520 Providence Highway, Suite 4, Norwood, MA 02062 Tel. 781.769.1126

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Getting From Here to There

For most of us getting to work is a fairly easy task. Typically, if we work in the region, we drive and park in a nearby lot. For those commuting to Boston it can it bit more cumbersome whether its taking the commuter rail or driving through the inevitable traffic.

However, there is a reasonably large population of people who commute into our region to work, for whom the journey can be not only lengthy, but somewhat dangerous. Many workers come to the area to work at retail locations like Legacy Place, Patriot Place, The Mall at Walpole and hotels and restaurants along Route 1. The MBTA's 34E bus brings people from Boston to the Neponset Valley along Route 1A. Getting from Route 1A to employer locations on Route 1 can be tricky as there are no connections for commuters, other than walking. In the winter time, with snowy roads, this can be a nuisance at best and hazardous at worst.

With a strong economy and full employment, many of our retailers and hospitality businesses are struggling to find workers to fill out their staffing needs. Attracting people from outside the region can be effective, but only if we can find creative ways to help these people get to their jobs, often at off-peak hours.

For the past few years, the Chamber has been working with the Neponset Valley Transportation Management Association (TMA) and others to address this issue and more relating to moving people around the region.

Recently we formed a Suburban Mobility Working Group consisting of a broad range of stakeholders including local municipalities, large and small employers, councils on aging, health care institutions, human service agencies and others.

The Working Group has identified three issues on which it will focus to achieve its mission which is - to address mobility challenges in the suburban Neponset Valley region through multi-modal infrastructure improvements. The group will collaborate and advocate for reliable, affordable, cost-effective, efficient, and accessible innovative transportation solutions that serve all needs.

The three issues are:
1. Support for Foxborough Pilot/Expanded Reverse Commute Options
2. Improved access to Healthcare and Human Services for all
3. Advocate for Infrastructure/Improvements to Existing Programs
The Chamber's involvement will be on the first and third issue as they relate directly to supporting businesses with their hiring needs and with ensuring that the region has the appropriate transportation infrastructure in place to support a vibrant economy.

The success of these efforts will depend largely on the input we receive from local businesses about the challenges they face in getting employees to and from work. Please let me know if you would like to be part of this process or if you have any input you would like to share regarding these issues by contacting me at 781-769-1126 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).