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Detailed Information on the
Federal Transit Administration - State Administered Public Transit Grant Programs Assessment

Program Code 10009005
Program Title Federal Transit Administration - State Administered Public Transit Grant Programs
Department Name Department of Transportation
Agency/Bureau Name Federal Transit Administration
Program Type(s) Block/Formula Grant
Assessment Year 2007
Assessment Rating Effective
Assessment Section Scores
Section Score
Program Purpose & Design 100%
Strategic Planning 100%
Program Management 89%
Program Results/Accountability 75%
Program Funding Level
(in millions)
FY2007 $816
FY2008 $790
FY2009 $836

Ongoing Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments
2007

During the formulation of the next reauthorization proposal, FTA will consider and propose modifications to make the funding sources more flexible and simplify the program structure.

Action taken, but not completed
2007

FTA will continue to improve program oversight of the recipients and request additional funding to support improved oversight activities.

Action taken, but not completed

Completed Program Improvement Plans

Year Began Improvement Plan Status Comments

Program Performance Measures

Term Type  
Long-term Outcome

Measure: 75 percent of counties with non-urban area population will have transit service in five years.


Explanation:This is a measure of the increase in transit service available to people in counties with non-urbanized area populations, which is an indication of the increased transit accessibility and ridership for the population targeted by the Other than Urbanized Areas grant program.

Year Target Actual
1994 Baseline 60%
2006 64.0% 64%
2007 64.8% available 9/2008
2008 67.2%
2009 70.4%
2010 73.2%
2011 75.0%
2012 76.8
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Increase the ridership of Elderly individuals and Individuals with disabilities by 20 percent in five years.


Explanation:Ridership is a measure of the increase in trips provided to elderly and disabled persons, who without the services of this formula grant program, would not have access to medical, recreational and other activities.

Year Target Actual
2006 Baseline 2.75
2007 4% Avaiable 9/2011
2008 4% Available 9/2011
2009 4%
2010 4%
2011 4%
2012 4%
Long-term Outcome

Measure: Increase the percentage of job sites made accessible by Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) transportation services by 14% by 2009.


Explanation:This performance measure is being revised to increase the percentage of jobs made accessible by Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) transportation services by 2009. Baseline data for the new measure will be available by the summer of 2007.

Year Target Actual
2004 Baseline 11%
2009 14%
2010 TBD
2011 TBD
2012 TBD
Long-term Outcome

Measure: The percentage increase in the jobs made accessible by Job Access and Reverse Commte (JARC) Transportation services will be _____ by 2011. (Replaces current JARC Measure.)


Explanation:This is a NEW performance measure that will replace the current performance measure; the number of job sites reached due to Job Access and Reverse Commute services. Baseline data is being collected and should be available in the summer of 2007.

Year Target Actual
2006 Baseline TBD
2007 TBD TBD
2008 TBD
2009 TBD
2010 TBD
2011 TBD
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Completed grant applications will be processed in an average of 36 days.


Explanation:Improving the timeliness of grant processing is an important component to FTA's effort to be more customer-focused and results-oriented. Also, the timely processing of grants allows the grantees to spend the funds necessary to improve accessibility, mobility and ridership for the populations targeted by these programs.

Year Target Actual
2003 Baseline 39
2004 36 30
2005 36 28
2006 36 28
2007 36 29
2008 36
2009 36
2010 36
2011 36
Annual Outcome

Measure: Increase ridership in non-urbanized areas by 3 percent annually.


Explanation:This is an annual performance measure for the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Area Program.

Year Target Actual
2006 Baseline 3%
2007 3% Available 3/2009
2008 3%
2009 3%
2010 3%
2011 3%
2012 3%
Annual Outcome

Measure: Increase the number of rides provided annually for individuals with disabilities and elderly individuals by 4 percent.


Explanation:This is an annual performance measure for the Formula grants for special needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program.

Year Target Actual
2006 Baseline 4%
2007 4% Available 9/2011
2008 4% Available 9/2011
2009 4%
2010 4%
2011 4%
2012 4%
Annual Output

Measure: Increase the number of job sites accessed as a result of JARC services by 50,000 a year.


Explanation:This is a performance measure for the Job Access and Reverse Commute grant program. The measure is currently being revised to percentage increase in the number of jobs reached due to JARC services. Baseline information for this new measure will be available in the Summer of 2007.

Year Target Actual
2002 Baseline 17,000
2003 50,000 73,700
2004 50,000 82,800
2005 50,000 95,400
2006 50,000 91,200
2007 50,000 TBD
2009 50,000
2010 50,000
2011 50,000
Annual Efficiency

Measure: Average number of days to complete grant processing after the submission of a completed application


Explanation:

Year Target Actual
2006 36 28
2007 36 29
2008 36
2009 36
2010 36
2011 36
2012 36
2013 36

Questions/Answers (Detailed Assessment)

Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design
Number Question Answer Score
1.1

Is the program purpose clear?

Explanation: Section 5310 Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities provide capital funding to implement and maintain public transportation systems to meet the mobility needs of these two populations when existing transportation services are unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate to meet their needs. Section 5311 Formula Grants for Other-Than-Urbanized Areas provide funding for capital and operating assistance to implement and maintain public transportation systems for residents of rural counties and also assists states in supporting rural intercity bus services. Section 5316 Job Access and Reverse Commute Formula Grants support the development and maintenance of transportation services designed to transport welfare recipients and eligible low-income individuals to and from job locations and activities related to their employment; and to support transportation projects designed to transport residents of urbanized areas and rural areas to suburban employment locations. Section 5317 New Freedom Program grants fund services and facility improvements to address the transportation needs of persons with disabilities that go beyond those required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. This program was created by the current surface transportation authorization legislation: the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users. The New Freedom Program is still in the implementation phase and will not be considered in this PART assessment.

Evidence: Federal Public Transportation Law -Chapter 53 of Title 49 of the United States Code (USC ), as amended by the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) Sections 5310(a)(1); 5311(b)(1), 5311(c)(1), and 5311(f); and 5316 (a)(1) and (a)(4); FTA most recent Circulars 9040 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions (April 1, 2007) ; 9070 The Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions (May 1, 2007); and 9050 Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Guidance and Application Instructions (May 1, 2007), http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html. FTA Circulars 9040.1F (April 1, 2007); 9070.1F (May 1, 2007); 9050.1 (May 1, 2007). 9040.1F was published February 28, 2007. The other circulars will be published by March 30, 2007, with effective dates one month later.

