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This August 2018 edition of MassMobility  highlights new developments in ongoing efforts to improve mobility for older adults, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and others in Massachusetts.  Read on to learn about recent funding awards received by local and regional transportation efforts, as well as announcements of upcoming events, funding and technical assistance opportunities, and more.

This newsletter is compiled by  MassMobility , an initiative of the 
Medical staff donates funds to local transportation effort
The Baystate Mary Lane Hospital medical staff donated $30,000 to the Quaboag Valley Community Development Corporation (QVCDC) to be used for operations of the  Quaboag Connector. The donation was one of three gifts totaling $75,000 donated in support of community organizations working to improve health in the Quaboag Region.
The funds resulted from medical staff dues paid by physicians at the Baystate Mary Lane Hospital over the span of several years. In 2016, the Baystate Mary Lane Hospital medical staff merged with Baystate Wing Hospital physicians to become a single entity representing Baystate Health's Eastern Region. The medical staff decided to donate past dues back to the community, hoping to benefit organizations and initiatives that improve public health in the region.
Gail Farnsworth French of QVCDC shared that the gift was "unexpected and delightful." Dr. Scott Siege, Chair of the Department of Pediatrics for Baystate Wing Hospital, delivered the check in person and personally acknowledged the importance of the Quaboag Connector in helping to facilitate positive health outcomes. Farnsworth French notes that "this collaborative effort and community involvement is a large part of what makes the Quaboag Connector successful in our large, rural area."
PVTA awarded AARP's Community Challenge Grant
AARP awarded the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) $10,000 through the  Community Challenge Grant for the installation of benches at bus stops in Springfield. The AARP Community Challenge Grant winners were announced on July 18 as part of AARP's nationwide Livable Communities initiative that engages with communities to encourage planning projects that benefit individuals of all ages.
The idea for benches stemmed from public input on the challenges associated with utilizing public transit when there are no benches to serve as a resting point at bus stops - especially for older adults and people with disabilities. According to Price Armstrong, Senior Transit Operations Analyst at the PVTA, "From a transit provider's perspective, having a place to sit is important to the usability of individual bus stops and the transit system as a whole. This is a key project to increase opportunity for transit-dependent populations with mobility impairments to access work, shopping, social opportunities, and more. The addition of benches will improve access and mobility and in turn improve quality of life."
Three community meetings will be held in Springfield, hosted by the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, to facilitate public input on the locations and style of at least 10 benches. The benches will be installed by the project deadline of November 5.
Municipalities receive TNC disbursements
Municipalities are receiving a new source of funding earmarked for transportation-related expenses. Legislation passed in 2016 levied a 20 cent assessment on every ride taken with a Transportation Network Company (TNC) such as Uber or Lyft. Half of the funding collected annually is distributed back to the municipality in which the ride originated. Municipalities can use this funding to support complete streets, alternative modes of transportation, or infrastructure affected by TNC usage.
MAPC has created a set of resources about this funding, including a fact sheet for municipalities and a listing of the amount of funding received by each of the 101 cities and towns in the MAPC region this year. Data for the entire state is available on the number of TNC rides originating in all 351 municipalities. A municipality receives 10 cents for every TNC ride originating there. Current disbursements are for rides taken in 2017.
One city - Salem - is asking residents for their input on how the city should use the funds. Salem solicited suggestions earlier in the summer and is allowing residents to vote through the end of August.
22 communities receive complete streets funding
On July 13, the Baker-Polito administration and MassDOT announced  investments of around $6.4 million to be distributed to 22 communities across Massachusetts through the  Complete Streets Funding Program . Complete streets policies aim to create an integrated and accessible transportation system through infrastructure improvements that enable safe and convenient travel across all modes of transportation, including walking, biking, and public transit. As an example, Tewksbury received funding to construct an ADA-compliant bus stop and safety improvements to sidewalks.
Thank you to Vida Poole 
Vida Poole, Director of Community Programs/Planner at Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) and Chair of the Boston North Regional Coordinating Council , retired at the end of June. Although transportation was only one of several departments she oversaw at MVES, it became a particular focus starting in 2007. As a start, Poole attended an intensive training from CTAA in Washington DC, conducted interviews throughout the region to find out what local Councils on Aging and other partners offered, and connected with the Massachusetts transportation coordination teams (predecessors to Regional Coordinating Councils). Over the next decade, she helped develop MVES's mobility management program and launch the consumer-directed TRIP volunteer driver program, which offers mileage reimbursement to drivers recruited by the riders themselves.
Building on the MVES approach to transportation, Poole took on leadership of the Regional Coordinating Council in 2014, and enjoyed bringing stakeholders together and inspiring local organizations and municipalities to pursue new options. Please join us in thanking Vida Poole!
Coming up in September 
Upcoming Events
On September 12, join MAPC for a Ride Hailing Partnerships Forum. Hear from organizations on how they are partnering with Uber and Lyft to meet the mobility needs of community college students, seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income riders.
On September 13, tune in to a webinar offered by the Association of Travel Instruction on travel training on low-tech bus systems. Patti Waitkevich, travel trainer for GATRA, will be one of the featured presenters.

