Community Transit Grant Program Awards Announce $1.9 Million in Support

In it’s final days, the Baker Administration announced a total of $1.9 million for municipalities, Councils on Aging, Regional Transit Authorities, and nonprofit organizations under the Community Transit Grant Program administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT).

This annual competitive grant program awards money to be used for transit operations and mobility management projects that complement and expand the community transportation options available in communities across Massachusetts. A second set of awards for wheelchair-accessible vehicles will be made in the spring.

“Community Transit Grants provide critical funding to municipalities and local organizations to help people get where they need to go in an accessible, age-friendly way,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We are proud to fund these grants and see the work that gets accomplished through this program.”

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 projects, and operational costs in order to meet the mobility needs of older adults 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. This round of awards uses only federal 5310 funds; the spring announcement will include both 5310 and MAP awards.

The funding announced today is for the FY23 cycle, for operating and mobility management applications submitted in the spring of 2022. Thirty operating and mobility management projects are receiving funding. Vehicle awards for applications submitted in spring 2022 will be announced in spring 2023.

In total, in this announcement, MassDOT plans to distribute $1,905,197.10 for mobility management and operating projects. A complete list of successful grantees is below:

Organization Project Description Award
Berkshire Regional Transit Authority Continued funding for salaries and materials to support BRTA’s travel training program $8,414
Bridgewater Council on Aging Funding for staff salaries, outreach and promotional materials, and microtransit scheduling software for a program to provide weekly shuttles and on-demand trips $22,080
Brockton Area Transit Authority Continue and expand BAT’s Rockland Flex service, which provides lifeline service to the greater Rockland community. Prioritizes transportation for older adults and people with disabilities and will add capacity for same day, door-to-door service $137,500
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 $61,320
City of Newton Operating funds to continue NewMo, an on-demand transportation centering the needs of older adults in Newton $190,000
Franklin Regional Transit Authority Funding for a full-time position as travel trainer/travel ambassador $53,610
Franklin Regional Transit Authority Funding to expand FRTA’s volunteer transportation program for older adults to 16 additional communities to include all of FRTA’s 41 member towns $24,000
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority Med Wheels offers long-distance demand-response transportation to medical appointments for older adults and people with disabilities $100,000
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority Continued funding for Plymouth’s CAR program, which is facilitated by consortium of agencies. When clients alert their agency that they need transportation, if no bus is available at the time or location of the needed trip, the agencies are then able to contact Uber or Lyft to schedule a ride. If a WAV is needed, one of GATRA’s contracted vendors completes the trip $50,000
Greater Attleboro-Taunton Regional Transit Authority Continued funding for Attleboro and Norton CAR program for older adults, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals during the later evening hours as well as Sundays when local public transportation service is unavailable $20,000
Greater Lynn Senior Services Funding for Move Safe/Mobility Links, which strengthens the capacities of consumers to effectively navigate around their community using available transportation options including public transportation $64,000
Groveland Council on Aging Funding for operating of Groveland Council on Aging vehicle, which provides rides to older adult residents and people with disabilities of any age $9,000
Hilltown Community Development Corporation Continuation of funding for the Hilltown Driver Pool, which supplements the use of the FRTA 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 $10,236
MetroWest Regional Transit Authority Continued funding for MWRTA TOP, which improves individual mobility needs and enhances transportation equity and accessibility by expanding travel independence within the MetroWest Region $80,000
Mystic Valley Elder Services, Inc. Continued funding for Connect a Ride Alliance Program, which provides transportation services to 11 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. $106,200
Northern Essex Elder Transport Funding to cover administrative costs associated with operating a regional volunteer driver program that serves 14 COAs in the Merrimack Valley $25,000
Old Colony Planning Council A regional approach to offering mileage reimbursement for volunteer drivers at the federally approved mileage rate for Councils on Aging in the OCPC region $30,000
Palmer Council on Aging Funding to support volunteer transportation program, to include mileage reimbursement and salary for part-time coordinator $7,815
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Operating funds to support the continued transition of senior transportation service provision from PVTA to COAs to reduce cost of service and relieve strain on PVTA’s operating budget. $175,943
Pioneer Valley Transit Authority Continued funding to maintain and expand PVTA’s mobility management Travel Training Program across PVTA $111,440
SCM Community Transportation Funding for a scheduling software to reduce the number of unfulfilled trip requests for older adults and people with disabilities in Somerville, Cambridge, and Medford $14,640
South Shore Community Action Council Operating funds to support demand-response paratransit service $125,000
Springfield Partners for Community Action Operating funds to support the continued transportation of older veterans with disabilities across the Springfield area $100,000
Town of Acton Funding for drivers/dispatch salary at CrossTown Connect, a regionalized approach to transportation for older adults and people with disabilities $75,000
Town of Great Barrington Funding for Great Barrington to purchase operational software for on-demand ride scheduling and dispatch to support new microtransit pilot program in Great Barrington, Egremont, and Stockbridge $32,000
Town of Shrewsbury Funding for operation of Shrewsbury Council on Aging vehicle with a focus on out-of-town trips $25,000
Town of Ware Operating funds to support the Quaboag Connector, which provides transportation for older adults, people with disabilities, and others as space allows in ten rural towns $175,000
Worcester Regional Transit Authority This is a demand response service offered to people with disabilities and people age 60+ traveling from Holden to Worcester and return when the COA vehicle is not in service $12,000
Worcester Regional Transit Authority A demand response service to bring older adults and people with disabilities from 21 rural and suburban communities into Worcester during the midday hours. Prior to offering this midday service, passengers were transported to Worcester in the morning and had to wait many hours before being picked up in the afternoon, regardless of their medical appointment time $15,000
Worcester Regional Transit Authority ReadyBus service 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