Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) today announced the awarding of $120,000 in funding to 10 organizations focused on transportation justice and the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) across Massachusetts, as well as in Vermont and Maryland. The grants will help move transportation equity initiatives from concept to practice and promote transportation justice.
Access to transportation is an issue that affects people from all walks of life, but disproportionately limits opportunities for communities of color, people of lower-income, people with disabilities, seniors, and rural populations. These vulnerable populations rely on transportation to get to school, job opportunities, doctor’s appointments, and family activities. The grants awarded will directly support organizations – which are often under-resourced and under-funded – that advocate for improving transportation access for these populations.
“On behalf of our coalition, thanks to all who applied for this funding for the work you are doing to provide transportation solutions that help improve outcomes for people and communities,” said Angela Johnson, Transportation Justice Organizer at T4MA.
The following organizations are receiving grants for work in 2019 between $5,000 and $10,000:
- Arise for Social Justice, in support of its strong youth organizing and vehicle-idling campaigns
- Berkshire Interfaith Organizing, in support of the build out of its multi-stakeholder volunteer driving program, “Transportation Resource Unification Towards Health”
- Boston Center for Independent Living, in support of deepening grassroots organizing for People with Disabilities in Boston’s neighborhoods of color on the issues of Transportation Network Companies, i.e. Uber/Lyft, RIDE access, and other emerging modes
- Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, in support of incorporating TCI in the “Get Maryland Moving” coalition work in advance of the Maryland Transportation Administration’s Regional Transit Plan
- Community Health Network for North Central Mass (CHNA 9), in support of designing a ridesharing/carpooling pilot for Mount Wachusett Community College students who have limited transportation options
- Greater Four Corners Action Coalition, in support of community organizing in advance of the deployment of the MBTA’s Automated Fare Collection 2.0 (AFC 2.0) initiative
- Green Hill Neighborhood Association, in support of community-led traffic studies and bicycle/pedestrian assessments for Worcester's Lincoln Street corridor
- Green Justice Coalition, in support of leading environmental justice strategic discussions for the Transportation and Climate Initiative
- GreenRoots, Inc., in support of launching a multi-stakeholder MBTA riders’ network, which will focus on transportation justice issues such as fare mitigation, AFC 2.0, and RIDE access
- Vermont Natural Resources Council, in support of capacity-building and outreach to bolster messaging around the Transportation and Climate Initiative
Eight of the ten grant recipients are Massachusetts-based, and are focused on deepening engagement with residents who lack access to convenient, affordable, and reliable transportation options. The Vermont Natural Resources Council and the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance will strengthen their advocacy in a new, multi-state effort to expand research and knowledge of the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which the T4MA coalition has identified as a key issue in 2019 and 2020. Reducing carbon emissions from transportation is a top priority of T4MA. The transportation sector is the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and is a significant source of local air pollution that disproportionately impacts marginalized communities.
T4MA announced the application process for this inaugural round of grants to organizations in November 2018. T4MA received more than 50 unique proposals from organizations across Massachusetts, New England, and the Mid-Atlantic region. Applicants were invited to submit proposals under four cross-cutting categories: Capacity Building; Projects and Programming; Community Engagement and Advocacy; and TCI.
Transportation for Massachusetts is committed to transportation justice, recognizing that historic underinvestment in low-income neighborhoods and neighborhoods of color has led to negative impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods. Even well-intended transportation policy can reinforce transportation injustice and lead to displacement when it is not grounded in the community’s needs, aspirations, and civic fabric. T4MA is committed to advancing transportation options, including public transportation, to help reverse racial and economic disparities in Massachusetts.
This grant was made possible through a generous donation from the Barr Foundation.
Transportation for Massachusetts (T4MA) is a diverse coalition of more than 70 member and partner organizations with a stake in improving transportation across the Commonwealth. Our coalition advocates at the state, federal, and local levels for transportation policies that are innovative, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. We want a transportation system that strengthens our economy and our communities, while also being safer, healthier, more affordable and reliable.