In the News this morning, Don Rainear makes his first cut of a peripheral program hosted by the CCIA, and cuts one job.
The Cumberland County Improvement Authority’s board of directors will consider eliminating a program administered by the CCIA that provides transportation to and from work for welfare recipients.
The Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) program, partially funded through a federal transportation grant, gives welfare recipients and low-income people a means to obtain and maintain employment in areas with serious public transportation needs.
The program, which oversaw 19,200 passenger trips in 2009 to and from work destinations in Cumberland County, was estimated to cost the CCIA $324,441 in 2010.
Cumberland County, having the highest unemployment in the state and the worst public transportation infrastructure, now will excacerbate matters by making it impossible for Welfare recipients that actually want to work to get to and from work.
A scenario: you are a single mom (Cumberland County also has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the state) and you are trying to do the right thing. You don’t live in town, and even could you afford to buy a car there is no way you could possibly afford New jersey’s instance insurance rates – so you rely on public transportation. the problem, NJ Transit does not stop anywhere near your home – this is true if you live in any of the townships – nor does it stop near your place of employment.
That is where JASC comes in – providing safe and reliable transport for those that do want to work rather than become entrenched in the Welfare system. Until now – Don Rainear see an easy savings. And Lou Magazzu and company will spin this, knowing that “Welfare” is a dirty word – “who cares if a service to one of those scumbags is cut?”
The result? CCIA saves some of their surplus, but Cumberland County’s unemployment numbers increase, and families are hurt even more.