Partnership With Members

At T4MA, we prioritize voices and create new paths for resources to be provided to frontline communities working on transportation justice solutions.

T4MA is constantly thinking of ways to uplift and amplify the work that our members are already doing in their communities. We are instigators, supporters, collaborators for impact and change. We want to share our resources where they are most needed, highlighting the interconnectedness of our efforts. As a coalition, we believe that the work our members do in the areas of environmental justice, housing, public health, food security, climate, community-building, youth and immigrant services, are underpinned and impacted by transportation. Together, we know our collective efforts can lead us to just and equitable transportation systems.

OUR VISION

T4MA believes that transportation justice is environmental, climate, and social justice. And our work as a coalition and our member’s work in multiple sectors are interconnected, and all form part of the tapestry of our collective desire for justice. For us, transportation justice is the transformation that happens when:

  • All people have access to safe, reliable, accessible, affordable, equitable transportation that connects them to places, people, and resources they need to thrive;
  • People most impacted by injustice have decision-making power in developing policy; and
  • We address and undo years of harm caused by structural racism and discriminatory policies embedded in transportation, housing, and political systems.

 



OUR IMPACT GRANT Goals

T4MA’s Impact Grants are focused on advancing work at the intersection of transportation access and social justice. We want to share our resources where they are most needed, highlighting the interconnectedness of our members’ efforts.

We’ve designed our grant applications with a simple online form to make this process as easy as possible.

We’re focused on supporting and uplifting the work of our members that aligns with T4MA’s mission and vision of addressing the decades of inequitable transportation policies adversely impacting low-income, working class, Black, Indigenous, and communities of color

We envision and work towards a Commonwealth with transportation systems that connect people with their choice of housing, economic opportunities, healthcare, and accessible and reliable public transportation.

Together, we know our collective efforts can lead us to just and equitable transportation systems.



2024 GRANT AWARDS

For the 2024 grant cycle, T4MA will award a total of $500,000 in financial resources, extending grants from $20,000 to $50,000 to up to 10 eligible member organizations.

Recognizing the disproportionate availability of resources, T4MA will be prioritizing applications from community based organizations (CBO’s) outside of the Greater Boston Area (128 corridor).



KEY QUESTIONS

Who can apply?

All T4MA Members are eligible. Members may submit up to 2 applications.

What programs, projects and initiatives are eligible?

Impact Grants support efforts that align with our goals previously stated and T4MA’s mission and vision. Applicants do not need to present new projects to apply for this grant. The effort’s focus can be in a variety of areas, such as transportation, housing, climate, public health, education, food insecurity, accessibility and other social services. Applicants are encouraged to show their effort’s interconnectedness to transportation.

What we will fund?

  • Projects and programs – in their entirety or phases thereof.
  • Community engagement and advocacy initiatives.
  • Staffing (part-time employment or internship).
  • Capacity-building.
  • Supplies, materials, equipment or items needed to support a project.

When are grant applications due?
Applications are open from Monday, June 3, to Sunday, June 30, 2024, and can be completed online via a simple form.

What is the application process?
Our grantmaking committee will review grant applications using the following criteria:

  • What community-level issue(s) does the grant address?
  • Projected impact of the grant.
  • A brief description of what success looks like, and how this grant would help bring about this success.
  • How the project or program connects with T4MA’s mission, vision, and values.

Is there a specific project length?
T4MA will consider projects and initiatives that have a timeline of anywhere from a few months to up to one year. We know that creating impact takes time however, setting an expected horizon for this grant cycle will help us prepare for the next one.

How will T4MA support grantees?
Once grants are awarded, we’ll meet with grantees to help provide support and hear from you on the growth of your project as well as any project hurdles. In May of 2025, the 2024 grantees cohort will gather to share experiences, challenges and wins so that they can learn from each other.

Grant application support

How to Write With Impact virtual webinar (held second week of June)
A learning opportunity for members and allies to hear from experts and friends on practical techniques for writing compelling grants and reporting for specific audiences.

