In August 2005, the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act, a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) was enacted to provide guaranteed funding for federal surface transportation programs through FFY 2009. SAFETEA-LU requires the establishment of a locally-developed, coordinated public transit Human Services Transportation Plan (HSTP) in order for the northeastern Illinois region to access two specific funding programs; Section 5316 Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC), and Section 5317 New Freedom (NF). The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) was subsequently named as the designated recipient for the programs and was then responsible for overseeing and administering the JARC/NF Programs in northeastern Illinois including the development of an annual Program of Projects (POP).
In response to this requirement, the RTA embarked on a thorough HSTP planning process, called Connecting Communities through Coordination, to identify strategies that encourage more efficient use of available service providers that bring enhanced mobility to the region's older adults, persons with disabilities and individuals with lower incomes. The completion of the HSTP in 2007 allowed the northeastern Illinois region to access federal funding available from the JARC and NF programs. The HSTP's goal is to maximize these two programs' collective coverage by minimizing the duplication of services and ensuring the provision of efficient transportation services for the Northeastern Illinois region.
While SAFETEA-LU has now expired and MAP-21 is in effect, the RTA retains oversight for ongoing projects. Please visit the RTAMS site to view the status of all previously approved JARC/NF projects.
For information or questions regarding the JARC/NF Program, please contact:
Heather Tabbert Mullins AICP
Division Manager, Local Planning and Program Management
175 W. Jackson Boulevard, Suite 1650
Chicago, Illinois 60604-2705