Commuting alternatives at Natick
November 8, 2011
Most of us drive alone to work, but Terry Garrahan wants you to know that there are more efficient ways to commute to Natick Soldier Systems Center.
Garrahan, a member of the U.S. Army Garrison-Natick Environmental Division, pointed out that carpools, trains and shuttle buses can get you to and from the office. He added that, right now, an Army-wide program provides $230 a month for each Natick military or civilian worker who uses public transportation.
"For over 10 years, we've had a program in place where our employees that are taking the train and bus get what we call commuter checks," Garrahan said. "This is a tax-free benefit."
According to Garrahan, NSSC, which is a member of the MetroWest/495 Transportation Management Association, must file an annual report with the state on commuting practices. Currently, he added, about 10 percent of Natick's workforce carpools. Another 10 to 20 employees regularly take the train.
"I just like the employees to know that local shuttle service is available for employees living in nearby towns," said Garrahan, "and both the MBTA Green Line and the MBTA Purple Line (are available) for commuters living further away."
Garrahan realizes, however, that carpooling likely will remain the most popular option.
"Most people don't live along the train tracks," Garrahan said. "That kind of leaves the train out of it.
"We're pretty much scattered through 155 towns. That's where carpooling winds up being, for us, the best solution."
Garrahan, who noted that USAG-Natick provides seven carpool parking spaces in the A Lot, said that carpooling here extends back to the gas crisis of the 1970s.
"We've had carpools last … generations," Garrahan said.
To explore commuting alternatives at NSSC, visit http://www.metrowest495tma.org or call Terry Garrahan at (508) 233-5993.