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individuals. Section 5316 also provides for portation (DOTs); performing more detailed tele- transportation services to suburban or other phone interviews with states, local transit agencies, reverse commute employment opportunities. private service providers, MPOs, Rural Planning States are the designated recipients of JARC Organizations (RPOs), and access groups; and ana- funds in urbanized areas with populations less lyzing FTA and state JARC and NF grant awards. than 200,000 and in rural areas. In urbanized NCHRP RRD 354 presents the findings of these areas with populations greater than 200,000, tasks to assist states and grantees in identifying ways the designated recipient may be the designated to enhance their processes. In addition to state and recipient of Section 5307 Urbanized Area For- grantee best practices, suggestions made by respon- mula Program funds, Metropolitan Planning dents for improving the accomplishment and effec- Organization (MPO), state, or another public tiveness of the human services transportation grant agency. Eligible activities include capital, plan- programs, Coordination Plans, and the related re- ning, and operating expenses. quirements are reported. No conclusions are ex- Section 5317 New Freedom (NF) Grant Pro- pressed regarding any of the suggested changes in gram (1). This program was created in 2005, the programs or requirements; the state and local under SAFETEA-LU, to address the trans- agency comments are reported without elaboration. portation mobility options available beyond NCHRP RRD 354 is organized as follows. Chap- the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of ter 1 provides an introduction to the research effort. 1990 requirements. The focus of the program Chapter 2 reviews the approach and findings of the is to assist persons with disabilities in over- Internet survey of state DOTs. Chapter 3 summa- coming transportation-related barriers to em- rizes the selection of states for further interview and ployment. States are the designated recipients the results of the telephone surveys. Chapter 4 high- of NF funds in urbanized areas with popula- lights the JARC and NF appropriations and obliga- tions less than 200,000 and in rural areas. In tions by state and urbanized areas. Chapter 5 pre- urbanized areas over 200,000 in population, sents a comparison of the level of effort and success the designated recipient may be the desig- associated with the development of the Coordina- nated recipient of Section 5307 Urbanized tion Plans as well as opportunities for improving the Area Formula Program funds or an MPO, success and effectiveness of the plans and grant pro- state, or other public agency. Eligible activi- grams. The Internet survey form, telephone interview ties include capital and operating expenses questionnaire, and individual telephone interview that support new public transportation ser- summaries are contained in the Appendices of this vices or alternatives beyond those required by report, which are available online at http://www.trb. ADA, including job and job-related services org/Main/Blurbs/165471.aspx. transportation. NCHRP Project 20-65, Task 26, entitled "An Internet Survey Analysis and Evaluation of States' Implementation of the FTA 5310, 5316 and 5317 Programs," focused As part of this study, the research team con- on two key related, but separate, objectives: ducted an Internet survey of state DOTs. The survey used multiple choice questions and opportunities for 1. Determine the level of effort and costs asso- additional comments to help: (1) determine the ex- ciated with the development of coordinated tent to which respondents believe this coordinated public transit-human services transportation planning effort has met FTA goals of enhancing plans. transportation access, minimizing duplication of ser- 2. Determine the perceived success of the Coor- vices, and facilitating the most appropriate and cost- dination Plans and the perceived success states effective transportation possible with available re- and other grantees are having in awarding sources; and (2) ascertain the cost of developing and FTA Section 5316 JARC and Section 5317 maintaining these Coordination Plans (in terms of NF funds and meeting the Coordination Plan time and money) to ensure that resources are being objectives. used wisely and effectively, resulting in the better, To meet these objectives, tasks included conduct- more cost-effective and coordinated programs that ing an Internet survey of state Departments of Trans- the plans are expected to foster. 2

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The "Human Services Transportation Plans and that the coordination goals of the FTA, state, and lo- Grant Program" Internet survey completed by 21 state calities continue to be met, while the administrative DOTs highlights several areas where the Coordination burden these grant programs place on the state and Plans have been relatively successful, such as enhanc- local agencies is reduced. Nineteen of the 21 survey ing transportation access for target populations, in- respondents offered suggestions for improving creasing commitment/participation in the plan devel- these grant programs. All of the survey respondent opment at both the state and local levels, improving suggestions attempted to improve the management coordination, and creating a general understanding of of the grant programs and to find means to fund eligible JARC and NF grants. However, the respon- more projects, whether through proposing consoli- dents stated that the federal requirement for the Coor- dation with other grant programs, increasing fund- dination Plans has placed a significant administrative ing, reducing restrictions, lowering operating requirement on already short-staffed state and local matching requirements, or increasing flexibility. agencies. Respondents felt that the coordination plan- The suggestions from the survey respondents are ning process is time consuming and many agencies summarized in Figure 1. stated they are not able to hire new staff or consultants The most frequently suggested improvement for to assist with the process. As a result, agencies feel that the JARC and NF grant programs by the survey re- the responsibilities often fall on existing staff, many of spondents was the consolidation of the Section 5316 whom have already been asked to take on additional JARC and Section 5317 NF grant programs with responsibilities. other federal grant programs such as Section 5310, In addition to the administrative responsibilities 5311, and 5307. With consolidation, the respondents placed on state and local agencies, the survey respon- indicated that the individual grant program goals dents highlighted several areas of concern in regards could still be reflected in program and planning re- to obligating the JARC and NF grants. The responses quirements, including dedicating percentages of indicated that the obligation of these funds generally funding to each program goal. Section 5310, Trans- has not improved with the Coordination Plan require- portation for Elderly Individuals and Individuals ment. There frequently is a lag in funding JARC and with Disabilities, was the most frequently mentioned NF projects, and several respondents have had prob- program for consolidating the JARC and NF grants, lems obligating these funds before they expire. In and several respondents indicated that these grant fact, 24 percent of responding agencies reported that programs could also be consolidated with Section they have had JARC or NF funds expire before they 5311, the Rural and Small Urban Areas grant pro- could be obligated. The agencies stated that one of the gram. By consolidating the JARC and NF grants primary reasons that obligating these funds is such a with Section 5310 and/or 5311, the respondents felt problem for the survey respondents is the difficulty in that the states could manage the program more effi- identifying local matching funds for projects. Local ciently, while still developing a Coordination Plan funds are limited and the higher matching require- (as required for Section 5310) and serving similar ments of the JARC and NF grant programs (particu- target populations. larly the 50 percent match for operations), coupled Several respondents also felt that consolidating with the uncertainty that these funds will be there in Section 5316 and 5317 into one grant program the future, make it more difficult to identify local would allow more flexibility in transferring funds funds for these projects. The majority of survey re- and meeting the greatest transit needs. They be- spondents (70 percent) stated that there is reluctance lieved that this would allow the funds to be used to in their states to start new services with JARC and serve any one of the target populations and fund proj- NF funds. The primary reason provided by the re- ects that best meet the transit needs of the state. Ad- spondents (79 percent) was the concern that these ditionally, it was suggested by some that the obliga- funds are not sustainable. They stated that they do not tion by population size requirement be eliminated want to introduce new services and then have to take for the new consolidated grant program. The survey them away when/if these grant programs or the ap- respondents indicated that combining the JARC and portionments received are reduced. NF grant programs would allow greater flexibility Given these concerns, the agencies were asked in awarding projects and moving funds from one if they had any suggestions to improve the use and area to another, and would be more efficient for states management of the JARC and NF grant programs so to manage. 3