YES 20%
1.2

Does the program address a specific and existing problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: The program to provide formula grants for special needs of elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities was initiated in the 1970's to give capital assistance (vehicles) to help private non-profit organizations provide supplementary transportation services where public transit was "unavailable, insufficient, or inappropriate." The need for transit services for these target populations remains ongoing, particularly in rural locations. Ongoing need in the foreseeable future is further indicated by Census Bureau projections that show that the number of Americans 65 and over will increase from the present 12 percent level to over 18 percent by 2025. The overall populations of persons with disabilities is also projected to rise during the same time period, including the population of disabled war veterans. The program has been, and remains, an important component of coordinated public transit-human service provision in both rural and urbanized areas. When the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program was enacted in 1979, there was little or no transit in most rural areas. Support for rural intercity bus service was added to the program in 1991 in response to the loss of service following deregulation of the industry in the 1980's. In the 1990's, 40 percent of non-metropolitan counties still had no public transit service, and many of the counties with transit had only a minimal level of service. Native Americans living in isolated communities on reservations have long-overlooked transit needs; and, more recently, another major wave of service cuts by the private sector has further reduced the availability of rural intercity bus service. The Job Access and Reverse Commute program was first enacted in 1998, as a component of welfare reform, in recognition that accessible transportation was and remains a major obstacle for low income individuals to find and keep employment. The vision of the program was and is to connect where low income individuals live and where they work. The reverse commute component of the program addresses labor market growth trends in the service sector, much of which is occurring in suburban employment markets. Reverse commute transit grants support the ongoing need to make training and employment opportunities in suburban labor markets accessible to low-income individuals living in urban areas.

Evidence: 2004 Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit: Conditions and Performance Report; 49 USC 5301; H.R. Conf. Rpt. 109-203; The Benefits of Public Transportation, Mobility for America's Small Urban and Rural Communities: APTA, http://www.apta.com/research/info/online/rural.cfm; Aging Americans, Stranded Without Options: Surface Transportation Policy Project (2004) http://www.transact.org/report.asp?id=232; AARP Public Policy Institute, Understanding Senior Transportation: Report and Analysis of a Survey of Consumers Age 50+, p. 15-22, 2002, Washington, DC, http://www.aarp.org/research/housing-mobility/transportation/aresearch-import-743-2002-04.html; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation of the Administration for Families (ACF), Transportation in Rural Communities: Strategies for Serving Welfare Participants and Low-Income Individuals, Rural Welfare Issue Brief, Rural Welfare to Work Strategies Initiative, http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/detail/www.macroint.com/publications/transpo2.pdf.

YES 20%
1.3

Is the program designed so that it is not redundant or duplicative of any other Federal, state, local or private effort?

Explanation: The state-administered transit grant programs compliment, without significant overlap, other Federal, State and local programs that fund transit services to target populations. They are designed to provide support, through the states, for services not otherwise available through private sector firms, generally because it is not economic to provide these services to the particular populations targeted by these programs. The Grants for Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program and The Job Access and Reverse Commute program include a requirement that all projects selected be derived from a locally developed coordinated public transit human service transportation plan. This plan, for both rural and urban communities, is intended to ensure that all resources are considered and that projects are identified to efficiently fill the gaps in service to the elderly, persons with disabilities, and low income individuals without creating service redundancies. The Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program and the Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program both require States to assure FTA that the State programs provide for maximum feasible coordination of transportation services with similar services assisted by other federal or state government funding sources. In all three of these programs, to provide an incentive for coordination with other programs, other Federal funds expended for transportation and revenue received pursuant to a service agreement with a State or local social service agency or a private social service organization are eligible to be used for the local cost share requirement. The Federal Transit Administration requires that grantees from all three of these programs provide for the participation of private companies engaged in public transportation to the maximum extent feasible, and prohibits unfair competition with charter bus operators and school transportation operators. In the case of the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program and the Job Access and Reverse Commute programs, private operators of public transportation are eligible sub-recipients. Under the Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program, acquisition of public transportation services is defined as an eligible capital expense. Unique among Federal transit grant programs, this expanded capital eligibility was originally designed to allow private non-profit agency/grantees to purchase transit service in lieu of purchasing a vehicle, an incentive to take advantage of available private sector resources, such as service provided by taxicab firms and private non-profit agencies. Refining of design for each of these grant programs is ongoing as evidenced by an initiative through the interagency Coordinating Counsel on Access and Mobility, whereby the Federal Transit Administration is currently engaged with other Federal agencies to develop a cost allocation policy such that transportation services that are supported by multiple Federal programs receive funding through a single delivery mechanism at the State and local level. FTA has worked with other Federal departments and agencies through the Federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility[MH1] to adopt and implement Federal Transportation Coordinated Planning and Vehicle Sharing Policies. The objective of these actions are to bring grantees of several programs together to develop a coordinated community transportation plan to avoid service duplication while improving access to transportation and, to coordinate agency trips on federally assisted vehicles.

Evidence: FTA most recent Circulars 9040 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; 9070 The Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions; and 9050 Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Guidance and Application Instructions, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html ; MOU between the Federal Transit Administration and the U.S. Administration on Aging http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/expectmore/detail/www.aoa.gov/prof/transportation/transportation.asp ; Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility policy statements on Coordinated Planning and Vehicle Sharing, http://www.unitedweride.gov/1_1159_ENG_HTML.htm . 49 USC Sections 5310(e) (2); 5311(b)(1); 5311(g)(3); 5310; 5316(a), 5316(b)(1) and 5323(a)(1).

YES 20%
1.4

Is the program design free of major flaws that would limit the program's effectiveness or efficiency?

Explanation: Each of these three state-administered public transit grant programs are structured to provide a predictable funding source for transit services to targeted populations based on factors that represent relative need. All three of these programs are formula programs with funds apportioned to the States, and in the case of Job Access and Reverse Commute grants, also directly to large urbanized areas. The respective apportionment formulas are calculated annually, based on census data for the targeted population group which enables funds to be shifted to areas of growing need. Two of the programs - Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas and Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities - have been in existence since the late 1970's and have been refined through successive reauthorizations and revisions of FTA's program guidance. The Job Access and Reverse Commute Formula Grants originated as a national discretionary grant program in 1999, but then changed to a formula grant program in 2006. FTA solicited and responded to public comment when issuing new and revised circulars for these programs in 2007. The comments identified opportunities to improve FTA's implementation of the programs and FTA's responses to the public comments resulted in streamlined program administration procedures to the extent allowed by statute. All three programs are state administered. The National Cooperative Highway Research Program conducted a study commissioned by the Standing Committee on Public Transportation of the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) which examined State DOT staff resources for administering the FTA grant programs. The study, based on surveys of the State DOT's, found that many States lack adequate resources to manage the programs which have grown in scope and Federal requirements, even though all three programs provide funding for administration, with no local share required. Nonetheless, given the numerous small recipients of assistance at the local level under these programs and the emphasis on coordination with human service transportation programs at the State and local level, State administration is the most effective and efficient way to administer these programs and FTA believes the States will rise to meet the challenge. In the next reauthorization, FTA will explore opportunities to make the funding sources more flexible and simplify the program structures without undermining the integrity of the purposes of each program.

