Baker Administration Announces $9.5 million in Community Transit Grant Program Awards

Dec 18, 2019

The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced a total of $9.5 million for cities, towns and nonprofit organizations to use under the Community Transit Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).  The annual competitive grant program awards money to be used for transit operating costs, mobility management or new capital investments.

“Community Transit Grants provide critical funding to local organizations to purchase equipment to help people get where they need to go efficiently and safely,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our Administration will continue to make efforts to work with local leaders, community stakeholders and the private sector to make transit accessible to everyone.”

“We are pleased to provide this key funding to cities and towns, regional transit authorities and non-profit organizations statewide to help support their transportation needs,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito.  “This program will expand upon current transportation services in areas where transit may currently be limited, and will ensure that residents have the resources they need to travel.”

This year, MassDOT has awarded funding for 126 vans and mini-buses to 33 organizations. In addition, $1,330,711 in funding was awarded to 19 organizations for 30 operating and mobility management projects. Award recipients include Regional Transit Authorities, municipalities, Councils on Aging and eligible nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts.

“The Community Transit Grant Program plays an integral part in supporting transportation networks in local communities,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “These grants help transportation providers state-wide continue to care for and improve the service they have, in particular, for people who rely on getting help to where they need to go, such as individuals who have disabilities.”

The Fiscal 2020 Community Transit Grant Program is awarding funding for 66 operating and mobility management projects to 43 entities out of the 75 applications received.

The Community Transit Grant Program is the Commonwealth’s annual competitive grant program to distribute both Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Section 5310: Enhanced Mobility of Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities funds and State Mobility Assistance Program funds. The FTA Section 5310 grant program provides funding to assist with the purchase of capital equipment, mobility management, and operational costs in order to meet the mobility needs of senior citizens and individuals with disabilities of any age. State Mobility Assistance Program (MAP) funds are used to assist in the provision of transportation services to seniors and persons with disabilities exclusively through the purchase of eligible vehicles.

In total, MassDOT plans to distribute $9,478,981 of federal and state funds for vehicles, operating projects and mobility management projects in this round of the program.

A complete list of successful grantees is below.



# of Vehicles Awarded
Andover Council on Aging 1
Ashburnham Council on Aging 1
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority 6
Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester 1
Braintree Council on Aging 1
Brockton Area Transit Authority 6
Burlington Council on Aging 1
Cape Ann Transportation Authority 2
Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority 14
Cardinal Cushing Centers 4
City of Boston 3
City of Peabody 6
Family Service Association 1
Franklin Regional Transit Authority 3
GAAMHA, Inc. 2
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority 14
M.O. L.I.F.E., Inc 1
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority 2
MHA Inc. 1
Montachusett Regional Transit Authority 7
Oxford Council on Aging 1
Plympton Council on Aging 1
Project Independence Services, Inc. 1
South Shore Community Action Council, Inc. 7
Southeastern Regional Transit Authority 13
SurriMassini, Inc. 7
Town of Blackstone 1
Town of Marion 1
Town of Salisbury 1
Town of Somerset 1
Town of Ware 1
Town of Weymouth 1
Upham’s Corner Health Committee, Inc. 2
Worcester Regional Transit Authority 11