Upcoming Funding Deadlines
Applications are due September 18 for Arc Tank, a project of the Northeast Arc and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation seeking your ideas to positively disrupt disability services in order to improve the lives of people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism and their families. Entries can be related to transportation or any other issue affecting people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.  Last year, the Arc Tank distributed a total of $200,000 to  five winners .

September 20 is the deadline for applications to the Momentum Fund, a new initiative of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to offer smaller investments to support  early-stage initiatives and innovative efforts.

On September 28, applications are due for  In Good Company, a collaboration of the Governor's Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts, the MIT AgeLab, Benchmark Senior Living, and GE Healthcare seeking to improve healthy aging by leveraging the development of breakthrough technologies, community resources, and other solutions to reduce social isolation and loneliness and increase engagement among older populations. The competition seeks entries in one of four pillars: caregiving,  transportation, housing, and employment. Up to four winners will be awarded a cash prize of $5,000.

Take a Class
Registration is open for the  Organizing and Managing Senior Transportation Options Certificate course offered by Helen Kerschner and Nina Silverstein through UMass Boston. Now in its sixth year, the course is targeted to professionals in transportation and aging services. A graduate course is also available through the Masters in Aging Service Management program, open as an elective to non-UMass Boston matriculated graduate students by request.
Classes begin the week of September 10. In addition to asynchronous content on the course site, several synchronous classes are scheduled approximately every other week on Wednesday nights from 6:30 to 8 PM. For the first time, the course will feature Kerschner and Silverstein's new textbook,  Introduction to Senior Transportation.
Foster local mobility management networks
Interested in starting a mobility management network in your area? The National Center for Mobility Management (NCMM) is inviting communities and regions to submit a letter of interest by September 14. NCMM will select two regions in which to offer 1.5-day meetings bringing stakeholders together to collaborate using mobility management tools to address local needs. Learn more.
If your region is interested but not selected, contact us at MassMobility. We will be happy to partner with you to promote mobility management and transportation coordination in your area.
MassDOT contest invites high school students to submit videos
Calling all high school students! The annual Safe Streets Smart Trips contest encourages students to lead the way in promoting safe walking, bicycling, and driving behaviors across Massachusetts by creating a one-minute video to speak to their peers about roadway safety. The winning videos will be screened at MassDOT's 2018 Moving Together conference in November. Submissions are due October 12. To check out past video submissions, visit the MassDOT YouTube channel .
Operate a volunteer driver program in MA? Take our survey
If you currently operate a volunteer driver program or are interested in starting one, please take our survey. Your responses will assist MassMobility in our efforts to better understand volunteer driver programs and engage a statewide volunteer driver network in order to best support you. The survey should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete. If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.  
Who is MassMobility?
For those of you who only know us through the newsletter,  MassMobility is a state initiative based at EOHHS which also receives funding from MassDOT. We seek to improve mobility for seniors, people with disabilities, and others in all regions of Massachusetts by sharing information about existing services and supporting organizations in their efforts to fill transportation gaps.  We provide presentations to human service agency staff to help them learn how to help consumers find transportation, and we also provide technical assistance to any organization looking to address transportation challenges. We welcome you to contact us any time if you have a question or idea for a project that would improve mobility for seniors or people with disabilities.
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