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In This Issue
Kennedy Center to offer workshop for travel trainers
Two RCCs launch in Southeastern MA
Dr. Scott addresses SCCCT
MassDOT uses highway funds to increase pedestrian & bicyclist safety
President releases transportation bill to Congress
Gubernatorial candidates to speak on transportation
Gerontology students study senior transportation
Ways2Go seeks travel trainer
Community partnerships assist with launch of app
From the desk of the Statewide Mobility Manager
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We want to know your stories
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This May 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.

Kennedy Center to offer workshop for travel training practitioners in Massachusetts

MassDOT has awarded funding to the Kennedy Center, a Connecticut-based organization serving people with disabilities, to offer one or more workshops on travel training for travel training practitioners in Massachusetts. The Kennedy Center provides travel training services for the state of Connecticut.


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. One form of travel instruction is travel training, which is an intensive, individualized, one-on-one process to help someone gain the knowledge and skills he or she needs to use transit independently and safely.


The workshop will be open to travel trainers or staff of an organization that is developing a travel training program. Employees of transit authorities or social service agencies, as well as educators, are eligible. Training will be beginner-friendly and will also include components suitable for more experienced travel trainers.


To learn more, please fill out this survey to help MassDOT determine how many workshops to offer and where to locate them.

MassDOT partnered with the Massachusetts Travel Instruction Network to procure this workshop. For more information about the network, please contact us.

Two Regional Coordinating Councils launch in Southeastern MA

After an introductory breakfast meeting in March, GATRA launched the RCC that it is championing on April 30. GATRA staff shared the Ride Match online trip planning tool and presented some of their analysis of trip requests, which they are using to identify unmet needs. They also shared results of the survey that GATRA, BAT, and SRTA sent out, in partnership with the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD), to assess needs in the Southeastern Massachusetts region. Attendees had a lively conversation about unmet needs, including the needs of homeless families staying at motels in the region. Some of these motels are served by fixed route bus lines, and so families may be able to use the bus to get to key destinations. SRPEDD and GATRA also announced that GATRA will soon be launching a new bus route serving Franklin, Foxborough, Norfolk, and Wrentham. The RCC will meet again in early June. To learn more, check out GATRA's RCC webpage.


Later the same day, stakeholders met in Brockton for the first meeting of the RCC that BAT is championing. Staff from Old Colony Planning Council discussed the transportation study they are spearheading as part of the new state transportation legislation, and BAT presented their newly redesigned website. Attendees discussed the importance of travel training, the need to communicate with riders who do not speak English, and the importance of locating social services near fixed route service. The group agreed to send out the needs assessment survey again to try to get a larger response from stakeholders in the BAT area.


For more information on RCCs in your area, please visit MassDOT's RCC webpage or contact us.

Dr. Scott addresses Statewide Coordinating Council on Community Transportation

MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott welcomed Statewide Coordinating Council on Community Transportation (SCCCT) members at their quarterly meeting May 9. She shared that the MBTA is beginning a comprehensive accessibility assessment of all facets of the system including bus stops and commuter rail. She also expressed an interest in researching means-testing for paratransit fares and documenting the successes of the SCCCT.


After Dr. Scott spoke, SCCCT members took turns sharing updates from the RCCs they are championing or participating in. MassMobility staff then discussed some common themes they see emerging from RCCs across the state. For example, employment transportation has come up as a priority in several RCCs, as has transportation across state lines or across transit authority borders. MassDOT and EOHHS also provided updates on state agency progress on the recommendations from the Executive Order 530 report.


The next SCCCT meeting will be held September 19. Details will be available on the MassDOT calendar.

MassDOT uses highway funds to increase pedestrian, bicyclist safety in 12 communities

MassDOT is partnering with regional planning agencies, local police departments, and local officials in twelve communities on a new initiative to increase safety for individuals traveling by foot or by bike. In late April, MassDOT announced the launch of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Awareness and Enforcement Program and awarded funding to Brockton, Cambridge, Fall River, Haverhill, Lynn, New Bedford, Newton, Pittsfield, Quincy, Salem, Somerville, and Watertown. This program will focus on enforcement of laws and development and distribution of outreach materials to raise awareness. Based on initial feedback, MassDOT and participating communities can work together in the future on infrastructure improvements.

President releases transportation bill to Congress

Current federal transportation legislation (MAP-21) expires later this year, and the Highway Trust Fund is running low. The Obama administration sent a transportation bill to Congress in late April, called the Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act - or GROW AMERICA. You can read the full text, as well as a brief analysis from the Community Transportation Association of America. CTAA also released a new webpage to track federal legislation.

Gubernatorial candidates to speak on transportation

On June 4, candidates for Governor of Massachusetts will gather at the Boston Public Library to share their views on transportation and smart growth. This event is hosted by Transportation for Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance and is being coordinated by LivableStreets Alliance and the Kendall Square Association. Click here to RSVP or submit a question for the candidates. If you prefer to watch locally, the forum will also be livestreamed.


To learn about other upcoming events and opportunities, check out our calendar.

Gerontology students recommend mobility management, standardized eligibility for transportation

Certificate-level and undergraduate students studying gerontology at UMass Boston presented on the findings from their Elder Research Action project on May 13. Under the guidance of Dr. Nina Silverstein, the students chose senior transportation as their focus area and analyzed 32 interviews with transportation and aging researchers, transportation providers, and policy leaders about transportation for older adults with disabilities or acute or chronic limitations.


The students identified key themes and developed recommendations in a number of areas. Noting that inconsistent eligibility policies cause confusion and complicate access, they recommended that services standardize terminology across the country. They highlighted mobility management as a recommended strategy and suggested that more organizations should incorporate mobility management into their programming. Students also made recommendations around protecting volunteer drivers from liability, increasing funding for senior transportation, and regionalizing services to fill gaps in rural areas.


The students will be presenting their findings again at the Map through the Maze conference on May 21 and at the Mass Gerontology Association conference on May 22. UMass Boston offers a certificate on senior transportation; to learn more contact Nina Silverstein.

Ways2Go seeks travel trainer

Ways2Go provides travel training in Greater Boston. If you or someone you know is interested in a part-time position helping people with disabilities, seniors, and others learn how to ride the MBTA bus and subway systems independently, check out this job posting.

Community partnerships assist with launch of new app

RideScout, which incorporates information about many transportation services into one multimodal app, launched in Boston in April. In preparation for launching, RideScout reached out to community organizations such as LivableStreets Alliance to help with marketing, offering partners $1 for each app downloaded. Livable Streets agreed to partner, noting that the app fits with their mission: "We're advocating for multimodal transportation, and phone apps and technology definitely play a part in that," says Program Manager Kara Oberg. Oberg also noted that RideScout welcomes feedback from users.

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.