Transportation is rated "extremely important" to many of the charities TFT serves.
 
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News, Status and Articles
In this Tasks for Transit Newsletter, for February 2018, we feature our latest news and publish some basic statistics. In our featured article this month we describe a new organization we have joined, the Transportation Advocacy Coalition (TAC). We will explain how the TAC relates to the latest WRTA fiscal crisis. The abbreviation TFT is used for Tasks for Transit throughout this newsletter.

Brian Manning, Co-editor
Steve McClure, Co-editor

News
  •  TFT's 21st partner charity, Dismas House (housing, ex-convicts’ employment) was added in December. 
  • A 22nd partner charity will be added in March, however, which non-profit has not yet been decided.
  • ·We continue to support Hotel Grace as a temporary partner charity.
  • ·We received a mini-grant from Fallon Health Foundation for $3,000!
  • ·We received a donation from the United Parish of Auburndale for $750!
  • ·We received a donation from The First Unitarian Church of Worcester for over $700!
  •  The WRTA is struggling to absorb yet another funding deficit due to insufficient state funding of all the Massachusetts transit authorities. (See article below.)

Stats from the March 2015 launch of TFT through February 2018:  

  • ·Number of charities supported = 21 annually, and the temporary winter-months homeless overflow shelter (Hotel Grace)
  • ·WRTA day passes dispensed = 2950
  • ·Current price for a single-day WRTA bus pass = $4.50.

Featured Article
WRTA Fiscal Crisis and the TAC
A replay of last year’s WRTA fiscal crisis is now in progress for the next fiscal year, fiscal 2019, that begins July 1, 2018. Due to the current levels of state-wide funding of all transportation authorities, and rising local expenses, the WRTA faces a $1.1 million deficit. In an attempt to deal with this situation, the WRTA Administrator, Jonathon Church, has proposed to the Advisory Board yet another round of route eliminations. The major part of the WRTA expense budget is "fixed route transit service." Emphasis is being given to dropping routes with minimal ridership and routes to outlying towns. Towns losing service would be Oxford, Webster, Charlton, Southbridge, Spenser, Brookfield and West Brookfield (routes 29, 33 & 42). Weekend service would also be affected because weekend routes tend to have minimal ridership.
At the core of this crisis is the current state funding bill in which transportation funding is "level funded,"  
that is, the same from year to year. The budget for the current fiscal year that will end this June was also level funded. Both budgets fall short by ten percent of the needs of the state's nine transit systems. Without using precise numbers, the state budget bill is now level funded at $80 million. If it reflected true transit needs it would funded at $89 million.  

A new Worcester-based group, the Transportation Advocacy Coalition (TAC), was recently formed through the leadership efforts of the Worcester Community Connections Coalition, a part of  the You Inc., a local non-profit. Sarah Bertrand of the WCCC is spearheading this group. Tasks for Transit has been a part of this group since its inception.

The mission of the TAC is to advocate for reliable, safe, affordable, accessible, dependable transportation that is responsive to the needs of the greater Worcester community, particularly of low-income residents and families who depend on bus transportation, using a legitimate process that includes community voices. Jonathon Church, WRTA Administrator, is a member of the TAC and co-chairs a sub-committee of the TAC that meets monthly with actual bus riders to listen to their concerns.

With the TAC in mind, we at TFT urge you to contact your state legislators and the governor and ask them to add ten percent to the current funding level for transportation in the bill now under consideration for Massachusetts fiscal year 2019. To read an in-depth analysis of this crisis, go to this article in the online Worcester Magazine

TFT Partner Charities
What is a Partner Charity?

TFT's Partner Charities distribute the WRTA individual bus passes. Since TFT's mission is to assist the economically disadvantaged, TFT chooses partners that service this population on a daily basis. Partner Charities have the understanding and experience necessary to recognize a person and his or her situation that justifies dispensing a free single-day bus-pass. These Partner Charities are typically 501(c)(3) organizations, not able to provide transportation to their clients. TFT enables them to do that for their most needy clients.

The twenty one current TFT Partner Charities are:

  1. · South Worcester Neighborhood Center (wide variety of services to poor)
  2. · Standup for Kids (homeless youth)
  3. · Safe Homes (LGBT youth)
  4. · Parent/Professional Advocacy League (youth mental health)
  5. · Straight Ahead Ministries (felons coming out of prisons)
  6. · Clemente Courses in the Humanities (free college-level courses)
  7. · Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greater Worcester (families in crisis)
  8. · Hope Coalition (troubled youth)
  9. · Woodland Academy (homeless families)
  10. · YWCA Domestic Violence Services (abused families in crisis)
  11. · Worcester Homeless Shelter at SMOC (the primary Worcester shelter for homeless adults)
  12. · Eliot Community Human Services (mental health services)
  13. · Friendly House (neighborhood center, homeless shelters)
  14. · Veterans Inc. (homeless shelters for veterans and associated services)
  15. · Visitation House (adult homeless pregnant women)
  16. · Planned Parenthood (women’s medical care)
  17. · Multicultural Wellness Center (mental and behavioral health counseling)
  18. · LUK Inc. Crisis Center (homeless youth)
  19. · Genesis Club (job training, employment counseling, inexpensive meals)
  20. · Central Mass Housing Alliance (vocational training, employment counseling)
  21. · Dismas House (housing and employment for ex-convicts)
Walking Across the City in Winter is a Hardship
Donations
Walking in snow mother and child
We Need Your Support!
We see Tasks for Transit as a fundamental charity trying to meet one essential need of the economically disadvantaged: safe and dependable transportation for persons who would otherwise have to walk or not be able to go to appointments, interviews, or even grocery shopping. While walking is sometimes an alternative, it is a burden for the handicapped, daunting for everyone in foul weather and, for some, an unsafe alternative at night. 

 
You can help us meet this need! Think of it this way. A $600 donation will support one of the TFT partner charities for one year. A $50 donation will support one TFT partner charity for one month. 
 
We continue to be an all-volunteer organization with no employee costs and no office costs! There are a minimum of operational costs. You can be confident that almost all of your donation will go directly to purchase WRTA bus day-passes!

To support our efforts with an online donation, you may go to our Crowd Funding page on youcaring.com , or the PayPal link on our website.

If you are a frequent shopper on Amazon.com, please consider using the Amazon Smile link on the home page of our website, or the following URL. https://smile.amazon.com/ch/47-3591569.

Please support the organizations that have made donations to Tasks for Transit. You can find a list of them under the "sponsor" tab of our website.   

Sincerely,

Brian Manning and Steve McClure
Tasks for Transit
379 Greenwood Street, Suite 4
Millbury, MA 01527
617-851-0313
  We also have a Post Office Box
Tasks for Transit
PO Box 70544
Worcester, MA  01607
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Contact | Tasks for Transit | 617-851-0313 | | contact @tasksfortransit org |www.tasksfortransit.org