Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Hynes T StationEveryone probably knows the famous scene from “LA Story” where Steve Martin gets in his car and drives literally a block away. It epitomizes the American mentality that you must get into your car to get anywhere, even to the next block. The concept of walking isn’t an option but for those that live in a progressive city that has alternative means of transportation, know that there are other methods of getting around besides the automobile.

When I first moved to Boston in 1989, I didn’t have my car here. I didn’t need one. Boston had not just public transportation but the oldest subway system in the USA and the second oldest in the world! So to get to work, I took the T.

Today, we still have the oldest subway system in the US and use the very same system that I used back then. It’s not been updated, renovated or technologically advanced, so as a result, train operations are unreliable, slow and were at a stand still for much of February 2015 with our many blizzards and record snowfall. It was a public transportation nightmare for thousands of Bostonians. But how did it affect us here at Room & Board? How did DAs get to work? How does any DA in any of our 15 locations get to work?

Most of our stores are situated in urban settings. Some, like Chelsea, Boston, Chicago and San Francisco are downtown where public transportation is readily available. A few of these stores do not have parking available on site which means street parking and garages are your only option if you need to drive. If you live close to the city, one has the ability to walk, take a train, or bus. Many of our stores have the luxury of a parking lot….(LUCKY!!!!) Then it’s just traffic that they have to contend with each morning. Here in Boston, we do not have designated parking available for customers or staff members. It’s up to each DA to provide their own way to work and here in Boston, the DAs use a variety of ways to get to 375 Newbury St.

If you live right in the city, it’s easy to simply hop on the T or bus. A few of us come from the North / South Shore, or West of the city where commuter rail or driving is the only option. But just as parking is expensive in the city, so too is taking commuter rail. A couple of us drive to Somerville, right outside of the city where parking is free (kinda) and then take the T to the store. We have one DA who has to take a bus quite a distance into town then either walk or take the T, and another who opts for the commuter rail. The average commute from the North or South Shore is 1.5 hours. Parking is expensive, so we find creative ways to arrive right on time each day. It’s important to know that when you work in the city, any city, finding your way to work is always an adventure.OrangeLine