Sometimes getting from here to there is as easy as knowing what phone number to call – but knowing whom to call isn’t easy. That’s why across Massachusetts, human service agency staff, advocates, regional planners, and transportation providers are working together to compile inventories of local transportation services that can help seniors, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and veterans get to medical appointments, grocery shopping, work, and other community activities.
Since late 2013, EOHHS and MassDOT have partnered with each other and with local organizations to form Regional Coordinating Councils (RCCs) around Massachusetts. RCCs provide an opportunity for stakeholders from a wide range of sectors to connect and collaborate on improving mobility and access for seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and low-income individuals. RCCs are locally-led and select their own projects that reflect local needs and opportunities.
Many RCCs have identified improving information about available transportation options as a priority and have worked on creating or updating regional transportation inventories. The Berkshire County RCC updated an old Ride Guide and streamlined the format. The Franklin County RCC compiled the region’s first inventory. Other RCCs – including the Central Massachusetts, North Central, and Pioneer Valley RCCs – are also working on compiling inventories.
Southeastern Massachusetts already has a robust inventory, thanks to Ride Match, an online, searchable transportation database developed by the Greater Attleboro Taunton Regional Transit Authority. In 2015, GATRA received a grant from MassDOT to partner with other Regional Transit Authorities and make Ride Match a statewide resource. Once this expansion is complete, an individual who needs a ride – or their caregiver or caseworker – will be able to search for public and private transportation services in any part of the Commonwealth.
In the meantime, check out the MassMobility interactive map to find listings of transportation services in your town. Click on your town to find transportation information compiled by RCCs, elder service agencies, municipalities, and other local and regional entities, as well as statewide resources.
This information is provided by the EOHHS Human Service Transportation Office.