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entitled 'Federal Transit Administration: Progress Made in Implementing 
Changes to the Job Access Program, but Evaluation and Oversight 
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Report to Congressional Committees: 

November 2006: 

Federal Transit Administration: 

Progress Made in Implementing Changes to the Job Access Program, but 
Evaluation and Oversight Processes Need Improvement: 

GAO-07-43: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-07-43, a report to congressional committees 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

Begun in 1998, the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program 
provides grants to states and localities for improving the mobility of 
low-income persons seeking work. The Federal Transit Administration 
(FTA) administers this program. In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, 
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users 
(SAFETEA-LU) authorized $727 million for JARC for fiscal years 2005 
through 2009, changed how these funds were to be awarded after fiscal 
year 2005, and required FTA to evaluate the program by August 2008. 

GAO examined (1) SAFETEA-LU’s changes to JARC, (2) FTA’s progress in 
implementing these changes, (3) states’ and localities’ efforts to 
respond and challenges they have encountered, and (4) FTA’s proposed 
strategy for evaluation and oversight. GAO’s work included analyzing 
program guidance as well as interviewing officials from FTA, industry 
groups, and more than 30 state and local agencies. 

What GAO Found: 

SAFETEA-LU created a formula for distributing JARC funds starting in 
fiscal year 2006, substantially altering funding allocations provided 
under earlier grants. Funding in some states increased, with 2 states 
receiving increases of more than 1,200 percent between fiscal years 
2005 and 2006. Funding in other states decreased as much as 80 percent, 
while 18 other states received funds that had not received them in 
fiscal year 2005. To receive funds, SAFETEA-LU required that states and 
localities designate a recipient agency to administer JARC funds, award 
grants on a competitive basis, and certify that projects were derived 
from a coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan. 

In March 2006, FTA issued interim guidance and proposed strategies for 
implementing these new requirements, but delays in issuing final 
guidance have reduced the window of opportunity for states and 
localities to obligate fiscal year 2006 funding. As required by SAFETEA-
LU, FTA requested public comment on its interim guidance and proposed 
strategies, and responding to the more than 200 comments took more time 
than FTA had initially planned. FTA has specified in its guidance that 
states and localities have until the end of fiscal year 2008 to 
obligate fiscal year 2006 funds, so their ability to use the funds is 
not imminently jeopardized. FTA also encouraged states and localities 
to implement their programs on the basis of the interim guidance. 
However, given that officials in a number of areas we interviewed 
planned to wait for final guidance before moving forward, these areas 
will have less time available to obligate fiscal year 2006 funds. 

Most states and localities are in the process of trying to meet these 
new requirements, and although they have encountered challenges in 
doing so, FTA is taking steps to alleviate most of these challenges. As 
of the end of fiscal year 2006, about 4 percent of fiscal year 2006 
funding apportioned to states and localities had been obligated. States 
and localities have raised a number of questions or concerns about the 
new requirements, such as whether an agency serving as the designated 
recipient would also be eligible to receive funds. In response, FTA 
proposed several actions that localities could take to reduce the 
potential conflict of interest in such situations. 

FTA is continuing to develop and refine its strategies for evaluation 
and oversight of JARC. FTA, which has had difficulty assessing this 
program in the past, proposed a new approach, but states and localities 
found problems with it. FTA is revising its approach and gathering 
baseline data for its required evaluation of the JARC program. Even if 
FTA resolves the concerns that have been raised, gaps in monitoring may 
still limit its ability to evaluate and oversee the program. FTA plans 
to use existing oversight processes for monitoring JARC recipients; 
however, FTA officials noted that SAFETEA-LU did not provide specific 
program management oversight funds for the JARC program and said that 
they are looking for alternate sources of funding. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that FTA update its existing oversight processes to 
include the JARC program and specify how often it will monitor 
recipients that are not subject to its existing oversight processes, to 
help FTA more adequately evaluate and oversee the JARC program. FTA 
agreed to consider the report’s recommendations. 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-43]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Katherine Siggerud at 
(202) 512-2834 or siggerudk@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

SAFETEA-LU Created a Formula for Distributing JARC Funds and Amended 
Other Aspects of the Program: 

FTA Has Developed Proposed Final Guidance for JARC, but Delays in 
Issuing the Final Guidance May Reduce the Time Available to Obligate 
JARC Funding: 

States and Large Urbanized Areas Have Begun to Implement JARC 
Requirements, and FTA Has Taken Steps to Alleviate Implementation 
Challenges: 

FTA Changed Its Evaluation and Oversight Strategies but Still Needs to 
Address Monitoring Issues: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendixes: 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Funding: 

Appendix III: Summary of Stakeholder Comments on FTA's Interim Guidance 
and Proposed Strategies for Job Access and Reverse Commute Program: 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Related GAO Products: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Comparison of SAFETEA-LU's and TEA-21's JARC Provisions: 

Table 2: Stakeholders' Key Implementation Challenges and Concerns and 
FTA's Response: 

Table 3: Summary of Program Stakeholders' Challenges and Concerns and 
FTA's Response to the Proposed JARC Performance Measures and Reporting 
Mechanism: 

Table 4: State Agencies Interviewed for Our Review: 

Table 5: Large Urbanized Area Agencies Interviewed for Our Review: 

Table 6: Total JARC Apportionments for States and Large Urbanized 
Areas, Fiscal Years 2004-2006: 

Table 7: Job Access and Reverse Commute Apportionments for Fiscal Year 
2006: 

Table 8: Amounts Apportioned to Large Urbanized Areas 200,000 or More 
in Population: 

Table 9: Amounts Apportioned to State Governors for Small Urbanized 
Areas 50,000 to 199,999 in Population: 

Table 10: Amounts Apportioned to State Governors for Nonurbanized Areas 
Fewer Than 50,000 in Population: 

Table 11: Changes to the JARC Program Proposed in FTA's March 2006 
Interim Guidance and Proposed Strategies and Program Stakeholder 
Responses: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: Percentage Change in Job Access and Reverse Commute Funds 
Apportioned to States and Large Urbanized Areas from Fiscal Years 2005 
to 2006: 

Figure 2: Key Requirements under SAFETEA-LU for Receiving JARC Funding: 

Figure 3: Timeline for FTA's Implementation of SAFETEA-LU Changes to 
the JARC Program: 

Abbreviations: 

DOT: Department of Transportation: 

FTA: Federal Transit Administration: 

GPRA: Government Performance and Results Act of 1993: 

JARC: Job Access and Reverse Commute program: 

MPO: metropolitan planning organization: 

NTD: National Transit Database: 

SAFETEA-LU: Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act - A Legacy for Users:: 

TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families: 

TEA-21: Transportation Equity Act for the 21ST Century: 

TEAM: Transportation Electronic Award and Management system: 

November 17, 2006: 

The Honorable Richard C. Shelby: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Paul S. Sarbanes: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Don Young: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable James L. Oberstar: 
Ranking Democratic Member: 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure: 
House of Representatives: 

Access to adequate transportation is an important factor in the ability 
of low-income individuals--including those who receive government help 
to become self-sufficient--to find and retain employment. However, 
existing public transportation systems--originally established to allow 
city residents to travel within the city and bring suburban residents 
to central-city work locations--cannot always bridge the gap between 
where these individuals live and where many jobs for which they would 
qualify are located. Our previous work has noted that a majority of the 
entry-level jobs that low-income individuals would be likely to fill 
are located in suburbs that have limited or no accessibility through 
existing public transportation systems.[Footnote 1] Furthermore, many 
entry-level jobs require shift work in the evenings or on weekends, 
when public transit services are either unavailable or limited. 

To increase collaboration among transit agencies, local human service 
agencies, nonprofit organizations, and others, and thereby improve the 
mobility of low-income individuals seeking work, the Job Access and 
Reverse Commute (JARC)[Footnote 2] program was first authorized under 
the Transportation Equity Act for the 21ST Century (TEA-21) in 1998. 
Administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), this program 
provides grants for such purposes as expanding public transit routes, 
lengthening service hours, or providing other transportation options. 
However, our previous reviews of the JARC program found a number of 
challenges that arose in the program, such as difficulties in awarding 
grants competitively and inconsistencies with statutory requirements of 
other FTA grant programs, making implementation difficult. FTA also 
experienced difficulties in evaluating the program, as TEA-21 
required.[Footnote 3] 

In 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) authorized $727 million 
for the JARC program from fiscal years 2005 through 2009. SAFETEA-LU 
also made a number of changes that, beginning with fiscal year 2006 
funding, will affect FTA, states, and urbanized areas as they 
administer the program. For example, FTA will now provide grant monies 
through a formula to states--for distribution to small urbanized and 
rural areas--and to large urbanized areas.[Footnote 4] In addition, 
SAFETEA-LU requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to evaluate 
the effectiveness of the JARC program and report the results to 
Congress by August 2008. 

SAFETEA-LU also requires us to study the JARC program, beginning 1 year 
after the legislation takes effect and every 2 years thereafter. This 
report, our first in compliance with this mandate, analyzes what has 
happened to date in implementing program changes and installing a 
framework for FTA's evaluation of program results in 2008. Our specific 
reporting objectives were as follows: 

* identify changes made to the JARC program as a result of SAFETEA-LU; 

* assess the progress FTA has made in implementing these changes; 

* describe the extent to which states and urbanized areas have 
implemented changes to the JARC program, and challenges they have 
encountered; and: 

* determine the extent to which FTA's proposed strategy for evaluation 
and oversight of the JARC program will allow the agency to assess 
whether the program is meeting its stated goals. 

Our work was based in part on our analysis of program documentation, 
relevant legislation, Office of Management and Budget circulars, 
previous GAO reports and guidance on the JARC program and on program 
evaluation and performance measurement, and over 200 comments posted to 
the DOT's online docket in response to FTA's March 2006 interim 
guidance and proposed strategies for the JARC program.[Footnote 5] We 
determined that the data that FTA provided were sufficiently reliable 
for the purposes of this report. We also interviewed officials from FTA 
and industry associations as well as representatives from 12 state 
departments of transportation, 8 metropolitan planning organizations, 
and 9 local transportation agencies in 12 large urbanized areas; a 
transportation agency in 1 small urbanized area; and 1 nonprofit 
organization that works with rural transit providers.[Footnote 6] These 
agencies were selected on the basis of several factors, including 
changes in JARC funding from fiscal years 2005 to 2006, whether the 
areas had formally designated a recipient for JARC funds, and whether 
the agency was recommended to us by FTA or an industry association. The 
agencies were selected to provide a distribution of the various 
factors; however, we did not select them in such a way that we may 
project the results as representative of the entire country. Appendix I 
contains a detailed discussion of our objectives, scope, and 
methodology, including more information on how we selected the state 
and local agencies we contacted. We conducted our work between May and 
October 2006 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. 

Results in Brief: 

SAFETEA-LU made a number of changes to the JARC program, the most 
significant of which was to modify JARC from a discretionary program to 
a formula-based program. Whereas in recent years, JARC projects were 
competitively selected by FTA or congressionally designated for 
funding, SAFETEA-LU's formula distributes funds to states and large 
urbanized areas on the basis of the relative number of low-income 
individuals and welfare recipients in each area. This change will 
significantly alter the allocation of JARC funds, because some states 
and large urbanized areas that did not formerly receive funds will now 
receive them, and others will receive a different amount than they 
received in the past. For example, total funds available in Florida and 
Virginia increased by more than 1,200 percent from fiscal years 2005 to 
2006 (from $594,708 to $8.3 million and from $84,249 to $2.5 million, 
respectively), while total funds available in Alaska and Vermont 
decreased by more than 80 percent (from $1.7 million to $207,503 and 
from $991,182 to $186,885, respectively). In addition, 18 states were 
apportioned JARC funds for fiscal year 2006 that did not receive funds 
in fiscal year 2005. Another change is that states and large urbanized 
areas have to fulfill the following three key requirements before 
receiving JARC funding: (1) identify a designated recipient for JARC 
funds, (2) conduct a competitive process to select projects for 
funding, and (3) certify that JARC projects were selected from a 
coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan. Other 
key changes resulting from SAFETEA-LU include allowing JARC recipients 
to use a portion of these funds for planning activities and increasing 
the federal government's share of project capital costs. 

As required by SAFETEA-LU, FTA has used an extensive public comment 
process that has helped the agency develop and refine the guidance for 
implementing changes to the JARC program, but that also has lengthened 
the time needed to issue the guidance, which will likely reduce the 
time states and large urbanized areas have to obligate fiscal year 2006 
funds under FTA's guidance. Beginning in late-2005, FTA solicited 
comments and input from JARC stakeholders through program notices and 
listening sessions. Using feedback from these initial efforts, in March 
2006 FTA released interim guidance for fiscal year 2006 JARC projects 
and proposed strategies for fiscal year 2007. The agency received more 
than 200 comments on the March interim guidance and proposed strategies 
from state and local departments of transportation, metropolitan 
planning organizations, and other JARC stakeholders. FTA officials have 
incorporated this feedback into the formulation of proposed final 
guidance for JARC, which was issued on September 6, 2006.[Footnote 7] 
However, due to the 60-day public comment period following issuance of 
the September proposed final guidance, FTA was unable to finalize its 
JARC program guidance before fiscal year 2007 began in October. FTA's 
March interim guidance and proposed strategies also included a "hold 
harmless" provision stating that the final guidance requirements would 
not apply retroactively to grants awarded prior to the issuance of the 
final guidance. FTA has recognized in its guidance that JARC funds are 
available for 2 years after the year of apportionment, meaning that 
fiscal year 2006 funds are available through fiscal year 2008 (Sept. 
30, 2008). The time available is further reduced, however, by the time 
needed to fulfill SAFETEA-LU requirements, such as the requirement to 
develop coordinated plans. However, given that a number of states and 
large urbanized areas we interviewed planned to wait for final program 
guidance before moving forward to program implementation, these areas 
will have less time available to obligate fiscal year 2006 funds. 

States and large urbanized areas have initiated actions to fulfill 
requirements to receive JARC funding, and although they have 
encountered challenges in moving forward, FTA has taken steps to 
alleviate most of these challenges in its September proposed final 
guidance. Nationwide, few states and large urbanized areas have 
formally fulfilled the three SAFETEA-LU requirements to receive JARC 
funding, as less than 4 percent of fiscal year 2006 funding had been 
obligated by states and localities by the end of fiscal year 2006. 
Actions to fulfill these requirements were under way, however, in most 
of the 12 states and 12 large urbanized areas we contacted. For 
example, all 12 of the states and 9 of the large urbanized areas we 
contacted had determined which agency would serve as the designated 
recipient for JARC funding, although not all of these states and 
urbanized areas had formally notified FTA of this determination. 
Officials we interviewed as well as other program stakeholders had 
encountered a number of challenges in program implementation, including 
questions regarding the selection of the designated recipient in large 
urbanized areas and a lack of resources for development of coordinated 
public transit-human services transportation plans. FTA's proposed 
final guidance responds to most of these issues. For example, FTA 
clarified information on the process for selecting designated 
recipients in large urbanized areas and on whether designated 
recipients could allow other organizations to conduct the competitive 
selection process to avoid potential conflict-of-interest concerns if 
the designated recipient competes for funding. In addition, FTA will 
allow a phased-in approach for development of coordinated public 
transit-human services transportation plans, in response to program 
stakeholders' concerns about the time needed to develop these plans. 

FTA is continuing to develop and refine its strategies for evaluation 
and oversight of the JARC program in response to comments received on 
its March interim guidance and proposed strategies, but a revised 
approach may still be limited in its ability to assess whether the 
program is meeting its goals. In response to previous concerns about 
FTA's measurement of JARC program outcomes, FTA sought public comment 
on four new proposed performance measures, including one measure 
specifically for JARC (cumulative number of jobs accessed) and three 
crosscutting measures (efficiency of operations, program effectiveness, 
and customer satisfaction) that reflect SAFETEA-LU's emphasis on the 
coordination of human services transportation. In addition, FTA 
proposed to use the National Transit Database (NTD)[Footnote 8] for 
tracking JARC performance data. However, program stakeholders that we 
contacted reported that FTA's proposed cumulative number of jobs 
accessed measure called for data that would be difficult to collect, 
and noted that the crosscutting measures may not be useful to assess 
JARC performance nationwide due to differences in program operation at 
the local level. On the basis of these comments, FTA eliminated the 
proposed broader coordination measures and clarified that the jobs 
accessed measure will assess whether JARC programs are increasing 
transportation system coverage for low-income people to access jobs. 
FTA also proposed to add a measure on ridership, which will count the 
number of rides provided for low-income individuals. FTA officials 
reported that they are currently testing the JARC performance measure 
and intend to obtain baseline data for use in FTA's required evaluation 
of the JARC program, which will be submitted to Congress in August 
2008. In addition, FTA revised its proposal to use the NTD for 
collecting performance data after some grantees reported that it may be 
challenging for smaller organizations to use the system. Finally, to 
address grantees' concerns about the lack of feedback on their 
performance, FTA officials told us that the agency would be more 
explicit about how it used the JARC performance data grantees submitted 
and would explore posting this information on its Web site in the 
future. Even if FTA resolves its performance measurement and reporting 
issues, however, we identified gaps in FTA's processes for monitoring 
JARC that may affect its ability to evaluate and oversee the program. 
Although FTA has proposed to use existing oversight processes to 
monitor JARC recipients, these oversight processes do not explicitly 
include provisions for oversight of the JARC program. Furthermore, 
FTA's proposed process for oversight of agencies that do not fall under 
existing processes could lead to inconsistent oversight of JARC 
recipients. FTA officials said that SAFETEA-LU does not provide project 
management oversight funds for the JARC program, and that they are 
currently looking for alternate sources of funding for this purpose. 

To establish adequate and consistent evaluation and oversight processes 
for JARC recipients, and thereby enable FTA to determine whether 
projects are meeting JARC program goals, we are recommending that the 
Secretary of Transportation direct FTA to develop a plan for including 
the JARC program in its established review mechanisms and to clarify 
how often recipients that are not covered by those review mechanisms 
will be monitored. DOT, including FTA, reviewed a draft of this report. 
FTA officials generally agreed with the report's findings and said that 
they would consider the recommendations as they move forward with 
implementing the program. FTA officials also provided technical 
comments that were incorporated in the report as appropriate to ensure 
accuracy. 

