MassMobility logo bus

In This Issue
Merrimack Valley & Pioneer Valley launch RCCs
MA travel trainers assist each other & new programs
MassRIDES participates in RCCs
495/MetroWest groups seek nominations for area transportation barriers
Statewide transportation coordination meeting April 17
STAR awards for volunteer driver programs
Transportation events
Vehicle data contest
Share your successes with a national audience
From the desk of the Statewide Mobility Manager
Follow us on Twitter
We want to know your stories
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List
Happy spring (we hope)!

This March 2014 issue of the MassMobility newsletter contains news of interest to anyone who is interested in community transportation, human service transportation coordination, or mobility management in Massachusetts.


MassMobility 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 grant to develop a Mobility Management Information Network across Massachusetts.

Merrimack Valley and Pioneer Valley launch Regional Coordinating Councils

Snow can't keep us from forming Regional Coordination Councils (RCCs)! Two RCCs had their first planning meetings this month after being rescheduled due to snow in February. 


The Merrimack Valley RCC held its first planning meeting on March 7 at the Northeast Independent Living Program. The group brainstormed a list of additional organizations to invite and discussed transportation challenges in the Lawrence region. One challenge the group identified is a need for transportation between Lawrence and Salem, which are currently not connected by fixed-route service. The group is planning to survey existing transportation resources, as well as reach out to area businesses, particularly businesses located near bus routes.


The Pioneer Valley RCC had its first meeting on March 18 at the Pioneer Valley Planning CommissionThe group discussed regional boundaries and the different needs of rural versus urban areas of the Pioneer Valley, and also talked about the many colleges and universities in the region that add unique transportation challenges as well as transportation resources. Next steps for this group include reaching out to representatives of educational institutions and discussing further the relationship between the urban and rural populations in the region.

Massachusetts travel trainers assist each other and support new programs

On February 21, travel trainers and other transit authority staff from around the state convened in Quincy for a meeting of the Massachusetts Travel Instruction Network. Travel instruction is the professional activity of teaching individuals with disabilities, seniors, and others how to use public transportation independently to access their environment and community. The network is an opportunity for travel trainers around Massachusetts - and representatives of organizations that are planning to develop or offer travel instruction - to meet together to share best practices and brainstorm solutions to common challenges. In February, attendees discussed the use of videos as part of travel instruction and agreed to create a set of recommended information sources for new travel trainers.


At its last meeting, the network provided input to MassDOT on how to support travel instruction statewide and suggested that making a training for travel trainers available would be helpful to new programs, as well as existing programs that are expanding. In late February, MassDOT released an RFR for organizations to apply to provide this training.


Another exciting training opportunity is coming to Massachusetts in May. BerkshireRides is hosting an Easter Seals Project ACTION travel training workshop for professionals working in small urban and rural settings. This workshop will be held in North Adams from May 20 to 22. Applications are available online and are due May 1.


If your organization offers travel instruction or is considering developing a travel instruction program, please contact us so we can add you to the network email list and invite you to the quarterly in-person meetings. Educators, human service agency staff, and transit staff involved in travel instruction are all welcome. 

MassRIDES participates in Regional Coordinating Councils

MassMobility would like to thank Rebecca Cyr of MassRIDES for contributing this guest article. If you would like to submit an article, please contact us.

MassRIDES is excited to be a part of a an effort to improve transportation at a local and statewide level, by partnering with the Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) in order to reach a broader number of people and link common goals.


MassRIDES, the statewide travel options program, actively engages employer and community partners across the Commonwealth in promoting sustainable transportation options. MassRIDES looks forward to assisting the RCCs in building more community stakeholder relationships by engaging employers to provide input on local mobility concerns as they relate to the general community as well as to the worksite.


This partnership should help to identify common barriers and to provide common solutions that will benefit the local communities as well as the entire Commonwealth.


For more information on MassRIDES, visit

495/MetroWest groups seek nominations for area transportation barriers

The 495/MetroWest Partnership and MetroWest Daily News are collaborating to gather nominations for the area's "transportation nightmares." The 495/MetroWest region spans 34 cities and towns near I-495, from Route 1 in the south to Route 2 in the north.


If you live or travel in the 495/MetroWest area, you are invited to nominate transportation problems, which can include barriers to transit, roadway, bicycle, or pedestrian travel. The 495/MetroWest Partnership will use the nominations to guide their advocacy over the next decade. These barriers should be located in the 495/MetroWest region.


This campaign mirrors a similar campaign conducted in 2004. Since then, the 495/MetroWest Partnership has made significant progress on the top ten priorities identified in the first round, including helping form the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. The Partnership has worked with communities, state agencies, and legislators and has advocated for transit, commuter rail, and roadway projects. This year, they are also seeking information on bicycle and pedestrian barriers to travel.


The partnership with MetroWest Daily News has helped increase the response. Staff noted an uptick in nominations each time the paper publishes an article about this initiative. Many nominations are submitted online, while some people also mail in a form that is published in the newspaper. The organizations plan to publish their new top ten list this summer.

Statewide transportation coordination meeting on April 17

Save the date! The semi-annual statewide transportation coordination meeting is scheduled for April 17 in Natick. These meetings are a chance for members of regional coordination councils to join members of the original transportation coordination teams from 2009, share updates on progress and challenges, and network with peers from across the state.


The featured speaker will be Heather Wheeler, Executive Director of the Community Transportation Association of Idaho, giving a keynote talk on regional coordination strategies, structures, and successes in Idaho. The afternoon session will include a training on accessibility and inclusivity from the New England ADA Center.


If you have not previously attended and are interested in joining the mailing list, please let us know.

STAR awards make funding available to volunteer driver programs

Awards ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 will be available to volunteer driver programs through the STAR awards, which will open on March 20. Links to the application will be available on the CTAA, Ride Connection, and Beverly Foundation Legacy websites. For more information, please contact

Transportation events in full bloom as spring arrives

The Transportation Camp "unconference" comes to Boston, the National Center on Senior Transportation offers a series of webinars, and national travel training and mobility management conferences are on the horizon. To learn about these events and more, check out our calendar.

Contest invites participants to analyze vehicle data

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative are making vehicle data available to the public as part of a contest. Participants are invited submit data visualizations, tools, and analyses that reveal interesting findings about how we use our vehicles in Massachusetts. Judges include MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey and Stephanie Pollack, Associate Director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, among others, and prizes include bikeshare and carshare memberships. Learn more or sign up to enter or let us know what community transportation questions you hope participants explore.

Share your successes with a national audience

The National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) is collecting information on promising practices that have improved transportation, and they would like to hear from you! Share your practice with them here. They specifically ask for details about the context in which you implemented this practice and the impact it had on your community, to help other organizations throughout the U.S. that might be interested in replicating your program or policy.


In addition, NCMM is studying coordinated planning processes. They invite transit agencies and community transportation providers to fill out a survey about coordinated transportation planning.

From the desk of the Statewide Mobility Manager 

Aniko Laszlo, Statewide Mobility Manager at MassDOT, blogs monthly on topics related to community transportation in Massachusetts. Check out her current posting and archives to learn about ongoing efforts around the state.

Follow us on Twitter 

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

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

We'd love it if you would forward this newsletter 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.