Efforts to get the MBTA back on track are hurting metro Boston businesses and their employees, a new survey finds.
Fifty-four percent of the 100 Boston-area professionals surveyed said public transportation is unreliable, and 57% said it had become less reliable in the last six months.
A third of business leaders said the issue affected their ability to attract and retain talent, 31% said it was affecting their business’s ability to succeed, and 27% had to change their remote work policies to give employees employees the option to work more from home. frequently, the survey found.
“The results of this survey illustrate how frustrated Boston-area professionals are with the unreliability of local public transportation,” said Matt George, partner and head of research at Seven Letter, a communications firm that conducted the survey. in association with Boston Business Journal.
“It is concerning to see so little confidence in the reliability of a system that is trusted by so many in the Boston business community,” he added.
Nearly 80% said public transportation options in Greater Boston are worse than other major metropolitan cities, and 45% said those options are “much worse.”
Business professionals were more wary of the subway system, which was the subject of a federal investigation earlier this year that found widespread failings in security, operations and management.
Forty-four percent said the month-long closure of the Orange Line and part of the Green Line, which was done to comply with federal directives, directly affected them or their businesses.
In terms of overall quality, T ranked lowest among survey participants, who collectively gave it a ‘C-‘ grade. Forty-one percent returned a ‘C’ grade, 24% gave it a ‘D’, and 16% said the subway system had failed. Only 1% felt it deserved an ‘A’.
The public bus system was considered average, with an overall grade of ‘C’. Commuter rail performed best for MBTA operations, securing a B grade, with the majority of respondents giving it a ‘B’ or ‘C’.
However, not all results were negative.
Ranking highest for public transport were bike and scooter sharing options, which scored a ‘B+’ and represented the only option in the survey that garnered the most ‘A’ and ‘B’ responses.
Additionally, the majority of respondents said the region’s public transportation system is safe, affordable, and convenient, at 86%, 75%, and 71%, respectively.
And most employers said the T’s problems weren’t affecting their businesses’ ability to attract and retain customers.