Background: 

The enactment of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity 
Reconciliation Act of 1996 dramatically altered the nation's system to 
provide assistance to low-income families with children. The act 
replaced the existing entitlement program with fixed block grants to 
the states to provide Temporary Assistance for Needy Families 
(TANF).[Footnote 9] TANF provides about $16.5 billion annually for the 
states to use for families to become self-sufficient, imposes work 
requirements for adults, and establishes time limits on the receipt of 
federal assistance. Without adequate transportation, however, TANF 
recipients and other low-income individuals face significant barriers 
in finding and keeping jobs. Evidence from metropolitan areas, such as 
Atlanta, Boston, and Cleveland, shows that TANF recipients 
disproportionately live in inner-city neighborhoods, far from entry- 
level employment opportunities located in the suburbs. Although poverty 
has declined in central cities, urban poverty rates were still twice as 
high as suburban poverty rates in 1999 (approximately 16 percent versus 
8 percent).[Footnote 10] In addition, available jobs may not be located 
near central cities. For instance, one study in 2001 found that in 
Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, and a number of other metropolitan areas, 
more than 60 percent of the regional employment was located more than 
10 miles from the city center.[Footnote 11] Similarly, the TEA-21 
legislation noted that even in metropolitan areas with excellent public 
transportation systems, less than one-half of the jobs were accessible 
by transit. This spatial mismatch between low-income individuals and 
the locations of jobs or other employment-related services may hinder 
those individuals' ability to both find and keep jobs. 

These challenges are especially acute for low-income individuals who do 
not own cars and for those who generally drive long distances in poorly 
maintained cars. Data from the 2001 National Household Travel Survey 
indicated that 26.5 percent of households that earn less than $20,000 
do not own a car, as compared with 1.2 percent of households with 
incomes over $75,000.[Footnote 12] Lack of adequate modes of 
transportation makes it difficult to make multiple trips each day to 
accommodate child care and other domestic responsibilities and 
employment-related services. As we reported in 2004, many rural TANF 
recipients also cannot afford to own and operate a reliable private 
vehicle, and public transportation to get to and from training, 
services, and work is often not available. In addition, several 
caseworkers and service providers in rural areas identified the lack of 
valid driver's licenses as a problem for many of their 
clients.[Footnote 13] A study from the Journal of the Transportation 
Research Board has shown that access to jobs and job-related 
opportunities, on the other hand, increases the employment and earnings 
of TANF recipients and reduces TANF-use rates.[Footnote 14] 

The JARC program was created in 1998 to support the nation's welfare 
reform goals by filling gaps in transportation services. JARC funds can 
be used to expand existing public transit routes or service hours, 
among other things (see sidebars). However, JARC projects are not 
limited to mass transit services; some JARC projects include 
ridesharing activities and the promotion of transit voucher programs. 
DOT's two major goals for the JARC program are to (1) provide 
transportation and related services to urban, suburban, and rural areas 
to assist low-income individuals, including welfare recipients, with 
access to employment and related services, such as child care and 
training, and (2) increase collaboration among transportation 
providers, human service agencies, employers, and others in planning, 
funding, and delivering those services. 

FTA experienced a number of challenges in implementing JARC under TEA- 
21. For instance, we have reported that DOT had previously awarded 
grants to designated parties in a noncompetitive fashion; however, in 
doing so, DOT was not in compliance with the provisions of the 
authorizing legislation, TEA-21, because the act called for a 
competitive grant selection process.[Footnote 15] Another challenge 
some grantees noted was that JARC funds could not be used for planning 
and coordination activities, which required grantees to find 
alternative sources to fund the administrative activities done for 
JARC. Also, the statutory matching requirement for JARC was 
inconsistent with other FTA programs because JARC projects could 
receive grants for up to 50 percent of the project's capital expenses, 
rather than 80 percent. While we have reported that FTA had met its 
JARC program goal of improving collaboration between grantees and 
stakeholders, we also have reported that more collaboration is needed 
at the federal level to enable grantees to obtain federal funding for 
JARC projects. TEA-21 required FTA to report to Congress on the results 
of an evaluation of JARC; however, FTA has struggled to develop 
comprehensive performance measures that assess a national program when 
individual programs, operations, and features vary. 

SAFETEA-LU Created a Formula for Distributing JARC Funds and Amended 
Other Aspects of the Program: 

SAFETEA-LU made a number of changes to the JARC program, the most 
notable of which was the creation of a formula to distribute JARC funds 
beginning with fiscal year 2006. Whereas in recent years, JARC projects 
were competitively selected by FTA or congressionally designated for 
funding, SAFETEA-LU created a formula to distribute funds to states and 
large urbanized areas. This change is significant because some states 
and large urbanized areas will receive substantially more funds than 
under the discretionary program, while others will receive 
substantially less. In addition, the formula program will result in 
some areas receiving JARC funds that had not received them in the past. 
Other JARC changes resulting from SAFETEA-LU include (1) the need for 
states and large urbanized areas to designate a recipient for JARC 
funds, competitively select projects for funding, and certify that 
selected projects came from a locally developed coordinated plan and 
(2) the ability to use a portion of JARC funds for planning activities. 
Table 1 compares key JARC provisions under SAFETEA-LU and TEA-21. 

Table 1: Comparison of SAFETEA-LU's and TEA-21's JARC Provisions: 

Provision: Distribute JARC funds by formula; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): 
* Requires the Secretary of Transportation to apportion funds among 
states and designated recipients of large urbanized areas through a 
formula that considers the number of eligible low-income individuals[A] 
and welfare recipients in each state or large urbanized area relative 
to other states or large urbanized areas; 
* Sixty percent of JARC funds is apportioned to designated recipients 
of urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more, 20 percent is 
apportioned to states for projects in urbanized areas with a population 
of fewer than 200,000, and 20 percent is apportioned to states for 
projects in other-than-urbanized areas; 
Program as previously administered under TEA-21 (1999-August 2005): 
* The Secretary of Transportation was required to conduct a national 
solicitation for applications for grants and to select grantees on a 
competitive basis. In practice, however, projects were congressionally 
designated in recent years; 
* The same percentage of JARC funds were allocated among large 
urbanized areas, small urbanized areas, and other-than-urbanized areas 
as provided under SAFETEA-LU. 

Provision: Designate JARC recipient; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): The governor must 
designate a recipient at the state level to competitively select and 
award funds for projects in small urban and other-than-urbanized areas, 
and within each large urbanized area to competitively select and award 
funds in that area; 
Program as previously administered under TEA-21 (1999-August 2005): Not 
required under TEA-21. Rather, FTA competitively selected JARC projects 
and more recently awarded funds for projects that were congressionally 
designated. 

Provision: Use coordinated public transit-human services transportation 
plan to select projects for funding; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): 
* JARC projects selected for funding must be derived from a locally 
developed coordinated public transit-human services transportation 
plan. Designated recipients must certify that selected projects were 
derived from this plan; 
* Additional FTA programs that provide funding for services for 
transportation-disadvantaged populations are also subject to this 
requirement beginning in fiscal year 2007.[B]; 
Program as previously administered under TEA-21 (1999-August 2005): 
JARC projects were required to be part of a coordinated public transit-
human services transportation planning process, but there was no 
requirement to certify that selected projects were derived from this 
plan. 

Provision: Use competitive selection process; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): Designated 
recipients in urbanized areas are required to conduct a solicitation 
for applications for grants in cooperation with the appropriate 
metropolitan planning organization;[C] designated recipients in states 
are required to conduct a statewide solicitation for applications for 
grants. Grants are to be awarded on a competitive basis; 
Program as previously administered under TEA-21 (1999-August 2005): The 
Secretary of Transportation was required to conduct a national 
solicitation for applications for grants and to select grantees on a 
competitive basis. In practice, however, projects were congressionally 
designated in recent years. 

Provision: Allow the use of funds for administration, planning, and 
technical assistance; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): 
* A recipient may use up to 10 percent of its apportionment to 
administer, plan, and provide technical assistance for JARC projects; 
* Planning is also included as an eligible expense, along with capital 
and operating expenses; 
Program as previously administered under TEA- 21 (1999-August 2005): No 
statutory provision for administration and technical assistance under 
TEA-21.[D] Planning and coordination activities were prohibited 
expenses. 

Provision: Provide for transfers of JARC funds; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): States may 
transfer funds among the small urbanized area and other-than-urbanized 
area apportionments if the governor certifies that JARC objectives are 
being met in the specified area. States may also transfer funds from 
the small urbanized area and other-than-urbanized area apportionments 
to projects in any area in the state if it has a statewide program for 
meeting JARC objectives. States may also transfer funds to FTA's 
Urbanized Area or Nonurbanized Area Formula programs if the funds are 
used for eligible JARC projects.[E]; 
Program as previously administered under TEA-21 (1999-August 2005): No 
provision under TEA-21. 

Provision: Increase federal government's share of capital costs; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): JARC grants for 
capital projects may not exceed 80 percent of the net capital costs of 
the project. Grants for operating assistance may not exceed 50 percent 
of the net operating costs of the project; 
Program as previously administered under TEA-21 (1999-August 2005): 
Grants for projects could not exceed 50 percent of the total project 
cost. No differentiation between capital and operating projects. 

Provision: Remove limit on reverse commute project funding; 
Current program under SAFETEA-LU (since August 2005): No limit on the 
amount that can be used for reverse commute projects; 
Program as previously administered under TEA-21 (1999-August 2005): No 
more than $10 million could be used each fiscal year for reverse 
commute project grants. 

Source: GAO analysis of SAFETEA-LU and TEA-21. 

[A] Eligible low-income individuals are those whose family income is at 
or below 150 percent of the poverty line. 

[B] FTA programs in addition to JARC that serve these populations are 
the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program and 
the New Freedom program. 

[C] Metropolitan planning organizations are federally mandated regional 
organizations responsible for comprehensive transportation planning and 
programming in urbanized areas. 

[D] FTA allowed JARC grantees to use up to 10 percent of funds for 
administration and technical assistance activities. 

[E] FTA officials explained that this transfer allows for 
administrative ease of processing using a simplified single 
application. 

[End of table] 

JARC Became a Formula Program: 

A key SAFETEA-LU change to the JARC program was the creation of a 
formula to distribute JARC funds. Under TEA-21, JARC was a 
discretionary grant program for which FTA competitively selected JARC 
projects and, more recently, awarded funds for congressionally 
designated projects. Under SAFETEA-LU, states and large urbanized areas 
have been apportioned funding for JARC projects through a formula that 
is based on the relative number of low-income individuals and welfare 
recipients in each area.[Footnote 16] Forty percent of JARC funds each 
year is required to be apportioned among states for projects in small 
urbanized and other-than-urbanized areas, and the remaining 60 percent 
is required to be apportioned among urbanized areas with a population 
of 200,000 or more. For fiscal year 2006, the allocation was as 
follows: 

* nonurbanized areas - $27.3 million, 

* small urbanized areas - $27.3 million, and: 

* large urbanized areas - $82.0 million. 

The change to a formula program is significant because some states and 
urbanized areas will receive substantially more funds than they 
received under the discretionary program, while others will receive 
substantially less (see fig. 1). In 22 states, the total amount of JARC 
funding available decreased from fiscal years 2005 to 2006, when the 
formula-based program began. The percentage decrease in funding for 
these 22 states ranged from 33 percent to 88 percent. For example: 

* Alaska's funding decreased approximately 88 percent, from $1.7 
million in fiscal year 2005 to $207,503 in fiscal year 2006. 

* Vermont also saw its JARC apportionments decrease more than 80 
percent, from $991,182 to $186,885.[Footnote 17] 

The total amount of JARC funding available for 2 states (Michigan and 
West Virginia) remained approximately the same over the 2 fiscal years, 
while in 13 states, the total funding increased. The percentage 
increase for these 13 states ranged from 17 percent to 2,931 percent. 

* Florida, for instance, had its JARC funds increased by more than 
1,200 percent, from $594,708 in fiscal year 2005 to $8.3 million in 
fiscal year 2006. 

* Virginia experienced the greatest percentage increase--more than 
2,900 percent--from $84,249 in fiscal year 2005 to $2.5 million in 
fiscal year 2006. 

Eighteen states were allocated fiscal year 2006 JARC funds that had not 
received JARC funds for fiscal year 2005. These states represent 
approximately 16 percent of the total JARC funding for fiscal year 
2006. (App. II lists the dollar amount of the fiscal year 2006 
apportionments for all of the states and large urbanized areas.) 

Figure 1: Percentage Change in Job Access and Reverse Commute Funds 
Apportioned to States and Large Urbanized Areas from Fiscal Years 2005 
to 2006: 

[See PDF for image] - graphic text: 

Source: FTA. 

Note: This figure includes funds congressionally designated for 
specific projects in fiscal year 2005 or apportioned to states and 
large urbanized areas within each state for fiscal year 2006. This 
figure does not include the following 18 states that were not allocated 
fiscal year 2005 JARC funds: American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, Guam, 
Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North 
Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, South 
Dakota, Utah, Virgin Islands, and Wyoming. 

[End of figure] - graphic text: 

Large urbanized areas also saw substantial changes to their JARC 
funding as a result of formularization. Of the 11 large urbanized areas 
we interviewed that had received prior JARC grants, 1 saw its JARC 
funding increase 64 percent between fiscal years 2005 and 2006, 5 had 
their funds decrease from 3 percent to 88 percent between fiscal years 
2005 and 2006, and 5 had received JARC grants in the past but not in 
fiscal year 2005. 

* For example, Tampa/St. Petersburg was apportioned $978,029 in fiscal 
year 2006, a 64 percent increase from its two fiscal year 2005 grants 
that totaled $594,708. 

* By contrast, Jefferson County in the Birmingham, Alabama, area had 
received a JARC grant for almost $3 million in fiscal year 2005, 
whereas the urbanized area was apportioned $356,107 for fiscal year 
2006, a decrease of 88 percent.[Footnote 18] 

In addition, the formula program will result in some states and areas 
receiving JARC funds that had not received them in the past. Eighteen 
states received JARC funds in fiscal year 2006 that did not receive 
them in fiscal year 2005.[Footnote 19] For example, Wyoming, which has 
not received JARC funds before, was apportioned $202,360 for fiscal 
year 2006 as a result of the formula. An official from the Wyoming 
Department of Transportation told us that the state will be able to use 
the funding to provide vanpool and bus services to the new employment 
opportunities created by the state's natural gas and mining operations, 
many of which are located in areas without public transportation. 
Puerto Rico, also new to JARC, was apportioned $6.6 million under the 
formula. Many large urbanized areas, such as Fresno, California, will 
also be receiving JARC apportionments for the first time. 

Officials from the industry associations and the 29 state and local 
agencies that we interviewed had mixed reactions to this change. Some 
of these state and local agencies said the change from a discretionary 
to a formula program would result in a more equitable distribution of 
funds or that formula funding would provide a more consistent source of 
funding than congressional designation. Some of the 29 agencies said 
that they would likely add or expand transportation services in their 
area, and a few thought that formularization would result in improved 
coordination among transportation and human service agencies. By 
contrast, some of the state and local agencies we interviewed said that 
the change to a formula program and the associated program requirements 
they would need to fulfill would increase the administrative burden on 
their agency, with 3 of these agencies noting that the additional 
burden might outweigh the benefits of the program. Other agencies said 
that the change to a formula program would result in a loss of funds to 
their state or area, while 1 agency and 1 industry association said the 
change would spread an already small amount of money even thinner. 
Several agencies also said that they might have to reduce or eliminate 
services as a result. Still other agencies said that the change to a 
formula program would have little or no impact on transportation 
services in their area. Some indicated that the impact would vary by 
location, while a few other agencies and 1 industry association noted 
that it is too soon to know the impact. 

SAFETEA-LU Introduced Three Key Requirements for Receiving JARC Funding 
and Made Other Changes: 

In addition to creating a formula for distributing JARC funds, SAFETEA- 
LU also requires states and large urbanized areas to fulfill the 
following three key requirements before applying to FTA to receive 
their apportioned JARC funding: (1) identify a designated recipient for 
JARC funds, (2) conduct a competitive process to select projects for 
funding, and (3) certify that JARC projects were derived from a 
coordinated public transit-human services transportation plan (see fig. 
2). 

Figure 2: Key Requirements under SAFETEA-LU for Receiving JARC Funding: 

[See PDF for image] - graphic text: 

Source: GAO. 

[End of figure] - graphic text: 

Under SAFETEA-LU, the governor of each state must designate a recipient 
for JARC funds at the state level to competitively select and award 
funds for projects in small urban and other-than-urbanized areas within 
the state. In large urbanized areas, the recipient must be jointly 
designated by the governor, local officials, and publicly owned 
operators of public transportation. These designated recipients will 
then solicit applications and develop and conduct a competitive process 
for selecting projects for funding. SAFETEA-LU also extended a JARC 
coordinated planning requirement to additional FTA programs. In the 
past, JARC projects were required to be part of a coordinated public 
transit-human services transportation plan; a similar requirement is 
included in SAFETEA-LU. However, this requirement will apply in fiscal 
year 2007 to two other FTA programs that provide funding for 
transportation-disadvantaged populations.[Footnote 20] In addition, 
recipients in states and urbanized areas that select JARC projects must 
now certify that their selections were based on this plan. 

SAFETEA-LU made a number of other changes to the JARC program, several 
of which address issues that we have raised in past reports on JARC and 
the coordination of transportation services for transportation- 
disadvantaged populations. One such change is the ability of a 
recipient to use up to 10 percent of its JARC allocation for 
administration, planning, and technical assistance.[Footnote 21] 
SAFETEA-LU also expanded the definition of eligible activities to 
include planning as well as capital and operating activities. In 2004, 
we reported that a majority of the JARC grantees we interviewed 
supported this proposed change because planning activities could 
increase coordination with potential partners.[Footnote 22] We also 
reported in 2003 that the overall costs of coordination, which can 
include additional staff members and staff time needed for maintaining 
and overseeing coordination efforts, can be significant.[Footnote 23] 
According to FTA, the 10 percent of JARC funds that will now be 
available for administration, planning, and technical assistance can be 
used for coordination activities, which can help state and local 
agencies improve services and achieve cost savings. 

SAFETEA-LU also increased the federal government's share of capital 
costs and removed a restriction on the amount of funding available for 
reverse commute projects to help individuals gain access to suburban 
employment opportunities. In 2004, we reported that the change in the 
matching fund requirement for JARC would make that program consistent 
with the matching requirements for other FTA programs.[Footnote 24] 
Under TEA-21, projects could receive a grant for up to 50 percent of 
the project's capital expenses, which are used to purchase capital 
equipment such as buses. Grantees will now be able to receive a grant 
for up to 80 percent of the project's capital expenses.[Footnote 25] 
FTA officials had told us that this change would lessen any confusion 
about matching requirements among grant recipients who participate in 
multiple FTA programs. 

