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In This Issue
Acton, Cambridge teams rebrand to reflect growth
Berkshire coalition creates campaign about need for transit
GATRA, local nonprofit partner on travel training
Congratulations to Aniko Laszlo
Third Kiosk for Living Well opens
Stakeholders discuss veterans transportation at 7th transportation coordination teams meeting
Boston MPO hosts public meetings
Follow us on Twitter
Upcoming events
We want to know your stories
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We are pleased to release this May 2013 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. 

Acton and Cambridge teams rebrand to reflect growth

In winter 2013, the Acton-based transportation coordination team changed the name of its services from "MinuteVan" to "Crosstown Connect" to reflect the expanded, regional nature of the team. Concord and Westford have joined the five original participating towns of Acton, Boxborough, Littleton, Maynard, and Stow, and employer partners will expand from Clock Tower Place of Maynard to also include Cisco, Fiba, IBM, and Sam Park & Company. The Crosstown Connect team is forming a Transportation Management Association to coordinate community transportation and employment transportation services in the region.


Team leader Doug Halley, Director of Acton's Public Health Department, stresses that branding is important because it is a way to communicate with riders. Some riders will relate better to a name, some to a logo, and others to a slogan, so each component is important. Crosstown Connect is still finalizing a new logo.


For other groups undergoing a similar process, Halley recommends recruiting a diverse set of stakeholders to collaborate on rebranding. Including a range of opinions in the decision-making process will help ensure that the chosen brand resonates with the public. Crosstown Connect hired a consultant and made decisions by consensus, which took time but led to a strong result.


Southeast of Acton, the Cambridge in Motion team faced a similar situation. The team serves not only Cambridge but also Somerville, Medford, and surrounding cities and towns, and as the team's efforts geared up, name recognition became more important. A consultant helped the team come up with its new name: Ways2Go. Ways2Go debuted its new name in late April.

Berkshire coalition creates campaign about need for transit

In March, the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition met to discuss transportation needs in the region. Out of this meeting, the Wish I had transit campaign was born, based on an idea that had surfaced at a separate meeting in North Adams the previous September. The idea behind the campaign is that whenever you are unable to get somewhere at a given time or have to drive, you can send a tweet or text message to the campaign. For example, in the words of one participant: "Going from Pittsfield to Adams at 8:00 o'clock. #wishihadtransit." Coalition member Jennifer Krouse developed the technology behind the campaign using existing services such as Twitter, Squarespace, and Google Voice.


An individual can send a tweet quickly and easily, and taken together, these messages create a body of information about gaps in transit service. This information is useful to legislators advocating for service, as well as to regional transit authorities and others working to increase levels of service. As BerkshireRides Project Manager Jana Hunker Brulé says, "We're always looking for a way to find out where the gaps are."


The next step for the campaign is to increase participation. Getting people to imagine and tweet about transit services that they do not have has proven challenging, but the campaign is planning outreach strategies to address this. To get involved, visit You can follow the campaign on Twitter, tweet to it, or learn how to start a local campaign in your area. In addition to the Berkshires, local campaigns have sprung up in Franklin County, South Coast, and Westfield.

GATRA partners with local nonprofit on travel training 

Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority (GATRA) is pleased to announce a partnership with CO-OP, a local nonprofit that has been serving people with disabilities since 1972. CO-OP will provide a job training staff member to serve as part-time travel trainer, and GATRA will provide some funding. Travel training is an intensive form of travel instruction, which is the professional activity of teaching individuals with disabilities, seniors, and others how to use public transportation independently to access their environment and community.


"We are excited to start this pilot program and look forward to partnering with similar agencies," says Mary Basilone, Mobility Manager at GATRA. Currently, Basilone is teaching CO-OP staff how to travel train. In a few weeks, CO-OP staff will assume responsibility for the travel training, continuing to work closely with GATRA.  


CO-OP works with many adults with developmental disabilities who are transitioning out of the special education system after they turn 22. Because transportation is a huge issue for many of these individuals - especially for those who live in the rural parts of the region - CO-OP staff approached GATRA to ask if travel training services were available. GATRA suggested that the two organizations partner on a program, building on GATRA's transportation expertise and CO-OP's experience working with adults with disabilities. CO-OP agreed. "There is a big need, so this is a great service to be able to offer people," says CO-OP Program Manager Natalie Oliveira. "It's one more opportunity for people to be able to spread their wings and be independent."


If you are looking for a travel training program near you, please check out the interactive map of travel instruction programs and our list of travel instruction programs around Massachusetts.

Congratulations to Aniko Laszlo  

Aniko Laszlo has begun work as MassDOT's new Coordinator of Statewide Mobility Management Programs. As Project Director at Work Without Limits, Aniko worked to reduce transportation barriers preventing people with disabilities from finding and maintaining employment in Massachusetts. At MassDOT, she will continue to play an important role in community transportation in the Commonwealth.

Third Kiosk for Living Well opens  

Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) has opened its third Kiosk for Living Well at the Lynn Public Library. The Kiosk is intended to bring seniors into the community and give them opportunities for computer lessons, driving skills assessments, and travel counseling. Trained volunteers will provide assistance with these services, and representatives from the North Shore Career Center will also schedule time to counsel seniors about job opportunities.


A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on April 12. Attendees had the opportunity to test out the services and functions of the Kiosk for themselves, and staff and volunteers demonstrated the various technologies. Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy even took a simulated bike ride along Lynn Shore Drive during the event.


The other two Kiosks are located at the Beverly Council on Aging and the Longevity Connection in Danvers.

Stakeholders discuss veterans transportation and other key topics at seventh transportation coordination teams meeting  

On April 26, members of transportation coordination teams across Massachusetts gathered in Shrewsbury for the seventh bi-annual meeting since the teams first convened at a transportation coordination institute in 2009. Teams are collaborative efforts in which representatives from human service agencies, transit authorities, advocacy organizations, and others committed to community transportation services work together to coordinate and improve service in their communities. Teams meet regularly in their regions and convene statewide twice a year to share their successes with each other and brainstorm solutions to challenges.


Highlights of the April meeting included a panel and workshop on veterans transportation, as well as small group sessions on insurance, volunteer driver programs, and employment transportation. Teams shared poems about their recent developments and also heard updates from MassDOT. The next meeting is planned for October 2013.


For more information about the transportation coordination teams or any particular sessions from the April meeting, please contact us.

Boston MPO hosts public meetings on transportation equity and public outreach

The Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) invites members of the public to attend spring public meetings on May 20, May 29, and June 5 to learn more about how to participate in the transportation planning process and to learn about the region's Transportation Improvement Program and Unified Planning Work Program. Meetings will include a focus on the Transportation Equity Program, which seeks to involve minorities, people with low incomes, and people with limited English proficiency in the transportation planning process. Attendees will be asked to identify transportation needs and to share their concerns about transportation issues affecting their communities, and surveys will be available. In addition, MPO staff and attendees will discuss potential improvements to the MPO's public outreach strategies. For times and locations of these upcoming meetings, visit the Boston MPO website.  

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

Check out our 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.