Evidence: Apportionment factors: November 30,2005, http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20051800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2005/05-23322.htm ; FTA most recent Circulars 9040; 9070; and 9050, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html. National Cooperative HIghway Research Program: Research digest 314, "State DOT Staff Resources for Administering Federal Public Transportation Programs," April 2007.

YES 20%
1.5

Is the program design effectively targeted so that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries?

Explanation: Administration of the program through block grants to the States provide flexibility in program design at the local level. The statutory formulas to calculate State-by-State apportionment levels are based on the population of intended beneficiaries in each respective State. In addition, transit project eligibility requirements and agency guidance in the grant application process further ensure that resources will address the program's purpose directly and will reach intended beneficiaries. The statutory requirement mandating that local-level decisions to fund identified needs must be based on a locally developed and locally coordinated public transit-human service transportation plan contributes to efficiency in program administration at the local level and mitigates unintended duplication/overlap from redundant program subsidization. One example of how beneficiaries are actually served by a State-administered transit grant program is the Essex Night Owl in Essex County, New Jersey. The Grantee is NJ TRANSIT and the subrecipient of the funds is Essex County. The Essex "Night Owl" serves Newark Liberty International Airport which is six miles from midtown Manhattan. Some 24,000 people work at the airport. Pennsylvania Station, in downtown Newark, is about three miles from the airport and serves as a major multimodal transportation hub for NJ TRANSIT. Buses operate around the clock between Penn Station and Newark Airport, and rail service to NYC is also available 24 hours a day; however, most local bus routes are not available between one a.m. and five a.m. As a result, while individuals who work late-night or early-morning shifts at Newark Airport can travel between Penn Station and the airport during those early-morning hours, but can't connect to/from their homes. The Essex Night Owl provides demand-response service oriented around Newark Penn Station from 1 to 5 a.m. daily. Connections are available between Newark Penn Station and residential locations in Newark, Orange, East Orange, and Irvington. All residents of these communities are eligible. Passengers at Penn Station may transfer to/from services to Newark Airport and New York City. The service is designed to assist low-income individuals with access to employment. Over half of the passengers are eligible for welfare assistance; 48% are low income TANF-eligible, and 10% are low income General Assistance eligible. Between January and September 2005, Night Owl served 528 individuals. One-way trips during that period totaled 27,769. From 100-120 people ride each weeknight and about 50-60 people on weekends. A goal of the program is to "fill the last mile" - an issue common to many transportation services. Here the missing link was the connection between Penn Station and home for workers traveling in the early-morning hours. By filling this gap, Night Owl helps its passengers to build new lives through expanded employment opportunities.

Evidence: FTA most recent Circulars 9040; 9070; and 9050, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html;49 USC Section 5310; 5311; 5316; FTA Annual Apportionment Notice, http://www.fta.dot.gov/regional_offices_6546.html;State Management Review Handbook, http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/Guidance_6-28-05.pdf;

YES 20%
Section 1 - Program Purpose & Design Score 100%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning
Number Question Answer Score
2.1

Does the program have a limited number of specific long-term performance measures that focus on outcomes and meaningfully reflect the purpose of the program?

Explanation: FTA has three long-term performance measures for the State Administered Grants Programs, each of which are designed to focus on increased transit ridership and accessibility for all Americans; and, each of which are linked directly to the DOT Strategic Plan and to FTA's Annual Performance Plan goals. In addition, because these are block grants that allow grantees to set their own program priorities, these measures address the extent to which grantees (the States) effectively target these respective populations of interest. For the Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program, the long-term performance measure is the percentage increase for this population, nationally, with access to transit as measured by number of rides supported by the program. For the Other than Urbanized Areas grant program the long-term performance measure is the percentage increase in counties with non-urbanized area populations that have transit service. For the Job Access and Reverse Commute program, the long term performance measure is the percentage increase in the job sites reached. The goal of the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program is to provide a means of transportation to work sites that have historically not been served by existing transit services. These gaps in job access that are filled by JARC may be either geographical - physical areas not served by existing routes, or temporal - certain shift change times that are either before or after regular transit service. As a result of the increased number of job sites being serviced by the JARC program, persons who cannot afford personal automobiles will have increased opportunities to find and maintain employment. Beginning in FY 2008 FTA will have a revised more precise long term measure in place, for the JARC program, which is to increase the percentage of jobs reached due to JARC services annually through 2011.

Evidence: The FTA Annual Performance Plan, page 6, http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/FTA_FY07_Annual_Performance_Plan_1-07_(3).doc; The Department of Transportation Strategic Plan for 2006-2011, http://www.dot.gov/stratplan2011/redcong.htm. FTA most recent Circulars 9040; 9070; and 9050, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html.

YES 12%
2.2

Does the program have ambitious targets and timeframes for its long-term measures?

Explanation: FTA has set ambitious targets and over a five-year time frame for its long-term performance measures. For the Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program, the long-term performance measure is the percentage increase for this population, nationally, with access to transit as measured by number of rides supported by the program. The target is a twenty percent increase in overall ridership for these two target populations in five years. For the Other than Urbanized Area grant program, the target is for the number of counties with non-urban population that have public transit service to increase from 64 percent to 75 percent in five years. For the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program, the long term performance measure is the percentage increase in the job sites reached. The current JARC performance measure remained is to increase the job sites accessed due to the JARC program by 14 percent by 2011. This measure will be replaced with a new measure, percentage of jobs reached as a result of JARC services. The baseline information for this performance measure will be available in September of 2007, at which time, a target for a five-year time frame will be finalized. The transit industry has also seen increasing costs - with the rise in the price of gasoline, replacement vehicles, parts, and labor - and much of program funding must be used to simply maintain service. In these three State Administered Programs, though, FTA has elected to significantly expand service and ridership as well; by 20 percent in the Special Needs for Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities Program, by 11 percent of total counties in the Other than Urbanized Area program, and by 14 percent in the JARC program. In comparison, FTA's goal for its Urbanized Area Grant Program is to increase ridership by 1.5 percent each year. Moreover, for the Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program and the JARC program, FTA goals are to significantly increase both service and ridership without a substantial increase in annual funding during current authorization for surface transportation funding. FTA believes that the new requirement for coordinated public transit and human service transportation planning will result in more efficient services and in new services that will increase ridership under both programs. The current surface transportation authorization does substantially increase funding for the Other than Urbanized Area program,prompting FTA set an ambitious goal that would double the increase in service realized in the previous twelve years.

