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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 2004
Executive Order: Human Service Transportation Coordination
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to enhance access to transportation to improve mobility, employment opportunities, and access to community services for persons who are transportation-disadvantaged, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. This order is issued consistent with the following findings and principles:
(a) A strong America depends on citizens who are productive and who actively participate in the life of their communities.
(b) Transportation plays a critical role in providing access to employment, medical and health care, education, and other community services and amenities. The importance of this role is underscored by the variety of transportation programs that have been created in conjunction with health and human service programs, and by the significant Federal investment in accessible public transportation systems throughout the Nation.
(c) These transportation resources, however, are often difficult for citizens to understand and access, and are more costly than necessary due to inconsistent and unnecessary Federal and State program rules and restrictions.
(d) A broad range of Federal program funding allows for the purchase or provision of transportation services and resources for persons who are transportation-disadvantaged. Yet, in too many communities, these services and resources are fragmented, unused, or altogether unavailable.
(e) Federally assisted community transportation services should be seamless, comprehensive, and accessible to those who rely on them for their lives and livelihoods. For persons with mobility limitations related to advanced age, persons with disabilities, and persons struggling for self-sufficiency, transportation within and between our communities should be as available and affordable as possible.
(f) The development, implementation, and maintenance of responsive, comprehensive, coordinated community transportation systems is essential for persons with disabilities, persons with low incomes, and older adults who rely on such transportation to fully participate in their communities.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
(a) As used in this order, the term "agency" means an executive department or agency of the Federal Government.
(b) For the purposes of this order, persons who are transportation-disadvantaged are persons who qualify for Federally conducted or Federally assisted transportation-related programs or services due to disability, income, or advanced age.
Sec. 3. Establishment of the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility.
(a) There is hereby established, within the Department of Transportation for administrative purposes, the "Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council on Access and Mobility" ("Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council" or "Council"). The membership of the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council shall consist of:
(i) the Secretaries of Transportation, Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, and the Interior, the Attorney General, and the Commissioner of Social Security; and
(ii) such other Federal officials as the Chairperson of the Council may designate.
(b) The Secretary of Transportation, or the Secretary's designee, shall serve as the Chairperson of the Council. The Chairperson shall convene and preside at meetings of the Council, determine its agenda, direct its work, and, as appropriate to particular subject matters, establish and direct subgroups of the Council, which shall consist exclusively of the Council's members.
(c) A member of the Council may designate any person who is part of the member's agency and who is an officer appointed by the President or a full-time employee serving in a position with pay equal to or greater than the minimum rate payable for GS-15 of the General Schedule to perform functions of the Council or its subgroups on the member's behalf.
Sec 4. Functions of the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council. The Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council shall:
(a) promote interagency cooperation and the establishment of appropriate mechanisms to minimize duplication and overlap of Federal programs and services so that transportation-disadvantaged persons have access to more transportation services;
(b) facilitate access to the most appropriate, cost-effective transportation services within existing resources;
(c) encourage enhanced customer access to the variety of transportation and resources available;
(d) formulate and implement administrative, policy, and procedural mechanisms that enhance transportation services at all levels; and
(e) develop and implement a method for monitoring progress on achieving the goals of this order.
Sec. 5. Report. In performing its functions, the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council shall present to me a report not later than 1 calendar year from the date of this order. The report shall:
(a) Identify those Federal, State, Tribal and local laws, regulations, procedures, and actions that have proven to be most useful and appropriate in coordinating transportation services for the targeted populations;
(b) Identify substantive and procedural requirements of transportation-related Federal laws and regulations that are duplicative or restrict the laws' and regulations' most efficient operation;
(c) Describe the results achieved, on an agency and program basis, in:
(i) simplifying access to transportation services for persons with disabilities, persons with low income, and older adults;
(ii) providing the most appropriate, cost-effective transportation services within existing resources; and
(iii) reducing duplica-tion to make funds available for more services to more such persons;
(d) Provide recommendations to simplify and coordinate applicable substantive, procedural, and administrative requirements; and
(e) Provide any other recommendations that would, in the judgment of the Council, advance the principles set forth in section 1 of this order.
Sec. 6. General.
(a) Agencies shall assist the Interagency Transportation Coordinating Council and provide information to the Council consistent with applicable law as may be necessary to carry out its functions. To the extent permitted by law, and as permitted by available agency resources, the Department of Transportation shall provide funding and administrative support for the Council.
(b) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budget, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(c) This order is intended only to improve the internal management of the executive branch and is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, sub-stantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, instrumentalities or entities, its officers or employees, or any other person.
GEORGE W. BUSH
THE WHITE HOUSE,
February 24, 2004.
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