Reverse Commuters Get a Lift
Among its many assets, Westchester County’s location, bordering on America’s most dynamic metropolis, is a huge plus. Equally important is the ease with which Westchester businesses can draw from its regional workforce: in particular, New York City.
So-called “reverse commuters” are well-served by roads and three rail lines, and the county has been particularly clever in creating transportation links that make commuting by public transportation as smooth as possible. These connections include shuttles between major rail station and corporate offices, as well as vanpools that transport staff quickly, comfortably and affordably.
“Often, the vital commutation element is a ‘first mile, last mile’ situation,” says John Lyons, President and CEO of MetroPool, Inc. “While trains bring staff to White Plains, for example, we work with corporations there to provide the final, critical link to their office or production site.”
Amalgamated Life operates a shuttle between its White Plains offices and the town’s rail station. Some 71 riders currently rely on eight vanpools for these first/last portions of their daily commute.
Even more expansive were MetroPool’s efforts on behalf of New York Life. In 2004, the leading insurance provider transferred major portions of its operations from Manhattan to Sleepy Hollow. While Metro-North rail was a partial solution, the firm ultimately began utilizing a series of 19 vans that transport 119 employees who live throughout metropolitan New York and New Jersey.
“Relocations often force companies to examine how they intend to hold on to their most valued resource, their work force,” Lyons says. “At MetroPool, we have field staff that assists companies in divising the best possible transportation solutions for their needs.”
Robert P. Weisz, Chairman and CEO of Rye Brook-based RPW Group Inc., notes, “Westchester has probably the best train system of any suburban area around New York City. From Grand Central Station, there are three separate branches – along the Hudson River, and through the middle and eastern portions of the county. As a comparison, New Jersey often requires transfers to reach Manhattan. While, on the Long Island Railroad, it is not uncommon to see standees on trips lasting over an hour.”
The RPW Group, an owner of more than two million square feet of Westchester office space, specializes in converting older corporate headquarters and factory structures into viable, modern quarters. Bus shuttles bringing employees to and from Westchester rail stations service many of these buildings.
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