Organization Project Description Award
Bay State Community Services CHNA 20 will convene a Regional Coordinating Council (BHRCC) to enhance mobility in the Blue Hills region. Our project will seek to investigate and address gaps in existing systems of transportation available to older adults and persons with severe behavioral health disabilities in the greater Quincy area. $32,000
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Funding for salaries and materials to support BRTA’s travel training program. $7,600
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Funding for electronic Paratransit Fare System. $65,910
Brockton Area Transit Authority Operating Assistance to continue to provide Avon-Stoughton Service. $26,000
Brockton Area Transit Authority Operating Assistance to continue to provide Flex service to the town of Rockland. $50,000
Burlington Council on Aging Funding for subsidy/voucher program for seniors and people with disabilities to book rideshare vehicles after fixed route service ends in Burlington. $50,000
Cape Ann Transportation Authority Funding for van transportation to dialysis and medical appointments in Beverly, Danvers, and Peabody as well as a direct transfer to the MBTA RIDE. $46,871
City of Newton Funding to support Newmo, Newton’s new state-of-the-art transportation system that will provide more than 25,000 on-demand, dynamically routed shared trips each year for 700+ seniors. $100,000
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority GATRA is partnering with a local social consortium, consisting of seven non-profit agencies, to provide Uber trips in the City of Attleboro and the Town of Norton for senior citizens, persons living with disabilities, and low income individuals during the later evening hours as well as Sundays when local public transportation service is unavailable. $25,000
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority Med Wheels offers long-distance demand-response transportation to medical appointments for people living with disabilities and/or aged 60 or older. $50,000
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority GATRA is proposing the development of a coordinated system that will allow direct trip booking from the Ride Match website or a mobile device. This new feature will provide the customer the option to select from various paratransit and other ride share or community-based services as well as private options, such as taxis and livery services, and then book the trip online. The pilot program is for GATRA paratransit customers only and will allow these riders to directly book a trip without contacting the provider. GATRA would work directly with the individual service providers to develop new APIs (application program interfaces) that would interface with various scheduling software. $64,000
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority Continued funding for Wareham-New Bedford Shuttle. $95,500
Hilltown Community Development Corporation Continuation of funding for the Hilltown Driver Pool, which supplements the use of the FRTA 12-passenger Demand Response van for medical rides as needed. The program combines several COA volunteer driver programs and provides a central dispatch, driver vetting and training, and administrative support. Drivers use their personal vehicles and are reimbursed for expenses. The service is designed to address existing gaps in service and create cost savings with use of smaller vehicles. $25,131
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority Funding to develop a mobile application targeted primarily at our demand response service for elderly and disabled customers to provide them real-time information about trips booked. The app would allow customers to manage and create new bookings, provide vehicle specific tracking information regarding their trips, and provide way finding technology and information to assist in locating and using fixed route services near them. $80,000
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority Funding to staff the Travel Training Initiative (TTI).  The goal of the TTI Staff is to improve travel independence within the MetroWest Region. $80,000
Montachusett Regional Planning Commission Planning funds to study the feasibility of – and develop an implementation plan for – a volunteer driver program serving seniors and disabled residents in Winchendon and surrounding communities $24,000
Montachusett Regional Planning Commission Funding to convene a steering committee that will evaluate other community ride connector programs, and design a similar program serving the Greater Gardner community. The one-year project will end with an implementation-ready pilot aiming to increase service hours, destinations, and overall ridership in a fiscally responsible way. $48,000
Mystic Valley Elder Services, Inc. The Connect a Ride Alliance Program provides transportation services to eleven communities north of Boston. MVES employs two full time transportation coordinators who are responsible for administering a transportation network and rider program for elders and individuals living with disabilities. This includes managing referrals, and booking rides, maintaining a transportation vendor inventory, and a cost effective human services transportation system. $155,600
Northern Essex Elder Transportation Volunteer driver reimbursement program for transportation of elderly individuals. $12,500
Old Colony Planning Council The OCPC provides mileage reimbursement to volunteer drivers at the federally approved mileage rate. $30,000
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Funding for PVTA travel training program staff salaries, professional development, and outreach materials. $82,724
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Operating funds to support the transition of paratransit service provision from PVTA to COAs in order to reduce cost of service and relieve strain on PVTA’s operating budget. $129,203
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Funding for partnership between PVTA and the Quaboag Connector to enhance service to the towns of Palmer and Ware improving access to jobs and medical care by utilizing a microtransit system that supplements existing limited transportation options in the area. PVTA will use the Ecolane system to pilot a MicroTransit platform. This would include scheduling software, mobile application, and online trip management. The platform will allow for on-demand same day service in a pre-determined zone and automated scheduling for demand response service. $193,304
South Shore Community Action Council, Inc. Operating assistance for SSCAC transportation program for seniors and persons with disabilities. $50,000
Springfield Partners for Community Action Operating funds to support the transportation of elderly disabled veterans across the Springfield metro area. $75,000
Town of Acton Expansion of Crosstown Connect shared dispatch services to include a “concierge” element, which will close the gap in access to ride-hailing and micro-transit based on variation in riders’ cell phone experience. $80,000
Town of Ware Operation of rural nine town regional transportation service called the Quaboag Connector. $121,000
Worcester Regional Transit Authority Demand response service offered to people with disabilities and people age 60+ traveling from Holden to Worcester and return. This service operates in the early morning before the Holden COA paratransit service is on the road and in the afternoon after they are off the road. $12,000
Worcester Regional Transit Authority SCM Elderbus service for people living in one of the 22 communities and provides trips to Worcester, focusing on medical trips. Without this service, riders would have to go to Worcester in the morning and stay in Worcester many hours before being brought back home in the afternoon. $15,000
Worcester Regional Transit Authority ReadyBus provides a much needed transportation service focusing on people with disabilities and people age 60 and over who live and work in the towns of Southbridge, Spencer, Sturbridge and Webster. $45,000