the
                           geographic dispersion of the grantees, as an additional factor.


                           The grantees for the Job Access program’s first year were primarily
Job Access Program         traditional transportation agencies—for example, the Washington (D.C.)
Funded Traditional         Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Chicago Transit Authority. A
Transportation             DOT official said he was not surprised at the predominance of these entities
                           because, in his view, meeting the requirements generally applicable to
Agencies and               federal transit grantees is difficult for nontraditional organizations. The
Approaches                 grantees plan to use and expand their traditional and existing transit
                           services to transport welfare recipients and the working poor to places of
                           employment.


Job Access Grantees Are    Existing transportation organizations submitted 170 of the 266
Typically Traditional      applications for Job Access grants in fiscal year 1999. Transit
Transportation Agencies,   organizations also accounted for 122 of the 181 grant awards that DOT
                           made for fiscal year 1999.7 Thirteen grantees were smaller community
but Other Agencies Are     organizations, such as the African American Leadership Partnership in
Also Involved              Chicago and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation in the
                           Oakland area. The balance of the grantees included various government
                           entities, such as the Chicago Housing Authority and DuPage County,
                           Illinois.8

                           A DOT official said that he was not surprised that the Department had
                           received so many applications from traditional transit organizations. The
                           nontraditional organizations are often included in consolidated
                           applications. DOT encouraged consolidated applications and awarded
                           points based on the extent to which applicants utilized existing
                           transportation service providers. According to a DOT program official,
                           relying primarily on traditional transit organizations to provide job access
                           services may help prevent difficulties that nontraditional entities would
                           face in meeting the requirements associated with federal transit grants.

                           7
                            The total of 181 grantees referred to here is greater than the total of 179 grantees that initially received
                           awards because DOT broke some of the applications into separate grants when it made the final
                           awards.
                           8
                            See app. I, table I.1 for specific information on the types of grantees.



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                             According to some grantees, these requirements are complex,
                             time-consuming, and costly to meet, especially if a grantee does not have
                             the structure to meet those requirements. Specifically, some grantees said
                             it would be difficult to satisfy the requirements involving participation by
                             disadvantaged business enterprises,9 labor protection arrangements, and
                             drug testing. For example, one grantee plans to use taxicabs to transport
                             an apartment complex’s residents to work during late-hour shifts when
                             other transportation options are not available. Grantee officials said that
                             they believe it will be difficult to contract with a taxi company that will
                             pay for drug and alcohol testing for all of its drivers, while getting only a
                             relatively small increase in business from the grantee.

                             According to a DOT program official, although most grantees are traditional
                             transit agencies, nontraditional organizations were involved in designing
                             the grantees’ projects and are involved in their implementation.
                             Specifically, DOT awarded selection points to applicants that demonstrated
                             that in designing a project, they had included various transportation
                             providers and others, such as human service agencies, employers,
                             metropolitan planning organizations, states, communities, and individuals.
                             In addition, some traditional agencies that are grantees will fund the
                             efforts of nontraditional organizations that provide service directly to
                             beneficiaries. For example, one urban transit agency will ultimately
                             distribute funds to seven projects in its area, including one planned by a
                             local community organization and another planned by the local public
                             housing authority.


Grantees Plan to Rely on a   The grantees plan to use a variety of traditional approaches to meet the
Variety of Traditional       transportation needs of low-income workers.10 The most prevalent
Types of Transit             approach to providing transportation, planned by over 50 percent of the
                             grantees, relies to some extent on existing transit services, such as buses
                             or trains. Many of these grantees plan to expand existing transit service by
                             extending the hours of service on an existing route or increasing the
                             locations reached by existing transit lines. For example, one grantee plans
                             to double the frequency of fixed-route service through a low-income
                             section of town.



                             9
                              Under DOT’s disadvantaged business enterprise program, certain grantees are required to establish
                             programs with goals for participation by small business concerns owned and controlled by socially
                             and economically disadvantaged individuals.
                             10
                              See app. I, table I.2 for information on the specific types of transportation that grantees plan to
                             provide.



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                      Grantees also plan to provide a variety of nontraditional transportation
                      and other services. Grantees plan to use vans, shuttles, and
                      demand-responsive methods11 to transport people to and from their jobs
                      or to and from their homes to existing transit lines. Although some
                      grantees plan to provide transportation only to and from work, many
                      grantees plan to provide other services—for example, providing
                      guaranteed rides home to help program beneficiaries meet emergency
                      child care responsibilities. One grantee is planning to provide
                      transportation vouchers to the program’s beneficiaries that can be used for
                      these responsibilities. In addition to transporting program beneficiaries, 57
                      grantees plan to provide some sort of transportation information to them.
                      For example, one grantee plans to develop a Traveler Information System
                      that will inform beneficiaries about how to access fixed route and shuttle
                      services. Other examples are grantees’ employing a transportation
                      coordinator or promoting expanded transportation services.


