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they do not want to start new services unless they are spondents (79 percent) was the concern that these sure that they can continue the services. The two funds are not sustainable. They stated that they do not other reasons provided by respondents were lack of want to introduce new services and then have to take available matching funds (two respondents) and the them away when/if these grant programs or the appor- complexity of the programs and FTA compliance tionments received are reduced. (one respondent). Given these concerns, the agencies were asked if they had any suggestions to improve the use and man- agement of the JARC and NF grant programs so that Conclusions the coordination goals of the FTA, state, and locali- The "Human Services Transportation Plans and ties continue to be met, while the administrative bur- Grant Program" Internet survey completed by 21 den these grant programs place on the state and local state DOTs highlights several areas where the Coor- agencies is reduced. Nineteen of the 21 survey re- dination Plans have been relatively successful, such spondents offered suggestions for improving these as in enhancing transportation access for target popu- grant programs. All of the survey respondent sugges- lations, increasing commitment/participation in the tions attempted to improve the management of the plan development at both the state and local levels, grant programs and to find means to fund more proj- improving coordination, and creating a general under- ects, whether through proposed consolidation with standing of eligible JARC and NF grants. However, other grant programs, increasing funding, reducing the respondents stated that the federal requirement for restrictions, lowering operating matching require- the Coordination Plans has placed a significant ad- ments, or increasing flexibility. The suggestions from ministrative burden on already short-staffed state and the survey respondents are summarized in Figure 28. local agencies. Respondents felt that the coordination The most frequently suggested improvement for planning process is time consuming and many agen- the JARC and NF grant programs by the survey re- cies stated they are not able to hire new staff or con- spondents was the consolidation of the Section 5316 sultants to assist with the process. As a result, agen- JARC and Section 5317 New Freedom grant pro- cies feel that the responsibilities often fall on existing grams with other federal grant programs such as Sec- staff, many of whom have already been asked to take tion 5310, 5311, and 5307. The respondents indicated on additional responsibilities. that with consolidation, the individual grant program In addition to the administrative requirements goals could still be reflected in program and planning placed on state and local agencies, the survey respon- requirements, including dedicating percentages of dents highlighted several areas of concern in regards funding to each program goal. Section 5310 Trans- to obligating the JARC and NF grants. The responses portation for Elderly Individuals and Individuals with indicated that the obligation of these funds generally Disabilities was the most frequently mentioned pro- has not improved with the Coordination Plan require- gram for consolidating the JARC and NF grants, and ment. There frequently is a lag in funding JARC and several respondents indicated that these grant pro- NF projects, and several respondents have had prob- grams also could be consolidated with the Section lems obligating these funds before they expire. In 5311 Rural and Small Urban Areas grant program. fact, 24 percent of responding agencies reported that Respondents felt that by consolidating the JARC and they have had JARC or NF funds expire before they NF grants with Section 5310 and/or 5311, the states could be obligated. The agencies stated that one of the could manage the program more efficiently, while primary reasons that obligating these funds is such a still developing a Coordination Plan (as required for problem is the difficulty in identifying local matching Section 5310) and serving similar target populations. funds for projects. Local funds are limited and the Several respondents also felt that consolidating higher matching requirements of the JARC and NF Section 5316 and 5317 into one grant program would grant programs (particularly the 50 percent match for allow more flexibility in transferring funds and meet- operations) and the uncertainty that these funds will ing the greatest transit needs. They believed that this be there in the future make it more difficult to iden- would allow the funds to be used to serve any one of tify local funds for these projects. The majority of sur- the target populations and fund projects that best vey respondents (70 percent) stated that there is reluc- meet the transit needs of the state. Additionally, it tance in their states to start new services with JARC was suggested by some that the obligation by popu- and NF funds. The primary reason provided by the re- lation size requirement be eliminated for the new 24