|Tuesday, January 15, 2002 |
News Media Contact
Contact: Rachel Biittner (DWD) 608-266-8710 or Mike Goetzman (DOT) 608-266-2520
STATE AGENCIES CELEBRATE SUCCESS OF WETAP PROGRAMProgram provides transportation services for low-income families
MADISON – The Departments of Workforce Development and Transportation announced today the success of the Wisconsin Employment Transportation Assistance Program (WETAP) in its first full year in operation. The program provides transportation grants to a variety of organizations to give low-income families access to jobs. The grants are funded through a combination of federal, state and local dollars.
"Thousands of families who have made the transition from welfare to work, have been able to do so because of this WETAP funding. It links people with jobs by providing funding for new bus routes, taxi service, vanpool projects, and car repairs, just to name a few," said DWD Secretary Jennifer Reinert.
"The cooperative efforts of the two state agencies has meant that low-income workers are making the link to jobs through our transportation efforts. This innovative program is making a difference in the lives of thousands of people in Wisconsin and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results," said DOT Secretary Terry Mulcahy.
The $8 million WETAP program in State Fiscal Year 2001 provided:
- More than one million passenger trips in new and expanded bus, taxi and van services
- More than 2.8 million miles of new service
- More than 160 new transit stops within ¼ mile of employment sites not previously accessible by transit
- More than 290 employers connected who were not previously accessible by transit
- Seventy auto repair loans
- More than 100 autos given to families through loans or donations
- More than 1,200 childcare trips per day
"We always talk about the importance of providing supportive services to people who are moving from welfare to work and transportation is one of the most important. The WETAP program is an integral piece of the success of welfare reform in the future," said Secretary Reinert.
Wisconsin has, through the success of the WETAP program and the effective efforts of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, again secured one of the largest earmarks in the nation for this program in State Fiscal Year 2002, at $5.2 million.
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