Evidence: Tom Seekins and Alexandra Enders: "Allocation and Use of Section 5310 Funds in Urban and Rural America." Prepared for the Rural Transportation Center at the University of Montana. Federal Transit Administration Statistical Summaries: Fiscal Years 1998 through 2006, Table Four. Community Transportation Association of America Institute of Economic and Social Measurement: Status of Rural Public Transportation 2000. Rich Garrity, Senior Associate of RLS & Associates, Inc., Status of Rural Public Transportation 2006 - preliminary estimates.

YES 12%
2.3

Does the program have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals?

Explanation: The State-administered transit programs have a limited number of specific annual performance measures that can demonstrate progress toward achieving the program's long-term goals. FTA has three annual outcome measures and an efficiency measure designed to track progress toward achieving the long-term performance measures. In addition, because these are block grants that allow grantees to set their own program priorities, these measures address the extent to which grantees (the States) effectively target these respective populations of interest. For the Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program, the annual performance measure is the same as the long-term measure, to increase the number of rides provided annually for individuals with disabilities and older adults (on Section 5310 supported services) each year. For the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program, the annual performance measure is to increase non-urbanized area ridership each year. For the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program, the current performance measure is the increase in employment sites reached annually due to JARC services. This measure is being revised to the increase in the percentage of jobs reached due to JARC services annually. The baseline data for this new JARC measure is currently being developed and will be in place by the summer of 2007, at which time the annual performance measure will also be finalized. The efficiency measure is to process completed grant applications in an average of 36 days.

Evidence: The FTA Annual Performance Plan, http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/FTA_FY07_Annual_Performance_Plan_1-07_(3).doc The Department of Transportation Strategic Plan for 2006-2011, http://www.dot.gov/stratplan2011/redcong.htm. FTA most recent Circulars 9040; 9070; and 9050, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html. Department of Transportation 2006 Performance and Accountability Report, and the FTA FY 2007 Budget Submission.

YES 12%
2.4

Does the program have baselines and ambitious targets for its annual measures?

Explanation: FTA has set ambitious targets and time-frames for its annual performance measures. For the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program, FTA has set a goal to increase ridership by four percent per year. For the Other than Urbanized Areas grant program, the goal is to increase ridership by three percent per year. According to survey information, Other than Urbanized Areas ridership declined between 2000 and 2006; however, Congress has recognized the importance of rural transportation and increased FTA's funding for this program. FTA has set a goal based on the 38 percent increase in non-urban ridership reported between 1994 and 2006. For both the Elderly and Individuals with Disabilities program and the Other than Urbanized Areas program, FTA's performance targets are well above the 1.5 percent increase per year set for the Urban program. For the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program, FTA has exceeded its current performance goal which is to increase the number of job sites reached due to JARC supported services by 50,000 a year. In 2006 the estimated number of job sites reached was 91,000. The new performance goal for the JARC program, the percentage increase in the jobs reached as a result of JARC services, has been established partially in recognition of this fact. The new performance measure will have ambitious targets once the baseline is established in the summer of 2007. The FTA efficiency measure for the programs, to process grant applications within 36 days is an ambitious target applied to all of the FTA grant programs.

Evidence: Tom Seekins and Alexandra Enders: "Allocation and Use of Section 5310 Funds in Urban and Rural America." Prepared for the Rural Transportation Center at the University of Montana. Federal Transit Administration Statistical Summaries: Fiscal Years 1998 through 2006, Table Four. Community Transportation Association of America Institute or Economic and Social Measurement: Status of Rural Public Transportation 2000. Department of Transportation FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report.

YES 12%
2.5

Do all partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the program?

Explanation: All partners commit to and work toward the annual and/or long-term goals of the programs. The three programs (except for the large urbanized area portion of JARC) are administered by the States, in almost all cases the State Department of Transportation. Mobility for these three targeted populations is important to the States and to the local communities and private non-profit organizations that are sub-grantees under the programs. In the case of the Other than Urbanized Areas grant program and the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program, much of the local share comes from contributions from human service programs that serve these populations as clients. State and local governments also provide local match funding and additional related services beyond those supported by the FTA grants. Moreover, the State agencies that administer these programs are accountable to their State legislatures and the Governor for producing results. These programs all require assurances that the funds are being used for eligible purposes. The grant contract with FTA specifies that grantees and sub-grantes must use the funds for eligible purposes and report annually (or quarterly in the case of large urbanized areas) on progress toward meeting milestones established in the grant agreement (e.g., delivery date for vehicles funded under the grant). Beginning in FY 2006, recipients of Formula grants or other than urbanized areas are required by law to report annually to the National Transit Database (NTD) (previously required only for Urbanized Area Formula program recipients). The performance measures established in the new program circular for (Section 5310), the Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program require annual reporting on these measures starting with the report for FY 2007. Since the inception of the JARC program, FTA has asked JARC recipients to report on specific performance measures, to support statutorily mandated reports to Congress and the periodic assessments of the program by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

Evidence: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Survey on State Funding; National Transit Database Rural reporting module; Tom Seekins and Alexandra Enders: "Allocation and Use of Section 5310 Funds in Urban and Rural America." Prepared for the Rural Transportation Center at the University of Montana; Community Transportation Association of America Institute of Economic and Social Measurement: Status of Rural Public Transportation 2000; FTA most recent Circulars 9040; 9070; and 9050, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html;Master Agreement and Certs and Assurances.

YES 12%
2.6

Are independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality conducted on a regular basis or as needed to support program improvements and evaluate effectiveness and relevance to the problem, interest, or need?

Explanation: Since implementation in 1998, the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program has undergone several evaluations by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). During its initial authorization period, the GAO produced reports semi-annually for the Congress on JARC program implementation and performance. In addition to the GAO, an independent analysis was conducted by the University of Illinois, Chicago, wherein were surveyed JARC riders in 23 locations to ascertain whether the program was reaching target populations and how it was impacting their opportunities for employment and personal economic growth. This information was included in a DOT report on the program delivered to Congress in May 2003. Additionally, the University of Illinois, Chicago, is conducting an independent analysis of the effectiveness of the JARC collaborative planning process, as well as developing additional cost benefit and cost effectiveness measures for the program. FTA is also required to deliver a report to Congress on the effectiveness of the program by August 2008, and GAO is required to issue evaluation reports in 2007 and 2009. An independent evaluation of the Formula Grants for the Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program was conducted by the University of Montana Rural Institute and published in the Journal of Public Transportation, a publication of the University of South Florida, National Center for Transit Research. The study was of national scope, surveyed all fifty states, and resulted in a comprehensive analysis of how the States allocate and use the program funds in both urban and rural areas. A review of the Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program was conducted by the University of Oklahoma and by Oklahoma State University to evaluate implementation of a seven state pilot of operating assistance required by SAFETEA-LU. The study looked at the seven affected states and a comparable sample of non-pilot states. Approximately every five years, through the National Rural Transit Assistance program (RTAP), FTA has commissioned an inventory of rural transit providers and a statistical analysis of the characteristics of rural transit service in America. These comprehensive independent national surveys provide valuable information that informed reauthorization in ISTEA, TEA-21, and SAFETEA-LU. Finally, A report commissioned by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials through the National Cooperative Highway Research Program examined State DOT Staff Resources for Administering Federal Public Transportation Programs, including the three programs addressed in this document.

