SECTION 1. There shall be a task force on non-emergency human services transportation to explore ways to better collaborate, improve service and achieve operational and cost efficiencies through the brokerage system. The task force shall consist of the following members or their designees: 2 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house of representatives; 2 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; the director of the human services transportation office who shall serve as chair; a representative from the Massachusetts department of transportation; 3 persons to be appointed by the regional transit authority administrators, all of whom shall be regional transit authority administrators currently administering human services transportation; and 2 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be an expert in human services transportation planning and 1 of whom shall be a current human services transportation rider.
The task force shall make recommendations and propose guidelines on non-emergency human services transportation with the goal of examining and better understanding the human services transportation brokerage program and identifying opportunities for improved service and productivity that provides a strong safety net for vulnerable populations in both rural and urban areas. This includes using existing routes when available, providing bus passes to eligible individuals and the need to have strong, transparent and consistent cost allocation systems in place to ensure that the capital and operating costs for both the brokerage and public transit systems are assigned to the appropriate cost center for reimbursement.
The recommendations and guidelines shall be used by the office of human services transportation to develop non-emergency human services transportation broker services. The task force shall file a report of its study and its recommendations with the clerks of the senate and house of representatives, the house and senate committees on ways and means, the joint committee on transportation, the joint committee on children, families and person with disabilities, the secretary of health and human services and the secretary of transportation not later than December 1, 2022; provided, however, that the task force may make a draft report available to the public for comment before filing its final version.
Provided further, there shall be a two-year moratorium, from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2023, on the implementation of any new contract for non-emergency human services transportation and status quo of the six currently designated regional transit authority brokers shall continue to provide this service under the current operating terms of their respective contracts.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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