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In This Issue
New state and federal funding opportunities
MassDOT, Governor call for investment in transportation
Transit & vanpool commuter tax benefits increase
New services help veterans access healthcare
Massachusetts coalition featured in national report
Volunteer driver programs
Follow us on Twitter
Upcoming events
We want to know your stories
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Join Our Mailing List


We are pleased to release this fifth issue of the MassMobility newsletter. MassMobility contains news of interest to anyone who is interested in community transportation, human service transportation coordination, or mobility management in Massachusetts.


This newsletter is compiled by the Human Service Transportation (HST) Office of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), as part of our federally funded two-year grant to develop a Mobility Management Information Network across Massachusetts. 

New state and federal funding opportunities

On January 31, MassDOT released its application for funding through the Community Transit Grant Program for capital, operating, and planning expenses supporting community transportation in Massachusetts. Funding streams include federal Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (5310), as well as state Mobility Assistance Program funds. In addition, MassDOT has some remaining funding in the New Freedom and Job Access and Reverse Commute programs to disburse. Applications are due by 5 PM on March 1.


Another funding opportunity will be available soon for short-term projects to help transportation coordination and planning efforts become more inclusive to people with disabilities and/or seniors. Six-month grants will be awarded by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), in partnership with several other national organizations, with funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Please check the HST website for updated information.
MassDOT, Governor call for investment in transportation

After holding seventeen public visioning sessions across Massachusetts in fall of 2012, MassDOT released The Way Forward: A 21st-Century Transportation Plan in mid-January. This report summarizes the needs of transportation systems and infrastructure across the state, reviews the progress MassDOT has made since the state legislature passed transportation reform in 2009, lists priority projects, suggests additional reforms, and discusses options for increasing revenue. Among other projects, the plan calls for an additional $100 million annually for Regional Transit Authorities and completion of the South Coast Rail to Fall River and New Bedford. In his State of the Commonwealth address, Governor Patrick emphasized the importance of investing in transportation and suggested dedicating state sales tax revenues to a transportation fund. The Governor has submitted his proposals to the state legislature for consideration.

Transit and vanpool commuter tax benefits increase for 2012 and 2013 
The federal tax code includes provisions to help workers pay for their commutes. Last year, the law allowed drivers to take up to $240 per month of their parking expenses pre-tax, while transit and vanpool commuters could only take $125. In January, Congress changed the law to establish parity between parking benefits and transit benefits for 2013. They made this parity retroactive to 2012. Now commuters are retroactively eligible for up to $240 per month in transit expenses for 2012. The IRS has published guidance for employers on how to implement the retroactive component. In 2013, commuters can get up to $245 per month pre-tax for parking or transit expenses.
New services help veterans access healthcare 

The Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) has taken two steps to make it easier for veterans to meet their healthcare needs. Veterans in the Attleboro area who have trouble getting to appointments at the Brockton VA Hospital can now call GATRA or their local Veterans' Service Officer to get a ride on a new shuttle. Veterans in Plymouth can request the Plymouth Area Link to deviate from its route in order to drop them off at the Veterans Clinic. On the way home, veterans call GATRA from the clinic to arrange a pickup.  

Massachusetts coalition featured in national report
The Massachusetts Veterans Transportation Coalition is mentioned numerous times in a January 2013 report on state activities to help military veterans access transportation from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The report discusses findings from a national survey on how states are addressing veterans transportation through initiatives, funding streams, and exemptions from transportation-related fees.
Volunteer driver programs serve many communities

Volunteer driver programs are helping seniors and others who have difficulty accessing transportation get to essential services and social opportunities in communities all over the state. As part of our Mobility Management Information Network, the HST Office has compiled resources for organizations interested in starting a volunteer driver program, as well as information to help you find volunteer programs in your area and an interactive map of programs across Massachusetts. 

Follow us on Twitter 

Are you on Twitter? If so, follow us @MassMobility for links to community transportation resources relevant to organizations and agencies here in Massachusetts. If you aren't on Twitter, you can still see our posts online at


What social media are you using? Let us know where you like to find information and where you like to share information.

Upcoming events and funding opportunities

HST has launched a calendar of mobility management events and funding opportunities for Massachusetts.

We want to know your stories

If you have suggestions for news items or topics to cover in future newsletters, please contact us. Comments, questions, and feedback are also welcome.

Please share this newsletter

Please forward this newsletter widely to others who are interested in mobility management, community transportation, or related topics and encourage them to subscribe to receive future newsletters and publications. 

You can also read archive editions of all MassMobility newsletters.