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Service planning and transportation access

Transportation tips for human service agencies on site selection, program schedule, and casework.

When planning a new service or program, human service agencies should take transportation into account. Agencies should also consider transportation when developing plans for individual consumers.

Site Location and Scheduling

  • Before establishing, relocating, or expanding a program facility, make every effort to find sites that are pedestrian-friendly and have access to public transit
  • Transit authorities serve many cities and towns around the Commonwealth. Find out if your site is served by transit authority fixed-route or demand-response/paratransit service. Call your transit agency to ask if any route changes are planned. If your location is near a bus route, ask how often the bus runs, and where it goes
  • Regional Planning Agencies are also a good resource for help identifying locations with access to transportation
  • Consult Ride Match and other listings to find out what other transportation services serve your area
  • If your program includes its own transportation service, try to coordinate with other local programs on your start times and end times to facilitate shared use of vehicles

Working with Consumers

  • Consider the consumer’s transportation needs and options before developing a service plan
  • Look for services and employment opportunities that are within the consumer’s local community, ideally within walking distance and/or accessible to public transit
  • Refer the consumer to travel training if the consumer would benefit from knowing how to use public transit independently
  • If referring a consumer to services in another region or in an area not served by transit, consider the travel time, transportation options, and cost implications
  • Authorize trip sharing with consumers from other agencies whenever clinically appropriate

Educating Staff about Transportation Options

  • Remind staff to take transportation access into account at all times
  • Help staff learn to use online tools to identify transportation services, such as Ride Match or Google Transit
  • Use innovative tools to help staff learn about transportation, such as a 3-d map of bus routes and employer sites
  • Incorporate transportation training into new hire onboarding and ongoing professional development opportunities - check out this Massachusetts-specific training and these national modules
  • Contact MassMobility for help educating staff about community transportation services
  • Read the MassMobility newsletter to stay up-to-date on community transportation in Massachusetts