Department of Labor

Meeting the Transportation Needs of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Recipients

Individuals who receive public assistance through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program are generally expected to become economically self-sufficient through placement in jobs or training programs expected to lead to employment. In New York State, these employment and training programs are overseen by the Department of Labor, and are directly administered by 58 local social services districts. If a TANF recipient does not live within walking distance of work-related activities, and needs help getting to and from these activities, the local district is required to provide assistance to the recipient in the form of transportation services such as bus passes, shuttle service, or reimbursement for work-related transportation expenses.

We examined the Department’s allocation of TANF transportation funds to the local districts. We found that, even though the funds are supposed to be allocated on the basis of need, the Department had not assessed the need for transportation services in each district. We recommended that the Department perform such an assessment. We also recommended that the Department improve a fund allocation process that was subject to long delays and considered administratively burdensome by the local districts we visited. In addition, in our reviews of case files at selected local districts, we found that the districts did not always document that they had identified the transportation needs of TANF recipients, or had met the needs that were identified. We also found indications that New York’s rural districts may not be receiving the assistance they need in providing and coordinating TANF transportation services, and therefore recommended that the Department develop special programs of coordination and assistance for these districts.

For a complete copy of Report 2000-S-63 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.