Evidence: Community Transportation Association of America and Institute of Economic and Social Measurement; Status of Rural Public Transportation 2000; Use of Section 5310 Transportation Resources in Urban and Rural America: A Baseline Assessment, University of Montana Rural Institute, (2006): "Allocation and Use of Section 5310 Funds in Urban and Rural America" prepared for the Rural Transportation Center at the University of Montana by Tom Seekins, Alexandra Enders, Alison Pepper, Stephen Sticka Journal of Public Transportation, Volume 10, No. 1, 2007. GAO reports on the JARC Program; FTA Congressional JARC Reports; draft RTAP report on 5311 inventory and status: 2006. TCRP report #79 - Intercity Bus Transit Cooperative Research Program Report 34: Assessment of the Economic Impacts of Rural Public Transportation (1998). R-34 (Project H-11). Brown, D.M., Public Transportation on the Move in Rural America (2004). Prepared by the Economic Research Service. Available at: http://www.transportation.org/?siteid=31&c=downloads; National Cooperative Highway Research Program: Research Results Digest 314, "State DOT Staff Resources for Adminisgtering Federal Public Transportation Programs," April 2007. Methods and Tools for improving Para-Transit Services, Final Report for Phase-1, national Public Transportation Analysis Group 205 Project, May 10, 2007. http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E7-5417.pdf (NPRM on changes to the NTD)

YES 12%
2.7

Are Budget requests explicitly tied to accomplishment of the annual and long-term performance goals, and are the resource needs presented in a complete and transparent manner in the program's budget?

Explanation: The resources for FTA's Job Access and Reverse Commute, Non-Urban Formula, and Elderly and Persons with Disabilities programs are presented in a complete and transparent manner in the annual budget, with each justification identifying accomplishments and expected increases that can be linked to annual and long-term goals. For the Job Access and Reverse Commute grant program, the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request of $156 million is explicitly tied to accomplishments of the annual and long-term performance goals of the JARC program. This budget request also helps FTA meet the long term goal of increasing the percentage of jobs reached due to JARC services by 14 percent through 2009, by providing the funding needed to support job sites accessed. For the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program, the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request of $127 million is explicitly tied to accomplishments of the annual and long-term performance goals. FTA allocates funds to states by an administrative formula consisting of a $125,000 floor for each State ($50,000 for smaller territories) with the balance allocated based on 2000 Census population data for persons aged 65 and over and for persons with disabilities. This ensures that Special Needs for Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities are distributed on a basis that will reflect the need of each State's older population and number of persons with disabilities. In turn, these funds collectively contribute towards the purchase of approximately 38,000 special service vehicles nationwide that supports the annual goal of funds increase in ridership. The long-term goal of 20 percent ridership by 2009 for the program is also met by this budget request and addresses the need to adapt to the shifting demographics of an increasingly older population and an increasing number of persons with disabilities. For the Other than Urbanized Areas grant program, the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request of $506 million is explicitly tied to accomplishments of the annual and long-term performance goals. The annual goal of increasing ridership by 3 percent in non-urbanized areas will be supported through the purchase of transit vehicles through the program, and by the improvement of provider service proficiency through the technical assistance for rural areas, also supported by this program. This budget request also supports the long-term goal of 75 percent of counties with non-urban populations receiving transit service by providing a funding source for new non-urban transit services in counties that currently do not have transit service. Funds for these programs are allocated to DOT strategic goals and President's Management Agenda initiatives through an attribution model. Program funding decisions are made in relationship to overall authorization levels. Each related program office has the opportunity to review and provide additional information in support of the budget request.

Evidence: Federal Transit Administration Budget Estimates for Fiscal Year 2008.

YES 12%
2.8

Has the program taken meaningful steps to correct its strategic planning deficiencies?

Explanation: The program does not have major strategic planning deficiencies. It has in place a limited number of specific, ambitious long-term performance goals and a limited number of annual performance goals. FTA also supports a number of Technical Assistance activities to help grantees meet their performance goals. The National Rural Transportation Assistance Program provides targeted technical assistance resources to both States and local rural transit providers to support ridership goals and the safe and effective delivery of rural transit service. A newly established Center for Senior Transportation will provide similar technical assistance focused on senior transportation, including the Section 5310 program, Formula Grants for the Special needs of Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities. JOBLINKS supports Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC). FTA's leadership in the interagency United We Ride (UWR) initiative supports coordinated human service transportation delivery, and will soon be assisted by the opening of a new technical assistance Center for Coordinated Transportation, authorized in SAFETEA-LU. Under the auspices of UWR, FTA and other Federal agencies developed a series of metrics for coordinated transportation. FTA is including performance measures in each of the new and revised program circulars for Other than Urbanized Areas grant program, Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program and the JARC program. FTA is going to re-baseline the JARC measure in FY 2007. FTA instituted rural reporting to the National Transit Database in 2006, and will be reporting on the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program pilot demonstration of operating assistance in 2008.

Evidence: FTA most recent Circulars 9040 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; 9070 The Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions; and 9050 Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Guidance and Application Instructions, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html;National Transit Database Rural reporting module.

YES 12%
Section 2 - Strategic Planning Score 100%
Section 3 - Program Management
Number Question Answer Score
3.1

Does the agency regularly collect timely and credible performance information, including information from key program partners, and use it to manage the program and improve performance?

Explanation: FTA annually collects financial status reports and milestones from the grantee States for the state-administered public transit grant programs. The grantees also submit a program of projects that details the type of sub-grantees, project descriptions, places of performance, and the ratios of federal and local funding contributed to each transit project. Annual reporting requirements for the for the Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities grant program require annual reporting will be implemented beginning in FY 2007, as explained in the most recent program circular. Beginning in FY 2006, recipients of Nonurbanized Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Areas are required by statute, like the Urbanized Area Formula grantees, to report annually to the National Transit Database (NTD). FTA uses NTD data to develop measures of efficiency and effectiveness. Transit industry partners use NTD for modal analysis and to compare and develop benchmarks for individual service operators. The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program, since inception, has asked required grantees and sub-grantees to annually report on specific performance measures to support statutorily mandated reports to Congress and program evaluations by the program by the Government Accountability Office.

Evidence: FTA most recent Circulars 9040 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions ; 9070 The Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions; and 9050 Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Guidance and Application Instructions, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html;National Transit Database Rural reporting module.

YES 11%
3.2

Are Federal managers and program partners (including grantees, sub-grantees, contractors, cost-sharing partners, and other government partners) held accountable for cost, schedule and performance results?

