Mobility Strategies

Mobility Strategies

From pain point to bright spot in our day, it’s our move to transform how we get around and how we build our communities in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts is full of great places to live, work and play, and amazing things to see and do. But getting there from here is harder than it needs to be and that is holding us back. Whether we’re stuck in traffic, waiting on the platform, crawling along in over-crowded busses, or just stuck without good options – our transportation system is stealing time from us every day, keeping us from getting where we need to be, doing what we love, and being with the people we care about most.

Everyone, in every part of Massachusetts, should be able to step out their door and have good options for how to get where they need to go. From the first shift to the late shift, for the early risers and the night owls, from Stockbridge to Boston, from Pittsfield to Provincetown and every place in between, people deserve good, reliable, efficient – even fun and healthy – ways to get where they need to go. We want transportation options built for this century that use innovation and technology to make getting around easier.

Better transportation makes everything better. We don’t need to settle for the status quo. And we won’t. It’s our move.

Barr is supporting organizations ready to make the move through two strategies:

1. Transform the transportation system.

Smarter Travel


  • Strengthen our existing MBTA system: Support research and communications to inform public discussion and decision-making about current and future transportation needs and to increase public confidence that the transportation system can work.
  • Expand mobility choices and financing options: Support research, communications, convening, and learning opportunities to explore and catalyze new solutions for closing transit gaps and for sustainably financing transportation in the region.
  • Catalyze a seamless, 21st-century transportation system: Invest in leadership, leverage technology, and support innovative pilots that can help catalyze a seamless, 21st-century transportation system.

2. Accelerate the development of low-carbon communities.

Smarter Places


  • Strengthen planning and development capacity in outer-ring suburbs and rapidly-developing cities that are, or could be, well connected to transportation.
  • Support research, convening, communications, and advocacy that advances smart-growth development across the region.

Smarter travel. Smarter places. Transformation in how we get around and how we build our communities.

Download a strategy overview

Climate Program Grantmaking Process and Inquiries

Grants awarded by the Barr Foundation originate in different ways. The majority are initiated by our staff. Additionally, given the value we place on long-term partnerships, many grants are renewals for current grantees.

However, we welcome inquiries from those who feel their work may align with Barr’s priorities and who wish to introduce themselves to us. The best approach is to send a brief description (we suggest 300–400 words) of your organization and the funding opportunity you would like us to consider to While we commit to reviewing all inquiries, given the high volume we receive and a relatively small staff, we reply only to those we intend to explore further.

Click here for more information on our grantmaking process.

From Pain Point to Bright Spot: Transforming How We Move Around Massachusetts.

Learn more about the ideas and trends that informed these new strategies.