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$40K to help get Cape Anners where they need to go

March 19, 2021 : Gloucester Daily Times, by Taylor Ann Bradford

The local transit authority, in cooperation with neighboring non-profits, has received state funding to ensure people have a ride.  

The Cape Ann Transportation Authority, in cooperation with The Open Door, Action Inc, and Wellspring House, all based in Gloucester, have received $40,632 through the Taxi, Livery, and Hackney Transportation Partnerships Grant Program from MassDevelopment and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). The grant aims to help CATA provide transportation to residents in need.

“This pandemic has stressed many transit systems, senior shuttles and other shared rides,” MAPC Executive Director Marc Draien said in a prepared staement. “These grants will provide a critical resource to help municipalities and human service organizations to fill the gaps and ensure that people can get to work, shop for food and attend medical appointments.”

The money will be used to support food pantry deliveries, deliveries of prescription drugs, transportation needs of the homeless, non-emergency medical transportation, grocery shopping trips, and workforce transportation.

CATA also received $14,000 from the grant program last summer. This year's award will serve to continue the program that had been started with the original funding.

"The non-profits continue to operate their transportation programs as usual and CATA provides financial support," Felicia Webb of CATA emailed the Times. "The grant allows CATA to support different transportation resources within our community."

For Wellspring House, the opportunity to partner with CATA means that it will be able to look at each of its program areas and think about who is having a hard time getting where they need to go.

"It is an amazing opportunity and it allows us to help bridge the gap for those that are having transportation hurdles," President and Executive Director Melissa Dimond said Thursday.

The  CATA initiative was one of 47 across the state that received a slice of the $2.5 million grant program, funded by MassDevelopment’s allocation from the state Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund.

The awards range from roughly $5,000 to $150,000 per project and will provide transportation for everything from grocery shopping to medical visits to workforce development training. 

"We are excited to use this grant well and help people get where they need to go," Dimond said.