Explanation: Federal managers are held accountable through annual performance expectations and performance reviews. A key program manager is identified for each program in Headquarters, and each region has a designated contact for the State programs and the JARC urbanized area program. In addition, individual transportation representatives in the region work with each grantee in grant development and oversight. FTA has instituted internal controls at multiple levels to ensure that grantees are held accountable for cost and performance results. All grantees and sub-grantees must certify annually that they will comply with all program requirements and execute grant agreements in accordance with FTA's master agreement. They are also required to submit quarterly progress, milestone, and financial reports, which are reviewed by FTA regional staff with oversight responsibility for sub-grantees. The performance of FTA regional offices in closing findings of deficiencies is monitored on a monthly basis by Headquarters staff. FTA also conducts periodic State Management Reviews to assess each State's processes for managing the programs and overseeing sub-grantees. The State or sub-grantee must respond to and correct any findings of deficiencies. Each State has identified a responsible administering agency for Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program and the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program, and States are in the process of designating the administering agency for Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC). In addition, FTA is establishing procedures that will make JARC grantees in large urbanized areas where the designated recipient for JARC resources is the same as the FTA Urbanized Area Formula Program recipient accountable for providing information on the implementation and management of JARC grants during the Triennial Oversight Review. FTA also monitors the annual audits required by OMB Circular A-133 for findings related to these programs.

Evidence: FTA's Annual Certifications and Assurances Notice (November 7, 2006), http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/pdf/06-9103.pdf; FTA most recent Circulars 9040; 9070; and 9050, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html;State Management Review Handbook.

YES 11%
3.3

Are funds (Federal and partners') obligated in a timely manner, spent for the intended purpose and accurately reported?

Explanation: FTA has policies and procedures in place to ensure funds are obligated in a timely manner, spend for the intended purpose and accurately reported. The FTA efficiency performance measure requires that completed grant applications be processed in 36 days or less, and the agency's progress in meeting this goal is reported monthly. Funds for Formula Grants for the Other than Urbanized Areas program are available for three fiscal years, including the year of appropriation. Seventy to eighty percent of these funds are obligated in the first year and over ninety-five percent within the first two years. Prior to FY 2006, FTA administratively required that funds for the Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program be obligated in the year of appropriation. Congress did not establish a period of availability for the discretionary Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program; however, 75 percent of the JARC funds have been obligated within the first two years. With passage of the most recent authorizing legislation, FTA administratively established a three year period of availability for Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities, and JARC which made the availability for all three programs consistent. Any funds not obligated within the period are reapportioned in the same program to all the States (and/or large urbanized areas, for JARC) in the subsequent fiscal year. Projects established in FTA's Transportation Electronic Award Management (TEAM) system, are approved by the Regional Counsels' as appropriate for funding. Payments are reviewed as part of the single audit requirements of A-133. Monthly and annual Financial Statements report program obligations, and outlays. Annual Financial Statements are audited by independent certified public accountants. Obligations of program dollars are reported in annual "Statistical Summary Reports," the monthly FTA "Transit Trends" Report and the annual Department of Transportation Performance and Accountability Report. During oversight reviews (state management reviews and financial management oversight reviews), FTA contractors review a sample of payments for appropriate documentation, and ensure that appropriate financial management systems and internal controls are in place. Circular A-133 Single Audit findings are tracked and resolved with the grantee. FTA collects any repayments which may be required. FTA has not had findings of significant erroneous payments nor any violations of the Anti-Deficiency Act related to the state-administered formula grant programs.

Evidence: DOT Audit report OTRAK Documentation Circulars for the three programs, FY 2006 Grant Processing Report; FTA A-133 Documentation.

YES 11%
3.4

Does the program have procedures (e.g. competitive sourcing/cost comparisons, IT improvements, appropriate incentives) to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in program execution?

Explanation: FTA has procedures to measure and achieve efficiencies and cost effectiveness in the execution state-administered formula grants programs. Since 2002, FTA has used an efficiency with a baseline and targets for grant processing time. Other program execution related performance measures include timely closeout of grants that are fully expended or inactive and the closing of findings from grantee reviews. FTA's Transportation Electronic Award Management (TEAM) system is key element to achieving these efficiency measures. In addition to the TEAM system, FTA is in the process of implementing a managerial cost accounting system that will permit FTA to analyze administrative cost inputs in comparison to outputs and outcomes.

Evidence: FY 2006 Strategic Business Plan Document; Trends report; FY 2006 Performance Appraisal Sample; Department of Transportation Performance and Accountability Report for 2006; FY 2006 End of Year (EOY) grant processing report by program; FY 2006 Close out report.

YES 11%
3.5

Does the program collaborate and coordinate effectively with related programs?

Explanation: The core statutory requirement in the Job Access and Reverse Commute program (JARC) and the Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program mandates that all projects by these resources be derived from a locally developed coordinated public transit/human service transportation plan. This ensures that the programs will be coordinated with each other, and at the local level, with other FTA transit programs for the general public: the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program, and Urbanized Area Formula Grant program. FTA has issued a new or revised program circular each of these programs. The Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program and JARC circular will contain identical guidance on the coordinated planning requirement, and the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program circular will emphasize the importance of participating in the planning process. FTA regional staff work to effectively coordinate all public transit grant programs. To encourage coordination among federal programs outside of DOT, other Federal funds from such programs can be used for the local share for these DOT programs. The Federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility (CCAM) for which FTA is the lead agency, recently issued policy statements on coordinated planning for transportation for these target populations and on vehicle sharing under the programs. A third policy statement, on cost allocation, when multiple Federal programs support the same transportation service, is being developed with the participation of Office of Management and Budget.

Evidence: Federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility Policy Statement on Coordinated Human Service Transportation Planning, http://www.unitedweride.gov/1_1196_ENG_HTML.htm;Federal Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility Policy Statement on Vehicle Sharing, http://www.unitedweride.gov/1_1196_ENG_HTML.htm;Chapter V of most recent FTA Circular 9050 and 9070. http://www.unitedweride/.

YES 11%
3.6

Does the program use strong financial management practices?

Explanation: Annual allotments of budgetary resources enacted by Congress are established in the Transportation Electronic Award and Management (TEAM) system. State-administered public transit formula grant program funds are apportioned to state-grantees based on statutory formulas. Although state-grantees have broad discretion to set their own program authorities, they must submit for FTA approval an application for prior to obligation of program resources. Applications received by FTA are entered into TEAM based on projects developed through a coordinated local planning process described in the explanation to question 3.5, et. al. Project funds are reserved once an application is complete. Obligations and "authorized disbursements" are passed to the DOT DELPHI accounting system. FTA budget staff review reports on budget execution monthly and ensure that TEAM data can reconcile to information in the DELPHI system. To comply with Federal financial regulations, FTA is implementing a managerial cost accounting system. FTA aligns all administrative costs and programs costs with the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Strategic Goals and its Annual Performance Plan to meet the Federal regulations and demonstrate adherence with the President's Management Agenda (PMA) requirements of Improved Financial Performance. No material weaknesses were reported in reference to these specific programs by the Department's annual audit of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in September 2006.

