As you can imagine, the development of the MBTA’s next-generation fare system is a complex endeavor. When completed, the T’s Fare Transformation project will make it easier to pay for those daily rides we all take. One card (or one smartphone app) to cover all transportation modes – rapid transit, train, bus, boat! Those of us who use multi-modes to get around will be especially thankful when the new system is implemented.
What’s this got to do with St. Francis House? We’re glad you asked!
First, Boston AFC 2.0 OpCo LLC, the entity created to finance, design, implement, and operate this massive project for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), was looking for a local nonprofit they could partner with, and they chose St. Francis House (SFH). In addition to the generous support from Boston AFC, we received a number of donations from other individuals and entities involved in this project!
So many, many thanks to Boston AFC 2.0 OpCo LLC. To John Laing, an infrastructure project investor that is a 90% shareholder of Boston AFC. To INTECH Risk Management, which was also involved in this project as an insurance advisor. And to attorneys Tara Mackay and Michael Pikiel, whose law firms advised on this program.
Our relationship with the MBTA was instrumental in securing these donations.
Not surprisingly, few of our guests have access to cars, so public transportation is critical. Many of our guests rely on the T to get them to and from work, shelter, housing appointments, medical appointments, legal appointments…
Each month, SFH buys nearly a thousand single-ride T-passes that we provide to our guests to get to their appointments. Students participating in our workforce development programs receive T passes so that they can get to and from classes and job interviews. Our case managers also support our senior guests and those with disabilities by helping them obtain discounted T passes.
Our partners at the MBTA are also key allies in our efforts to identify and reach out to people in need in our community. SFH and Transit Police are both long-time members of the Area A Task Force, a collaboration of nonprofit, government, and law enforcement agencies that meets weekly to discuss the needs of homeless individuals in our downtown Boston neighborhood. One example of what the Task Force does: representatives from agencies will identify an individual who has been sleeping on the streets or in bus shelters, and displays signs of mental illness. The Task Force will work together to develop a plan to approach the individual to offer services and identify the best agency to do so.
It’s no wonder we’re thankful for the MBTA, and are looking forward to the completion of the new fare system.