FTA Has Developed Proposed Final Guidance for JARC, but Delays in 
Issuing the Final Guidance May Reduce the Time Available to Obligate 
JARC Funding: 

FTA has been developing guidance to help JARC recipients implement 
changes to the program resulting from the enactment of SAFETEA-LU, but 
delays in releasing final guidance will reduce the window of 
availability of fiscal year 2006 funding. To formulate JARC guidance, 
FTA has been using an extensive public participation process, including 
notices, commenting periods, listening sessions, and focus groups. This 
strategy has provided FTA with an abundance of feedback, and the agency 
has incorporated these comments into its September proposed final 
guidance.[Footnote 26] However, an extension of the public comment 
period and the volume of public input have also contributed to delays 
in issuing guidance, which meant that FTA was not able to release final 
program guidance prior to the beginning of fiscal year 2007. Given that 
FTA allows 3 years to obligate fiscal year 2006 funds, this delay 
results in 1 less year for states and urbanized areas to obligate JARC 
funding. 

FTA Has Engaged in Extensive Public Outreach to Formulate JARC 
Guidance: 

As required by SAFETEA-LU, FTA has used an extensive notice and comment 
process to gain public input to formulate guidance for the JARC 
program. In November 2005, FTA published a notice of changes to JARC 
and other relevant programs.[Footnote 27] This notice provided 
information on changes to the JARC program and solicited public comment 
on aspects of the program, such as technical assistance needs and the 
coordinated planning requirements. In addition, FTA held five public 
listening sessions across the country on a number of programs, 
including JARC, to obtain comments and input on the issues that should 
be addressed in future guidance. The agency also convened a focus group 
to discuss possible changes to the implementation of JARC. In March 
2006, drawing on information received in comments and the listening 
sessions, FTA released interim JARC guidance for fiscal year 2006 and 
requested comments on its proposed implementation strategies. 

When the interim guidance and proposed strategies was released, it 
generated many questions and concerns among stakeholders. FTA received 
more than 200 comments on its March interim guidance and proposed 
strategies from state and local departments of transportation, 
metropolitan planning organizations, private transportation service 
providers, interest groups, and other JARC stakeholders. FTA officials 
reviewed this feedback and addressed many of the stakeholders' issues 
in the proposed final guidance for JARC, which was released in 
September. We will discuss these comments in more detail later in this 
report, and appendix III provides a summary of these comments. 

FTA's Formulation of Guidance Has Been Delayed Due to Extensive Public 
Comments on JARC Changes: 

FTA has been incorporating stakeholder concerns into its formulation of 
guidance, but the volume of this input has contributed to delays. FTA 
officials originally stated that they planned to issue proposed final 
guidance in the early summer of 2006. However, FTA extended the comment 
period for the March 2006 interim guidance and proposed strategies from 
April 21 to May 22 to accommodate additional comments, and more than 
100 comments were submitted on or after the last day of the comment 
period. Because of these additional comments, FTA officials later told 
us that they expected to issue the proposed final guidance in late July 
or early August. FTA ultimately issued the proposed final guidance on 
September 6, 2006 (see fig. 3). Public comments were accepted for 60 
days following the release of the September proposed final guidance, 
after which FTA began reviewing the comments to inform its final 
guidance. Consequently, FTA was not able to release its final guidance 
prior to the start of the 2007 fiscal year in October. FTA officials 
said that they currently plan to release final program guidance in 
March 2007. 

Figure 3: Timeline for FTA's Implementation of SAFETEA-LU Changes to 
the JARC Program: 

[See PDF for image] - graphic text: 

Source: GAO. 

[End of figure] - graphic text: 

Delays in Issuing Final Guidance May Reduce the Time Available to 
Obligate Fiscal Year 2006 JARC Funding: 

FTA's issuance of final guidance for JARC has been delayed, and this 
may reduce the time available to projects to access fiscal year 2006 
funding. FTA officials noted that although the notice and comment 
process has affected the timeliness of the program guidance, they feel 
that it has enriched the development of guidance. However, the delays 
associated with taking this approach have reduced the time between 
issuing the final guidance on how to apply for fiscal year 2006 funds 
and the deadline for obligating these funds by the end of fiscal year 
2008. 

A number of states and large urbanized areas have proceeded to 
implement JARC's requirements using the interim guidance and proposed 
strategies. Nineteen of the 29 state and local agencies we interviewed 
in the summer of 2006 were proceeding with the implementation of JARC 
in the absence of proposed final guidance. Many of these agencies are 
required to comply with local and state planning and budget schedules, 
which have compelled them to move ahead with JARC implementation. FTA 
officials told us that they encouraged states and urbanized areas to 
begin implementing changes to the JARC program on the basis of the 
March interim guidance and proposed strategies, and that FTA is 
accepting applications for funding prior to issuance of final guidance. 
In addition, FTA's March 2006 interim guidance and proposed strategies 
included a "hold harmless" provision stating that the final guidance 
requirements would not apply retroactively to grants awarded prior to 
the issuance of the final guidance. FTA later extended this "hold 
harmless" provision to grant applications submitted in fiscal year 2007 
on the basis of coordinated planning or competitive selection processes 
that were substantially complete before the issuance of final 
guidance.[Footnote 28] 

Even if the delay in issuing the final guidance does not affect the 
efforts already under way, states and large urbanized areas will need 
to keep the remaining window of time in mind, or their ability to 
secure fiscal year 2006 funding allocated to them could be affected. 
Through the guidance, FTA implemented a 3-year period to obligate JARC 
funds for a given fiscal year (the fiscal year of apportionment plus an 
additional 2 years). Under this view, the availability of fiscal year 
2006 funding would expire at the end of fiscal year 2008, and those 
agencies that chose to wait for the final guidance to be released 
before applying for fiscal year 2006 JARC funds would have only 2 years 
in which to obligate those funds. A number of state and local agencies 
we interviewed indicated that they are waiting on FTA's final program 
guidance before moving forward to program implementation. While these 
areas will benefit from having the final guidance before they submit 
their JARC applications, given that the guidance was not available by 
the beginning of fiscal year 2007, they will have less time available 
to obligate fiscal year 2006 funds. 

States and Large Urbanized Areas Have Begun to Implement JARC 
Requirements, and FTA Has Taken Steps to Alleviate Implementation 
Challenges: 

States and large urbanized areas that were apportioned JARC funds have 
generally begun to implement requirements to receive this funding. As 
they have done so, they have encountered challenges, most of which FTA 
has taken steps to alleviate. To date, few states and large urbanized 
areas have fulfilled the necessary SAFETEA-LU requirements to receive 
fiscal year 2006 JARC funds, but most states and large urbanized areas 
we contacted reported that they are in the process of fulfilling these 
requirements. Officials we interviewed as well as other program 
stakeholders have encountered several challenges in program 
implementation, such as questions regarding the selection of the 
designated recipient in large urbanized areas. FTA responded to most of 
these issues in its September 2006 proposed final guidance. 

Few States and Large Urbanized Areas Have Received Fiscal Year 2006 
JARC Funds, Although Most We Interviewed Are in the Process of 
Fulfilling Funding Requirements: 

As we previously noted, states and large urbanized areas must fulfill 
three SAFETEA-LU requirements prior to applying to FTA to receive JARC 
funds to award for projects: identify a designated recipient for JARC 
funds, conduct a competitive selection process, and certify that JARC 
projects were derived from a coordinated public transit-human services 
transportation plan. To date, few states and urbanized areas have 
fulfilled these requirements and received fiscal year 2006 JARC 
funding. Nationwide, 3 states and 9 of the 152 large urbanized areas 
that were apportioned JARC funding had received fiscal year 2006 funds 
as of the end of fiscal year 2006.[Footnote 29],[Footnote 30] These 
obligated funds constitute less than 4 percent of the total fiscal year 
2006 JARC funding apportioned to states and large urbanized areas. 

While few states and large urbanized areas have fulfilled the 
requirements to receive JARC funds, officials in most of the 12 states 
and 12 large urbanized areas we contacted in June, July, and August 
2006 reported that they have begun to implement these requirements to 
receive funding. Specifically: 

* Identifying the JARC designated recipient. Officials in each of the 
12 states we contacted reported that the state had determined its 
designated recipient for JARC. In 7 of these states, officials reported 
that the governor had signed a letter to formally designate the 
recipient, as required by SAFETEA-LU, although not all of these states 
had submitted the letter to FTA. The other 5 states reported that their 
formal designation was in-progress. Officials in 9 of the 12 large 
urbanized areas we contacted also reported that the area had determined 
which agency would serve as the designated recipient for JARC funds, 
although none had submitted a designation letter to FTA at the time of 
our interviews. There is some variety in the agencies that will serve 
as the designated recipient in the large urbanized areas we contacted. 
A metropolitan planning organization will be the designated recipient 
in 4 of the areas we contacted, while a transit agency will be the 
designated recipient in the other 5 areas. The other 3 areas had not 
yet decided on the likely designated recipient. 

* Developing coordinated plans. Almost all of the states and large 
urbanized areas we contacted had taken actions related to the 
establishment of locally developed coordinated public transit-human 
services transportation plans. SAFETEA-LU requires states and urbanized 
areas to certify that they derived JARC projects from these plans. In 
11 of the 12 large urbanized areas we contacted, officials reported 
that they either had determined their strategy for meeting the 
coordinated plan requirement or had initiated a coordinated planning 
process. In addition, officials in all 12 states we contacted reported 
that the state will be involved in coordinated planning for the JARC 
program, although the extent of their participation varied. For 
example, one state official we interviewed reported that his agency 
will lead the coordinated planning process for small urbanized and 
rural areas within the state, while another state official reported 
that rural areas will be responsible for developing plans while the 
state provides assistance on a case-by-case basis. In a majority of the 
states and large urbanized areas we contacted, officials anticipated 
completing these plans in early-to mid-2007. While FTA has allowed 
states and large urbanized areas to apply for up to 10 percent of their 
apportionment for administration, planning, and technical assistance 
prior to applying for funding for project implementation, only 1 of the 
states and 1 large urbanized area we contacted had received this 
funding, and another large urbanized area we contacted was in the 
process of applying for the funding. Reasons that officials we 
interviewed cited for not applying for this funding included the 
intention to wait until fiscal year 2007 to use the funding, and the 
use of other funding sources for these activities. 

* Conducting a competitive selection process. Few states and large 
urbanized areas we contacted had conducted a competitive selection 
process to award fiscal year 2006 JARC funds. Officials in 2 large 
urbanized areas reported that they had conducted a competitive 
selection process to award fiscal year 2006 funds. In addition, 3 
states we contacted had competitively selected JARC projects, but at 
the time of our interviews, none had yet applied to FTA for the state's 
fiscal year 2006 funding to award for project implementation. Officials 
in a majority of the remaining states and large urbanized areas 
anticipated competitively selecting projects in early-to mid-2007. More 
than half of the states and large urbanized areas we contacted reported 
that they considered or may consider a project's prior receipt of JARC 
funding to some extent in selecting projects for funding. For example, 
officials from 2 metropolitan planning organizations we interviewed 
noted that they would consider a project's prior receipt of JARC funds 
to continue successful projects. Other criteria that officials 
anticipated they would consider in selecting projects included the 
capacity of the organization to administer the funds, whether the 
project had matching funds, and how the project would address the needs 
of the community. 

States and Large Urbanized Areas Have Encountered Several 
Implementation Challenges, Most of Which FTA Has Responded to in Its 
Proposed Final Guidance: 

In comments submitted on FTA's March interim guidance and proposed 
strategies and in interviews with selected state and local officials, 
program stakeholders expressed several implementation challenges they 
had encountered or concerns they had as the program moves forward. 
These issues included questions regarding the designated recipient in 
large urbanized areas, and challenges in ensuring stakeholder 
participation and adequate resources for the development of coordinated 
public transit-human services transportation plans. FTA responded to 
many of these issues in its proposed final guidance, which it issued in 
September 2006. Table 2 below summarizes stakeholders' key 
implementation challenges and concerns and FTA's actions to respond to 
these issues. 

Table 2: Stakeholders' Key Implementation Challenges and Concerns and 
FTA's Response:  

Implementation information in FTA's notice of program changes (November 
2005) and interim JARC guidance and proposed strategies (March 2006): 
Designated recipients in large urbanized areas: Large urbanized areas 
are to designate the JARC recipient under the same process that governs 
the designation of recipients for FTA's Urbanized Area Formula program, 
known as the Section 5307 program.[A]; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Confusion regarding the need for a designation of a recipient 
separate from the FTA Section 5307 program. 
* Stakeholder comments that SAFETEA-LU identified existing Section 5307 
designated recipients as the intended JARC designated recipients; 
FTA's response in proposed final JARC guidance (September 2006): 
* Clarifies that a designation of the JARC recipient is needed separate 
from the Section 5307 program. 

Implementation information in FTA's notice of program changes (November 
2005) and interim JARC guidance and proposed strategies (March 2006): 
Designated recipients in large urbanized areas: Notes stakeholders' 
concerns that a potential conflict of interest could exist in large 
urbanized areas when the designated recipient both conducts the 
competitive selection process and is eligible to receive funds. Interim 
guidance describes strategies and policies to ensure that projects are 
selected through a fair and equitable process; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Different opinions among program stakeholders regarding the potential 
for a conflict of interest; 
* Claims that there was inconsistent information from FTA staff 
regarding the designated recipient's ability to allow another 
organization to conduct the competitive selection process, to avoid 
potential conflict- of-interest issues; 
FTA's response in proposed final JARC guidance (September 2006): 
* Clarifies that designated recipients may establish partnerships with 
other organizations to competitively select projects to address 
potential conflict-of-interest concerns. 
* States that the designated recipient may be an existing Section 5307 
program designated recipient or that another agency may be a preferred 
choice that is based on local circumstances. 

Implementation information in FTA's notice of program changes (November 
2005) and interim JARC guidance and proposed strategies (March 2006): 
Development of coordinated public transit-human services transportation 
plans: Recommended that the lead agency developing the coordinated plan 
include a number of groups in the process, including nonprofit 
transportation providers, private transportation providers, and human 
service agencies; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Challenges in getting other organizations, such as human service 
agencies, to participate in the planning process; 
FTA's response in proposed final JARC guidance (September 2006): 
* Notes that FTA is working with other federal agencies on the Federal 
Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility to encourage 
organizations that receive other sources of human service 
transportation funding to participate in coordinated transportation 
planning. 
* Notes that the extent of outreach and participation in the planning 
process will be based on local circumstances. 

Implementation information in FTA's notice of program changes (November 
2005) and interim JARC guidance and proposed strategies (March 2006): 
Development of coordinated public transit-human services transportation 
plans: Areas must derive JARC projects receiving fiscal year 2006 
funding from a coordinated public transit-human services plan. This 
requirement applies to the New Freedom program and the Elderly 
Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities program, known as the 
Section 5310 program, in fiscal year 2007.[B]; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Difficulties in developing plans within established time frames; 
FTA's response in proposed final JARC guidance (September 2006): 
* Allows a phased-in approach to the development of coordinated plans. 

Implementation information in FTA's notice of program changes (November 
2005) and interim JARC guidance and proposed strategies (March 2006): 
Program funding: Up to 10 percent of a state or large urbanized area's 
apportionment is available for administration, planning, and technical 
assistance. Recipients may apply for this funding prior to applying for 
project implementation; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* The cost of developing coordinated plans exceeds available resources. 
* Areas will incur higher initial costs to implement new program 
requirements; 
FTA's response in proposed final JARC guidance (September 2006): 
* Identifies other sources of FTA funding that states and urbanized 
areas can use for administration and to develop coordinated plans. 
* Proposes that recipients can combine the administrative funding 
available under the Section 5310, JARC, and New Freedom programs to 
develop a single coordinated public transit-human services 
transportation plan. 
* Notes that administrative funds are not specific to one year, and 
that recipients may roll over administrative funding into a subsequent 
year for the anticipated future costs of current projects. 
* Notes that planning activities are an eligible expense for the JARC 
program. 

Implementation information in FTA's notice of program changes (November 
2005) and interim JARC guidance and proposed strategies (March 2006): 
Program funding: Grantees may use federal JARC funding for 80 percent 
of capital expenses and 50 percent of operating expenses; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Difficulties in securing matching funds for JARC projects; 
FTA's response in proposed final JARC guidance (September 2006): 
* Lists potential sources of matching funds, including other federal 
programs that provide funding for transportation. 

Source: GAO analysis of FTA information. 

[A] The Section 5307 program makes federal resources available to 
urbanized areas and to governors for transit capital and operating 
assistance in urbanized areas and for transportation-related planning. 
For urbanized areas with a population of 200,000 or more, funds are 
apportioned and flow directly to a designated recipient selected 
locally to apply for and receive federal funds. 

[B] The Section 5310 program provides formula funding to states for 
capital projects to assist in meeting the transportation needs of the 
elderly and persons with disabilities. 

[End of table] 

Designated Recipient in Large Urbanized Areas: 

Selected urbanized area officials we interviewed and stakeholder 
comments on FTA's interim JARC guidance raised several questions and 
issues regarding the designated recipient in large urbanized areas. For 
example, transit agency officials we interviewed in 2 large urbanized 
areas were under the impression that their agency's status as the 
designated recipient for FTA's Urbanized Area Formula program (Section 
5307 program) automatically made the agency the JARC designated 
recipient. In addition, two comments on FTA's March 2006 interim 
guidance and proposed strategies noted the stakeholders' belief that 
SAFETEA-LU identified existing Section 5307 designated recipients as 
the intended JARC designated recipients. FTA officials acknowledged 
that on the basis of the interim guidance and proposed strategies, 
there was some confusion about the process to designate the JARC 
recipient. To clarify this issue, the preamble of the September 
proposed final guidance notes that in large urbanized areas, a new 
designation letter shall be issued for the JARC program, regardless of 
whether the designated recipient is the same or different than the 
Section 5307 designated recipient. 

Officials we interviewed in large urbanized areas and several 
stakeholder comments on FTA's interim guidance and proposed strategies 
also raised the issue of a potential conflict of interest with respect 
to the designated recipient in large urbanized areas, and noted 
uncertainty about the ability of designated recipients to allow other 
organizations to conduct the competitive selection process. In its 
March interim guidance and proposed strategies, FTA noted that many 
comments on its November 2005 Notice of Program Changes expressed 
concern that a conflict of interest could exist in large urbanized 
areas when the designated recipient, specifically a provider of 
transportation services, conducts the competitive selection process and 
is eligible for funding. In addition, officials at 12 of the 17 
agencies we contacted in large urbanized areas and 18 stakeholder 
comments on FTA's March 2006 interim guidance and proposed strategies 
believed there would be a potential conflict of interest or the 
appearance of a conflict of interest in this arrangement. Eight other 
stakeholder comments stated that a transparent competitive selection 
process or the involvement of metropolitan planning organizations in 
the selection process would ameliorate any conflict-of-interest 
concerns. While officials we interviewed in 2 large urbanized areas 
raised the possibility of the designated recipients allowing another 
organization to conduct the competitive selection process to avoid 
potential conflict-of-interest issues, officials in 1 of these areas 
said that prior to the release of FTA's proposed final guidance, they 
received inconsistent information from FTA staff regarding this issue. 

