Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Muggy Days, Interesting Commutes

Another muggy day . . .blah!! I love summer, but I don't love mugginess. I wonder if anyone does?

Last night's commute home was interesting. I took the P529 outbound train home. The train showed up with six single cars. Usually we have 5 double cars and 2 singles. Needless to say, it was mobbed and passes/tickets were not collected. However, we were fairly on time. From comments posted to the blog last night, it sounds like a lot of the South Station lines were packed.

You know, I have never checked out the WiFi on the Worcester line. Does anyone know if it still exists? One of the comments last night indicated that the WiFi might not be available.

My inbound commute today was perfectly fine. The P508 arrived to South Station at 8:22 a.m.

On to the news.

An op-ed from today's The Boston Globe focuses on Presidential-candidate John McCain's transportation strategy. At least according to Derrick Jackson, McCain could lose the public transportation debate. It will be interesting to see if this year's election cycle increases the support for public transportation.

It looks like more South Shore commuters may be opting for public transportation/share van options, according to an article from The Daily News Tribune. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts employees who work at BCBSMA's Hingham and Quincy offices can use a shuttle bus from MBTA stations to their offices for free. What a deal!! Ridership is up 15% over last year.

About 400 employees take the shuttle from the Red Line's Braintree station to the Hingham office and 800 take the shuttle from the North Quincy MBTA station to the Quincy offices. BCBSMA should be heralded for offering their employees the ability to use public transportation to reach regional offices. Approximately 1,000 people work in BCBSMA's Hingham office. Though Hingham is a reverse commute for people who live North of Hingham, it is still good to have those cars off the road. BCBSMA also subsidizes 30% of their employees' monthly MBTA pass. No wonder BCBSMA consistently makes regional and national lists of "the best places to work at."

BCBSMA is not alone in offering employees the ability to use public transportation, carpool or use vans to reach the office. Reebok, OneBeacon, and Computershare help to subsidize the Neponset Valley shuttle bus service.

The article also cited a recent study published by HR consulting company Challenger, Gray & Christmas about what companies are doing to cut commuting costs. Here are the major trends:
What companies are doing to cut commuting costs
  • Condensed workweek (such as four 10-hour days): 22.9%
  • Organize car pools: 20%
  • Subsidize public transportation: 17.5%
  • Other (gas card prizes, monthly transportation stipend, etc.): 16.3%
  • Expanded telecommuting opportunities: 14.3%
  • Encourage bicycling or walking to work: 11.2%
  • Subsidize gas costs: 5.7%
  • Offer shuttle services: 2.9%
  • None of the above: 42.9%

Source: Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. survey of 100 human resource executives, May 2008

Finally, this is a bit of local news. I read about this in last week's The Grafton News. Since The Grafton News is not available online, I can't link to that article. It looks like the former Grafton-Upton Railroad line might come back into existence. You can read about it in this article from today's Telegram & Gazette and on The Greater Grafton Blog. The Grafton-Upton Railroad is for freight trains.

1 comment:

AJ said...

For whatever reason (I assume we'll never know because no information was given) the P523 (506 Back Bay) didn't arrive until about 527. They told us it had been delayed and to wait for further info. In the meantime, the Framingham Local (521 Back Bay) came and went and the Express folk were still standing there. It made really long station stops, and traveled very slowly at times. We finally arrived in Grafton a whopping hour late. Good times.