                      In May 1998, we made three recommendations to the Secretary of
DOT Has Taken         Transportation about the implementation of the Job Access program.
Actions in Response   First, we recommended that the Secretary coordinate DOT’s
to Our Prior          welfare-to-work activities with those of other federal agencies, as called
                      for in TEA-21. Second, we recommended that the Secretary require grant
Recommendations on    recipients to coordinate their transportation strategies with local job
the Job Access        placement and other social service agencies. TEA-21 requires that, in
                      awarding grants, DOT consider the extent to which an applicant
Program               demonstrates that it has consulted with the community to be served.
                      Because grantees can use other federal funds to match the Job Access
                      grants, sustained coordination among DOT, other federal agencies, and
                      local agencies is important in ensuring the effective use of welfare-to-work
                      funds. Third, we recommended that the Secretary establish specific
                      objectives, performance criteria, and measurable goals for the Job Access
                      program.12 Implementing this recommendation is important for DOT to
                      ascertain the extent to which the program assists welfare recipients and to
                      avoid duplicating other federal and state welfare programs. Moreover,
                      TEA-21 required DOT to evaluate the program and report to the Congress by
                      June 2000.




                      11
                        Demand-responsive methods transport passengers, via cars, vans, or buses, in a flexible fashion,
                      when passengers call to be taken to their destinations. They do not operate over a fixed route or on a
                      fixed time schedule.
                      12
                        GAO/RCED-98-161.



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DOT  agreed with our first recommendation that the Secretary of
Transportation coordinate DOT’s welfare-to-work activities with those of
other federal agencies. At DOT’s invitation, executive-level representatives
of the departments of Labor and of Health and Human Services have met
with DOT representatives in a “policy council” to discuss the
implementation of the Job Access program. DOT also formed interagency
working groups to ensure that the Job Access program complements other
federal programs. Moreover, in May 1998, before the Job Access program
was authorized, and again in December 1998, the Secretaries of those
departments issued joint guidance to states and localities, describing how
the departments’ programs could be used together to implement
transportation strategies under welfare reform.13 These measures are
intended to help the Job Access program avoid duplicating other
transportation programs, among other things.

DOT also agreed with our second recommendation that it require Job
Access grantees to coordinate their transportation strategies with local job
placement and other social service agencies. Among the steps it took in
response, DOT required the Job Access grant applicants to submit projects
that were based on regional planning processes that included
representatives from both transit and social service providers, such as
local job placement agencies. DOT assessed those grant applications based
on the extent of this local coordination.

As for our third recommendation, DOT officials recognized the need for a
plan that has specific objectives, performance criteria, and measurable
goals to evaluate the program’s success. However, DOT has not yet
designed and implemented the plan. In the interim, DOT has adopted a goal
of increasing the number of new employment sites that the Job Access
program will make accessible. In addition, DOT notified grantees that it
expects them to monitor the performance of their projects and to report
such information as (1) the number of transportation services a Job
Access project added, (2) how a project improved the accessibility of jobs
and support services in a target area, and (3) the number of people using a
project’s expanded services. However, DOT has not yet established goals or
benchmarks against which these collected data can be compared.



13
  See Transportation Coordination: Benefits and Barriers Exist and Planning Efforts Progress Slowly
(GAO/RCED-00-1, Oct. 22, 1999). In 1986, the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and
Transportation established a Coordinating Council on Human Services Transportation, consisting of
representatives from their departments. As stated in this report, we found that the Council needs to be
strengthened. Specifically, although for several years the two departments have been drafting a
strategic plan for the Council, it is unclear when any of the plan’s proposed tasks will be undertaken.



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                  Therefore, the data alone are not sufficient to measure the program’s
                  overall performance or success.


                  We provided the Department of Transportation with a draft of this report
Agency Comments   for review and comment. We met with FTA officials, including the Director
                  of the Office of Research Management and the Coordinator of the Job
                  Access program. The Department agreed with the findings of our report
                  and provided a number of clarifying and technical suggestions that we
                  incorporated as appropriate. For example, the Department suggested that
                  we include more information about the process that it used to select and
                  rank applications from prospective grantees. The Department also
                  clarified the dates on which it, along with other agencies, had issued
                  guidelines to states and localities describing how these agencies’ programs
                  could be used together to implement transportation strategies under
                  welfare reform.


                  To obtain information on how DOT has implemented the Job Access
Scope and         program, we interviewed FTA officials and examined documentation,
Methodology       internal reports, grant applications, and other descriptive materials about
                  the program. To identify the grantees and how they plan to use the Job
                  Access funds, we reviewed documents that summarized the projects. We
                  also interviewed some of the grantees. To determine the steps taken by
                  DOT to evaluate the Job Access program, we interviewed FTA officials and
                  reviewed relevant documentation. We performed our review from May
                  through November 1999 in accordance with generally accepted
                  government auditing standards.


                  We are sending copies of this report to the cognizant congressional
                  committees; Rodney E. Slater, Secretary of Transportation; Gordon J.
                  Linton, Administrator, Federal Transit Administration; and other
                  interested parties. We will make copies available to others upon request.




