August project update

Here’s a snapshot of our workload this month:

1) NB Line Evaluation

  • Last year was our first year working with the Center for Policy Analysis to evaluate the impact of the NB Line, a shuttle offered by the New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park in conjunction with the Southeastern Regional Transit Authority (SRTA). This year, we’re replicating our methods.
  • One of those methods is on-board surveying, so if you ride either route of the NB Line between today (8/5) and Sunday (8/11), you’ll encounter a UI staffer asking you to take a survey. Other steps we’ll take will include key informant interviews, focus groups, and data analysis to fully develop the picture of the NB Line’s and impact on things like attracting tourists, reducing congestion, and increasing access to New Bedford amenities.

2) The SouthCoast Urban Indicators Project (SCUIP)

  • The newest page on SCUIP covers the topic of rental housing, including data points like average monthly rent, rental housing burden, and renter occupancy rates.
  • Here’s the link for Fall River’s page, and here’s the link for New Bedford’s.

3) Taunton HOPE VI evaluation

  • We’re wrapping up the writing of our findings after interviewing 25 heads of household (in English and Spanish).
  • We’re also updating the baseline data we collected last summer to determine whether neighborhood and city conditions have changed.

4) College access

  • Our team of Upward Bound interns developed a Tumblr called, ‘Let’s go to college.’ Even though they’re done coming to the Urban Initiative twice a week, they and our other interns will continue updating the site this school year.
  • A draft report of the interns’ findings should be finished by the start of the school year, but they’re hoping to do some surveys of fellow students in September. Expect a final report in late September/early October.

5) LifeWork Project

  • We’ve begun designing the assessment tools that will be used to collect baseline data for all program participants who matriculate next month.
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