The ability of designated recipients to both conduct the competitive 
selection process and compete for funds through this process does 
present potential conflict-of-interest concerns. However, FTA outlined 
a number of strategies and controls in its JARC guidance that, if 
adhered to by designated recipients, should address many of these 
potential conflict-of-interest concerns and minimize perceptions of 
unfairness in the competitive selection process. These controls relate 
to GAO's internal control standards for the federal government, one of 
which addresses the policies and procedures in place within an agency 
to ensure proper stewardship and accountability for government 
resources.[Footnote 31] These strategies and controls were as follows: 

* Selection of the designated recipient. To address stakeholders' 
concerns of a potential conflict of interest, FTA recommended in its 
March interim guidance and proposed strategies that the designated 
recipient not be a provider of transportation services. FTA noted that 
it received a wide range of comments on this proposal, and, in 
response, the September proposed final guidance stated that the 
designated recipient may be the same as the area's existing Section 
5307 program designated recipient or that another agency may be a 
preferred choice that is based on local circumstances. 

* Strategies for a transparent competitive selection process. FTA's 
interim guidance and proposed strategies and proposed final guidance 
advised that the designated recipient follow a simple and 
straightforward selection process that is transparent, and provided 
several potential strategies for areas to consider when implementing a 
competitive selection process. These strategies include ensuring 
greater inclusion at the onset of the coordinated planning process to 
alleviate concerns about a level playing field, and ranking projects 
using methods such as third-party review, peer review, or review by a 
panel of planning partners. 

* Allowing other organizations to conduct the competitive selection 
process. While officials we interviewed in 1 large urbanized area said 
that FTA officials had previously provided conflicting information 
about the ability of designated recipients to allow other organizations 
to conduct the competitive selection process, FTA's September proposed 
final guidance affirms that designated recipients can work with other 
organizations to conduct the competitive selection process to alleviate 
conflict-of-interest concerns. FTA's proposed final guidance also notes 
that the SAFETEA-LU requirement for designated recipients to conduct 
the competitive selection process in cooperation with the metropolitan 
planning organization in large urbanized areas should mitigate this 
potential conflict-of-interest concern. 

* FTA oversight of the competitive selection process. Once designated 
recipients select projects and submit applications to FTA for funding 
for project implementation, FTA officials reported that they will 
review the applications to ensure that areas used a competitive process 
to select projects. In addition, at the time of submitting an 
application for funding, designated recipients are required to certify 
that they distributed funds on a fair and equitable basis, and FTA has 
advised that a transparent and inclusive competitive selection process 
should serve as the basis for this certification. 

Development of Coordinated Public Transit-Human Services Transportation 
Plans: 

State and local officials we interviewed and stakeholder comments on 
FTA's interim guidance and proposed strategies also cited several 
challenges and concerns related to the development of the coordinated 
public transit-human services transportation plans. These issues 
included participation in the planning process and the amount of time 
needed to develop coordinated plans. For example, officials in 3 large 
urbanized areas and 5 states we contacted noted challenges in getting 
other organizations, such as human service agencies, to participate in 
the planning process. One of these officials noted her concern that 
organizations that do not want to receive FTA funding will have no 
reason to participate in the planning process. In addition, five 
comments on FTA's interim guidance and proposed strategies suggested 
that federal agencies that provide other sources of federal funds for 
transportation services should require their grantees to participate in 
coordinated planning efforts. FTA officials reported that they have 
been working with members of the Federal Interagency Coordinating 
Council on Access and Mobility to encourage federal grantees that 
receive other sources of human service transportation funding to 
participate in coordinated transportation planning.[Footnote 32] 
Although it will take time to put coordination provisions in place 
within each agency, FTA officials said they were encouraged by this 
progress. 

Program stakeholders also expressed concern about their ability to 
develop coordinated plans within FTA's time frames. For JARC, the 
requirement to derive projects from a coordinated public transit-human 
services transportation plan was in place for fiscal year 2006 and 
applied to the New Freedom program and the Elderly Individuals and 
Individuals with Disabilities program beginning in fiscal year 2007. 
Seven stakeholder comments on FTA's interim guidance and proposed 
strategies noted that it would be difficult to develop a plan within 
this time frame. Officials in 2 large urbanized areas we contacted 
shared similar concerns. In its proposed final guidance, FTA focuses on 
a phased-in approach to the development of coordinated plans through 
fiscal year 2007, with full implementation of the coordinated planning 
requirements for projects funded in fiscal year 2008. FTA officials 
also said they are encouraging areas to build on existing planning 
efforts to fulfill SAFETEA-LU requirements. 

Competitive Selection of JARC Projects: 

State and local officials we interviewed cited fewer challenges related 
to the competitive selection of JARC projects. The reason could be 
because few state and local agencies we contacted had completed a 
competitive selection process, and many did not anticipate selecting 
projects until early-to mid-2007. However, officials in 1 large 
urbanized area and 1 state we contacted noted the difficulty in 
initiating a competitive selection process without additional FTA 
guidance. One of these officials said that they did not want to have to 
begin a new process if their actions contradict any future FTA 
guidance. Another state official with whom we spoke said that he would 
like FTA to clarify questions his agency had about the competitive 
selection process, such as what it means to certify that the state 
derived projects that were based on a coordinated plan. FTA's proposed 
final guidance provided recipients with additional information on how 
to certify that they selected projects that were based on a coordinated 
plan. 

Other Implementation Challenges: 

In addition to challenges related to the designated recipient, 
coordinated planning, and competitive selection of JARC projects, state 
and local officials we interviewed also cited implementation challenges 
related to funding and their communication with FTA. Officials in 
nearly half of the states and large urbanized areas we contacted did 
not believe that the 10 percent of an area's JARC apportionment 
available for administration, planning, and technical assistance would 
be sufficient for these activities, although the reasons for these 
beliefs varied. For example, officials in 1 state and in 1 large 
urbanized area did not believe these funds would be sufficient because 
they will incur higher initial costs to meet the new program 
requirements, while officials in 2 other states and 1 large urbanized 
area did not believe this funding would be sufficient due to the costs 
of developing coordinated plans. FTA received a number of comments 
about funding for administration, planning, and technical assistance, 
and the September proposed final guidance informs recipients of other 
sources of FTA funding that are available for planning activities. 
These sources include funding from FTA's Urbanized and Non-urbanized 
Area Formula programs as well as its Metropolitan and Statewide 
Planning programs. The proposed final guidance also proposes that 
recipients may combine the administrative funding available under the 
Elderly Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities (known as Section 
5310), JARC, and New Freedom programs to develop a single coordinated 
public transit-human services transportation plan.[Footnote 33] In 
addition, the proposed final guidance notes that the 10 percent of an 
apportionment available for these activities is not specific to one 
year, and that recipients may roll over administrative funding into a 
subsequent year for the anticipated future costs of projects. Lastly, 
the proposed final guidance notes that planning activities are an 
eligible expense for the JARC program, beyond the 10 percent of an 
apportionment available for administration, planning, and technical 
assistance. 

Several officials we interviewed also cited challenges in meeting the 
JARC program matching requirements. Under SAFETEA-LU, grantees may use 
federal JARC funding for 80 percent of capital expenses and 50 percent 
of operating expenses. Matching funds may come from other federal 
programs that are not administered by DOT, such as the Temporary 
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant, as well as from 
noncash sources, such as in-kind contributions and volunteer services. 
One state official we interviewed, whose agency previously received 
JARC funding, noted that the agency had struggled in the past to secure 
matching funds and, as a result, has yet to spend all of its past 
federal JARC funding. A metropolitan planning organization official we 
interviewed noted that the ability of smaller nonprofit organizations 
in her area to secure the required matching funds was an issue, because 
these organizations have limited resources to use for matching funds. 
In addition, 1 state official and officials in 1 large urbanized area 
said that their areas anticipated or had seen cutbacks in matching 
funding they had received in the past from agencies that provided 
funding from programs such as TANF.[Footnote 34] As a result, these 
officials said they will have less state and local matching funding 
available for projects. Although the JARC matching requirements are set 
in the SAFETEA-LU legislation, FTA's proposed final guidance provides 
information on potential sources of matching funds for JARC projects. 

While several officials we interviewed had positive comments about 
FTA's efforts to solicit public input as it implements changes to JARC 
and other programs, some officials also noted challenges they had 
encountered in communicating with FTA regarding JARC implementation. 
Receiving consistent information from FTA was one challenge cited by 
officials we interviewed. As we previously noted, officials from one 
metropolitan planning organization reported that they received 
inconsistent information from different FTA staff in response to a 
question about the responsibilities of the designated recipient. In 
addition, officials we interviewed in 1 state said they received 
different answers regarding the timeline for completing a coordinated 
plan. Other officials we interviewed cited challenges in receiving 
information to answer implementation questions. Officials in 2 states 
we contacted noted difficulties in getting specific answers to their 
implementation questions, with 1 state official noting that with new 
programs, FTA should be prepared to answer specific questions about 
program implementation instead of providing general information. 

FTA Changed Its Evaluation and Oversight Strategies but Still Needs to 
Address Monitoring Issues: 

Although FTA revised its original JARC evaluation and oversight 
proposals to respond to current and past concerns raised by program 
stakeholders, gaps in monitoring may limit FTA's ability to assess 
whether the program is meeting its goals. In previous work, we and 
others have reported that FTA could better measure and communicate the 
outcomes of the JARC program to program stakeholders, including 
Congress and JARC grantees. To address these issues, FTA sought public 
comment on four new performance measures--one specifically for JARC and 
three crosscutting measures--and an existing data collection mechanism 
to track JARC performance data, the National Transit Database (NTD). 
However, several program stakeholders noted various obstacles to 
collecting reliable data on FTA's proposed measures, and some state and 
local officials we interviewed reported that it would be challenging to 
use the NTD system. In addition, state and local officials expressed 
ongoing concerns about the lack of feedback on their performance after 
submitting their data to FTA. In response to these concerns, FTA 
clarified the performance measures, introduced a plan to use its 
existing grant management system for collecting performance data, and 
proposed to be more explicit with grantees about how reported JARC 
performance data were being used. FTA officials also reported that they 
are testing the JARC performance measure and obtaining baseline data 
for use in the required evaluation of the JARC program, which will be 
submitted to Congress in August 2008. Even if FTA resolves its 
performance measurement and reporting issues, gaps in monitoring may 
continue to limit FTA's ability to evaluate and oversee the JARC 
program. FTA plans to use existing oversight processes for monitoring 
JARC recipients; however, FTA officials also noted that SAFETEA-LU did 
not specifically provide project management oversight funds for the 
JARC program. As a result, FTA officials are looking for alternate 
sources of funding--such as the agency's administrative funding--to 
provide program oversight for JARC. 

Past Concerns about the JARC Program Have Included Performance 
Measurement, Reporting, and Evaluation: 

The need for agencies to measure performance is based upon the 
Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA),[Footnote 
35]which was intended to improve federal program effectiveness, 
accountability, and service delivery. GPRA helped create a 
governmentwide focus on results by establishing a statutory framework 
for performance management and accountability, with the necessary 
infrastructure to generate meaningful performance information. This act 
required federal agencies to develop strategic plans and annual 
performance plans, link them with outcome-oriented goals, and measure 
agency performance in achieving these goals. The Office of Management 
and Budget also plays a role in GPRA implementation and reviews 
agencies' strategic plans, annual performance plans, and annual 
performance reports. Overall, GPRA's requirements have laid a solid 
foundation for results-oriented agency planning, measurement, and 
reporting by providing more objective information on achieving goals 
and on the relative effectiveness and efficiency of federal programs 
and spending. 

Past GAO reports on performance measurement and performance budgeting 
have noted the importance of using outcome-oriented measures to assess 
the extent to which a program achieves its objectives on an ongoing 
basis and the importance of linking resources to results.[Footnote 36] 
However, our previous reviews of the JARC program have found that FTA 
lacked the data needed to evaluate and report on the program as 
required by Congress. For example, in May 1998, we recommended that FTA 
establish specific objectives, performance criteria, and measurable 
goals to assess how the JARC program would improve mobility for low- 
income workers.[Footnote 37] In response, FTA instituted an evaluation 
plan and selected access to employment sites as the sole measure of 
program success. However, we later found that this measure did not 
address key aspects of the program, such as increasing collaboration 
between grantees and stakeholders and establishing transportation- 
related services that help low-income individuals.[Footnote 38] We also 
reported in August 2004 that grantees found it difficult to obtain the 
data requested by FTA, such as the number of potential employers 
reached by JARC services. Furthermore, the grantee reports used to 
evaluate the JARC program contained self-reported information, which 
FTA did not verify. As a result, we stated that FTA's 2003 evaluation 
of JARC was limited because it lacked consistent, generalizable, and 
complete information, thereby making it difficult to use these data to 
draw any definitive conclusions about the program as a whole.[Footnote 
39] In recognition of these concerns, FTA began taking steps to 
consider ways to improve its evaluation process, such as revising the 
JARC performance measures. 

In previous reports on the JARC program, we and others have also 
highlighted issues with FTA's reporting mechanism and lack of 
communication with grantees about their performance. Performance 
reporting is a critical element for establishing accountability and 
evaluating whether and to what extent program managers are meeting the 
goals contained within agency strategic and performance plans. In 2004, 
we reported that JARC grantees were required to report quarterly data 
using a database that many found to be burdensome. We also noted that 
specific information in FTA's JARC evaluation may not have been 
consistent because grantees did not follow a standardized reporting 
system.[Footnote 40] Our past work on data quality has highlighted the 
importance of ensuring that reported performance data are sufficiently 
credible for decision making.[Footnote 41] In a 2003 FTA-contracted 
study of JARC evaluation efforts, some grantees recommended that FTA 
allow agencies to report performance data using existing systems, such 
as the NTD, and that the reporting structure be flexible enough to 
enter qualitative or narrative information to reflect the different 
types of services provided by JARC programs.[Footnote 42] Grantees also 
stated that they would be interested in receiving feedback from FTA on 
the JARC evaluation process and stressed the importance of 
communicating program findings to help them assess and improve their 
performance.[Footnote 43] We previously have identified the 
distribution of information in a form and time frame that allows 
managers, staff, and external stakeholders to perform their duties and 
to provide them with a basis for focusing their efforts and improving 
performance as a critical practice for managing program 
results.[Footnote 44] 

FTA Clarified Its Proposed JARC Performance Measures and Introduced a 
Different Reporting Mechanism in Response to Concerns Expressed by 
Program Stakeholders: 

FTA's extensive public participation process helped to inform changes 
made to the proposed final guidance issued in September, including the 
introduction of new performance measures to evaluate the JARC program 
as well as a different reporting mechanism for collecting data. In its 
March 2006 interim guidance and proposed strategies, FTA had proposed 
using one JARC-specific measure and three crosscutting measures to 
assess the JARC program's outcomes and impacts: 

* Cumulative number of jobs accessed (JARC-specific): Cumulative number 
of jobs reached through the provision of JARC-related services for low- 
income individuals and welfare recipients. 

* Efficiency of operations (crosscutting measure): Number of 
communities and states reporting the use of shared resources between 
different agencies and organizations so they can provide more rides for 
people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals with lower 
incomes at the same or lower cost. 

* Program effectiveness (crosscutting measure): Number of communities 
that have a simple point of entry-coordinated human service 
transportation system for people with disabilities, older adults, and 
individuals with lower incomes so they have easier access to 
transportation services. 

* Customer satisfaction (crosscutting measure): Level of customer 
satisfaction reported in areas related to the availability, 
affordability, acceptability, and accessibility of transportation 
services for people with disabilities, older adults, and individuals 
with lower incomes. 

According to FTA, the JARC-specific measure was intended to reduce the 
numerous JARC data requirements, while the three crosscutting measures 
reflected SAFETEA-LU's emphasis on the coordination of human services 
transportation and would apply to the JARC, New Freedom, and Elderly 
Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310) programs. 
In addition, FTA proposed to address past concerns regarding the burden 
of collecting program data on JARC by using existing mechanisms, 
including the NTD, which is used to track operational, service, and 
financial data on other transit formula programs. 

In both the docket comments and in our interviews, program stakeholders 
cited potential obstacles to collecting accurate data on the number of 
jobs accessed measure, such as a lack of guidance from FTA and limited 
resources (see table 3 for a summary of stakeholder concerns regarding 
the proposed measures). For example, 7 state and local officials we 
interviewed reported that FTA's definition for the number of jobs 
accessed was unclear, or that they did not know how to determine this 
measure. Specifically, one metropolitan planning organization official 
wanted FTA to clarify whether the jobs accessed measure referred to the 
number of low-income people using a JARC-funded service to travel to 
their jobs or to the total number of jobs available in the area being 
served by a JARC-funded service. Three state transportation officials 
that we contacted were also concerned that they did not have sufficient 
staff to conduct the required data collection. Program stakeholders 
expressed similar concerns in their docket comments. For example, 2 
stakeholders noted in their written comments to FTA that collecting 
data on the proposed performance measures may be overly burdensome for 
small agencies. 

Table 3: Summary of Program Stakeholders' Challenges and Concerns and 
FTA's Response to the Proposed JARC Performance Measures and Reporting 
Mechanism: 

Implementation information in FTA's interim guidance and proposed 
strategies (March 2006): JARC-Specific Performance Measure: Cumulative 
number of jobs accessed; Cumulative number of jobs reached through the 
provision of JARC-related services for low-income individuals and 
welfare recipients; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Collecting data on the number of jobs accessed is hard because it is 
difficult to isolate JARC riders from other transit customers; 
* Tracking whether JARC riders are using fixed-route systems[A] to 
access jobs or for other purposes is challenging; 
* Factors outside of agencies' control may make it difficult to measure 
the number of jobs accessed; 
* FTA's definition of "number of jobs accessed" is unclear, and it is 
difficult to know how this measure will be determined; 
* Administrative burden of collecting data on measures (e.g., number of 
jobs accessed) is high for the amount of JARC funds available; 
* Data collection will be burdensome for some agencies (e.g., rural or 
small organizations) with limited staff capacity or resources; 
FTA's response in proposed final guidance (September 2006): FTA 
clarified that the proposed cumulative number of jobs accessed measure 
in its proposed final guidance will measure the following: (1) the 
increase in access to jobs related to geographic coverage and/or 
service times that impact the availability of transportation services 
for low-income individuals as a result of the JARC projects implemented 
in the current reporting year and (2) the number of rides provided for 
low-income individuals as a result of the JARC projects implemented in 
the current reporting year. FTA has also hired a contractor to test the 
feasibility of implementing the new increase in access to jobs measure. 

