MassDevelopment, Metropolitan Area Planning Council Award More Than $1 Million for COVID-19-Related Transportation Needs

MassDevelopment, Metropolitan Area Planning Council Award More Than $1 Million for COVID-19-Related Transportation Needs

November 12, 2020 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-694-9695 (cell)
kschiller@massdevelopment.com

MassDevelopment, in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), has awarded $1,003,978 in funding to 25 cities and towns, municipal agencies, regional transit authorities, and health and human services transportation providers through the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program to support transportation and delivery needs for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program is funded by a portion of MassDevelopment’s allocation from the Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund. MassDevelopment and MAPC distributed $440,583 for 12 projects in May and June, and expanded the program to provide another $563,395 to 13 additional projects in October.

“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to finding new ways to support Massachusetts residents and businesses in the midst of COVID-19,” said Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “I applaud MassDevelopment and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council for putting resources from the Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to work by creating partnerships that utilize taxi and livery companies to fill service gaps in our communities.”

“We were pleased to direct funds from our allocation of the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund for the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “The critical impact of these grants is two-fold: creating new business opportunities for taxi and livery businesses in the Commonwealth, while facilitating urgent transportation and delivery needs during the pandemic.”

“The Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program is helping expand transportation services, facilitate partnerships for taxi and livery companies, and provide connections for those most likely to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MAPC Executive Director Marc Draisen. “These grants have already helped expand food access, connected people to medical appointments, and provided other essential trips for vulnerable populations during these trying times.”

“During this pandemic, the isolation of our most vulnerable residents has underscored the critical importance of effective transportation and distribution,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “Because of these additional resources, places like Framingham, Natick and MetroWest RTA will be better equipped not only to address medical and workforce transportation needs, but to respond to food insecurity as well."

“The House is proud that the action it took in 2016 has resulted in the creation of this critical program, which provides relief to the most vulnerable members of our community during the pandemic,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “This program will help protect the health and well-being of residents across Massachusetts by providing food and transportation services to seniors, essential workers and low-income families.”

The grants have been awarded to cities, towns, and eligible organizations to assist vulnerable populations such as seniors, people facing food insecurity, and essential workers by contracting with taxi, livery, or hackney companies to transport essential supplies such as food or medicine or to transport individuals to work, grocery stores, or non-emergency medical appointments. Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, MassDevelopment Executive Vice President of Finance Programs Laura Canter, and MAPC Executive Director Marc Draisen joined state and local officials to announce the awards during a virtual celebration on November 12.

The Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund was created by An Act Regulating Transportation Network Companies, which Governor Baker signed into law in August 2016, and is supported by a 20-cent assessment on every transportation network company ride in Massachusetts. One-quarter of the Fund is being designated to MassDevelopment to provide financial assistance to small businesses operating in the taxicab, livery, or hackney industries.

MassDevelopment is using one-third of its allotment from the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to support the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program and an expanded version of this program, the Taxi/Livery Partnership Grant Program. The Taxi/Livery Partnership Grant Program, which is also being administered by MAPC, is an operational subsidy program enabling cities and towns, municipal entities, regional transit authorities, health and human service providers, and applicable nonprofits to expand transportation service capacity through contracts with licensed taxi or livery businesses. Applications to the Taxi/Livery Partnership Grant Program are currently available at https://www.mapc.org/about-mapc/legal-notices-meetings/#transportation and are due November 20, 2020.

MassDevelopment is using the remaining two-thirds of its allotment from the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to support the Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program. Through this program, small businesses in the taxi, livery, and hackney industries may apply during competitive funding rounds for grants of up to $50,000 for expenses including dispatch systems or other equipment, technology-enabled ride-hailing systems, safety enhancements, workforce training programs, and business consultant services. Additionally, taxi and livery industry associations may apply for grants of up to $1 million for aggregated improvements that will have a collective impact on the industry in Massachusetts. Proposals received through the first competitive funding round, which recently closed, are currently under review.

About MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, banks, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2020, MassDevelopment financed or managed 341 projects generating investment of more than $2.69 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,871 jobs and build or preserve 1,787 housing units.

About Metropolitan Area Planning Council
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council is the regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston. Its mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. Learn more at www.mapc.org.

The following cities, towns, and organizations received funding from the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program:

Boston Public Health Commission – $71,409
The organization is using this award to contract with various taxi providers through the WAAVE app to facilitate meal deliveries, transportation needs of the homeless, and workforce transportation for essential workers.

