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Supplemental Transportation Assistance Program

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Logo of the STAP.

The Supplemental Transportation Assistance Program (STAP) is an Alcenian federal social program managed by the Department of Transportation that provides automobiles to low or no-income citizens for free or at a reduced price. Vellonia and Illanuras have their own state-wide versions of this program that works in conjunction with the federal version. In 2018, STAP provided 1.6 million vehicles to low/no-income citizens. As of 2019, 5.4% of Alcenians were driving a vehicle acquired through the program.

The program was established in 1992 under the General Provisions and Poverty Relief Act of 1992 which directed the Secretary of the Transportation to "...create a program with the intent to provide, at no or reduced cost, automobiles to Alcenian citizens who qualify under terms the Secretary shall formulate." The program began with $3.5 billion in funding which has increased to $12.4 billion as of 2019.



In order to be eligible for the program, one must:

  • Be a citizen of Alcenia or a lawful resident alien with a valid work visa.
  • If an alien, must have resided in Alcenia for six months.
  • Have a valid driver's license issued in Alcenia or in a 'qualifying country'.
  • Be low or no-income (this is defined by various factors including the city and state where the applicant resides and the costs of living associated with that city and state; alien residents with a work visa may be exempted from this requirement).
  • Be employed or have been employed within the last 18 months. If not employed, they must be actively searching for and be able to accept work provided they have not made a claim of disability.
  • Must have a satisfactory driving record. Any drunken driving or reckless driving convictions immediately disqualify potential applicants.
  • Must have a satisfactory criminal record. No more than two misdemeanor convictions within four years and no felony convictions.
  • Must purchase insurance for the vehicle in compliance with the laws of the state where the applicant resides. Rarely, the program may assist with paying the insurance premium.
  • Must agree to drive safely and responsibly with the vehicle provided. The program works with the state motor vehicles department to keep a record of a recipient's driving record. DUI or reckless driving convictions immediately result in the vehicle being repossessed. Several less severe infractions within in a given time frame (usually a year) also result in repossession. If the recipient's license is suspended or revoked for any reason, the vehicle is repossessed as well.
  • Must agree to a vehicle inspection once a year each year the vehicle is held. The inspection checks for issues with the vehicle, any minor damage, and to ensure it is being maintained properly. If any serious issues are discovered, the car will be replaced. If the car is found to have been neglected or improperly used, it will be repossessed.

Assuming an applicant meets the requirements, they will be able to select from an inventory of available vehicles provided by local dealers who work with the program. Typically, these vehicles are between five and ten years old. Depending on their income eligibility, the program can cover 100% of the sticker price for the vehicle, up to $5,000, but usually only covers between 50% and 60%. Upon making the purchase, the government retains ownership of the vehicle, leasing it to the recipient. There is no limit to how long a vehicle can be leased, as long as they continue to meet the requirements for the program.


Critics of the program say it has artificially increased prices of older vehicles as dealers know the government will be bearing most of the cost. Critics also argue that as there is no limit to how long a car can be held under the program, it de-incentivizes people to move out of impoverished conditions due to fear of having their vehicle taken away. Environmentalists say it encourages the use of vehicles that are fuel inefficient and do not meet emissions standards. A study conducted in 2014 found that 56% of vehicles leased under the program did not meet their state's emission requirements. Vellonia and Ilanuras have addressed this problem by mandating that only vehicles that meet their emissions standards are eligible for lease under the program but it is argued this has significantly limited the number of vehicles eligible for lease, leaving only vehicles that are too expensive for recipients.