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Greater Lynn Senior Services (GLSS) is announcing that as of July 1, it will cease delivery of all transportation services.
The decision to close was difficult, said GLSS CEO Kathryn Burns, MHA, and was based on several factors, including the MBTA’s decision not to renew the agency’s contract to provide The RIDE paratransit service and the current pandemic environment, which made operating transportation services very challenging.
Despite efforts to sustain its own transportation business, Burns said that it became clear in recent weeks that the agency would not be able to operate a transportation business at this time. The closure of its transportation department will not affect the many other important services offered by GLSS, Burns said, including information and referral; home care; congregate meals and Meals on Wheels; protective and clinical services; housing supports; a variety of other community programs like caregiver supports; and much more.
Consumers, who schedule trips directly with the MBTA, should not experience any disruption in service, she said.
“I don’t think I can adequately express what GLSS Transportation has meant to our agency and to the community it has served so well for decades,” Burns said. “Staffed by hundreds of highly talented operations, support, and caring drivers, our transportation team carried the GLSS logo across the North Shore and Greater Boston areas, symbolizing what is best about our agency in providing them meaningful mobility options and fully promoting the mission of community livability and social inclusion.”
Since learning about the loss of the MBTA contract in October, GLSS Transportation has been working to fulfill the remaining months of its contract, provide for a seamless transition of service, and to assist its staff to find positions with the two remaining vendors, which will now provide all the paratransit services west, south, and north of Boston. Burns noted that most staff were re-deployed to these other contractors.
“I know I speak for everyone at GLSS when I say how extremely grateful we are to all those who have committed themselves to this important work for nearly 20 years,” Burns said. “We are profoundly sad to lose these dedicated staff members, and we wish our colleagues well in their future endeavors.”
GLSS is the nonprofit human services agency supporting people of all ages living with disabilities in Lynn, Lynnfield, Nahant, Saugus, Swampscott, and beyond.