The Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority, familiar as the area’s provider of public bus service, is partnering with Haverhill Taxi to support transportation and delivery needs for the needy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Haverhill-based MVRTA was awarded nearly $72,000 from the state’s Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery and Hackney Partnership Grant Program. The money is distributed by MassDevelopment in partnership with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. The grant helps pay for rides for grocery or other essential shopping trips, non-COVID-related non-emergency medical transportation, transportation needs of the homeless, workforce transportation and other rides.
Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said he applauds MassDevelopment and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council for “creating partnerships that utilize taxi and livery companies to fill service gaps in our communities.”
MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss added, “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.”
Grants have been awarded to cities, towns and eligible organizations to assist vulnerable populations such as seniors, people facing food insecurity and essential workers by contracting with taxi, livery or hackney companies to transport essential supplies such as food or medicine or to transport individuals to work, grocery stores, or non-emergency medical appointments.
MassDevelopment is using one-third of its allotment from the trust fund to support the Urgent COVID-19 Taxicab, Livery, and Hackney Partnership Grant Program and an expanded version of this program, the Taxi/Livery Partnership Grant Program. Applications to the Taxi/Livery Partnership Grant Program are available here and due Nov. 20.