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If you have any questions about this report, please call me at
(202) 512-2834. Key contributors to this report were Ruthann Balciunas,
Catherine Colwell, Eric Diamant, Ernie Hazera, and Frank Taliaferro.




Phyllis F. Scheinberg
Associate Director,
Transportation Issues




Page 12                                        GAO/RCED-00-14 Welfare Reform
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Appendix I

Description of Grantees and Type of
Planned Services

                                    Of the 266 Job Access applications for fiscal year 1999, 64 percent (170
                                    applications) were submitted by transportation organizations. Sixty-seven
                                    percent of the grantees (122 of the 181 grantees) were transportation
                                    organizations. These transportation organizations included state
                                    departments of transportation and entities that typically receive Federal
                                    Transit Administration (FTA) grants, such as the Washington Metropolitan
                                    Area Transit Authority. In addition, community organizations, such as
                                    Change Inc., Project Renewal, and the Red Lake Band of Chippewa
                                    Indians, constituted 11 percent of the applicants and 7 percent of the
                                    grantees. The remaining 24 percent of the applicants and 27 percent of the
                                    grantees were planning organizations (including metropolitan planning
                                    organizations), government agencies (including counties and cities), and
                                    human service organizations (for example, public housing authorities and
                                    state social service agencies). See table I.1 for specific numbers and
                                    percentages.

Table I.1: Types of Organizations
Applying for and Receiving Job                                Number of         Percentage of           Number of        Percentage of
Access Grants                       Type of grantee          applications        applications            grantees            grantees
                                    Transportation
                                    organizations                       170                   64                 122                     67
                                    Community
                                    organizations                         30                  11                  13                      7
                                    Planning
                                    organizations                         22                   8                  16                      9
                                    Government
                                    entities                              21                   8                  18                     10
                                    Human service
                                    organizations                         19                   7                  12                      7
                                    Employer-
                                    sponsored
                                    organizations                          1                   0                    0                     0
                                    Information not
                                    available                              3                   1                    1                     1
                                    Total                               266                   99a                181b                100
                                    a
                                    Percentages do not add to 100 because of rounding.
                                    b
                                     The total of 181 grantees is greater than the 179 grantees that initially received awards because
                                    DOT broke up some of the applications into separate grants as the final projects were approved.



                                    In some cases, although one agency had been designated as an applicant
                                    for a number of projects, the development of the project or projects
                                    involved a number of different organizations. For example, the Maryland
                                    Department of Transportation served as the applicant for 15 projects



                                    Page 14                                                          GAO/RCED-00-14 Welfare Reform
                                        Appendix I
                                        Description of Grantees and Type of
                                        Planned Services




                                        around the state. However, the Department had held several regional
                                        meetings throughout the state to involve different types of organizations,
                                        including employers and public agencies, in developing projects and
                                        applying for grants.

                                        In addition, the 181 Job Access grantees are planning to provide a wide
                                        variety of transportation services to meet the needs identified in their
                                        areas. Ninety-three plan to extend current transit service by providing
                                        services on weekends or during evening hours or to new employment
                                        sites, and 78 plan to provide new service.1 In addition, 34 grantees are
                                        planning to implement transportation services that are provided as needed
                                        (“demand-responsive” services), as opposed to operating transit vehicles
                                        on fixed schedules or routes. Also, 75 of the project summaries state that
                                        the grantees plan to use vans or shuttles to provide service. See table I.2
                                        for the types of transportation that the grantees plan to provide.

Table I.2: Grantees’ Planned Services
                                                                                                     Number of         Percentage of
                                        Service description                                           grantees             grantees
                                        Transportation approach
                                        Fixed route extension (frequency or location)                        93                   51
                                        New service                                                          78                   43
                                        Demand-responsive service                                            34                   19
                                        Connection to existing service                                       25                   14
                                        Transportation mode
                                        Van or shuttle                                                       75                   41
                                        Bus or rail                                                          25                   14
                                        Carpooling or ridesharing                                            17                    9
                                        Taxi                                                                  7                    4
                                        Other services
                                        Marketing or information coordinator                                 57                   31
                                        Guaranteed ride home or transportation for
                                        emergency child care                                                 19                   10
                                        Access to child care, training, or social
                                        service agency locations                                             22                   12
                                        Opportunities for employment in the
                                        transportation sector                                                 5                    3

                                        In addition to providing transportation, 57 of the grantees said they
                                        planned to provide some sort of transportation information to their
                                        projects’ beneficiaries. Some of these grantees planned to provide

                                        1
                                         Some grantees planned to provide a number of different services.



                                        Page 15                                                         GAO/RCED-00-14 Welfare Reform
           Appendix I
           Description of Grantees and Type of
           Planned Services




           information on current transportation options; others planned to employ a
           transportation coordinator to provide information tailored to individual
           beneficiaries. In addition, some grantees planned to provide transportation
           to help beneficiaries get to child care or to return home during the work
           day to deal with emergencies. Table I.2 provides the specific numbers on
           the types of services grantees are planning to provide.




(348175)   Page 16                                         GAO/RCED-00-14 Welfare Reform
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