$278K grant to support FRTA extended fixed-route hours

  • The Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA) garnered $278,365 from the state Workforce Transportation Grant Program to expand fixed-route service and institute microtransit service. Staff File Photo/Andy Castillo

Published: 2/27/2020 5:59:45 PM

GREENFIELD — The Franklin Regional Transit Authority (FRTA) garnered $278,365 from the state Workforce Transportation Grant Program to expand fixed-route service and institute microtransit service.

FRTA Executive Director Tina Cote said while she doesn’t know the specific timeline for the grant’s implementation, she’s pleased to be able to get the funding.

“The grant will allow us to increase fixed-route hours for second and third shift workers,” Cote said. “We are in desperate need for evening hours, and we’re hoping to be able to have microtransit in the later part of the evening.”

This is the first year the grant funding has been available, and Cote said the awards were based on a competitive process. FRTA is one of 21 groups to receive 23 grants.

“We needed to be able to provide this type of service,” Cote said. “I hope it gives back to the local economy and gets people into jobs that are available so they can take advantage of the opportunities Franklin County has to offer.”

The grants are a result of a recommendation in the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) 2019 Congestion Report to encourage employers to create innovative solutions for assisting employees to commute to work by using public transportation or shared transportation.

“What is needed is more commuting options, more transit, more employer shuttles, more ‘first mile, last mile’ services to connect people to workplaces and job centers,” MassDOT Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack said.

According to a state press release, projects that will result in new services or provide an innovative and sustainable approach to providing workforce transportation were given priority for funding.




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