December 22nd Information &

Resource Update

In this issue....

  • Transporation Working Groups: Regional Priorities for Commuter Rail, RTAs, Roadway Projects

  • State Treasurer's Office Launches Small Business Resource Toolkit

  • Boston Region MPO Transportation Survey

  • CMMPO MicroProjects Program Accepting Applications

Transportation Working Groups: Regional Priorities for

Commuter Rail, RTAs, Roadway Projects

In accordance with our 2022-2027 Strategic Plan, the 495/MetroWest Partnership's Transportation Committee will be establishing working groups for the purpose of reviewing and updating regional priorities on the key transportation topics of Commuter Rail service, Regional Transit Authority services, and roadway projects of regional significance. Partnership stakeholders are invited to express interest in participating by utilizing this brief form.

The Commuter Rail Working Group will consider what improved commuter rail service entails in today's world along the Franklin, Fitchburg, and Framingham-Worcester Lines. The group will consider current service levels, including off-peak, reverse commute, and express services, reliability, scheduling, station infrastructure and accessibility, ease of parking, and capital improvements. The group will also consider development patterns and zoning regulations, such as Housing Choice, that support ridership growth and a modal shift away from single occupancy vehicles.

The Regional Transit Authorities Working Group will consider what robust RTA service means in the 495/MetroWest region. The working group will consider historic challenges and analyze current conditions to determine where there are unmet needs. The group will review past organizational comments on interconnectivity and consider goals on that topic, and consider strategies which may address service provisions, operating hours, funding streams, and scheduling coordination with other agencies. Cross-RTA and cross RTA-MBTA services currently operating in the region will be reviewed. The group may also consider emerging mobility trends and considerations, such as fare free fixed-route service, the sprouting of demand response services throughout the region, and what role Transit Management Associations (TMAs) can play in enhancing workforce commuting options.


The Roadway Projects Review Working Group will review roadway, interchange, and intersection projects that significantly impact regional mobility and address safety and operational concerns. The group will cultivate a list of such projects similar to the 495/MetroWest Partnership "Transportation Nightmares" work undertaken in both 2004 and 2014. This group will only consider roadway projects with regional impact, as opposed to projects located entirely within a single municipality which do not impact traffic in another. 

Time Commitments: These groups will meet virtually, during the first and second quarters of 2023. Between 3 and 5 meetings are anticipated for each. Participation is open to all interested stakeholders. The role of the working groups is advisory in nature. Click here to express interest in taking part in one or more working group.

State Treasurer's Office Launches Small Business Resource Toolkit

The Massachusetts State Treasurer's Office has launched a Small Business Resource Toolkit. This Small Business Resource Toolkit serves as a reference source for small business owners throughout Massachusetts, who may not have the ability or time to access resources to create or maintain their business. The purpose of this toolkit is to provide important information related to business planning, maintenance, and growth.

Toolkit resources include but are not limited:

  • Sample business plans
  • Marketing guidance, including digital marketing
  • Information on business registration, regulations, licenses & permits
  • Guidance regarding purchasing an existing business
  • Information on financing avenues
  • Introductions to small business accounting topics
  • An interactive map with entities that provide small business services, including lending and capital

Click here to access the toolkit

Boston Region MPO Transportation Survey

The Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is currently creating Destination 2050, its next Long-Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) for the Boston region. The plan sets the vision, goals, and strategies that guide the MPO as it makes decisions about investments in transportation infrastructure and services. Click here to access the slide deck from a recent presentation the Boston Region MPO made to the 495/MetroWest Partnership's Transportation Committee on this topic. 

The MPO is currently conducting a survey to help shape this transportation vision for the Boston region for the next 30 years. Click here to access the survey. This survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous. Survey responses, in aggregation, may be shared with the MPO's municipal, regional, state, federal, and consultant planning partners to support public transportation planning initiatives. No personally identifiable information or individual responses will be shared. 

The survey closes on January 13th, 2023. 495/MetroWest Partnership communities that are served by the Boston MPO include Acton, Ashland, Bellingham, Bolton, Boxborough, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, Sherborn, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Wayland, and Wrentham. 

CMMPO MicroProjects Program Accepting Applications

The Central Massachusetts Metropolitan Organization (CMMPO) is accepting applications for its MicroProjects Program for first and last mile solutions, community transportation, and other small, non-traditional transportation projects, such as bikesharing facilities. 

The MicroProjects Program was created by the CMMPO with the intent to fill the gaps in the transportation network, create first and last mile connections between transit and other modes of transportation, and to support access to essential services, including jobs, education opportunities, health services, and healthy food. The CMMPO allocated $400,000 per year to the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the MicroProjects Program.

The MicroProjects Program is funded with federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds. As such, all projects must demonstrate a benefit to the air quality in the Central Massachusetts region and meet other federal requirements. In other words, applicants must show the reduction in emissions by shifting trips from vehicles to cleaner alternative modes of transportation.

The Program will cover 80% of the project's capital or operating costs. Proponents should anticipate providing 20% local match. Eligible applicants for the MicroProjects Program include municipalities, Transportation Management Associations (TMAs), and the Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA). Other entities, such as non-profit organization, may apply in partnership with a municipality, TMA, or the WRTA that has agreed to serve as a project proponent and fiscal manager. 

For the beginning of federal fiscal year 2024 (FFY 2024) the types of projects eligible for the MicroProjects Program funds are: Bike-share stations and bicycles, microtransit options for new community transit services, purchasing of new vehicles, vans or shuttles, and for the implementation of Travel Demand Management (TDM) strategies geared to commuters. Click here for detailed program information. The deadline to apply is January 20th, 2023.

495/MetroWest Partnership communities served by CMMPO are Berlin, Grafton, Hopedale, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Upton, and Westborough.

Happy Holidays from the 495/MetroWest Partnership!

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to advancing the 495/MetroWest region as an exceptional location for people, businesses, and communities. We wish you and your families a joyous and safe holiday season, and we look forward to making 2023 a success for our region!

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.
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