Implementation information in FTA's interim guidance and proposed 
strategies (March 2006): Crosscutting Performance Measure 1: Efficiency 
of Operations; Number of communities and states reporting the use of 
shared resources between different agencies and organizations so they 
can provide more rides for people with disabilities, older adults, and 
individuals with lower incomes at the same or lower cost; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Proposed measure does not translate well for measuring performance in 
some areas (e.g., rural areas) and for providing service to underserved 
populations; 
* Concerned that operational efficiency is viewed as a "more service 
for lower dollars" approach; 
* Proposed measure reflects the number of coordination relationships 
between communities and states reporting the use of shared resources, 
rather than the increase in the total number of rides provided to the 
different populations; 
* Local areas need flexibility to develop performance measures that 
meet and reflect the unique needs and conditions of their communities; 
FTA's response in proposed final guidance (September 2006): FTA 
officials did not include this measure in the proposed final guidance 
on the basis of comments received. However, FTA officials reported that 
they are developing a tool and plan to provide technical assistance 
through the United We Ride Initiative to help states and local areas 
measure their own performance. 

Implementation information in FTA's interim guidance and proposed 
strategies (March 2006): Crosscutting Performance Measure 2: Program 
Effectiveness; Number of communities that have a simple point of entry- 
coordinated human service transportation system for people with 
disabilities, older adults, and individuals with lower incomes so they 
have easier access to transportation services; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Proposed measure appears to give preference to projects with a 
"simple point of entry coordinated human service transportation 
system," which may not be the only way to achieve coordination in 
different local areas; 
* FTA's definition of "communities" is vague; 
* Local areas need flexibility to develop performance measures that 
meet and reflect the unique needs and conditions of their communities; 
FTA's response in proposed final guidance (September 2006): FTA 
officials did not include this measure in the proposed final guidance 
on the basis of comments received. However, FTA officials reported that 
they are developing a tool and plan to provide technical assistance 
through the United We Ride Initiative to help states and local areas 
measure their own performance. 

Implementation information in FTA's interim guidance and proposed 
strategies (March 2006): Crosscutting Performance Measure 3: Customer 
Satisfaction; Level of customer satisfaction reported in areas related 
to the availability, affordability, acceptability, and accessibility of 
transportation services for people with disabilities, older adults, and 
individuals with lower incomes; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Proposed customer satisfaction measure is very subjective and 
amorphous; 
* Some agencies do not have the staff or resources to survey riders to 
measure customer satisfaction; 
* On- board transit surveys for some measures, such as customer 
service, are expensive and labor-intensive to conduct; 
* Local areas need flexibility to develop performance measures that 
meet and reflect the unique needs and conditions of their communities; 
FTA's response in proposed final guidance (September 2006): FTA 
officials did not include this measure in the proposed final guidance 
on the basis of comments received. However, FTA officials reported that 
they are developing a tool and plan to provide technical assistance 
through the United We Ride Initiative to help states and local areas 
measure their own performance. 

Implementation information in FTA's interim guidance and proposed 
strategies (March 2006): JARC Reporting Mechanism: National Transit 
Database[B]; JARC grantees would use the existing NTD system to collect 
and report JARC performance data; 
Challenges and concerns expressed by program stakeholders: 
* Some providers, including rural and nontraditional recipients, may 
find the NTD difficult to use for collecting and managing data; 
* Smaller agencies may need staff training to use the NTD; 
* Not all JARC information can be easily translated into the data 
elements contained in the NTD; 
FTA's response in proposed final guidance (September 2006): FTA will 
not require grantees to use the NTD for data collection and reporting. 
Instead, FTA proposes that grantees use their existing Transportation 
Electronic Award and Management system for JARC reporting. This system 
can be used to record qualitative information. 

Source: GAO analysis of FTA guidance, comments submitted to FTA's 
docket, and interviews with state and local officials. 

[A] Fixed-route systems refer to a system providing designated public 
transportation on which a vehicle is operated along a prescribed route 
according to a fixed schedule. 

[B] FTA currently uses the NTD to collect uniform operational, service, 
and financial data on existing department programs, including the 
Urbanized Area and Nonurbanized Area Formula programs. 

[C] United We Ride is an interagency federal national initiative that 
supports states and their localities in developing coordinated human 
service delivery systems. In addition to state coordination grants, 
United We Ride provides state and local agencies with a transportation- 
coordination and planning self-assessment tool, help along the way, 
technical assistance, and other resources to help their communities 
with these efforts. 

[End of table] 

FTA officials acknowledged that there was confusion among program 
stakeholders about the JARC-specific measure and how it should be 
measured, and they subsequently clarified the original proposal on the 
basis of the comments received. FTA's proposed final guidance stated 
that the JARC-specific measure would assess the following: 

* Job access: The increase in access to jobs related to geographic 
coverage and/or service times that impact the availability of 
transportation services for low-income individuals as a result of the 
JARC projects implemented in the current reporting year. 

* Rides provided: The number of rides provided for low-income 
individuals as a result of the JARC projects implemented in the current 
reporting year. 

According to FTA, the jobs accessed measure is a measure of "system 
coverage," describing the number of jobs reachable by JARC-funded 
services. FTA also clarified that the new measure is not a 
determination of an actual number of riders who are getting and going 
to jobs, which was a concern raised by some program stakeholders in 
their docket comments and in our interviews. FTA also intends to 
monitor JARC service use by measuring the number of rides actually 
provided by the JARC service annually. 

In addition to clarifying the JARC measure, FTA is also taking steps to 
test its JARC performance measure and to collect baseline data for its 
upcoming evaluation of the program. For example, FTA has hired a 
contractor to examine the feasibility of collecting data for the 
increase in the jobs accessed measure and is currently analyzing the 
strategies for capturing this more precise measure and testing its 
implementation. FTA also is soliciting public comments on the revised 
JARC performance measures, which will be used to formulate the final 
JARC guidance. Once the measures are finalized, FTA will test the JARC- 
specific performance measure and plans to obtain baseline data for 
fiscal year 2006 and beyond using JARC grants active during fiscal year 
2005.[Footnote 45] FTA officials plan to use these data to conduct the 
required evaluation of the JARC program, which must be submitted to 
Congress in August 2008.[Footnote 46] FTA's proposed final guidance 
states that it will conduct independent evaluations of the JARC program 
focused on specific data elements to better understand the 
implementation strategies and related outcomes associated with the 
program. This approach is supported by our recent report on grants 
management, in which we recommended that performance data should be 
tested to make sure they are credible, reliable, and valid.[Footnote 
47] An FTA official we spoke with told us that FTA hopes to have a 
formal reporting methodology targeted to be in place by spring 2007. 

Program stakeholders also reported potential difficulties with FTA's 
proposed crosscutting national coordination measures to assess program 
performance. (See table 3 for a summary of stakeholder concerns 
regarding the proposed performance measures.) For example, some program 
stakeholders stated in their docket comments that the performance 
measures would be too prescriptive and would stifle local creativity, 
while 13 stakeholders recommended that performance measures should be 
developed locally to address local conditions and needs. Specifically, 
two commenters noted that FTA's proposed crosscutting performance 
measures did not necessarily acknowledge the differences in providing 
JARC services in urbanized areas compared with rural areas, where the 
number of transit providers may be limited and the routes typically 
serve fewer people at a higher cost. In addition, two local officials 
and one state department of transportation official that we interviewed 
reported that measuring customer satisfaction would likely require 
administering a survey, which could be expensive or labor-intensive. 

In recognition of these concerns, FTA did not include the three 
crosscutting coordination measures in its proposed final guidance, 
noting instead that individual communities will have the option to 
include evaluation strategies for their own activities. We have 
previously observed that designing results-oriented performance 
measures for intergovernmental programs, such as JARC, is complicated 
by the broad range of objectives identified for some programs and the 
discretion states and localities have in achieving those objectives. 
According to FTA, the crosscutting measures were created in response to 
recommendations stemming from the Interagency Coordinating Council on 
Access and Mobility's United We Ride initiative to develop a national 
performance measure for coordination. After reviewing the comments, 
however, FTA officials that we interviewed told us that they realized 
the difficulty of devising national measures and determined that 
measuring coordination should be done at the local level. FTA also 
clarified that the intent of the crosscutting measures was to capture a 
national picture of JARC-funded services, rather than compare 
individual communities or service systems. However, FTA officials 
reported that they will encourage grantees to develop additional 
measures for evaluating whether their programs are meeting their 
intended state or local goals. This proposal is supported by our past 
work, in which we reported that performance measures should tell each 
organizational level how well it is achieving its goals.[Footnote 48] 
In addition, the United We Ride initiative is developing a tool and 
plans to provide technical assistance to assist with these efforts in 
the future. 

Program stakeholders expressed mixed opinions about FTA's proposal to 
use the NTD to streamline data collection. For example, 5 state and 
local agencies that we interviewed were generally positive about FTA's 
proposal to use the NTD for JARC reporting, in part because they were 
familiar with using this system to collect and report data on other FTA 
programs. However, 5 agencies that we interviewed told us that small 
and rural agencies may find it difficult to use the NTD for collecting 
and managing data. In addition, two agency officials we interviewed 
reported that NTD can be cumbersome to use, while two program 
stakeholders noted in their docket comments that smaller agencies may 
need staff training to use the NTD. 

Due in part to the comments received, FTA decided not to use the NTD 
for JARC reporting.[Footnote 49] FTA told us that while the NTD is in 
place, it is currently not set up or designed to collect the 
qualitative measures that are important for understanding the trends 
related to human service transportation. FTA proposed that JARC 
grantees report their data as an attachment to their annual report 
submissions in the Transportation Electronic Award and Management 
(TEAM) system, which the agency uses to manage and track its grants. 
One FTA official told us that TEAM would be better suited for 
collecting JARC data because it can track qualitative information, and 
that JARC grantees that receive funding through other FTA programs 
would be familiar with how to collect and report data using TEAM. 

Finally, state and local officials that we interviewed also expressed 
ongoing concerns about the lack of feedback on their JARC performance 
after they report data to FTA, which may limit their ability to manage 
program performance. For example, 19 of the 23 states and large 
urbanized areas that had received JARC grants in the past commented 
that FTA had not provided them with any feedback on their performance 
data after it was submitted. Three state and local officials also told 
us that they would like to know how the performance data they report is 
being used by FTA. Meanwhile, two state transportation officials and 
two local officials said that receiving feedback from FTA would be 
helpful to know how they are performing and to make improvements or 
corrections. Previous reports by GAO and others[Footnote 50] have found 
that providing frequent and effective feedback on performance 
information can enhance its use for decision making.[Footnote 51] 
According to FTA, the JARC data collected to date have not been 
intended to be used to evaluate individual projects, but rather were 
geared toward assessing how the program was achieving goals nationally, 
as required by GPRA and the Office of Management and Budget. However, 
during a recent interview with FTA officials, they said that they would 
be more explicit with grantees about how they are using JARC 
performance data, and that they are open to exploring the possibility 
of posting this information on the FTA Web site in the future. 

Gaps in Monitoring May Limit FTA's Ability to Evaluate and Oversee the 
JARC Program: 

Even if FTA resolves its performance measurement and reporting issues, 
gaps in its plan for monitoring JARC recipients may continue to limit 
FTA's ability to evaluate and oversee the program. While FTA has 
proposed using existing oversight processes to monitor JARC recipients, 
these oversight processes do not explicitly include provisions for 
oversight of the JARC program. Furthermore, FTA's proposed process for 
oversight of agencies that do not fall under existing processes could 
lead to inconsistent oversight of JARC recipients. 

FTA does not have a complete plan for oversight of the JARC program. 
Monitoring of policies and procedures to ensure proper stewardship of 
government resources is an important aspect of internal control. FTA is 
responsible for ensuring that grantees follow federal mandates along 
with statutory and administrative requirements. In its March interim 
guidance and proposed strategies, FTA stated that it would monitor 
implementation of JARC and other programs using pre-and post-award 
review processes used for grant applications and grant management, 
including self-certifications, progress reports, and site visits. FTA's 
proposed final guidance states that FTA will also use existing 
oversight processes for other FTA programs to conduct JARC oversight. 
These processes are as follows: 

* State Management Reviews: These reviews assess states' implementation 
and management of the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with 
Disabilities program (Section 5310) and the Nonurbanized Area Formula 
program (Section 5311). 

* Triennial Reviews: These reviews assess grantees receiving Urbanized 
Area Formula program (Section 5307) grants. These grantees are 
primarily transit agencies and some metropolitan planning 
organizations. 

FTA has proposed using these processes--which FTA uses for oversight of 
programs that award funding to states, transit agencies, and 
metropolitan planning organizations--to oversee the JARC program 
because they should cover most JARC designated recipients. FTA's 
proposed final guidance also notes that JARC designated recipients that 
are not a state or a Section 5307 recipient may be subjected to 
periodic spot reviews of their administration of the program. However, 
two issues with FTA's monitoring proposal may result in gaps in its 
oversight of the JARC program. 

First, the use of periodic spot reviews of designated recipients that 
are not states or Section 5307 recipients may result in inconsistent 
monitoring of JARC recipients. For example, while some metropolitan 
planning organizations that serve as JARC designated recipients also 
receive Section 5307 funding and will be subject to FTA oversight 
through its triennial review process, other metropolitan planning 
organizations serving as JARC designated recipients do not receive 
Section 5307 funding, and will be subject to FTA oversight through its 
proposed periodic spot reviews. It is not clear from FTA's proposed 
final guidance if these periodic reviews will be more or less frequent 
than the 3-year cycle of FTA's triennial reviews and state management 
reviews. As a result, JARC designated recipients may be held to 
different oversight standards on the basis of what other types of FTA 
funding they receive. 

Second, FTA's existing oversight processes currently do not include 
provisions for JARC program oversight. For example, FTA's State 
Management Review guidance, which contains information on the Section 
5311 program and the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with 
Disabilities program, does not include JARC program requirements and 
information, such as the requirement to distribute funds on a fair and 
equitable basis. We previously noted that this requirement would be 
important for recipients to adhere to in order to address potential 
conflict-of-interest concerns. While FTA officials said that they have 
begun to work to incorporate JARC into their existing oversight 
processes, they noted that SAFETEA-LU omitted JARC from the list of 
programs for which FTA may specifically use appropriated funds to 
obtain contractual support for project management oversight and review 
of major capital projects.[Footnote 52] They are presently researching 
other sources of funding--such as the agency's general administrative 
funding--that can be used to ask detailed programmatic questions of 
JARC recipients and to conduct site visits and project reviews. FTA 
officials also said that they currently do not know how much of a 
problem this will pose, because they do not yet know which entities 
will be the designated recipients for most of the areas receiving JARC 
funds. As a result, they are uncertain of how many JARC designated 
recipients will already be covered by existing oversight processes 
because they receive funds for other FTA programs, such as Section 
5307. Given this issue, FTA officials said that they were still 
determining the frequency and level of JARC oversight that could be 
supported with their current resources. Until it develops a complete 
plan for implementing and funding JARC oversight, FTA's key oversight 
processes will not provide assurance that recipients are meeting 
program requirements. 

Conclusions: 

FTA has made progress in implementing changes to the JARC program, 
gathering extensive public input to develop program guidance for states 
and large urbanized areas. However, FTA lacks an important element of 
program accountability and performance measurement for the JARC 
program, specifically related to monitoring. FTA officials have 
proposed to use the agency's oversight mechanisms for other FTA 
programs for JARC monitoring, but acknowledged that they have not 
finalized how this will work. Without the inclusion of JARC program 
requirements--such as the fair and equitable distribution of funding-- 
in these existing oversight processes, FTA will have limited assurances 
that JARC recipients are administering the program in accordance with 
FTA's requirements and are meeting program objectives. In addition, FTA 
has proposed an alternative oversight process for recipients that are 
not covered by its existing Triennial Reviews and State Management 
Reviews, but FTA has not specified how often these recipients will be 
subject to its oversight, which may result in inconsistent or 
infrequent oversight of JARC recipients. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To establish adequate and consistent oversight processes that will 
enable FTA to evaluate and oversee JARC projects and determine whether 
they are meeting JARC program goals, we recommend that the Secretary of 
Transportation direct the Administrator, FTA, to take the following two 
actions: 

* Develop a plan for including the JARC program in Triennial Reviews 
and State Management Reviews, and update monitoring guidance and 
information accordingly. 

* Specify in the JARC final guidance how frequently FTA will perform 
spot reviews of designated recipients that are not subject to FTA's 
Triennial Reviews and State Management Reviews, and make the interval 
for conducting spot reviews consistent with the 3-year cycles for 
Triennial Reviews and State Management Reviews, or more frequently if 
FTA determines it necessary. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

We provided a draft of this report to the Department of Transportation 
for review and comment. Officials from the department and FTA generally 
agreed with the report's findings and said that they would consider the 
recommendations as they move forward in implementing the JARC program. 
Although FTA officials recognized the need for program oversight and 
indicated that they are already taking steps to incorporate the JARC 
program into their existing review processes, they reiterated their 
concerns that SAFETEA-LU did not provide them with a specific source of 
oversight funding for the JARC program. As a result, they are seeking 
other sources of funding--such as the agency's general administrative 
funds--to carry out this activity. Finally, FTA officials provided 
technical clarifications, which we incorporated in the report as 
appropriate. 

We are sending copies of this report to congressional committees with 
responsibility for transit issues; the Secretary of Transportation; the 
Administrator, Federal Transit Administration; and the Director, Office 
of Management and Budget. We will also make copies available to others 
upon request. In addition, the report will be available at no charge on 
the GAO Web site at[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you have any questions regarding this report, please contact me on 
(202) 512-2834 or at siggerudk@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices 
of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. GAO staff who made major contributions to this 
report are listed in appendix IV. 

Signed by: 

Katherine Siggerud: 
Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Objectives, Scope, and Methodology: 

This report addresses the following four objectives: (1) changes that 
were made to the Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program as a 
result of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act - A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU); (2) progress that the 
Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has made in implementing these 
changes; (3) the extent to which states and large urbanized areas have 
implemented changes to the JARC program, and challenges they have 
encountered; and (4) whether FTA's proposed strategy for evaluating and 
overseeing the JARC program will allow the agency to assess the extent 
to which the program is meeting its stated goals. 

