MassDevelopment With MAPC Award Grant to Dispatch Taxis to Help Communities
March 18, 2021 : Chelsea Record
MassDevelopment, in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), has awarded $2,543,883 in funding to 47 cities and towns, municipal agencies, regional transit authorities, nonprofits, and health and human service providers through the Taxi, Livery, and Hackney Transportation Partnerships Grant Program, an operational subsidy program aimed at expanding transportation service capacity through contracts with licensed taxi or livery businesses. Administered by MAPC, these grants will help communities supplement existing transportation options, create new programs to transport individuals to work, grocery stores, non-emergency medical appointments, and other destinations, and facilitate delivery of essential supplies such as food and medicine to residents in need. The Taxi, Livery, and Hackney Transportation Partnerships Grant Program is funded by MassDevelopment’s allocation from the Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund.
“The Baker-Polito Administration commends MassDevelopment and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council for utilizing the state’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to help communities augment local transit with taxi and livery services to get residents where they need to go,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “These awards will provide a boost to an industry in need while filling gaps in the state’s transportation network.”
The Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund was created by An Act Regulating Transportation Network Companies, which Governor Baker signed into law in August 2016 and is supported by a 20-cent assessment on every transportation network company ride in Massachusetts. One-quarter of the Fund is being designated to MassDevelopment to provide financial assistance to small businesses operating in the taxicab, livery, or hackney industries.
MassDevelopment is using one-third of its allotment from the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to support the Taxi, Livery, and Hackney Transportation Partnerships Grant Program. In response to COVID-19, in April 2020 MAPC launched an early version of this program, the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Transportation Partnerships Grant Program, to facilitate urgent transportation and delivery needs for vulnerable populations during the pandemic; in November 2020, MassDevelopment and MAPC awarded $1,003,978 through the program to 25 cities and towns, municipal agencies, regional transit authorities, and health and human services transportation providers.
MassDevelopment is using the remaining two-thirds of its allotment from the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to support the Taxi & Livery Business Support Grant Program, which offers taxi and livery operators financial assistance to secure products or services that will aid in improving their competitiveness and enhancing safety capabilities in the rapidly evolving market of for-hire transportation. In December 2020, the agency awarded 85 grants totaling $4,465,619 through the first round of the program to support 104 small businesses operating in the taxi and livery industries and two taxi and livery industry associations.
The following cities, towns, and organizations received funding from Taxi, Livery, and Hackney Transportation Partnerships Grant Program:
Boston Public Health Commission – $177,000
The organization is using this award to contract with 63 taxi companies to facilitate transportation for individuals experiencing homelessness and living in shelters, transportation for frontline emergency shelter staff, non-emergency medical transportation for individuals who cannot travel via public transit, and deliveries of food and medicine for individuals unable or not advised to travel.
City of Chelsea – $130,000
The city is using this award to contract with E-Z Transportation LLC, Teambuild Inc., Soughtafter Transportation, and HBSS Connect Corp to expand an existing emergency food distribution system to serve vulnerable families afflicted with COVID-19.
Cambridge Health Alliance – $150,000
The organization is using this award to contract with Green Cab Company, Inc. to facilitate transportation to medical appointments and food pantries for vulnerable, high-risk, and underserved patients in the organization’s primary service area.
Mystic Valley Elder Service – $50,000
The organization is using this award to contract with Malden Taxi and Suburban Taxi to facilitate transportation to medical appointments and grocery stores for seniors and adults living with disabilities who are isolated in their communities.
City of Revere – $46,800
The city is using this award to contract with Patriots Taxi Company to facilitate non-emergency medical transportation, transportation to stores, polling locations, and workforce development training programs, and food pantry deliveries for seniors, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and homebound residents.