Tasks for Transit Accomplishments for 2019

4Q 2019: TFT's plan for 2019 was to continue its steady growth by adding four Partner Charities to its network. As has been done for the previous two years, one more was added during each quarter of 2019. TFT ended 2019 with 30 Partner Charities.
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News

  • This quarter, TFT received grants two grants from the Greater Worcester Community Foundation for a total of $2,750. Donations from individuals and corporations raised the total for this quarter to $7,500; the total for all of 2019 was $18,700.
  • TFT was the featured charity in November for the special Tips Program of Redemption Rock Brewery, on Shrewsbury Street in Worcester. During the month its patrons donated a whopping $2,835! Thank you, patrons!
  • TFT has added Worcester's WIC program as the latest Partner Charity helping TFT to dispense bus passes.
  • The top management of the WRTA has been in transition since its former Administrator (CEO position) resigned during the summer of 2018. Dennis Lipka continues to be the Interim Administrator.
  • As reported earlier this year, the Greater Worcester Research Bureau published a report analyzing the possibility of the WRTA running a “fare free" bus system. A committee has been formed to pursue this objective. Recently, Worcester's Chamber of Commerce announced its endorsement for a three-year trial, or prototype, of a fare free WRTA. In December, the Kansas City, MO City Council unanimously approved the switch to a fare free public transit system. (Kansas City is several times larger than Worcester.)

Tasks for Transit Accomplishments for 2019

This article is a summary of the 2019 accomplishments of Tasks for Transit Inc. (TFT)

TFT’s plan for 2019 was to continue its steady growth by adding four Partner Charities to its network. As has been done for the previous two years, one more was added during each quarter of 2019. TFT ended 2019 with 30 Partner Charities. These are listed in another section of this newsletter. The organizations added in 2019 were: The Tenant’s Council of Great Brook Valley; Mustard Seed Catholic Worker; African Community Education; and the Worcester WIC program. During the frigid Winter months, TFT also supports Hotel Grace, the cold weather overflow homeless shelter. We continue to give every one of the partner charities ten free WRTA single-day bus passes every month, which they in turn dispense individually to their economically disadvantaged clients needing transport to necessary and to important appointments. In some cases, these are life changing appointments related to health care or employment, etc.

Working on an as-needed basis with these same partner charities, TFT distributed 80 Job Fare Kits, each containing 31-day WRTA bus passes intended for persons with no income or low income who are starting a new job. The Job Fare Kit program, while somewhat restricted by limited funding, did manage to help 80 people this year.

Since its inception in 2015, TFT has helped over 8,470 people with its day pass program. By mid-year 2020, TFT expects to have dispensed it’s 10,000th WRTA single-day bus pass! Both the Partner Charities and the bus pass recipients are always very grateful.

TFT has also been actively participating in efforts within greater Worcester to make the WRTA, i.e., Worcester’s public transportation, “fare free.” In other words, everyone would ride the buses for free. Making this a reality is a work in progress, started last Spring with a report from the Worcester Regional Research Bureau, ” The Implications of a Fare-Free WRTA .” At this point, the idea has the support of the Worcester Chamber of Commerce for a three-year pilot program. That is, in itself, a very important endorsement. Earlier the WRTA Advisory Board voted unanimously to research the Fare Free idea. At least one city councilor, Gary Rosen, is behind the idea and seeking the council’s support. Even if it does eventually happen, it could be some time before it is implemented. In the meantime, TFT will assume it needs to continue dispensing roughly 300 bus passes per month which it will have to purchase.

TFT has had a fairly successful year, meeting its goal for expansion and for WRTA single-day bus passes, and managing to dispense quite a few Job Fare Kits. TFT has an aggressive growth plan for 2020, and will be expanding its fundraising activities, to support that goal. We appreciate your continued support. Have a Happy New Year!

Stats from our March 2015 launch through September 2019

5
Partner Charities
5960
Bus Passes Dispensed
$ 22164
Spent on Bus Fares
32
Job Fare Kits Dispensed

More to explore

Eight Perspectives on Homelessness in Worcester

1Q 2020: According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) a person is homeless if they are staying/sleeping in a shelter or in a place not fit for human habitation (i.e., there are sheltered homeless and there are unsheltered homeless).

Tasks for Transit Accomplishments for 2019

4Q 2019: TFT’s plan for 2019 was to continue its steady growth by adding four Partner Charities to its network. As has been done for the previous two years, one more was added during each quarter of 2019. TFT ended 2019 with 30 Partner Charities.

The Status of the Fare Free WRTA Idea

3Q 2019: In April 2019, the Greater Worcester Research Bureau published a report analyzing the possibility of the WRTA running a “fare free” bus system. Other cities, e.g., Portland, Oregon, are doing this or have done it in the past. Clearly, a fare-free WRTA would be a great benefit for those living in poverty.

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