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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release May 13, 1999

Charlotte, NC -- Vice President Gore announced today that the federal government will provide $71.3 million to help communities across the country fund 179 transit projects to help welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to and from work.

"Transportation plays a vital role helping people move from the dependence of the welfare rolls to the security, pride, and self-sufficiency of the pay rolls," said Vice President Gore. "Because we know: if you can't get to work, you can't go to work. That is why I am proud to announce today that we are awarding more than $71 million in grants to help communities across the nation connect people moving from welfare to work to the places where jobs are being created."

The $71.3 million in funds, provided under the Department of Transportation's Job Access and Reverse Commute Program, will help communities implement transit projects in 42 states. The funds will allow local communities to implement innovative approaches to providing transportation, bringing together transit providers, community organizations, employers, planners and others who have a stake in the success of welfare reform.

Projects will include new bus or van service; extended bus routes, or expanded service hours, or door-to-door service to accommodate shift and weekend workers and workers with non-traditional working hours. They will also include linking workers to jobs near child care and transit facilities; trip mapping; carpooling and vanpooling; and guaranteed rides home in emergency situations. The selected proposals announced today will receive funding once they submit the required documentation over to the Department of Transportation.

"Public transportation is a key element of the Clinton-Gore commitment to helping people move from welfare to work," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater. "Since this Administration took office, the number of people on welfare has come down 46 percent and more people are working. President Clinton has said that we can help even more Americans move from welfare to work and succeed in the workforce by helping them get from where they are to where the jobs are by fully funding these transportation grants in the FY 2000 budget."

The Clinton-Gore Federal budget for FY 2000 has proposed that Congress appropriate the full $150 million it authorized for this program in last year's transportation bill.