Cape Ann Transportation Authority – $14,000
The organization is using this award to contract with Soughtafter Transportation, Camme Transportation, NurseCare, and Gloucester Taxi to facilitate prescription deliveries, food pantry deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, transportation needs of the homeless, and workforce transportation.

City of Chelsea – $25,600
The city is using this award to contract with HBSS Connect Corp to facilitate emergency food deliveries for families isolated or quarantined due to COVID-19.

Dedham Council on Aging – $10,000
The organization is using this award to contract with Dedham Town Taxi to facilitate meal deliveries, prescription deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, and non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation.

Town of Egremont, in partnership with Alford and Mount Washington – $25,410
The town is using this award to contract with Berkshire Taxi and Bianco's Limousine & Livery Service to facilitate prescription deliveries, meal deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, and workforce transportation for essential workers.

Town of Foxborough – $15,000
The town is using this award to contract with Veteran’s Taxi to facilitate food pantry deliveries, prescription deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, transportation needs of the homeless, and non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation.

City of Framingham – $19,500
The city is using this award to contract with Tommy’s Taxi to facilitate meal deliveries and food pantry deliveries.

Town of Hull COA – $11,780
The organization is using this award to contract with Seaside Transport to facilitate prescription deliveries, meal deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, and transportation needs of the homeless.

Town of Lexington – $29,200
The town is using this award to contract with Checker Cab of Woburn to facilitate grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, workforce transportation for essential workers, and other transportation.

City of Marlborough – $29,484
The city is using this award to contract with A&A Metro (Bill's Taxi) to facilitate meal deliveries and grocery or other essential shopping trips.

Merrimack Valley RTA (Haverhill region) – $71,994
The organization is using this award to contract with Haverhill Taxi to facilitate grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, transportation needs of the homeless, workforce transportation, and other transportation.

MetroWest RTA – $176,842
The organization is using this award to contract with Tommy's Taxi and JFK Transportation to facilitate prescription deliveries, meal deliveries, food pantry deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, transportation needs of the homeless, and workforce transportation for essential workers.

Town of Natick COA – $32,472
The organization is using this award to contract with JFK Transportation to facilitate non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation.

Town of Needham Health and Human Services – $39,339
The town is using this award to facilitate grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, workforce transportation for essential workers, and other transportation.

Town of Northampton Senior Services Department – $14,028
The town is using this award to contract with Mercedes Cab Company to facilitate non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation.

Pioneer Valley Transit Authority – $136,100
The organization is using this award to contract with Mercedes Cab Company Inc. (Funky Cab), Pars Inc. (Yellow Cab), and J Martin Enterprises (About Town Taxi Company) to facilitate prescription deliveries, meal deliveries, food pantry deliveries to food banks, grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, transportation needs of the homeless, workforce transportation for essential workers, and other transportation.

Quincy Housing Authority – $12,210
The organization is using this award to contract with Shore Transit to facilitate food pantry deliveries, prescription deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, and non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation.

City of Revere – $66,900
The city is using this award to contract with Patriot's Taxi and HBSS Connect Corp to facilitate prescription deliveries, meal deliveries, food pantry deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, transportation needs of the homeless, workforce transportation for essential workers, and other transportation, such as deliveries of Revere Farmer's Market CFA boxes.

Town of Sherborn – $11,550
The town is using this award to contract with JFK Transportation to facilitate prescription deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, and non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation.

City of Somerville – $46,800
The city is using this award to contract with Green and Yellow Cab to facilitate grocery or other essential shopping trips.

Somerville Council on Aging – $75,000
The organization is using this award to contract with Green and Yellow Cab to facilitate prescription deliveries, meal deliveries, food pantry deliveries, grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, and transportation needs of the homeless.

Town of Sudbury – $19,188
The town is using this award to contract with Tommy’s Taxi and JFK Transportation to facilitate grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, and workforce transportation for essential workers.

Wayland Council on Aging – $18,060
The organization is using this award to contract with Tommy’s Taxi and JFK Transportation to facilitate food pantry deliveries, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, and grocery or other essential shopping trips.

Town of Weston – $5,000
The town is using this award to contract with JFK Transportation to facilitate non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation and workforce transportation.

Worcester RTA – $23,250
The organization is using this award to contract with New Worcester Yellow Cab to facilitate grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, and workforce transportation for essential workers.