Baker-Polito Administration Announces $5 Million in Funding for Equitable Clean Transportation Projects
03/08/2022BOSTON- The Baker-Polito Administration announced $5 million in grant funding for 10 projects that will help disadvantaged communities address transportation needs and burdens with innovative, clean transportation solutions. These projects will be deployed across Massachusetts in collaboration with local government, local businesses, and community partners. The funding, which was made available through the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s (MassCEC) new Accelerating Clean Transportation for All (ACT4All) Program, was provided by both MassCEC and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER).
“Massachusetts remains committed to leading the way on taking climate action while also meeting the needs of our diverse communities throughout the state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Projects receiving funding through the ACT4All Program will put us one step closer to a transportation system that not only combats climate change but does so in a way that works for all residents.”
“Projects receiving critical funds through the Act4All Program will provide innovative pathways toward a clean transportation system, which will directly benefit today and well into the future,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Additionally, our Administration continues to be committed to building a transportation system that protects public health, combats climate change, and provides access to opportunities for all.”
The selected projects include a range of topic areas including e-bike pilots, innovative low-carbon delivery models, broadening the base of EV consumers, and ride-for-hire electrification. The project sites span from Eastern to Western Massachusetts and include various sites in Environmental Justice (EJ) neighborhoods and seven Gateway Cities. Furthermore, they will focus on serving a range of Massachusetts residents, including low-income, non-English speaking, and minority communities. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions reductions, these projects are expected to result in the reduction of local air and noise pollution, provide quality-of-life benefits, and offer economic development opportunities.
“The ACT4All Program serves as a great example of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reaching net zero emissions in an equitable manner,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “This program highlights that climate solutions in the transportation sector can help close the existing health and economic disparities that impact our most vulnerable communities.”
“The ACT4All Program was designed to foster community-led partnership, investing in solutions that will benefit our underserved communities,” said MassCEC CEO Jennifer Daloisio. “We’re looking forward to seeing these projects become reality, demonstrating pathways for Massachusetts to reach its transportation, climate and public health goals through public-private partnership.”
Awardees receiving ACT4All funding include:
• Metro Mobility – $1,000,000: The company will deploy three different e-bike ownership and share models in Greater Boston municipalities, including Gateway Cities such as Quincy and Malden. Metro Mobility will work with affordable housing organizations and employers to serve low-income residents, essential workers, and renters in Environmental Justice areas.
• Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) – $615,000: The quasi-state agency will deploy electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure and explore incentive structures at Boston Logan International Airport to catalyze the electrification of the ride-for-hire industry. The project will support emissions reductions in surrounding overburdened communities.
• Way Forward Taxi Alliance – $500,000: The non-profit is piloting an incentive program for taxi electrification in Greater Boston, with a focus on minority-owned taxi companies. Way Forward Taxi Alliance will work in partnership with Waave, Inc. and Data Drive LLC to provide additional services to drivers such as enhanced navigation.
• The City of Boston – $492,286: The City is developing an innovative, e-cargo bike delivery pilot program to serve local residents and businesses in Allston, a neighborhood with a significant number of Environmental Justice populations. The City is working with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to expand learnings from this program to municipalities outside of Boston.
• Pioneer Valley Planning Commission – $490,300: The Planning Commission will implement an e-bike ownership pilot program by leveraging an existing successful e-bike share program in the Pioneer Valley Region. In close collaboration with community-based organizations, the Commission will serve economically disadvantaged individuals in Environmental Justice communities and Gateway Cities including Springfield.
• Cape Light Compact – $496,125: The Compact will deploy a point-of-sale e-bike rebate program with bike shops in Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Working with VEIC, the Compact will serve low-income residents on the Cape.
• Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition (MassBike) – $439,295: The non-profit will lead a team including the Worcester Chamber of Commerce, community-based organizations, and the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) to deploy e-bikes to low-income residents throughout Worcester. MassBike will also explore e-bike education initiatives and grow the community interest in clean transportation options.
• Soldier On – $152,327: The Berkshire Region-based transportation service organization will switch over part of their diesel fleet vehicles to low-carbon alternatives. Their project will result in the provision of clean transportation access to homeless military veterans, Medicaid recipients, low-income, and Environmental Justice populations.
• Green Energy Consumers Alliance – $314,630: The non-profit, in partnership with Quincy Asian Resources (QARI), will conduct a comprehensive educational campaign and outreach program around clean and healthy transportation options including electric vehicles (EVs).
• Electric Vehicle Discovery Center – $500,000: The company, in partnership with Plug’n’Drive and JuicebarEV, will implement diverse consumer engagement programs at a new EV Discovery Center in Sturbridge. These programs will engage and educate potential EV consumers across diverse geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic segments.
“Transportation accounts for nearly one third of US greenhouse gas emissions and this effort will help us equitably move to cleaner options for moving people, including those in our disadvantaged communities,” said Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. “This is a critical element for eliminating emissions and limiting global warming and these programs will help us meet our climate goals and broaden access to clean transportation alternatives. This is essential for our transition to a zero emission future.”
“Innovations in transportation sparked by these funds will help move people in ways that are energy-efficient, equitable, and geographically diverse,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester). ” I share the goals of the Baker-Polito Administration to select projects that create transportation options that result in less pollution, more economic opportunities, and improved health.”
“As Massachusetts continues to take steps to actively address climate change and reduce our carbon footprint, it is critical that we do so in a way that reaches every region of the state,” said House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading). “The funding announced today will support a wide range of clean transportation projects that will help the Commonwealth achieve the important goal of ensuring equitable environmental, economic and health benefits for all residents.”
Importantly, the Act4All Program was designed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) to align with the Commonwealth’s climate and equity commitments. The selected projects will support the Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan (CECP) and the Climate Law, which was signed by Governor Baker in March 2021 and includes nation-leading provisions related to Environmental Justice and commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050.