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We hope you are having a good summer!

This July 2018 edition of MassMobility  highlights new efforts underway to improve mobility for older adults, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and others in Massachusetts.  Read on to learn about new grant opportunities, programs that have recently received funding to improve local and regional mobility, a statewide scan of senior transportation, and announcements of surveys, contests, and more.

This newsletter is compiled by  MassMobility , an initiative of the 
Competitions offer funding for constructive, disruptive, innovative solutions
In Good Company - a collaboration of the Governor's Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts, the MIT AgeLab, Benchmark Senior Living (Benchmark) and GE Healthcare - is a global competition 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. Applications are due September 28. Up to four winners will be awarded a cash prize of $5,000.
Arc Tank - a project of the Northeast Arc and the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation - seeks 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.  Applications are due September 18. Last year, the Arc Tank distributed a total of $200,000 to five winners.
Worcester initiative wins national inclusive planning grant
Easter Seals Massachusetts, on behalf of a Worcester transportation advocacy effort, is one of only 12 winners nationally of the most recent round of Transit Planning for All grants. Funded by the Administration for Community Living, Transit Planning for All seeks to help organizations across the country incorporate inclusive planning into their transportation programs, ensuring that older adults, people with disabilities, and caregivers have a real say in decisions about the transportation services they use. These six-month grants begin this month and last through December.
The Worcester Transportation Advocacy Coalition (TAC) formed in late 2017 as the merger of two different transportation advocacy efforts: one seeking to increase availability of wheelchair-accessible on-demand services, and the other to improve mobility for low-income transit riders. The TAC steering committee includes two people with disabilities, one bus rider, and members from six partnering agencies. Along with Easter Seals Massachusetts, partnering agencies include the Worcester Regional Transit Authority, Elder Services Of Worcester Area, Center for Living and Working, Worcester Community Connections Coalition and Worcester Family Resource Center of Y.O.U. Inc., and the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission.
The grant funding will allow the TAC to use surveys and focus groups to gather information from people with disabilities, older adults, and caregivers in the Greater Worcester area as to their preferences regarding current and future transportation options. TAC funding can also pay for accommodations that make inclusion possible, such as interpreters or transportation for consumers to meetings.
"The future of transportation is changing," explains Joe Bellil, Vice President of Public Affairs and Youth Services at Easter Seals Massachusetts. "It's going to be much more technology-oriented. At the same time, the City of Worcester is doing a lot of renovations to the roadways that are all going to impact us, so I just want to make sure we're all listening to each other. It's important for all cities to have representatives of the transportation-riding population at the decision-making level. You need to find out what riders want - not just make assumptions. This grant gives us the resources we need to go out and do just that."
UMass Boston analyzes senior transportation supply and demand
The transportation working group of the Governor's Council to Address Aging sought an understanding of the current landscape of transportation options for older adults in Massachusetts, so the Tufts Health Plan Foundation commissioned an environmental scan. Published in June, the study was conducted by Beth Dugan, Nina Silverstein, and their research team at the UMass Boston Gerontology Institute.
The scan reviews demographic information, determines the number of senior transportation services available by municipality, and then overlays the two analyses in order to identify potential high-need areas characterized by high percentages of seniors but low access to transportation. Noting that not all seniors need the same level of transportation assistance (including some seniors who do not need any), the authors also map municipalities with a high population of younger seniors, some of whom could be interested in serving as volunteer drivers.
The report closes with an overview of promising practices in senior mobility from within Massachusetts as well as other states, highlighting Ride Match, TRIPPS, TRIP Metro North, and the FriendshipWorks medical escort program, as well as MassMobility. The Governor's Council and the transportation working group members are currently reviewing the findings, which they will use to inform future efforts, such as pilot programs.
Grants promote age-friendly communities 
Tufts Health Plan Foundation (THPF) recently awarded grants of nearly $1.8 million to 16 community organizations working to create age- and dementia-friendly communities. Their work encompasses enhancements to all eight domains of livability , including transportation. Grantees from New Bedford, Dedham, and the Merrimack Valley incorporated a particular emphasis on transportation in their proposals.

Coastline Elderly Services accepted a grant on behalf of Age-Friendly Greater New Bedford. New Bedford was named "age-friendly" by AARP last month, a designation it has been working to achieve since 2015. Coastline conducted a transportation assessment in 2017 to better understand residents' needs. From there, they created an action plan, which cited a need for education about public transit for older adults, increased marketing of services, materials in multiple languages, and large-print materials. To implement these recommendations, the transportation domain group of Age-Friendly Greater New Bedford plans to establish opportunities for travel training for older adults, provide public service announcements on the bus in both Spanish and English, and host transportation-focused events at the senior center.
Friends of Dedham Council on Aging received funds to support the Livable Dedham initiative. Livable Dedham sees transportation as a critical component of encouraging healthy engagement and civic participation for individuals of all ages. In 2017, THPF awarded Livable Dedham funding to develop an action plan aimed at targeting the barriers to livability in Dedham, which led to the creation of five domain-specific work groups comprised of various community stakeholders. A portion of their strategic plan focuses on increasing walkability and raising awareness of alternatives to driving a personal vehicle. As part of the groundwork, a walk audit was conducted to determine walkability in various parts of Dedham. With this most recent round of funding from THPF, Livable Dedham will work to improve pedestrian infrastructure and encourage multi-modal transportation options as way to promote active transportation for all and continued engagement for individuals who no longer drive.

