This story originally appeared in CommonWealth Magazine on December 7, 2022.
SURVEYS OF LIFE science employees by MassBio in July 2019 and November 2022 indicate workers are now driving more and using public transportation less.
The survey results mirror what the MBTA itself is finding, that many riders who stopped taking the T during the pandemic are not returning. The T is currently projecting that its ridership will not return to prepandemic levels within the next five years.
The surveys by MassBio may be even more alarming because many life science workers have never stopped commuting to work.
In a statement, Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, the president and incoming CEO of MassBio, demanded that policymakers on Beacon Hill address what she called “failing transportation infrastructure and fewer commuting options.”
She noted biotech workers represent one of the bright spots in the state’s economy, but commuting burdens could jeopardize the state’s ability to retain them.
“We look forward to partnering with the new governor and her administration to develop and implement strategies that not only fix what is failing, but also plan for the future,” she said.