As more and more businesses re-open, and employers and employees grapple with the issue of transportation to and from their offices, the new CEO of Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company (http://p-b.com) is considering establishing a new “Business Class” service for commuters when the buses begin to roll a little later this year.
Win Sargent, CEO of Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway Company, said that his team has been surveying passengers and commuters on their transportation preferences. The company has additionally sought input from municipal and transportation officials as everyone prepares for the expected increase in commuting, resulting from the transition away from the temporary “work at home” model. Initial feedback from the P&B online survey indicates a level of apprehension on the part of commuters who rely upon public transportation.
“People preparing to return to their offices are considering their options,” Sargent said. “For many, the prospect of commuting with their own vehicle is unsustainable, given the anticipated highway traffic and the $40 per day garage fees in Boston.” He said, “Many more may be hesitant to ride on the MBTA because of crowded conditions.”
Sargent said, “All of us in the transportation industry have a role to play in helping people get back to work safely and economically. For the businesses seeking to provide an appealing transportation option for their employees, we have what we believe will meet that need.”
Sargent envisions the creation of a Plymouth & Brockton Business Class service. Under this plan, the company will allocate several of its brand new motorcoaches for exclusive use by a single large employer or several smaller employers who band together. These companies would have their employees transported to and from their places of employment in a new, state-of-the-art, clean, safe motorcoach.
The Business Class plan is based on the Transit Management Association (TMA) model. A TMA is an organized group which applies carefully selected approaches to facilitating the movement of people and goods within an area. Businesses can pool their resources to support commuter transportation strategies and can provide their employees with reasonably priced transportation and peace of mind. Sargent said that TMAs exist in many regions but there is no such concept on the South Shore at this time.
“Other areas of the state have this TMA option,” Sargent said. “Companies like Boston Scientific use three or four buses to transport their employees from South Station out to Marlboro, and back. While the South Shore may not have an employer of that size, this model can work very effectively if several smaller companies with similar geographic footprints band together.”
Sargent said the company plans to reach out to large and mid-sized employers who may have 10, 15 or more employees. “In addition to providing dedicated, spotlessly clean motorcoaches, we will follow the most stringent of protocols when it comes to appropriate distancing, wearing of masks, and cleaning,” he added.
The Business Class routes would be in addition to the regular service routes that P&B provides. He said that the sharing by several companies of this resource would also greatly reduce the cost of the employees’ commuting costs. “In many of the models, the employers will help subsidize the transportation fee.”
Any businesses interested in learning more about Business Class or to potentially set up such a route are encouraged to contact Win Sargent at 781-820-3798.