A coalition led by the Town of Sudbury, coordinating with the Town of Concord, Town of Maynard, and Town of Stow, has been awarded a $100,000 grant to assist with transportation needs for community members.
The group will contract with Tommy’s Taxi of Framingham and JFK Transportation of Natick to provide transportation for seniors, individuals with disabilities, essential workers, and financially and food-insecure residents. Destinations include health-care services and grocery shopping.
This new effort will begin after grant money is delivered by the state. Each town will develop a system for arranging transportation, including dispatch of taxis, for their qualified residents.
This funding is an expansion of an earlier grant awarded to the Town of Sudbury that ended in February. That money provided subsidized transportation to Sudbury seniors, many of whom had both a permanent or temporary mobility problem and financial need.
“Nearly three-quarters of all rides were to health-care appointments. One resident told us she was finally able to see a doctor after eight months because of this grant,” said Alice Sapienza, the Livable Sudbury Ambassador. “Given the immense benefits of this funding, we are delighted that we can offer help again, with thanks to the second Metropolitan Area Planning Council grant.”
“Being able to provide transportation to areas outside of our Council on Aging van service operation and the limited transportation resources within Maynard will benefit Maynard’s seniors as well as target populations, who to be able to reach destinations such as Sudbury, Framingham and medical hospitals in Boston,” Maynard Council on Aging Director Amy Loveless said. “The COVID-19 precautions put into place by Tommy’s Taxi and JFK Transportation will ensure riders feel comfortable.”
“Residents have been talking about the lack of transportation options for years and this was a major topic in the “Envision Concord” master plan. This grant gives us the opportunity to provide a new service that will address a major hurdle experienced by some Concord residents,” said Marcia Rasmussen, Director of Planning & Land Management for the Town of Concord.
“The ongoing pandemic has highlighted the transportation barriers that exist for many in Stow,” said Jesse Steadman, Town Planner for the Town of Stow. “We are excited to be able to offer a service that can extend beyond the reach of our Council on Aging van service at a time when the need is great.”
MassDevelopment recently announced grants totaling $2.5 million to 47 communities, agencies, regional transit authorities, non-for-profits and human service providers through the Taxi, Livery, and Hackney Transportation Partnerships Grant Program.
Grants will help communities supplement existing transportation options, create new programs to transport individuals to work, grocery stores, non-emergency medical appointments, and other destinations, and facilitate delivery of essential supplies such as food and medicine to residents in need. Grants will be administered by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
“The Baker-Polito Administration commends MassDevelopment and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council for utilizing the state’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to help communities augment local transit with taxi and livery services to get residents where they need to go,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “These awards will provide a boost to an industry in need while filling gaps in the state’s transportation network.”