$1 Million in Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Grants now available

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Fiscal Year 2015 grant applications now being accepted from existing non-profit and government transit commute programs in the Portland metro area

Today, TriMet announced the availability of a total of $1 million in locally unspent Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) federal grant program funds. Applications are now being accepted from eligible current JARC sub-recipients operating transit commute services in metro Portland area.

Funds are limited. The priority for spending down the remaining funds is to maintain existing and eligible cost effective transit commute services derived from the Portland Regional (Urbanized) Employment Transportation Services Plan. The plan currently provides essential services that low-income populations rely on to access employment centers.

Prior awardees of the JARC grant program benefit transportation for low-income job seekers and encourage innovations in public transportation. Eligible applicants may apply for funds to finance up to four fiscal years of transit commute services operating expenses.

The $1 million total unspent funds are the final remaining federal transportation funds available for the Portland Regional (Urbanized) area under the 2005 SAFETEA-LU Federal transportation reauthorization bill and will make up the final round of disbursement through a regional competitive selection process.

The project selection criteria and match requirements have been updated to maximize the usefulness of the grant and matching funds, as well as preventing short-term loss of essential service for current riders. Recipients may use their grant award over the course of four years (FY15-18).

After awards are announced, the service contract will begin July 1, 2015. These awards will disperse all remaining local JARC funds available under the federal SAFETEA-LU program.

In June of last year, TriMet awarded $683,513 in JARC grants to programs that aided low-income residents in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, improving access to jobs in the region. For more on these award recipients visit http://trimet.org/meetings/jarc/jarc-projects.htm.  

Application packets are available on TriMet’s JARC webpage: http://trimet.org/pdfs/meetings/jarc/FY15_JARC_ApplicationPacket.pdf. For more information about the competitive selection process and updated selection criteria please review the application packet.

All applications are due at TriMet no later than 5 PM on February 28, 2014.

Please email or mail applications to:
TriMet/Hannah Ritchie
1800 SW 1st Ave., Suite 300, Portland, OR 97201
Phone: 503-962-4912
Email: ritchieh@trimet.org

Applicants will present submitted applications to the JARC Advisory Committee (JAC) at a public meeting held at Metro offices on March 20, 2014. There will be time for public testimony at the meeting before the JAC scores the applications.

Public Meeting details:
March 20, 2014, 2 PM
Metro Offices, Room 270
600 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR

Purpose of the JARC Program
The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program was established to address the unique transportation challenges faced by welfare recipients and low-income persons seeking to obtain and maintain employment. Many new entry-level jobs are located in suburban areas, and low-income individuals have difficulty accessing these jobs from their inner city, urban, or rural neighborhoods. In addition, many entry level-jobs require working late at night or on weekends when conventional transit services are either reduced or non-existent. Finally, many employment related-trips are complex and involve multiple destinations including reaching childcare facilities or other services.

Seven principles guide program planning, development, and project selection for the Portland Regional JARC Program. These principles stress collaboration and coordination among transportation providers, social service agencies, employers, and other stakeholders to most effectively identify and address priority needs with available resources.