The Purpose of the MArtap Scholarship program is to
- Support rural and small urban transportation providers through training and technical assistance
- Further the development of the professional skills and abilities of rural and small urban transportation providers in Massachusetts
- Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the MArtap training efforts by taking advantage of training resources developed by other organizations within Massachusetts and in other states
- Provide financial assistance to attend eligible national, state and local transit training and educational programs, workshops and conferences
- Encourage safety and promote improved transportation services.
- Section 5311, 5310, MAP sub-recipients and other human service agencies that provide transportation services in rural and small urban areas. Private nonprofit and human service agencies, along with private bus operators in nonurbanized areas are also eligible for the scholarship program.
- 5307 Recipients: Urbanized area formula Regional Transit Authorities (5307 recipients) that provide services in rural and small urban areas may apply for a MArtap scholarship for the purposes of attending a conference or educational program that will clearly and directly benefit rural and/or small urban communities. Awards to 5307 recipient agencies are subject to discretion the MArtap Advisory Committee and fund availability.
* An urbanized area consists of a core area and the surrounding densely populated area with a population of 50,000 or more, with boundaries fixed by the Census Bureau or extended by state and local officials. There are four scholarship categories, based on density of population:
- Rural Regions: Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard and Franklin County including Greenfield
- Large Rural Regions: Cape Cod, Cape Ann, and the Berkshires
- Small Urban Regions: Attleboro, Taunton, Plymouth, Brockton, Lowell, Montachusett, Fall River and New Bedford areas. RTA Administrators in these regions are not eligible for scholarships
- Urban Regions: Springfield and the Pioneer Valley, the Merrimack Valley region, and the Worcester area. RTA Administrators in these regions are not eligible for scholarships.
MArtap Scholarships are available to support agencies that provide rural and small urban transit services by covering a portion of the costs associated with professional development opportunities for staff, such as courses, conferences and workshops. Programs must be pre-approved, transportation related, and result in improved transportation services for rural and/or small urban communities.
- Scholarship amount:
The total amount of a scholarship can be no more than $1000 per scholarship. This includes one day and multi-day conferences and community-based training opportunities. Types of eligible training programs: Applications may be submitted for any transit related conference, workshop and training course relevant to the applicant's professional responsibilities and with a clear benefit to the provision of transportation services in rural/small urban communities. Applicants are also encouraged to apply for scholarships to attend community-based continuing education programs that will enhance their professional skills and benefit the rural/small urban communities they serve. Training for drivers, dispatchers and mechanics is encouraged.
- Reimbursement Rates:
- Eligible private nonprofit organizations and Councils on Aging will be reimbursed 100% of eligible expenses up to $1000 per conference/training, per person.
- Eligible Regional Transit Authorities and their contractors will be reimbursed 90% (up to $1000) per conference, per person. A minimum 10% local match is required.
- Covered expenses: Expenses that are eligible for reimbursement under the scholarship program include:
- Transportation (airfare, bus or train fare, tax and automobiles at the current year Internal Revenue Service standard mileage business reimbursement rate.) Rental car transportation is not subject to reimbursement unless prior approval is received through MArtap.
- Registration or tuition fees
- Meals: The maximum allowable for meal reimbursement is up to $40 per day. Copies of all meal receipts must be submitted in order to receive reimbursement. Alcohol is not an eligible expense.
*If special airfare and/or hotel rates are available in conjunction with the conference or training session, the agency must make every possible effort to obtain those special rates. If the agency attempted and was unable to obtain special rates, an explanation must be included on the reimbursement form.
- The requesting agency must be able to advance the attendee's travel expenses and seek reimbursement from MArtap after the conference/training session has concluded.
- Applicants must submit a completed application form, including a complete justification for the scholarship, estimated cost and agency contribution to MArtap no later than 30 days prior to the program date.
- After the application is submitted, MArtap staff will contact the requesting party and inform them whether the application was accepted or denied, or whether additional information is necessary.
- After the conference/training session has concluded, the applicant must submit copies of all receipts for eligible expenses for reimbursement. Requests for reimbursements must be submitted to MArtap, c/o MArtap, within 30 days of the conclusion of the conference or training session. All requests for reimbursement must be signed by both the attendee and the agency Director/Administrator, and must include copies of receipts of all expenditure items.
- Expenses submitted for reimbursement may be disallowed by MArtap, if in MArtap's sole discretion, they are deemed inconsistent with the purpose of the program and/or state or federal regulations. Payment will be made to the agency, not the attendee, except in those circumstances where the attendee chooses to advance his/her own expenses.