Job Access/Reverse Commute

Description: The Job Access and Reverse Commute grant program assists states and localities in developing new or expanded transportation services that connect welfare recipients and other low income persons to jobs and other employment related services. Job Access projects are targeted at developing new or expanded transportation services such as shuttles, vanpools, new bus routes, connector services to mass transit, and guaranteed ride home programs for welfare recipients and low income persons. Reverse Commute projects provide transportation services to suburban employment centers from urban, rural and other suburban locations for all populations. Criteria for evaluating grant applications for Job Access and Reverse Commute grants include:

    • Coordinated human services/transportation planning process involving state or local agencies that administer the Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF) and Welfare-to-Work (WtW) programs, the community to be served, and other area stakeholders;
    • Unmet need for additional services and extent to which the service will meet that need;
    • Project financing, including sustainability of funding and financial commitments from human service providers and existing transportation providers;

Other factors that may be taken into account include the use of innovative approaches, schedule for project implementation and geographic distribution.

Coordination: The Job Access and Reverse Commute grant program is intended to establish a coordinated regional approach to job access challenges. All projects funded under this program must be the result of a collaborative planning process that includes states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), transportation providers, agencies administering TANF and WtW funds, human services agencies, public housing, child care organizations, employers, states and affected communities and other stakeholders. The program is expected to leverage other funds that are eligible to be expended for transportation and encourage a coordinated approach to transportation services.

In urbanized areas with 200,000 population or more, MPOs select the applicant(s). In small urbanized areas under 200,000 population and in non-urbanized, rural, areas states select the applicant(s). Tribal governments must go through the state process but, once selected, can choose to be sub-recipients of the state or apply directly to FTA.

Funding: Funding for Job Access and Reverse Commute grants is authorized at $150 million annually beginning in FY 1999, including up to $10 million for Reverse Commute Grants. A 50/50 Federal/local match is required. Other Federal funds can be used as part of the local match. In FY 2000, the Congress appropriated $75 million for the program.

For More Information Contact: Karen Harris