Serving as a grant administrator for the State of Indiana, Indianapolis Public Transportation Corp. (IndyGo), recently dispersed $555,937 in federal assistance between six mobility-based services in Central Indiana. The funding, provided by the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Job Access and Reverse Commute and New Freedom programs (JARC), is awarded annually to local organizations with unmet transportation needs.
JARC helps fund employment-related transportation services and activities for low-income individuals, while the New Freedom program supports transportation options for people with disabilities that are beyond those required by the American Disabilities Act.
A review committee — comprised of members from the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Central Indiana Regional Transportation Authority — assisted IndyGo in awarding the 2010 grant funding to these organizations:
- The Central Indiana Council on Aging received $183,525 in New Freedom funds to support the provision of transportation vouchers for elderly disabled individuals in an eight county area within the Indianapolis metropolitan region.
- Access Johnson County received $133,282 in New Freedom funds for the continued support of its employment connector service and taxi voucher program, which provides transportation to persons with disabilities so they can access employment and life sustaining services.
- The Pathway to Future Learning Center received $89,093 in JARC operating funds to support its transportation services that give low-income individuals access to job training and employment, particularly at worksites outside of Indianapolis and across county lines.
- IndyGo received $74,037 in New Freedom operating funds to continue the support of its paratransit taxi voucher program, which provides an alternative transportation option for persons with disabilities.
- Family Service of Central Indiana received $44,000 in JARC operating funds for the continued support of its "Ways to Work" car loan program that targets low-income individuals needing vehicles for accessing and sustaining employment. In return, loan recipients are required to car pool with others.
- The Catholic Charities of Indianapolis received $32,000 in JARC capital assistance to help fund the purchase of a mini-bus that will provide transportation support to hundreds of immigrants relocating to Indianapolis. The project will facilitate self-sufficiency for these individuals by giving them access to employment and employment training.
In 2007, the State of Indiana designated IndyGo the recipient of these federal program funds, requiring the company to manage the grant administration and distribution process throughout the Indianapolis metropolitan region. Eligible recipients of these funds include public or private operators of public transportation, authorized units of local government and private not-for-profit organizations.
Any JARC and New Freedom grants that are awarded require local matching funds to be secured and provided by the grantee.