At a time when travel is on the decline during the pandemic, local taxi and limousine services are receiving funding to boost their attractiveness
MassDevelopment, one of the state’s quasi-public economic development agencies, announced Thursday that it has awarded 85 grants totaling nearly $ 4.5 million to dozens of companies operating in the taxi and livery industries. funds are intended to help these companies become more competitive in the for-hire space dominated by companies such as Uber and Lyft in recent years
MassDevelopment announced the program in August and accepted applications for about a month; small businesses can apply for up to $ 50,000 and industry associations can apply for up to $ 1 million Grants are intended to help transportation companies across the state pay for technology and safety upgrades, systems from mobile telephones compatible with smartphones to personal protective equipment to limit the spread of viruses
These awards will help taxi and livery operators by equipping them with the tools they need to improve their service, safety and operational capabilities MassDevelopment President Lauren Liss said in a press release
About 20 small businesses received the maximum grant of $ 50,000 Two business associates who work in Massachusetts – the Transportation Alliance, Inc. and the New England Livery Association, Inc. a ???? received grants of $ 1 million These groups can spend up to $ 200,000 on marketing efforts to promote the industry
Mike Kennealy, Secretary of State for Housing and Economic Development, called the effort a way to support “critical adjustments” This will allow the industry to operate with the health and safety of its workers and customers in mind.
Funding for the grants comes from the State’s Transportation Infrastructure Improvement Trust Fund, which was established when Governor Charlie Baker signed a transportation law in 2016 Since then, â ???? transport network companies, â ?? like Uber and Lyft, paid 20 cents for each trip in Massachusetts, with one penny going to MassDevelopment to support the modernization of the industry they aim to disrupt (The remaining 15 cents goes to towns and villages for transportation needs and the state transport fund)
Ebene News – UA – MassDevelopment awards nearly $ 4.5 million in grants to improve taxi and livery industry – The Boston Globe