Updated report at 4:30 p.m. Portions of report are a press release.
FRAMINGHAM – It was announced today, November 12, that the City of Framingham received a Commonwealth’s Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program, which is helping facilitate urgent transportation and delivery needs for vulnerable populations.
The City of Framingham will use the $19,500 grant to partner with Tommy’s Taxi in Framingham, to deliver meals and toiletries. Mayor Yvonne Spicer said the City has helped 100 households in her city of more than 70,000, since September.
MassDevelopment, in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), has awarded $1,003,978 in funding to 25 cities and towns, municipal agencies, regional transit authorities, and health and human services transportation providers through the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program to support transportation and delivery needs for vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program is funded by a portion of MassDevelopment’s allocation from the Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund. MassDevelopment and MAPC distributed $440,583 for 12 projects in May and June, and expanded the program to provide another $563,395 to 13 additional projects in October.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to finding new ways to support Massachusetts residents and businesses in the midst of COVID-19,” said Massachusetts Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “I applaud MassDevelopment and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council for putting resources from the Commonwealth’s Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund to work by creating partnerships that utilize taxi and livery companies to fill service gaps in our communities.”
“We were pleased to direct funds from our allocation of the Transportation Infrastructure Enhancement Trust Fund for the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “The critical impact of these grants is two-fold: creating new business opportunities for taxi and livery businesses in the Commonwealth, while facilitating urgent transportation and delivery needs during the pandemic.”
“The Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program is helping expand transportation services, facilitate partnerships for taxi and livery companies, and provide connections for those most likely to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said MAPC Executive Director Marc Draisen. “These grants have already helped expand food access, connected people to medical appointments, and provided other essential trips for vulnerable populations during these trying times.”
“During this pandemic, the isolation of our most vulnerable residents has underscored the critical importance of effective transportation and distribution,” said Senate President Karen Spilka (D-Ashland). “Because of these additional resources, places like Framingham, Natick and MetroWest RTA will be better equipped not only to address medical and workforce transportation needs, but to respond to food insecurity as well.”