THPF awarded Elder Services of Merrimack Valley funding for "Healthy Living Evidence-Based Program Implementation and Sustainability," a statewide hub for evidence-based programs for fall prevention, caregiver support, nutrition programs, behavioral health, and chronic disease management. Jen Raymond, Chief Strategy Officer, shared that "mobility is a crucial part of our efforts, as lack of transportation is often cited as barrier to participation." When individuals are referred to the program, staff works to connect them with transportation resources (for example, taxi vouchers, Uber/Lyft, public transit). If transportation is not available in some towns, they will bring the program to the individual's home. Raymond explains: "Arranging transportation can be daunting sometimes and serves as a barrier to participation in the program. By acting as the center hub to help coordinate the transportation, we remove that burden for the individual." Part of the funding from THPF is directed towards transportation, including the cost of bringing the program into client's home, subsidizing taxi/Ubers to and from programs, and the salary of staff members who arrange transportation.
3-D map helps MRC staff and consumers consider transportation access to jobs
When job placement strategies came up at a Mass Rehab Commission staff meeting in Springfield, Transition Pathway Services Transportation and Community Partnership Coordinator Teri Koopman recommended targeting employers located near bus routes - particularly routes that run frequently. To help staff identify and target these prime locations, she offered to pinpoint employer locations onto a Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) system map. Staff members were enthusiastic about this idea, so she obtained a system map from PVTA and began crafting. The result was a four foot by three foot three-dimensional map, with color-coded bus routes and pins - labelled with company logos - marking locations of key employers throughout PVTA's service area. Koopman included large employers and employment centers, as well as chains and independent stores with which MRC has a relationship.
Prior to an office move, the system map hung prominently on the MRC office wall near the copier, reminding staff to take transportation access into account when assisting consumers with job placements. Some staff would bring consumers over to look at the map, to consider together which job locations would be the best fit. The information can also be found online through Google Transit, but some consumers prefer using a physical map. "This was initially a tool for staff, but it has also helped consumers think about public transit access," notes Koopman.
HST Office issues RFI
The Human Service Transportation (HST) Office of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has released a Request for Information (RFI) to elicit input from Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs), transportation brokers, transportation network companies, transportation providers, and other interested parties. The focus of the RFI is to explore and review the next generation of new and innovative technologies for the HST Brokerage System to improve consumer experience, provide transparency through real time data, and manage sustainable transportation services.

The HST Office oversees a large statewide brokerage system of coordinated transportation services for over 49,000 eligible EOHHS agency consumers within Massachusetts. In 2008, pursuant to a public procurement, EOHHS entered into contracts with certain RTAs for the provision of transportation broker services for the HST Brokerage System. The RTAs fulfill transportation requests and subcontract with local transportation vendors to provide over seven million trips each year. The current contracts between EOHHS and the RTAs expire in 2020.

The RFI is posted on CommBuys. To view the RFI, register on CommBuys and search for bid # BD-19-1039-EHS01-EHS01-29173. For assistance, check out the CommBuys job aids. If you have questions about this RFI, please submit them on CommBuys.
Survey seeks your feedback on how to publicize Ride Match
Do you help older adults or people with disabilities find transportation? Ride Match is a tool available to you and your consumers. It is an online database with public and private transportation providers across Massachusetts.
If you currently use Ride Match with your consumers - or think your consumers would benefit from knowing about this tool - please fill out this short survey. The survey will ask you what types of resources would help you spread the word about Ride Match to your consumers.
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.  
National conference highlights presentations from Massachusetts
The 2018 EXPO conference of the Community Transportation Association of America took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in mid-June, and featured day-long intensives on topics such as mobility management and community transportation marketing, as well as breakout sessions on a wide range of topics related to transportation for older adults, people with disabilities, low-income riders, or rural areas. Carol Schweiger, President of the Massachusetts-based Schweiger Consulting, presented on technology for mobility management, and Wendy Landman, Executive Director of WalkBoston , presented as part of a panel discussion on complete streets for small towns and rural areas. In addition, Tom Procopio, Senior Financial Analyst of MV Transportation in Reading, offered a one-day intensive on start-ups in transit; Barbara Gannon, Principal of GannonConsult in Gloucester, presented a workshop on managing change efforts; and presenters from the Volpe Center discussed drug and alcohol testing regulations. MassMobility participated in the annual National Center for Mobility Management poster session, presenting a poster highlighting how we share information with stakeholders around Massachusetts - including through this newsletter. Next year's conference is scheduled for mid-May in Palm Springs, California.
Registration opens for senior transportation online course
Registration is now 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.
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. Grand prize and runner up winning videos will be selected from two categories: freshman/sophomore and junior/senior. To check out past video submissions, visit the MassDOT YouTube channel .
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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