To identify the changes that SAFETEA-LU made to the JARC program, we 
reviewed the provisions of SAFETEA-LU and of its predecessor, the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), dealing with 
the JARC program. We also reviewed previous GAO reports on JARC and 
interviewed officials from FTA's headquarters and one regional office. 
To summarize financial information for JARC for fiscal years 1999 
through 2009, we gathered and analyzed data from FTA's Web site and 
agency officials on dollar amounts authorized, appropriated, rescinded, 
obligated, and unobligated. To assess the reliability of these data, we 
interviewed FTA officials about FTA's policies and procedures for data 
collection and verification. Specifically, we asked them whether their 
policies and procedures had changed significantly since we reviewed 
them for our 2004 report on JARC.[Footnote 53] FTA officials told us 
that there were no significant changes in their data collection and 
verification procedures for JARC information. We also compared these 
data with data published in the Federal Register and data on FTA's Web 
site for obvious errors in completeness and accuracy. Therefore, we 
determined that the FTA information presented was sufficiently reliable 
for the purposes of this report. 

To describe the progress FTA has made in implementing changes to JARC, 
we interviewed FTA officials and officials from industry associations, 
including the American Association of State Highway and Transportation 
Officials, the American Public Transportation Association, the 
Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations, the Community 
Transportation Association of America, and the National Association of 
Regional Councils, to obtain their views on FTA's progress in 
implementing the program changes. We also reviewed FTA's JARC interim 
program guidance for fiscal year 2006 and proposed strategies for 
fiscal year 2007 (issued in March 2006), and its proposed final 
guidance for fiscal year 2007 (issued in September 2006).[Footnote 54] 

To describe the extent to which states and large urbanized areas have 
implemented changes to the JARC program and any challenges they have 
encountered in doing so, we obtained data from FTA officials on the 
number of states and large urbanized areas that had officially 
designated a recipient for JARC funds, selected projects and applied 
for funding, and obligated funds. 

To determine whether FTA's proposed strategy for evaluating and 
overseeing the JARC program will allow the agency to assess whether the 
program is meeting its stated goals, we interviewed FTA officials about 
their performance measurement and evaluation plans. We reviewed FTA's 
earlier JARC program evaluation, Job Access and Reverse Commute 
Program: Report to Congress (May 2003). We also reviewed relevant 
legislation, FTA program guidance, Office of Management and Budget 
circulars and guidance on performance measurement, prior GAO JARC 
reports, and GAO reports and guidance on performance measurement and 
program evaluation. We did not evaluate FTA's proposed performance 
measures, because those measures were too preliminary at the time of 
our review to allow meaningful comparison with our criteria for 
successful performance measures. In addition, FTA had recently hired a 
contractor to evaluate the feasibility of collecting data for one of 
the proposed measures. 

To address the third and fourth objectives, we also designed and 
conducted semistructured telephone interviews with officials from 24 of 
the 209 states and large urbanized areas that were apportioned fiscal 
year 2006 JARC funds. The interviews were designed to gain state and 
local officials' perspectives on a number of topics, including the 
effect of changing from a discretionary program to a formula-based 
program on JARC services in their area; the process of selecting a 
designated recipient, developing a coordinated public transit-human 
services transportation plan, and conducting a competitive selection 
process for JARC projects; FTA's proposed performance measures and 
program oversight mechanisms for JARC; and any challenges they may have 
encountered in implementing changes to the JARC program. After 
conducting the interviews with all 24 states and large urbanized areas, 
we used a content analysis to systematically determine the state and 
local officials' views on key interview questions and identify common 
themes in their responses. Two analysts reached consensus on the coding 
of the responses, and a third reviewer was consulted in case of 
disagreements, to ensure that the codes were reliable. The interviews 
included officials from the departments of transportation of 12 states 
and from 8 metropolitan planning organizations and 9 transportation 
agencies from 12 large urbanized areas. We conducted the interviews in 
June, July, and August 2006. 

We selected the 12 states to obtain diversity in a range of criteria, 
as follows: 

* Change in JARC funding: Analyzed the percentage change and selected 4 
states that received an increase in their federal JARC funds from 
fiscal years 2005 to 2006, 5 states whose JARC funds decreased from 
2005 to 2006, 1 state that received approximately the same amount of 
funding in fiscal years 2005 and 2006, and 2 states that did not 
receive JARC funds in 2005. 

* Comments: Whether a state department of transportation had submitted 
comments to the Department of Transportation's (DOT) online docket on 
FTA's interim JARC program guidance for fiscal year 2006 and proposed 
strategies for fiscal year 2007. 

* Statewide program: Whether a state was identified in FTA's fiscal 
year 2005 grant apportionment notice as having a statewide JARC 
program, which meant that the state likely had previous experience in 
administering JARC funds. 

* Designated recipient: Whether a state had notified FTA of its 
designated recipient (as of June 2006) for the JARC funds, from which 
we inferred that a state had taken some action to implement the JARC 
program. 

* Planning funds: Whether a state had applied to FTA for 10 percent of 
its apportionment for planning/administration/technical assistance, as 
allowed by statute, from which we inferred that a state had taken some 
action to implement the JARC program. 

* Recommendations: Referral by FTA or industry associations. 

Table 4 lists the 12 states that we selected on the basis of these 
criteria. 

Table 4: State Agencies Interviewed for Our Review: 

State: Alabama; 
Agency: Alabama Department of Transportation. 

State: Alaska; 
Agency: Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities. 

State: Arkansas; 
Agency: Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department. 

State: California; 
Agency: California Department of Transportation. 

State: Maryland; 
Agency: Maryland Transit Administration. 

State: New Mexico; 
Agency: New Mexico Department of Transportation. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Agency: Oklahoma Department of Transportation. 

State: Texas; 
Agency: Texas Department of Transportation. 

State: Virginia; 
Agency: Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. 

State: Washington; 
Agency: Washington State Department of Transportation. 

State: West Virginia; 
Agency: West Virginia Department of Transportation. 

State: Wyoming; 
Agency: Wyoming Department of Transportation. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

To obtain the perspectives of small urbanized areas and rural areas 
that had previously received JARC grants directly and would now have to 
apply to the state designated recipient for funding, we supplemented 
the state interviews with interviews with officials from a 
transportation agency in Galveston, Texas--a small urbanized area--and 
from a nonprofit agency in Stigler, Oklahoma, that provides 
transportation in rural areas of the state. 

We selected 12 large urbanized areas to obtain diversity in a range of 
criteria, as follows: 

* Prior receipt of JARC funding: Whether a large urbanized area had 
received a JARC grant prior to fiscal year 2006.[Footnote 55] 

* Receipt of fiscal year 2006 funding: Whether a large urbanized area 
had successfully applied to FTA for its fiscal year 2006 JARC funding 
(as of July 2006). 

* Comments: Whether a metropolitan planning organization or local 
transportation agency in a large urbanized area had submitted comments 
to the DOT's online docket on FTA's interim JARC program guidance for 
fiscal year 2006 and proposed strategies for fiscal year 2007. 

* Designated recipient: Whether a large urbanized area had notified FTA 
of its designated recipient (as of July 2006) for the JARC funds, from 
which we inferred that the area had taken some action to implement the 
JARC program. 

* Recommendations: Referral by FTA or industry associations. 

* Population: Whether a large urbanized area had a population over 1 
million. 

* Multistate area: Whether the large urbanized area covers multiple 
states, which we assumed could present unique issues for an area in 
implementing the JARC program. 

* Location: Whether the large urbanized area was in a state that we had 
already selected for interviews. 

Table 5 lists the 12 large urbanized areas we selected on the basis of 
these criteria, and the agencies that we interviewed. 

Table 5: Large Urbanized Area Agencies Interviewed for Our Review: 

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico; 
Agency: Mid-Region Council of Governments. 

Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico; 
Agency: ABQ Ride. 

Location: Birmingham, Alabama; 
Agency: Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority. 

Location: Denver, Colorado; 
Agency: Denver Regional Council of Governments. 

Location: Denver, Colorado; 
Agency: Denver Regional Transportation District. 

Location: Fresno, California; 
Agency: Fresno Council of Governments. 

Location: Fresno, California; 
Agency: City of Fresno Department of Transportation. 

Location: Kansas City, Missouri; 
Agency: Mid-America Regional Council. 

Location: Los Angeles, California; 
Agency: Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 

Location: Lubbock, Texas; 
Agency: Citibus. 

Location: Memphis, Tennessee; 
Agency: Memphis Area Transit Authority. 

Location: Riverside/San Bernardino, California; 
Agency: Southern California Association of Governments. 

Location: Seattle, Washington; 
Agency: Puget Sound Regional Council. 

Location: Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida; 
Agency: Pinellas County Metropolitan Planning Organization. 

Location: Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida; 
Agency: Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority. 

Location: Washington, D.C; 
Agency: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. 

Location: Washington, D.C; 
Agency: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. 

Source: GAO. 

[End of table] 

It is important to note that these interviews cannot be generalized to 
the entire JARC recipient population because they were selected from a 
nonprobability sample. 

We supplemented the information obtained from these semistructured 
interviews by analyzing the more than 200 public comments submitted to 
DOT's online docket regarding FTA's interim program guidance for fiscal 
year 2006 and proposed guidance for fiscal year 2007. We used a content 
analysis to systematically identify common themes in the comments 
submitted. Two analysts reached consensus on the coding of the 
responses, and a third reviewer was consulted in case of disagreements, 
to ensure that the codes were reliable. In summarizing the comments for 
appendix III, we only included comments that were made by more than one 
entity. 

We conducted our work from May through October 2006 in accordance with 
generally accepted government auditing standards. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Job Access and Reverse Commute Program Funding: 

Table 6: Total JARC Apportionments for States and Large Urbanized 
Areas, Fiscal Years 2004-2006: 

State: Alabama; 
Fiscal year: 2004: $4,460,669; 
Fiscal year: 2005: $6,046,205; 
Fiscal year: 2006: $2,391,281. 

State: Alaska; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 1,610,797; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,709,786; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 207,503. 

State: American Samoa; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0 ; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 82,198. 

State: Arizona; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 1,734,705; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,646,131. 

State: Arkansas; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 446,067; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,406,220. 

State: California; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 5,515,370; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 10,010,929; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 19,573,127. 

State: Colorado; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 3,221,339; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,670,641. 

State: Connecticut; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 3,221,594; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,477,954; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,126,113. 

State: Delaware; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 743,445; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 743,386; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 263,929. 

State: District of Columbia; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 1,982,520; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 3,716,930; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 379,168. 

State: Florida; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 3,469,409; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 594,708; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 8,292,479. 

State: Georgia; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 991,260; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,180,598; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 3,726,294. 

State: Guam; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 82,308. 

State: Hawaii; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 456,441. 

State: Idaho; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 629,153. 

State: Illinois; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 817,789; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,120,034; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 5,042,471. 

State: Indiana; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 743,445; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,377,741; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,303,911. 

State: Iowa; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 991,260; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,982,362; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,034,427. 

State: Kansas; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 2,914,304; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,387,653; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 927,663. 

State: Kentucky; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 297,378; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,139,859; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,844,076. 

State: Louisiana; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,477,954; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,888,701. 

State: Maine; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 489,682; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,486,772; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 505,003. 

State: Maryland; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 5,253,677; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,676,190; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,774,151. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 674,056; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 991,182; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,325,356. 

State: Michigan; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 3,667,662; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 4,162,961; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 3,979,218. 

State: Minnesota; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 495,630; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 3,147,001; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,414,253. 

State: Mississippi; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,457,627. 

State: Missouri; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 4,460,669; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 6,393,119; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,233,393. 

State: Montana; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 456,288. 

State: Nebraska; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 561,622. 

State: Nevada; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 495,630; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,982,362; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 857,434. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 352,447. 

State: New Jersey; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 5,005,862; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 5,203,702; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,838,709. 

State: New Mexico; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 594,756; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,527,513; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,094,686. 

State: New York; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 8,846,994; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,833,685; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 9,760,182. 

State: North Carolina; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 3,355,608. 

State: North Dakota; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 198,236; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 291,404. 

State: Northern Mariana Islands; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 125,962. 

State: Ohio; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 2,081,646; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,131,039; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 4,425,095. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 5,947,550; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 7,929,461; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,625,985. 

State: Oregon; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 1,090,386; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,676,189; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,467,897. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 8,072,819; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 14,553,514; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 5,022,975. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 6,632,323. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 1,399,659; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 1,635,449; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 466,849. 

State: South Carolina; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,872,308. 

State: South Dakota; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 247,815; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 312,746. 

State: Tennessee; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 7,112,288; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 7,681,654; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,670,486. 

State: Texas; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 5,457,846; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 2,329,275; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 12,423,907. 

State: Utah; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 890,393. 

State: Vermont; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 247,815; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 991,182; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 186,885. 

State: Virgin Islands; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 82,637. 

State: Virginia; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 1,645,492; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 84,249; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,553,291. 

State: Washington; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 4,708,484; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 4,782,450; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 2,479,628. 

State: West Virginia; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 991,260; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 991,182; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,059,097. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 2,577,275; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 3,855,696; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 1,887,559. 

State: Wyoming; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 0; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 202,360. 

State: Community Transportation Association of America's national 
Joblinks program; 
Fiscal year: 2004: 2,478,149; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 3,270,899; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 0. 

State: Technical assistance support and performance reviews of the JARC 
grants program (DC); 
Fiscal year: 2004: 298,230; 
Fiscal year: 2005: 297,600; 
Fiscal year: 2006: 0. 

State: Total; 
Fiscal year: 2004: $104,380,500; 
Fiscal year: 2005: $124,000,000; 
Fiscal year: 2006: $136,620,000. 

Source: FTA. 

[End of table] 

Table 7: Job Access and Reverse Commute Apportionments for Fiscal Year 
2006: 

Urbanized area/state: 200,000 or more in population (large urbanized 
areas); 
Apportionment: $81,972,000. 

Urbanized area/state: 50,000-199,999 in population (small urbanized 
areas); 
Apportionment: 27,324,000. 

Urbanized area/state: Nonurbanized areas; 
Apportionment: 27,324,000. 

Urbanized area/state: National Total; 
Apportionment: $136,620,000. 

Source: FTA. 

[End of table] 

Table 8: Amounts Apportioned to Large Urbanized Areas 200,000 or More 
in Population: 

Urbanized area/state: Aguadilla--Isabela--San Sebastian, PR; 
Apportionment: $530,843. 

Urbanized area/state: Akron, OH; 
Apportionment: 248,837. 

Urbanized area/state: Albany, NY; 
Apportionment: 230,802. 

Urbanized area/state: Albuquerque, NM; 
Apportionment: 326,277. 

Urbanized area/state: Allentown--Bethlehem, PA--NJ; 
Apportionment: 216,401. 

Urbanized area/state: Anchorage, AK; 
Apportionment: 83,959. 

Urbanized area/state: Ann Arbor, MI; 
Apportionment: 121,240. 

Urbanized area/state: Antioch, CA; 
Apportionment: 84,732. 

Urbanized area/state: Asheville, NC; 
Apportionment: 114,045. 

Urbanized area/state: Atlanta, GA; 
Apportionment: 1,343,016. 

Urbanized area/state: Atlantic City, NJ; 
Apportionment: 97,112. 

Urbanized area/state: Augusta-Richmond County, GA--SC; 
Apportionment: 191,466. 

Urbanized area/state: Austin, TX; 
Apportionment: 406,084. 

Urbanized area/state: Bakersfield, CA; 
Apportionment: 318,265. 

Urbanized area/state: Baltimore, MD; 
Apportionment: 871,013. 

Urbanized area/state: Barnstable Town, MA; 
Apportionment: 75,115. 

Urbanized area/state: Baton Rouge, LA; 
Apportionment: 294,683. 

Urbanized area/state: Birmingham, AL; 
Apportionment: 356,107. 

Urbanized area/state: Boise City, ID; 
Apportionment: 97,255. 

Urbanized area/state: Bonita Springs--Naples, FL; 
Apportionment: 73,314. 

Urbanized area/state: Boston, MA--NH--RI; 
Apportionment: 1,373,901. 

Urbanized area/state: Bridgeport--Stamford, CT--NY; 
Apportionment: 260,506. 

Urbanized area/state: Buffalo, NY; 
Apportionment: 484,616. 

Urbanized area/state: Canton, OH; 
Apportionment: 112,893. 

Urbanized area/state: Cape Coral, FL; 
Apportionment: 147,513. 

Urbanized area/state: Charleston--North Charleston, SC; 
Apportionment: 219,710. 

Urbanized area/state: Charlotte, NC--SC; 
Apportionment: 277,956. 

Urbanized area/state: Chattanooga, TN--GA; 
Apportionment: 168,882. 

Urbanized area/state: Chicago, IL--IN; 
Apportionment: 3,537,943. 

Urbanized area/state: Cincinnati, OH--KY--IN; 
Apportionment: 579,180. 

Urbanized area/state: Cleveland, OH; 
Apportionment: 777,417. 

Urbanized area/state: Colorado Springs, CO; 
Apportionment: 169,456. 

Urbanized area/state: Columbia, SC; 
Apportionment: 191,671. 

Urbanized area/state: Columbus, GA--AL; 
Apportionment: 149,168. 

Urbanized area/state: Columbus, OH; 
Apportionment: 487,856. 

Urbanized area/state: Concord, CA; 
Apportionment: 100,625. 

Urbanized area/state: Corpus Christi, TX; 
Apportionment: 200,511. 

Urbanized area/state: Dallas--Fort Worth--Arlington, TX; 
Apportionment: 1,987,478. 

Urbanized area/state: Davenport, IA--IL; 
Apportionment: 125,901. 

Urbanized area/state: Dayton, OH; 
Apportionment: 303,522. 

Urbanized area/state: Daytona Beach--Port Orange, FL; 
Apportionment: 136,539. 

Urbanized area/state: Denton--Lewisville, TX; 
Apportionment: 83,301. 

Urbanized area/state: Denver--Aurora, CO; 
Apportionment: 698,475. 

Urbanized area/state: Des Moines, IA; 
Apportionment: 127,421. 

Urbanized area/state: Detroit, MI; 
Apportionment: 1,684,895. 

Urbanized area/state: Durham, NC; 
Apportionment: 152,453. 

Urbanized area/state: El Paso, TX--NM; 
Apportionment: 640,747. 

Urbanized area/state: Eugene, OR; 
Apportionment: 133,005. 

Urbanized area/state: Evansville, IN--KY; 
Apportionment: 99,338. 

Urbanized area/state: Fayetteville, NC; 
Apportionment: 152,079. 

Urbanized area/state: Flint, MI; 
Apportionment: 207,202. 

Urbanized area/state: Fort Collins, CO; 
Apportionment: 85,767. 

Urbanized area/state: Fort Wayne, IN; 
Apportionment: 120,203. 

Urbanized area/state: Fresno, CA; 
Apportionment: 479,768. 

Urbanized area/state: Grand Rapids, MI; 
Apportionment: 207,260. 

Urbanized area/state: Greensboro, NC; 
Apportionment: 115,730. 

Urbanized area/state: Greenville, SC; 
Apportionment: 154,803. 

Urbanized area/state: Gulfport--Biloxi, MS; 
Apportionment: 116,718. 