Evidence: Department of Transportation Highway Trust Fund Independent Auditor's Report and Financial Statements September 30, 2006 and 2005. -- KPMG Certified Public Accountants. FTA Managerial Cost Accounting System Orientation.

YES 11%
3.7

Has the program taken meaningful steps to address its management deficiencies?

Explanation: Management deficiencies are generally identified through internal audits or external audits and program evaluations. No material weaknesses have been identified in either independent or internal evaluations of the management of each of the state-administered public transit grant programs. FTA uses the Annual Performance Plan quarterly assessment to evaluate program management and correct deficiencies in a timely manner once they are identified. FTA's Executive Management Team (EMT) meets quarterly to review progress in meeting key deliverables and program managers use these monthly management reports and their associated financial data to make key resource decisions that keep the agency on track to meet its goals. FTA's Transit Trends Report and the Strategic Plan quarterly assessment are key to ensure that data is used strategically to achieve target milestones, and that targets are being achieved in the most efficient manner. Key performance measures and results are analyzed and the results are made available to all FTA personnel, grantees, and partners through the FTA Website.

Evidence: FTA's Transit Trends Report; DOT FY 2007 Performance and Accountability Report. Department of Transportation Highway Trust Fund Independent Auditor's Report and Financial Statements September 30, 2005 and 2006.

YES 11%
3.BF1

Does the program have oversight practices that provide sufficient knowledge of grantee activities?

Explanation: FTA has established a framework for oversight practices that includes an annual grantee oversight assessment, the development of oversight recommendations for each grantee, and mechanisms to implement reviews. FTA has a comprehensive set of grantee/sub-grantee oversight programs and procedures including a triennial review, financial management oversight review, state management review and procurement system review to monitor grantee/sub-grantee practices and compliance with program requirements. FTA also conducts workshops and seminars as a complement to the oversight reviews to provide our grantees/sub-grantees with the information they need to meet program requirements. FTA regional staff deployed full-time throughout the country create and maintain working relationships with the grantees/sub-grantees, conduct site visits, and enhance contractor-led oversight capacity and activities.

Evidence: State Management Review Handbook (provided on disc): FTA most recent Circulars 9040 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; 9070 The Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions; and 9050 Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Guidance and Application Instructions, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html.

YES 11%
3.BF2

Does the program collect grantee performance data on an annual basis and make it available to the public in a transparent and meaningful manner?

Explanation: FTA collects and reports performance data for the JARC program through the DOT Performance and Assessment Report (PAR) which is public a report. The DOT 2006 PAR was awarded the highest honor given PAR reports. The JARC congressional report which was prepared to report program accomplishments is also available for the public on FTA's website. Beginning with the 2006 NTD reporting year, FTA collected data on all Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas program sub-grantees, including some operational data which will be included in the National Transit Database. Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas information will be available to the public before the end of FY 2007. Performance data has not been collected in the past for the Elderly and Individuals with Disabilities program, but new program guidance effective May 1, 2007, requires performance measures to be included in annual grant status reports at the end fiscal year. FTA will analyze this and make it available to the public.

Evidence: FTA most recent Circulars 9040 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions; 9070 The Elderly and Persons With Disabilities Program Guidance and Application Instructions; and 9050 Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Guidance and Application Instructions, http://www.fta.dot.gov/laws/leg_reg_circulars_guidance.html. DOT FY 2006 Performance and Accountability Report.

NO 0%
Section 3 - Program Management Score 89%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability
Number Question Answer Score
4.1

Has the program demonstrated adequate progress in achieving its long-term performance goals?

Explanation: FTA has demonstrated progress in achieving its long-term performance goals. For the Elderly and Individuals with Disabilities program, ridership has increased an estimated 23 percent between 2002 and 2006. If current trends continue, FTA will exceed its five-year goal to increase elderly and disabled persons' access to medical, recreational, and other opportunities by 20 percent. In the Formula Grants for Other Than Urbanized Area program, the previous long-term goal was to increase the number of non- urban counties providing public transportation services. The number of counties with non-urban population that have public transit service(s) increased from 60 percent in 1994 to 64 percent in 2006. Recognizing that Formula grant funds for the Other than Urbanized Area program will more than double under SAFETEA-LU, FTA has adjusted its long term goal and set an ambitious long-term goal of increasing the percentage of counties with nonurban populations that have public transportation services from 64 percent in 2006 to 75 percent by the year 2011 In order to achieve its goal that 75 percent of counties with non-urban population have public transportation service in five years, FTA has included a statement under the "program goals" section in Chapter II of Circular 9040.1 "Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions" that State-grantees, should use the increased funding under SAFETEA-LU to expand public transportation service into areas not previously served. The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program has demonstrated its progress in achieving its current goal of increasing access to job sites reached by 14 percent over a five year period. The FY 2000 budget enacted $75 million for the JARC program, and JARC grantees reported servicing 17,000 job sites this number was low because many of the services that had been funded were not yet operational. By FY 2005, funding for JARC had been increased to $110 million, and JARC grantees reported servicing 95,400 job sites. The estimated number of job sites serviced in FY 2006 was 91,200. Based on the trend it is estimated that 109,000 job sites will be made accessible as a result of JARC services by 20011. As we convert to the new performance measure, percentage increase in jobs, FTA expects the percentage increase in jobs accessed as a result of the JARC program to move in a similar direction as the current measure. The SAFETEA-LU funding levels should enable the States to extend transit service to areas currently not served, have minimum service and improve service levels in areas that currently have service.

Evidence: Federal Transit Administration Budget Estimates for Fiscal Year 2008, and Contractor reports from Multisystems and ACSI, the JARC evaluation contractor; Circular 9040.1 Nonurbanized Area Formula Program Guidance and Grant Application Instructions.

LARGE EXTENT 17%
4.2

Does the program (including program partners) achieve its annual performance goals?

Explanation: The Elderly and Individuals with Disabilities program has had estimated ridership increases of over 10 percent per year in each of the last three years. More elderly and persons with disabilities have access and opportunities each year because of this program. In the Formula program for other than urbanized areas, aggregate ridership increased 38 percent between 1994 and 2006, but preliminary data suggests the rate of increase has slowed. FTA is taking steps to ensure that its annual goal of increasing ridership by 3 percent each year is achieved for the Other than Urbanized Area program. By requiring that states report annual ridership, operational, and fleet information of the program's sub-recipients to the National Transit Database, FTA has increased the accountability of program partners in achieving program goals. The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program has consistently exceeded its annual goal to reach 50,000 jobs sites. This is one of the reasons why FTA has established the new annual goal for the JARC program an annual percentage increase in jobs accessed, for which baselines are being developed.