Impact Grant information session (held in June)
T4MA is holding an online session to walk through the application process and answer questions regarding this year’s Impact Grants



IMPORTANT GRANT DATES AHEAD

T4MA will announce grant awards no later than the first week of September

  • Applications Open – June 3, 2024
  • Applications Close – June 30, 2024
  • Screening + Selecting – July 2024
  • Grants Awarded + Administered – August-September 2024
  • Mid-Cycle Support – TBD w/ member
  • Cohort Sharing Event – May 2025


For more information or questions, please contact Raylen Dziengelewski, Membership and Advocacy Director at impact@t4ma.org.

T4MA and our coalition partners are proudly committed to shaping and informing policies that will create more affordable and equitable transportation for everyone throughout our state, especially Black, brown and Indigenous communities that have been held back by under-resourced transportation systems. Our coalition advocates at the federal, state, and local levels for transportation policies that are safe, reliable, accessible, equitable and affordable.



LOW-INCOME FARES

T4MA, with the help of our members and partners, secured $5 million in the FY23 state budget for program start-up expenses. This was the first time the program received any funding.

The program will offer income-based fares for riders beginning in July 2024. Over 60,000 riders are estimated to qualify for the 50 percent off fares once the program is underway. The MBTA estimates this program to induce 8 million more trips by year 5 of the program.

Building off previous successful efforts to secure funding for the program, the FY25 budget process is currently underway and includes additional funding for low-income fares.



2022 FAIR SHARE AMENDMENT

In 2022, T4MA partnered with the Raise Up Massachusetts coalition to support the Fair Share Amendment to raise between $1.4 and $2.2 billion annually for investments in education and transportation.

The surcharge tax on high-income earners has resulted in an increase of $1 billion and $1.4 billion in investments in the FY24 and FY25 budgets, respectively. This means that municipalities are getting additional funding for transportation.



REGIONAL TRANSIT AUTHORITY FUNDING

Thanks to the revenue from the Fair Share Amendment, state investments in the 15 Regional Transit Authorities (RTAs) increased from $96.5 million to $184 million.

This funding includes $15 million in transit innovation grants, $4 million for older and low-income residents, and $15 million fare-free pilot programs.

This funding boost has enabled RTAs across the state to increase night and weekend services, add routes, hire more operators, and expand service hours.



COMMUTER BENEFITS EXPANSION

T4MA advocated for expanding commuter tax benefits for all Massachusetts residents. Residents can now deduct up to $750 from their state taxes for daily transit fares on any transit system and bike commuting expenses. Prior to this change, deductions were limited to monthly or weekly MBTA passes and did not include RTAs or biking expenses at all.



Want to get involved?

T4MA commits to democratizing the process of determining the coalition’s policy priorities. This can only happen when everyone has a seat at the table. In the coming months, T4MA will be reaching out to your organization to discuss the issues you are addressing in your community and explore opportunities for collaboration. We will also be asking for your input and participation in upcoming events, including our public education transportation finance series.



Policy Council

T4MA is establishing a Policy Council composed of T4MA members to identify policy issues to address as a coalition. Each member-organization will have a seat on the council. Issues and policies will be identified during the policy development process with T4MA staff in the second half of 2024.

The policy development process will consist of individual meetings with T4MA staff, thematic analysis of issues across organizations, analysis of the political landscape, in-person gatherings, review of identified policies, and drafting of potential legislation.

T4MA members on the Policy Council will be asked to be engaged throughout the 2-year legislative cycle and meet once every quarter or as needed to identify advocacy opportunities and strategies.



Policy Distillery

A subset of the Policy Council (7-9 members) will be asked to provide additional strategy, organizational help, serve as lead advocates on certain issues, and attend more regular, and sometimes time-sensitive, meetings. These members will come from geographic and topically diverse organizations within the Policy Council. T4MA intends to ensure that a wide range of perspectives can participate. There will also be a process for regular communication between the wider Policy Council and the Distillery.



Estimated Timeline for Policy Development Process

  • One on One meetings with T4MA staff – July-September 2024

  • In-person gathering of the Policy Council to identify policy priorities – September 2024

  • Finalize Policy Priorities for 2025-2026 Legislative session – November 2024

  • Drafting of potential legislation – November-December 2024

  • Identify bill sponsors and file legislation – December 2024-January 2025

  • Recurring Policy Council Meetings – January 2025-December 2026



How to get involved

If you are interested in any of these activities or just want to connect about T4MA policy priorities, please contact Pete Wilson, Senior Policy Director at policy@t4ma.org.

 

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