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In This Issue
Regional Coordinating Councils identify local priorities
HST Office welcomes new director
BerkshireRides hosts national travel training workshop
CrossTown Connect recognized for innovative approach
Southeastern cities & towns help pay for evening service
495/MetroWest Partnership announces transportation priorities
Riders flock to Cape FLYER
Rider thanks LRTA
MassDOT, MassMobility staff connect with mobility managers around the country
Candidates weigh in on transportation
From the desk of the Statewide Mobility Manager
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Happy summer!

This June 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.

Regional Coordinating Councils identify local priorities

In many areas around the state, Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) on community transportation have formed. Members of these councils include transit authorities, human service agency staff, community-based organizations, employers, advocacy organizations, consumers, and others with a stake in the community transportation system. The councils stem from the implementation of the Executive Order 530 report, seeking to increase the quality and efficiency of paratransit and community transportation across the Commonwealth.


Since needs and resources differ from one region to the next, each RCC is unique. Recent highlights from around Massachusetts include the following:

  • In May, the Berkshire County RCC invited area Chambers of Commerce to hear about the resources that MassRIDES provides free of charge to businesses. The RCC and Chambers agreed to partner to encourage more businesses to participate in MassRIDES' carpool matching service NuRide in hopes that carpooling can increase mobility for workers and other residents of the Berkshires.
  • The RCC in the GATRA area is also reaching out to area companies. At its June meeting, the RCC decided to conduct focus groups of sectors with critical transportation needs in the region, starting with healthcare.
  • The Cape and Islands RCC is preparing to release a survey for riders and consumers to fill out to indicate their transportation needs. RCC members decided to time the release of the survey to align with the arrival of summer residents.
  • Stakeholders in Central Massachusetts and Franklin County have each decided to compile an inventory of transportation services available in their region, to help members respond to inquiries from consumers looking for rides.
  • In the Metrowest area, stakeholders are looking into possibilities for replicating the READYBUS employment transportation model in their region.

To get involved in the RCC in your area, please contact us.

HST Office welcomes new director

On June 2, staff of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services' Human Service Transportation (HST) Office welcomed Sharna Small-Borsellino as their new director. The HST Office oversees the brokerage which provides transportation for over 38,000 EOHHS consumers in partnership with six regional transit authorities. The HST Office also houses the MassMobility initiative.


Small-Borsellino worked at MassDOT from 1990 to 2003, where she was the Manager of Private Carrier Services, which included the procurement of high speed Commuter Boat services from Hingham and Hull, as well as the procurement and management of Private Carrier bus transportation services. More recently, she worked at Weight Watchers International.

BerkshireRides hosts national travel training workshop

From May 20 to 22, travel trainers from around the country gathered in New England for an Introduction to Travel Training course taught by staff from Easter Seals Project ACTION. Project ACTION piloted a new curriculum with an emphasis on travel training in rural and small urban environments. Travel training is an intensive, individualized, one-on-one process to help someone gain the knowledge and skills he or she needs to ride public transit independently and safely.


Transportation nonprofit BerkshireRides hosted the training, in partnership with a local ambulance company. Attendees from Massachusetts represented the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority, BerkshireRides, CO-OP, Ways2Go, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission.


Another workshop for travel trainers will be coming up this fall. 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. Contact us if you are interested in learning more.


Another resource available for travel trainers in Massachusetts is the Travel Instruction Network, open to all travel trainers in the state or anyone who is thinking about developing and implementing a travel instruction program. The network has an email discussion list and in-person meetings to allow members to share best practices and brainstorm solutions to common challenges with peers. Contact us to join or learn more.

CrossTown Connect recognized for innovative approach to regional transportation challenges

On May 15, the Community Health Network Area (CHNA) 15 awarded the first Janice Hanson Award for Outstanding Community Health Initiatives to Doug Halley for his work on CrossTown Connect.  On June 6, Doug, along with the Acton Transportation Advisory Committee, received another award for CrossTown Connect: the Local Officials Human Services Council recognized Doug and the Acton Transportation Advisory Committee for their innovation and commitment to providing accessible and affordable transportation for residents of Acton and the surrounding communities and awarded them the Peter Kirwin Distinguished Service Award.


CrossTown Connect is a regional transportation partnership that counts the towns of Acton, Boxborough, Concord, Littleton, Maynard, Stow, and Westford along with local employers as members.

Southeastern cities and towns agree to help pay for evening service

In late May, the cities of Fall River and New Bedford and the neighboring towns of Dartmouth, Swansea, Somerset, and Westport each agreed to help pay to continue evening service on Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA) buses that serve their residents. In April 2013, SRTA extended some routes' hours into the evening until approximately 9 PM, which has contributed to increases in ridership.