Urbanized area/state: Harrisburg, PA; 
Apportionment: 118,352. 

Urbanized area/state: Hartford, CT; 
Apportionment: 314,651. 

Urbanized area/state: Honolulu, HI; 
Apportionment: 296,056. 

Urbanized area/state: Houston, TX; 
Apportionment: 2,225,913. 

Urbanized area/state: Huntsville, AL; 
Apportionment: 91,103. 

Urbanized area/state: Indianapolis, IN; 
Apportionment: 462,916. 

Urbanized area/state: Indio--Cathedral City--Palm Springs, CA; 
Apportionment: 167,671. 

Urbanized area/state: Jackson, MS; 
Apportionment: 188,181. 

Urbanized area/state: Jacksonville, FL; 
Apportionment: 395,633. 

Urbanized area/state: Kansas City, MO--KS; 
Apportionment: 520,534. 

Urbanized area/state: Knoxville, TN; 
Apportionment: 210,450. 

Urbanized area/state: Lancaster, PA; 
Apportionment: 109,172. 

Urbanized area/state: Lancaster--Palmdale, CA; 
Apportionment: 163,748. 

Urbanized area/state: Lansing, MI; 
Apportionment: 150,738. 

Urbanized area/state: Las Vegas, NV; 
Apportionment: 611,063. 

Urbanized area/state: Lexington-Fayette, KY; 
Apportionment: 125,080. 

Urbanized area/state: Lincoln, NE; 
Apportionment: 93,940. 

Urbanized area/state: Little Rock, AR; 
Apportionment: 193,589. 

Urbanized area/state: Los Angeles--Long Beach--Santa Ana, CA; 
Apportionment: 8,008,861. 

Urbanized area/state: Louisville, KY--IN; 
Apportionment: 402,958. 

Urbanized area/state: Lubbock, TX; 
Apportionment: 143,142. 

Urbanized area/state: Madison, WI; 
Apportionment: 141,053. 

Urbanized area/state: McAllen, TX; 
Apportionment: 667,460. 

Urbanized area/state: Memphis, TN--MS--AR; 
Apportionment: 582,443. 

Urbanized area/state: Miami, FL; 
Apportionment: 2,798,658. 

Urbanized area/state: Milwaukee, WI; 
Apportionment: 586,353. 

Urbanized area/state: Minneapolis--St. Paul, MN; 
Apportionment: 713,835. 

Urbanized area/state: Mission Viejo, CA; 
Apportionment: 110,760. 

Urbanized area/state: Mobile, AL; 
Apportionment: 230,386. 

Urbanized area/state: Modesto, CA; 
Apportionment: 206,464. 

Urbanized area/state: Nashville-Davidson, TN; 
Apportionment: 333,424. 

Urbanized area/state: New Haven, CT; 
Apportionment: 200,291. 

Urbanized area/state: New Orleans, LA; 
Apportionment: 747,095. 

Urbanized area/state: New York--Newark, NY--NJ--CT; 
Apportionment: 9,052,591. 

Urbanized area/state: Ogden--Layton, UT; 
Apportionment: 140,657. 

Urbanized area/state: Oklahoma City, OK; 
Apportionment: 425,034. 

Urbanized area/state: Omaha, NE--IA; 
Apportionment: 258,026. 

Urbanized area/state: Orlando, FL; 
Apportionment: 549,368. 

Urbanized area/state: Oxnard, CA; 
Apportionment: 186,082. 

Urbanized area/state: Palm Bay--Melbourne, FL; 
Apportionment: 162,591. 

Urbanized area/state: Pensacola, FL--AL; 
Apportionment: 178,078. 

Urbanized area/state: Peoria, IL; 
Apportionment: 118,652. 

Urbanized area/state: Philadelphia, PA--NJ--DE--MD; 
Apportionment: 2,177,282. 

Urbanized area/state: Phoenix--Mesa, AZ; 
Apportionment: 1,437,345. 

Urbanized area/state: Pittsburgh, PA; 
Apportionment: 755,115. 

Urbanized area/state: Port St. Lucie, FL; 
Apportionment: 134,102. 

Urbanized area/state: Portland, OR--WA; 
Apportionment: 651,875. 

Urbanized area/state: Poughkeepsie--Newburgh, NY; 
Apportionment: 138,244. 

Urbanized area/state: Providence, RI--MA; 
Apportionment: 550,347. 

Urbanized area/state: Provo--Orem, UT; 
Apportionment: 165,680. 

Urbanized area/state: Raleigh, NC; 
Apportionment: 167,695. 

Urbanized area/state: Reading, PA; 
Apportionment: 108,520. 

Urbanized area/state: Reno, NV; 
Apportionment: 135,396. 

Urbanized area/state: Richmond, VA; 
Apportionment: 325,063. 

Urbanized area/state: Riverside--San Bernardino, CA; 
Apportionment: 1,025,531. 

Urbanized area/state: Rochester, NY; 
Apportionment: 302,343. 

Urbanized area/state: Rockford, IL; 
Apportionment: 111,425. 

Urbanized area/state: Round Lake Beach--McHenry--Grayslake, IL--WI; 
Apportionment: 46,165. 

Urbanized area/state: Sacramento, CA; 
Apportionment: 735,658. 

Urbanized area/state: Salem, OR; 
Apportionment: 204,737. 

Urbanized area/state: Salt Lake City, UT; 
Apportionment: 323,584. 

Urbanized area/state: San Antonio, TX; 
Apportionment: 860,804. 

Urbanized area/state: San Diego, CA; 
Apportionment: 1,401,052. 

Urbanized area/state: San Francisco--Oakland, CA; 
Apportionment: 1,250,507. 

Urbanized area/state: San Jose, CA; 
Apportionment: 461,635. 

Urbanized area/state: San Juan, PR; 
Apportionment: 3,175,710. 

Urbanized area/state: Santa Rosa, CA; 
Apportionment: 105,190. 

Urbanized area/state: Sarasota--Bradenton, FL; 
Apportionment: 224,190. 

Urbanized area/state: Savannah, GA; 
Apportionment: 134,548. 

Urbanized area/state: Scranton, PA; 
Apportionment: 192,821. 

Urbanized area/state: Seattle, WA; 
Apportionment: 961,747. 

Urbanized area/state: Shreveport, LA; 
Apportionment: 199,860. 

Urbanized area/state: South Bend, IN--MI; 
Apportionment: 122,001. 

Urbanized area/state: Spokane, WA--ID; 
Apportionment: 178,704. 

Urbanized area/state: Springfield, MA--CT; 
Apportionment: 276,090. 

Urbanized area/state: Springfield, MO; 
Apportionment: 118,633. 

Urbanized area/state: St. Louis, MO--IL; 
Apportionment: 853,416. 

Urbanized area/state: Stockton, CA; 
Apportionment: 263,196. 

Urbanized area/state: Syracuse, NY; 
Apportionment: 204,341. 

Urbanized area/state: Tallahassee, FL; 
Apportionment: 132,584. 

Urbanized area/state: Tampa--St. Petersburg, FL; 
Apportionment: 978,029. 

Urbanized area/state: Temecula--Murrieta, CA; 
Apportionment: 87,126. 

Urbanized area/state: Thousand Oaks, CA; 
Apportionment: 47,093. 

Urbanized area/state: Toledo, OH--MI; 
Apportionment: 252,191. 

Urbanized area/state: Trenton, NJ; 
Apportionment: 99,038. 

Urbanized area/state: Tucson, AZ; 
Apportionment: 441,408. 

Urbanized area/state: Tulsa, OK; 
Apportionment: 285,281. 

Urbanized area/state: Victorville--Hesperia--Apple Valley, CA; 
Apportionment: 130,784. 

Urbanized area/state: Virginia Beach, VA; 
Apportionment: 617,451. 

Urbanized area/state: Washington, DC--VA--MD; 
Apportionment: 1,192,035. 

Urbanized area/state: Wichita, KS; 
Apportionment: 181,906. 

Urbanized area/state: Winston-Salem, NC; 
Apportionment: 132,231. 

Urbanized area/state: Worcester, MA--CT; 
Apportionment: 179,318. 

Urbanized area/state: Youngstown, OH--PA; 
Apportionment: 218,946. 

Urbanized area/state: Total; 
Apportionment: $81,972,000. 

Source: FTA. 

[End of table] 

Table 9: Amounts Apportioned to State Governors for Small Urbanized 
Areas 50,000 to 199,999 in Population: 

State: Alabama; 
Apportionment: $764,603. 

State: Alaska; 
Apportionment: 34,455. 

State: Arizona; 
Apportionment: 275,606. 

State: Arkansas; 
Apportionment: 491,466. 

State: California; 
Apportionment: 2,846,331. 

State: Colorado; 
Apportionment: 458,275. 

State: Connecticut; 
Apportionment: 279,431. 

State: Delaware; 
Apportionment: 47,028. 

State: Florida; 
Apportionment: 1,592,836. 

State: Georgia; 
Apportionment: 872,603. 

State: Hawaii; 
Apportionment: 51,652. 

State: Idaho; 
Apportionment: 295,735. 

State: Illinois; 
Apportionment: 628,307. 

State: Indiana; 
Apportionment: 672,488. 

State: Iowa; 
Apportionment: 404,283. 

State: Kansas; 
Apportionment: 184,930. 

State: Kentucky; 
Apportionment: 251,401. 

State: Louisiana; 
Apportionment: 793,743. 

State: Maine; 
Apportionment: 241,388. 

State: Maryland; 
Apportionment: 300,190. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Apportionment: 256,565. 

State: Michigan; 
Apportionment: 851,344. 

State: Minnesota; 
Apportionment: 231,017. 

State: Mississippi; 
Apportionment: 142,431. 

State: Missouri; 
Apportionment: 284,808. 

State: Montana; 
Apportionment: 218,262. 

State: Nebraska; 
Apportionment: 14,563. 

State: Nevada; 
Apportionment: 37,708. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Apportionment: 218,838. 

State: New Jersey; 
Apportionment: 140,132. 

State: New Mexico; 
Apportionment: 270,568. 

State: New York; 
Apportionment: 513,343. 

State: North Carolina; 
Apportionment: 871,922. 

State: North Dakota; 
Apportionment: 165,554. 

State: Northern Mariana Islands; 
Apportionment: 79,198. 

State: Ohio; 
Apportionment: 640,802. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Apportionment: 173,538. 

State: Oregon; 
Apportionment: 221,712. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Apportionment: 839,555. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Apportionment: 2,571,505. 

State: South Carolina; 
Apportionment: 490,363. 

State: South Dakota; 
Apportionment: 123,942. 

State: Tennessee; 
Apportionment: 569,892. 

State: Texas; 
Apportionment: 3,065,349. 

State: Utah; 
Apportionment: 126,160. 

State: Vermont; 
Apportionment: 65,427. 

State: Virginia; 
Apportionment: 582,583. 

State: Washington; 
Apportionment: 758,209. 

State: West Virginia; 
Apportionment: 519,275. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Apportionment: 695,169. 

State: Wyoming; 
Apportionment: 97,515. 

State: Total; 
Apportionment: $27,324,000. 

Source: FTA. 

[End of table] 

Table 10: Amounts Apportioned to State Governors for Nonurbanized Areas 
Fewer Than 50,000 in Population: 

State: Alabama; 
Apportionment: $914,681. 

State: Alaska; 
Apportionment: 89,089. 

State: American Samoa; 
Apportionment: 82,198. 

State: Arizona; 
Apportionment: 491,772. 

State: Arkansas; 
Apportionment: 689,681. 

State: California; 
Apportionment: 1,392,047. 

State: Colorado; 
Apportionment: 258,668. 

State: Connecticut; 
Apportionment: 66,653. 

State: Delaware; 
Apportionment: 60,739. 

State: Florida; 
Apportionment: 789,522. 

State: Georgia; 
Apportionment: 1,083,301. 

State: Guam; 
Apportionment: 82,309. 

State: Hawaii; 
Apportionment: 108,733. 

State: Idaho; 
Apportionment: 236,073. 

State: Illinois; 
Apportionment: 615,969. 

State: Indiana; 
Apportionment: 547,252. 

State: Iowa; 
Apportionment: 393,228. 

State: Kansas; 
Apportionment: 391,699. 

State: Kentucky; 
Apportionment: 996,767. 

State: Louisiana; 
Apportionment: 853,320. 

State: Maine; 
Apportionment: 263,615. 

State: Maryland; 
Apportionment: 170,073. 

State: Massachusetts; 
Apportionment: 106,263. 

State: Michigan; 
Apportionment: 733,405. 

State: Minnesota; 
Apportionment: 469,403. 

State: Mississippi; 
Apportionment: 988,678. 

State: Missouri; 
Apportionment: 804,275. 

State: Montana; 
Apportionment: 238,026. 

State: Nebraska; 
Apportionment: 244,224. 

State: Nevada; 
Apportionment: 73,267. 

State: New Hampshire; 
Apportionment: 114,174. 

State: New Jersey; 
Apportionment: 90,750. 

State: New Mexico; 
Apportionment: 460,625. 

State: New York; 
Apportionment: 876,414. 

State: North Carolina; 
Apportionment: 1,377,832. 

State: North Dakota; 
Apportionment: 125,851. 

State: Northern Mariana Islands; 
Apportionment: 46,764. 

State: Ohio; 
Apportionment: 937,886. 

State: Oklahoma; 
Apportionment: 742,132. 

State: Oregon; 
Apportionment: 375,739. 

State: Pennsylvania; 
Apportionment: 996,074. 

State: Puerto Rico; 
Apportionment: 354,265. 

State: Rhode Island; 
Apportionment: 15,592. 

State: South Carolina; 
Apportionment: 763,722. 

State: South Dakota; 
Apportionment: 188,804. 

State: Tennessee; 
Apportionment: 890,321. 

State: Texas; 
Apportionment: 2,180,328. 

State: Utah; 
Apportionment: 134,311. 

State: Vermont; 
Apportionment: 121,458. 

State: Virgin Islands; 
Apportionment: 82,637. 

State: Virginia; 
Apportionment: 640,772. 

State: Washington; 
Apportionment: 461,887. 

State: West Virginia; 
Apportionment: 539,821. 

State: Wisconsin; 
Apportionment: 466,065. 

State: Wyoming; 
Apportionment: 104,846. 

State: Total; 
Apportionment: $27,324,000. 

Source: FTA. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Summary of Stakeholder Comments on FTA's Interim Guidance 
and Proposed Strategies for Job Access and Reverse Commute Program: 

In its March 15, 2006, interim guidance and proposed strategies, FTA 
proposed several changes that would affect the operation of the JARC 
program. FTA allowed for a 30-day comment period, and after a request 
for an extension, the agency allowed approximately 1 month for 
comments. FTA received over 200 comments, and program stakeholders that 
commented included the following: state transportation agencies, trade 
associations, metropolitan planning organizations, public transit 
providers, private transit providers, individuals, and advocates. Table 
11 summarizes FTA's proposed changes to the coordinated planning 
process, the designated recipient and competitive selection process, 
and the performance measurement and reporting requirements. 

Table 11: Changes to the JARC Program Proposed in FTA's March 2006 
Interim Guidance and Proposed Strategies and Program Stakeholder 
Responses: 

Proposed change: Coordinated plan: Elements: FTA identified five key 
elements of a coordinated plan: (1) an assessment of transportation 
needs for individuals with disabilities, older adults, and persons with 
limited incomes; (2) an inventory of available services that identifies 
areas of redundant service and gaps in service; (3) strategies to 
address the identified gaps in service; (4) identification of 
coordination actions to eliminate or reduce duplication in services and 
strategies for more efficient utilization of resources; and (5) 
prioritization of implementation strategies. FTA proposed that choosing 
a lead agency be a local decision and defining "local" is a decision to 
be made at the state, regional, and local levels; 
Comments submitted by JARC program stakeholders and number of similar 
comments: 
* Agree that local communities should have flexibility in developing 
the coordinated plan (12); 
* Agree with the key elements of the coordinated plan (9); 
* Suggest that minimization of duplication of services should be a key 
element (10); 
* Suggest that an evaluation plan should be another key element (2); 
* It is unrealistic to expect that coordinated plans will be completed 
by the fiscal year 2007 funding cycle (7); 
* Satisfying FTA's requirements is a time-consuming process for 
coordinated plans (2); 
* Agencies may not have available staff resources to develop 
coordinated plans (2); 
* FTA requirements may cost more to produce than the available 
resources will allow (2); 
* Any planning requirements should be commensurate with the level of 
funding provided (3); 
* Agree that designation of a "lead agency" should be a local decision 
(2); 
* Appreciate the flexibility of defining "local" (2); 
* States should be involved in determining the definition of "local" 
(2). 

Proposed change: Coordinated plan: Elements - Framework for Action: FTA 
suggested states and communities utilize the United We Ride Framework 
for Action when developing a coordinated plan; 
Comments submitted by JARC program stakeholders and number of similar 
comments: 
* Framework for Action is a useful and helpful tool (3); 
* Concern that local coordinating entities may be at a disadvantage if 
they do not use the Framework for Action tool (2); 
* The guidance should continue to indicate use of the Framework for 
Action tool as a suggestion, not a requirement (2). 

Proposed change: Coordinated plan: Participation: FTA provided examples 
of groups and organizations that may be included in the planning 
process, recognizing that this proposed list would not limit or require 
participation. FTA also suggested allowing many ways to participate and 
making good-faith efforts for inclusion as well as documenting the 
efforts. FTA also proposed that it would coordinate with other federal 
agencies to facilitate other funding sources; 
Comments submitted by JARC program stakeholders and number of similar 
comments: 
* Support local communities having flexibility to coordinate 
participation (3). 
* Suggest other federal agencies should require their grantees to fully 
participate in the coordinated planning effort (5). 
* Encourage FTA to work with its partners on the Federal Interagency 
Coordinating Council (5). 
* FTA should make it clear that private operators must be represented 
(14). 
* FTA should affirm that the private sector may participate in the 
planning process and also propose on projects (12). 
* Agree that lead agencies should document their outreach efforts (3). 
* FTA should require rather than suggest more proactive outreach (23). 

Proposed change: Designated recipient: In urbanized areas with 
populations fewer than 200,000 and other than urbanized areas, FTA 
proposed that the state be the designated recipient. In urbanized areas 
of over 200,000 in population, FTA proposed that a recipient of JARC 
funds must be officially designated through a process consistent with 
the provision in Section 5307. FTA also proposed that the designated 
recipient for JARC does not have to be the same as the designated 
recipient for Section 5307 funds; 
Comments submitted by JARC program stakeholders and number of similar 
comments: 
* The designated recipient for JARC should be the same as for FTA's 
other formula programs (e.g., Sections 5307, 5310, or 5311), and FTA 
should not create separate designated recipients for JARC (8). 
* Having a JARC designated recipient separate from the Section 5307 
designated recipient is counterproductive because it will not encourage 
coordination and cooperation (3). 
* The JARC designated recipient should not be the same entity as the 
designated recipient for 5307 funds due to potential conflict of 
interest (2). 
* The metropolitan planning organization (MPO) should be the designated 
recipient (6). 
* The MPO is ill- equipped to function as the designated recipient (2). 
* FTA should clarify the roles and responsibilities of the designated 
recipient (6). 