Evidence: Department of Transportation FY 2007 Performance and Accountability Report; National Transit Database Rural reporting module; Tom Seekins and Alexandra Enders: "Allocation and Use of Section 5310 Funds in Urban and Rural America." Prepared for the Rural Transportation Center at the University of Montana.

LARGE EXTENT 17%
4.3

Does the program demonstrate improved efficiencies or cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year?

Explanation: The programs in this PART demonstrate improved efficiencies and cost effectiveness in achieving program goals each year through internal management goals that are tied to employee performance evaluations and are focused on grant delivery and administration. FTA's efficiency measure is grant processing, with particular focus on the Formula Grants for Other than Urbanized Areas and the Formula Grants for the Special needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities since they are not subject to statutory requirements relative to labor protections, which extends the processing time for some other FTA programs. The average processing time for all FTA programs decreased each year from 2001 when the average was 101 days until it reached 28 days in 2005 and 2006. The formula nature of these programs also support cost effectiveness in achieving the programs' goals. Discretionary spending decisions are spread among the 50 States rather than being made by FTA at the national level. The conversion of the Job Access and Reverse Commute program from a national discretionary program to a State administered formula program reduces the FTA staff time required to manage the program. Statutory provisions cap the amount of a State's apportionment that can be used for program administration at 15 percent for Other than Urbanized Areas program, and 10 percent for the other two programs. Cost effectiveness is demonstrated through assuring grantee compliance with program requirements through 1) timely follow-up on State Management Review findings and 2) timely closeout of grants over five years old.

Evidence: Grant processing reports for FY 2006.

YES 25%
4.4

Does the performance of this program compare favorably to other programs, including government, private, etc., with similar purpose and goals?

Explanation: The performance goals for these three programs are related to increases directly resulting from these Federal programs. No comparable Federal, state, local government, or private sector programs exist, for which a comparison could reasonably be made. The administration of the programs, however, is closely coordinated with programs at all levels of government and the private sector that serve the same individuals and contribute to the accomplishment of the same objectives.

Evidence: GAO JARC reports; Status of Rural Public Transportation - 2000, TCRP #79; and Coordinating Public Transportation with other Federal Programs, -TCRP -RRD-23, http://www.tcrponline.org/bin/publications.pl?category=9.

NA 0%
4.5

Do independent evaluations of sufficient scope and quality indicate that the program is effective and achieving results?

Explanation: There have been several independent studies and analyses confirming that the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program is effective in achieving results. These include annual written reports prepared by the Government Accountability Office, from 1998-2006. The 2002 study, for example, concluded that JARC has funded a variety of services to help low income persons travel to work and the program has met its goal of improving collaboration between grantees and stakeholders. It also includes reports and analyses prepared by the University of Illinois, Chicago that surveyed riders of JARC services and documented economic impacts on low-income populations. Based on interviews with users of JARC services in 23 sites, this study concluded that JARC services are improving work opportunities for low-income riders. Before using the service intervention, 27 percent those surveyed in this study of the riders did not have a job; another 30 percent worked, but gained access through JARC services to a higher paying job. The University of Illinois also is completing an analysis of the planning partnerships formed under the JARC program. Additionally, the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) under the Joblinks program has documented JARC impacts through briefs on individual projects. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has conducted multiple studies pertaining to the JARC program, including studies of low-income populations, and analyses of the impact of the JARC program. Their annotated bibliography lists a series of independent studies conducted on JARC and low-income transportation issues that demonstrate the need for and the results of the JARC program. Finally, FTA contracts for annual independent analyses from evaluation contractors to monitor the performance of the program. In the most recent analysis of FY 2005 grantee data, the contractor estimated that JARC-funded services provided access to approximately 95,400 employment sites and provided 14.1 million one-way trips in FY 2005. These figures were based on actual grantee reports and projections for the remaining grantees for which reports were not received, but were active in FY 05. This figure represents a significant increase beyond the projected goal. A study conducted by the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) in 1998 found that rural public transportation had a cost-benefit ratio of 3.35 to 1. According to the TCRP report, this is a significant benefit level, exceeding by a large margin the returns of many government programs considered successful. Another study conducted in 2004 by the Economic Research Service echoed these results: rural public transportation is important and economically beneficial to both the communities and individuals it serves. A Study of the Formula Grants for Special Needs of Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities conducted by the Rural Institute of the University of Montana in 2006 was funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The study found that Elderly Individuals and Individuals with disabilities funding is used by almost 5000 organizations and agencies in 49 states, enhancing the mobility of the 16 million elderly and disabled individuals in non-urbanized areas. The study provides a baseline against which to measure changes resulting from implementation of SAFETEA-LU (including, for example, the new requirement that all projects be derived from a locally developed coordinated public transit - human service transportation plan).

Evidence: GAO Studies - http://www.gao.gov/docsearch/; University of Illinois, Chicago- http://www.utc.uic.edu/oThakuriah, P., S. S????t, P.S. Sriraj, Y. Liao and J.G. Berman. Activity and Travel Changes of Job Access Transportation Service Users: Analysis of a User Survey. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 1927, 2006, p. 55-62.; oThakuriah, Piyushimita, S. S????t, P.S. Sriraj and C. Dickson. Partnerships for Low-Income Transportation: Final Report from a Focus Group Held in Des Moines, Iowa. Report to Federal Transit Administration (FTA), February, 2004. CTAA- JARC Briefs - http://www.ctaa.org/ntrc/atj/jarc.asp.Contractor Annual Analyses - ACSI/Multisystems Studies. National Academy of Sciences List of JARC Low Income Studies and Analysis of JARC Activities. Transit Cooperative Research Program: Assessment of the Economic Impacts of Rural Public Transportation (1998). R-34 (Project H-11). Tom Seekins and Alexandra Enders: "Allocation and Use of Section 5310 Funds in Urban and Rural America." Prepared for the Rural Transportation Center at the University of Montana. Federal Transit Administration Statistical Summaries: Fiscal Years 1998 through 2006, Table Four. Community Transportation Association of America Institute or Economic and Social MeasuremTransit Cooperative Research Program Report 34: Assessment of the Economic Impacts of Rural Public Transportation (1998). R-34 (Project H-11). Brown, D.M., Public Transportation on the Move in Rural America (2004). Prepared by the Economic Research Service. Available at: http://www.transportation.org/?siteid=31&c=downloads

LARGE EXTENT 17%
Section 4 - Program Results/Accountability Score 75%


Last updated: 09062008.2007SPR