495/MetroWest Partnership announces results of transportation priorities survey

On June 20, area employers, transportation providers, elected officials, municipal representatives, and others gathered for the 495/MetroWest Partnership annual conference. The Partnership released the results from its "Transportation Nightmares" survey of top priorities for the region.


This year's survey was a follow-up to a similar effort in 2004. Since releasing the first set of transportation nightmares in 2004, the Partnership has made substantial progress on these priorities, including addressing lack of transit by helping create the MetroWest Regional Transit Authority. The 2014 nightmares included a number of problematic intersections, difficulty accessing first and last mile transportation options for employers, and need for additional reverse commute options for employees who live in Boston and work in the 495/MetroWest area.


In addition to the discussion of the survey findings, Dr. Beverly Scott, General Manager of the MBTA, addressed attendees, and five gubernatorial candidates - Charlie Baker, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley, Mark Fisher, and Steve Grossman - each offered brief remarks.

Riders flock to Cape FLYER

Memorial Day weekend marked the start of the Cape FLYER's second season. That weekend alone, over 1,000 passengers rode the service, a 28% increase from Memorial Day weekend 2013. The Cape FLYER provides weekend rail service between Boston and Hyannis, with stops in Braintree, Middleborough/Lakeville, Wareham Village, and Buzzards Bay and connections to local services from Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority and island ferries. New features introduced this season include the stop in Wareham and discounted fares for seniors and people with disabilities.

Rider thanks Lowell Regional Transit Authority

MassMobility thanks David Ellingson, LRTA Advisory Board Member and former ADA Advisor to LRTA, for this guest article. If you would like to submit an article or suggest a topic, please contact us.


I was coming down the ramp at Harvard Square to catch the redline when all of a sudden I felt a slight drop to my left side of the chair. Then I heard a thud behind me. I looked back, and about eight feet away was my chair's left wheel! Some very kind gentleman stopped and brought the wheel to me and asked if he might help me. I asked if he could put the wheel back on the axle, and he proceeded to try, but to no avail.


So here I am thinking to myself, what do I do? Call the fire department, call the police department? It occurred to me to call Jim Scanlan, the administrator of the Lowell Regional Transit Authority (LRTA). He was out, but his administrative assistant Trisha got ahold of him, and he called me right back. He told me that he would send someone to get me. Now I had to see if I could somehow get back upstairs in Harvard Square. I was able to get some nice gentleman to get ahold of the supervisor, and he went and got another MBTA worker, and they took turns lifting the left side of the chair and wheeling me on three wheels to the elevator, which was a long ways from where I was. God bless those two gentlemen! In 35 minutes, my friend Lou, who is the safety supervisor for the LRTA, pulls up and proceeds to somehow lift the chair on three wheels and gets me on the lift and onto the bus. He then puts the wheel back on the chair and away we go!


I then ask him how I was to get home, and he told me we were going to just go to the LRTA garage and put a new bolt and washer and nut on the axle. We get to the garage, and there is Jimmy Good, Assistant Manager; Leo Doughetry, the other safety supervisor; and Steve, the mechanic. They looked at the situation, and in about 10 minutes I had the wheel back on good as new! I can't thank enough to the LRTA management and the great folks who work for the company enough for their valiant efforts on my behalf.

MassDOT and MassMobility staff connect with mobility managers from around the country

In early June, staff from MassMobility and MassDOT attended the Community Transportation Association of America's EXPO conference, held this year in St. Paul, Minnesota.


On June 9 and 10, CTAA offered a mobility management mini-conference, which attracted mobility managers from across the country, from Alaska to Maine and from Minnesota to Mississippi. Presenters shared best practices, such as developing a taxi voucher program with automatic payment in rural Maine, or reducing no-shows for a hospital shuttle in Texas by replacing an advance reservation system with a booth where patients request their trip once they are ready to leave. Attendees also brainstormed together about key challenges related to job access transportation, dialysis transportation, and rural transportation.


Following the mobility management mini-conference, EXPO included additional sessions on mobility management, such as a panel on funding job access and reverse commute programs under current federal transportation legislation or the role that Transportation Management Associations can play in community transportation.


MassMobility and MassDOT look forward to working with community partners to incorporate innovative ideas from outside Massachusetts where appropriate.

Gubernatorial candidates weigh in on transportation, smart growth

On June 4, four candidates for Governor of Massachusetts - Steve Grossman, Don Berwick, Joe Avellone, and Evan Falchuk - gathered at the Boston Public Library to share their views on transportation and smart growth. This event was hosted by Transportation for Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance and was coordinated by LivableStreets Alliance and the Kendall Square Association. If you missed this event live, a video of the forum is available.

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. This month, she welcomes Heather Hume as the new Manager of Paratransit Programs for the MassDOT Rail and Transit Division. Check out Aniko's 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.