Boston, MA– I'll admit it. Somewhere along my daily commutes, whether that be in my car just sitting on I-95 N for 20 minutes trying to leave Boston on a Friday afternoon, or missing my red line train and waiting 15-20 minutes for the next one to arrive, I've briefly considered that other cities exist in the world where this issue is less of a problem. Turns out, I'm not alone.
WBUR published a few polls regarding people who work full-time around the Boston area. Some of the polling results are eye-opening.
If I were in a position of power in the Boston area, I'd take a long look at these figures. Think about what some of this is really saying. 72% of full-time employees have become stressed, angry, or frustrated due to transportation issues. That's a huge number! No wonder everyone is always honking on I-95, we're all filled with rage.
Another staggering fact: half of full-time employees say transportation is the reason they are late for work. And yes, a cynic could argue it's their fault for not leaving earlier, but I've experienced this myself. You leave at a very reasonable hour, and due to a mess of unforeseen occurrences, you arrive to work late. If that happens, your boss could get angry, and even if they understand, the simple stress of dealing with that on a constant basis is worrying in itself.
Finally, the statistic that is truly worrying is that 1 out of every 5 people, part-time or full-time, have considered moving out of this area altogether. Only because of transportation. Think about the people that our city/state might be losing simply because of this. Top professionals in every field could be considering taking their abilities elsewhere because they are forced to sit on a highway for far too long every day.
Now, this isn't an easy fix. Boston is growing rapidly and we don't seem to have the infrastructure to keep up with our rate of growth. However, if our elected representatives can't figure out how to improve these issues, we may lose more and more great people to other states where they won't have time to listen to three entire podcasts on their way to work.
Image via Wikimedia Commons / Edward Orde