Proposed change: Designated recipient: Competitive Selection: A 
recipient charged in administering the JARC programs should be 
designated by the chief executive officer of a state, responsible local 
officials, and publicly owned operators of public transportation. To 
address concerns that a "conflict of interest" could exist, FTA 
recommended that the designated recipient of funds not be a provider of 
transportation services. FTA also proposed that when the MPO is the 
designated recipient of these funds, the MPO be responsible for the 
competitive selection process. FTA also provided a list of potential 
strategies for the competitive selection process; 
Comments submitted by JARC program stakeholders and number of similar 
comments: 
* The competitive selection process should not be managed by a 
transportation provider in large urbanized areas (2). 
* There could be a conflict of interest if a transportation provider is 
the designated recipient, so the MPO should conduct the competitive 
selection process (18). 
* Concerns about a conflict of interest would be ameliorated by a 
transparent competitive selection process or by the MPO's oversight 
(8). 
* When the designated recipient is also a provider of transportation, 
the designated recipient should document how it selected projects and 
avoided conflicts of interest, and should demonstrate that all projects 
were given equal opportunity (23). 
* The competitive selection process and criteria should be derived at 
the local level (7). 

Proposed change: Performance measures: To evaluate all three programs, 
Sections 5310, 5316, and 5317, FTA recommended three crosscutting 
performance measures: (1) Efficiency of Operations, (2) Program 
Effectiveness, and (3) Customer Satisfaction. FTA also recommended one 
JARC-specific performance measure, Cumulative Number of Jobs Accessed; 
Comments submitted by JARC program stakeholders and number of similar 
comments: 
* The specific definitions proposed for the performance measures seem 
to have a tenuous connection to the goals they are designed to address 
(2). 
* Proposing performance measures that are too narrow and prescriptive 
will stifle local ability and creativity (4). 
* Establishing specific performance measures is premature (4). 
* Performance measures should be developed locally to address local 
conditions and needs (13). 
* Cost-effectiveness should be taken into consideration (16). 
* The proposed strategies for evaluation and performance measurement 
are burdensome, especially for small operators and systems (2). 
* It is difficult and sensitive to identify income and other personal 
information among passengers (3). 
* Regarding performance measure one: It may be more costly to provide 
transportation for difficult-to-serve populations, especially in small 
and rural areas (2). 
* The proposed measures are sensitive to external factors, such as 
local economic circumstances (2). 
* Regarding performance measure two: The definition of "communities" is 
too vague and difficult to understand (2). 
* Regarding performance measure three: "Customer satisfaction" is very 
subjective and amorphous, and the performance measure should be more 
objective or technical (4). 
* FTA should consider administration costs; funding should be 
commensurate with performance measurement strategies, such as surveys 
(3). 

Proposed change: Reporting requirements: FTA proposed reporting 
requirements to focus on the minimum data needed to meet the 
requirements of various performance initiatives set forth by Congress 
and the Office of Management and Budget, such as the Government 
Performance and Results Act of 1993. FTA also proposed building on 
existing infrastructure and data collection mechanisms, including the 
use of the National Transit Database; 
Comments submitted by JARC program stakeholders and number of similar 
comments: 
* Compliance with burdensome reporting requirements could easily cost 
more than the grant amounts in many communities (2). 
* Suggest grantees should only report simplified or basic information 
(3). 
* Reporting requirements should focus on readily available or existing 
information mechanisms (2). 
* Many smaller agencies and areas may need staff training to use the 
National Transit Database (2). 

Source: GAO analysis of FTA guidance and public comments posted on 
FTA's docket. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Katherine Siggerud, (202) 512-2834 or siggerudk@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

Other key contributors to this report were John Finedore (Assistant 
Director), Vidhya Ananthakrishnan, Lauren Heft, Foster Kerrison, 
Jessica Lucas-Judy, Nancy Lueke, Kimanh Nguyen, and Stan Stenersen. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

Public Transportation: Preliminary Information on FTA's Implementation 
of SAFETEA-LU Changes. GAO-06-910T. Washington, D.C.: June 27, 2006. 

Transportation-Disadvantaged Seniors: Efforts to Enhance Senior 
Mobility Could Benefit from Additional Guidance and Information. GAO- 
04-971. Washington, D.C.: August 30, 2004. 

Job Access and Reverse Commute: Program Status and Potential Effects of 
Proposed Legislative Changes. GAO-04-934R. Washington, D.C.: August 20, 
2004. 

Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations: Federal Agencies Are Taking 
Steps to Assist States and Local Agencies in Coordinating 
Transportation Services. GAO-04-420R. Washington, D.C.: February 24, 
2004. 

Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations: Some Coordination Efforts 
Among Programs Providing Transportation Services, but Obstacles 
Persist. GAO-03-697. Washington, D.C.: June 30, 2003. 

Welfare Reform: Job Access Program Improves Local Service Coordination, 
but Evaluation Should Be Completed. GAO-03-204. Washington, D.C.: 
December 6, 2002. 

Welfare Reform: DOT Has Made Progress in Implementing the Job Access 
Program but Has Not Evaluated the Impact. GAO-02-640T. Washington, 
D.C.: April 17, 2002. 

Welfare Reform: Competitive Grant Selection Requirement for DOT's Job 
Access Program Was Not Followed. GAO-02-213. Washington, D.C.: December 
7, 2001. 

Welfare Reform: GAO's Recent and Ongoing Work on DOT's Access to Jobs 
Program. GAO-01-996R. Washington, D.C.: August 17, 2001. 

Welfare Reform: DOT Is Making Progress in Implementing the Job Access 
Program. GAO-01-133. Washington, D.C.: December 4, 2000. 

Welfare Reform: Implementing DOT's Access to Jobs Program in Its First 
Year. GAO/RCED-00-14. Washington, D.C.: November 26, 1999. 

(542092): 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Welfare Reform: Transportation's Role in Moving From Welfare 
to Work, GAO/RCED-98-161 (Washington, D.C.: May 29, 1998). 

[2] "Reverse commute" projects are projects related to the development 
of transportation services designed to transport residents of urban 
areas and other areas to suburban employment opportunities. 

[3] GAO, Job Access and Reverse Commute: Program Status and Potential 
Effects of Proposed Legislative Changes, GAO-04-934R (Washington, D.C.: 
Aug. 20, 2004); 
Welfare Reform: Job Access Program Improves Local Service Coordination, 
but Evaluation Should Be Completed, GAO-03-204 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 
6, 2002); 
and Welfare Reform: DOT Has Made Progress in Implementing the Job 
Access Program but Has Not Evaluated the Impact, GAO-02-640T 
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 17, 2002). 

[4] In information on the JARC program, the term "states" includes 
American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and 
the Virgin Islands. FTA also refers to urbanized areas with a 
population of 200,000 or more as "large urbanized areas," urbanized 
areas with a population between 50,000 and 200,000 as "small urbanized 
areas," and rural and small urbanized areas with populations of fewer 
than 50,000 as "other than urbanized areas." 

[5] 71 Fed. Reg. 13456 (Mar. 15, 2006). In this FTA document, the 
agency provided interim guidance for fiscal year 2006 JARC program 
implementation and notice and request for comment on proposed 
strategies for fiscal year 2007. 

[6] See appendix I for a complete list of the states and areas we 
selected. 

[7] 71 Fed. Reg. 52610 (Sept. 6, 2006). 

[8] The NTD is the system through which FTA collects uniform data 
needed by the Secretary of Transportation to administer department 
programs, including FTA's Urbanized Area Formula Program (which is 
known as the Section 5307 program) and Nonurbanized Area Formula 
Program (which is known as the Section 5311 program). These data 
consist of selected financial and operating data that describe public 
transportation characteristics. 

[9] TANF is a federal block grant to states that provides cash and 
noncash assistance to low-income families, such as employment services 
and training, work and other supports, and aid for the at-risk. 

[10] Bruce Katz, "Smart Growth: The Future of the American Metropolis?" 
Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics, 
CASEpaper 58 (July 2002). 

[11] Edward Glaeser and Matthew Kahn, Job Sprawl: Employment Location 
in U.S. Metropolitan Areas (Brookings Institution Center on Urban and 
Metropolitan Policy, Washington, D.C.: 2001). 

[12] John Pucher and John L. Renne, "Socioeconomics of Urban Travel: 
Evidence from the 2001 NHTS," Transportation Quarterly, Vol. 57, No. 3, 
Summer 2003, 49-77. 

[13] GAO, Welfare Reform: Rural TANF Programs Have Developed Many 
Strategies to Address Rural Challenges, GAO-04-921 (Washington, D.C.: 
Sept. 10, 2004). 

[14] Evelyn Blumenberg and Paul Ong, "Cars, Buses, and Jobs: Welfare 
Participants and Employment Access in Los Angeles," Journal of the 
Transportation Research Board (Washington, D.C.: 2001), 1756. 

[15] Although JARC began as a competitive grant program, under TEA-21 
the program became congressionally designated through appropriations 
legislation. Whereas FTA selected all grantees in fiscal year 1999 
through a competitive selection process, the amount of funding awarded 
to congressionally designated projects increased over time. In fiscal 
years 2003, 2004, and 2005, Congress designated all grantees through 
appropriations legislation. In 2001, we reported that FTA had 
instituted a two-track process for selecting JARC grantees, with a 
noncompetitive process for those projects identified in Congress' 
conference reports. The exclusion of significant JARC funds from the 
competitive selection process decreased FTA's ability to fund projects 
that might have emerged from this process as the most promising in 
meeting the JARC program's objectives. (See GAO, Welfare Reform: 
Competitive Grant Selection Requirement for DOT's Job Access Program 
Was Not Followed, GAO-02-213 (Washington, D.C.: Dec. 7, 2001).) While 
FTA subsequently instituted a competitive process for awarding funds to 
all JARC grantees, including congressionally designated projects, we 
later reported that the annual determination of JARC funding made it 
difficult for states and localities to predict their future funding 
levels (see GAO-04-934R). 

[16] The SAFETEA-LU formula apportions JARC funds on the basis of 
"eligible" low-income individuals in an area. Eligible low-income 
individuals are defined in SAFETEA-LU as individuals whose family 
income is at or below 150 percent of the poverty line. 

[17] The dollar amounts in this paragraph include funds that were 
congressionally designated for specific projects in fiscal year 2005 or 
apportioned to states and to large urbanized areas within each state 
for fiscal year 2006. 

[18] We were unable to determine the change in funding for all large 
urbanized areas that had received fiscal year 2005 JARC funds because 
some previous grants were awarded to agencies that serve more than one 
metropolitan area, or to local agencies for use statewide. As such, it 
was not practical to isolate the fiscal year 2005 amount for each large 
urbanized area. 

[19] Some of the states and large urbanized areas that did not receive 
JARC funds in fiscal year 2005 had received them in previous years. We 
were unable to determine the total number of states and large urbanized 
areas that had never before received JARC funds because, as we 
previously noted, some previous grants were awarded to agencies that 
serve more than one state or metropolitan area or to local agencies for 
use statewide. 

[20] "Transportation-disadvantaged populations" refers to populations 
that lack the ability to provide their own transportation or have 
difficulty accessing whatever conventional public transportation may be 
available. FTA programs in addition to JARC that serve these 
populations are the Elderly Individuals and Individuals with 
Disabilities program, which provides formula funding for capital 
projects to assist in meeting the transportation needs of the elderly 
and persons with disabilities, and the New Freedom program, which 
provides formula funding for new public transportation services and 
public transportation alternatives that assist individuals with 
disabilities with transportation, including transportation to and from 
jobs and employment support services. We reported in 2003 that some 
federal and state officials believed that providing financial 
incentives or mandates for coordination was one way to improve the 
coordination of transportation services among federal programs. (See 
GAO, Transportation-Disadvantaged Populations: Some Coordination 
Efforts Among Programs Providing Transportation Services, but Obstacles 
Persist, GAO-03-697 (Washington, D.C.: June 30, 2003).) 

[21] While TEA-21 had not included a statutory provision regarding a 
percentage that could be used for administration and technical 
assistance, FTA allowed JARC grantees to use up to 10 percent for these 
activities. 

[22] GAO-04-934R. 

[23] GAO-03-697. 

[24] GAO-04-934R. 

[25] Under both TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU, projects are eligible for grants 
of up to 50 percent of their operating expenses--that is, the costs of 
their day-to-day operations. 

[26] FTA refers to guidance for grantees and stakeholders as a 
"circular." In this report, we refer to FTA's draft and final circulars 
for JARC as "proposed final guidance" and "final guidance." 

[27] 70 Fed. Reg. 71950 (Nov. 30, 2005). 

[28] 71 Fed. Reg. 63838 (Oct. 31, 2006). 

[29] None of the large urbanized areas that have received fiscal year 
2006 grant awards have submitted a letter to notify FTA of the 
designated recipient for JARC funds. FTA officials noted that to allow 
areas to move forward in implementation for fiscal year 2006, they 
awarded grants to agencies that would be the JARC designated recipient, 
if the recipient was in the process of receiving its formal designation 
for the JARC program. To receive funding for fiscal year 2007, FTA 
states that all recipients must submit an official letter designating 
the JARC recipient. 

[30] FTA officials reported that FTA has also awarded JARC funds to a 
small urbanized area in an additional state that applied directly to 
FTA for funding after it was awarded funds through its state's 
competitive selection process. 

[31] GAO, Standards for Internal Control in the Federal Government, 
GAO/AIMD-00-21.3.1 (Washington, D.C.: November 1999). 

[32] Executive Order 13330 established the Interagency Transportation 
Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility in February 2004, currently 
known as the Federal Interagency Coordinating Council on Access and 
Mobility. The council comprises senior leadership from 11 federal 
departments and agencies--including the Departments of Transportation, 
Health and Human Services, and Labor--and the National Council on 
Disability. The council is tasked with seeking ways to simplify access 
to transportation services for persons with disabilities, persons with 
lower incomes, and older adults. 

[33] As we previously mentioned, the Elderly Individuals and 
Individuals with Disabilities program, also known as the Section 5310 
program, provides formula funding for capital projects to assist in 
meeting the transportation needs of the elderly and persons with 
disabilities. The New Freedom program provides formula funding for new 
public transportation services and public transportation alternatives 
that assist individuals with disabilities with transportation, 
including transportation to and from jobs and employment support 
services. 

[34] While the overall amount of TANF funding has remained relatively 
stable, states have discretion over the types of services and 
activities to fund. We previously have reported that spending for 
noncash assistance, including transportation supports, varies by state. 
For more information, see GAO, Welfare Reform: Better Information 
Needed to Understand Trends in States' Uses of the TANF Block Grant, 
GAO-06-414 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 3, 2006). 

[35] Pub. L. No. 103-62, 107 Stat. 285 (1993). 

[36] GAO, 21ST Century Challenges: Performance Budgeting Could Help 
Promote Necessary Reexamination, GAO-05-709T (Washington, D.C.: June 
14, 2005); 
and Performance Measurement and Evaluation: Definitions and 
Relationships, GAO-05-739SP (Washington, D.C.: May 2005). 

[37] GAO/RCED-98-161. 

[38] GAO-03-204. 

[39] GAO-04-934R. 

[40] GAO-04-934R. 

[41] GAO, Performance Plans: Selected Approaches for Verification and 
Validation of Agency Performance Information, GAO/GGD-99-139 
(Washington, D.C.: July 30, 1999). 

[42] Federal Transit Administration, JARC Reporting Issues: An 
Examination of Current Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) Program 
Evaluation Efforts (Washington, D.C.: February 2003). 

[43] JARC Reporting Issues. 

[44] GAO, Managing for Results: Enhancing Agency Use of Performance 
Information for Management Decision Making, GAO-05-927 (Washington, 
D.C.: Sept. 9, 2005). 

[45] Fiscal year 2005 is the last year that JARC funds were distributed 
through congressionally designated earmarks. FTA officials that we 
spoke to indicated that they may have to rebaseline the data next year 
because few grants have been made under the new formula program in 
fiscal year 2006, and they anticipate that there will be increased JARC 
activity in fiscal year 2007. 

[46] SAFETEA-LU requires in § 3018, codified at 49 U.S.C. § 5316(i)(2), 
that DOT conduct a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the JARC 
program no later than 3 years after the legislation was passed. 

[47] GAO, Grants Management: Enhancing Performance Accountability 
Provisions Could Lead to Better Results, GAO-06-1046 (Washington, D.C.: 
Sept. 29, 2006). 

[48] GAO, Agencies' Annual Performance Plans Under the Results Act: An 
Assessment Guide to Facilitate Congressional Decisionmaking, GAO/GGD/ 
AIMD-10.1.18 (Washington, D.C.: February 1998). 

[49] FTA officials that we interviewed also noted that the agency does 
not have the statutory authority to use the NTD for JARC reporting. 

[50] Harry P. Hatry et al., How Federal Programs Use Outcome 
Information: Opportunities for Federal Managers (IBM Endowment for The 
Business of Government and the National Academy of Public 
Administration, May 2003), available online at 
http://www.businessofgovernment.org/pdfs/HatryReport.pdf. 

[51] GAO-05-927. 

[52] See the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation 
Equity Act --A Legacy for Users, Pub. L. No. 109-59, § 3026, codified 
at 49 U.S.C. § 5327(c). This provision authorizes the use of certain 
appropriated funds for contractual support for management and oversight 
functions for major construction projects. The Job Access and Reverse 
Commute program is not included in this list of programs. 

[53] GAO, Job Access and Reverse Commute: Program Status and Potential 
Effects of Proposed Legislative Changes, GAO-04-934R (Washington, D.C.: 
Aug. 20, 2004). 

[54] This guidance also addressed two related FTA programs--the Elderly 
Individuals and Individuals with Disabilities (also known as Section 
5310) and the New Freedom programs. 

[55] We initially selected 11 large urbanized areas on the basis of 
information on JARC grants for fiscal years 2005 and 2006. 
Specifically, we selected large urbanized areas that would receive more 
funding as a result of formularization, areas that would receive less 
funding, and areas that did not receive funding in fiscal year 2005. 
However, it became apparent after conducting the interviews that all 11 
of the large urbanized areas had received JARC grants at some point in 
the program's history. We subsequently selected a 12TH large urbanized 
area that had no prior experience with JARC. 

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