LONGWOOD COLLECTIVE LAUNCHES EXPANDED EFFORT TO PROMOTE MASS TRANSIT, CARPOOLING, CAR-FREE COMMUTING
The Longwood Collective, the chief planner and principal steward of the world-renowned Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA), today relaunched its successful CommuteWorks commuter services program as the newly expanded Longwood Collective Transportation Management Association (TMA).
The Longwood Collective TMA serves as a one-stop shop for commuting resources and information about active commuting modes like walking and biking, mass transit, carpooling and vanpooling, and other transportation services available to the 68,000 employees of the medical, academic, scientific, and cultural institutions of the 213-acre LMA as well as the 27,000 students who attend its schools, colleges, and universities. These services provide a menu of best-in-class commuter incentive programs for Longwood employees and students, such as the Emergency Ride Home program, active commuting incentives, and the newly adopted online commuting platform where program participates can manage their LMA commutes.
The official relaunch, aligned with Longwood Collective’s support for World Car-Free Day on Friday, September 22, comes as the organization celebrates a year of significant growth in participation in its commuter services programs, including:
- A 65% increase, to a record 1,650 employees, utilizing the GoMassCommute online commuter services platform where users can manage personalized commute trip planning information between their home and workplace addresses and interact with a platform that gamifies their commuting experience.
- A more than 50% increase, to 390 employees, participating in CommuteFit, which incentivizes walking, biking, or taking transit for trips to the district through monthly prize drawings for participants who log commuting miles in the CommuteTracker app.
- A 60% increase since January, to an all-time high of 429 participants, in the Collective’s “Emergency Ride Home” program, which ensures employees can opt for a car-free commute knowing they have a back up to get from Longwood to home in the event of illness or emergency for themselves or someone in their care.
“Relaunching and rebranding the Longwood Collective’s nationally leading suite of commuter and transit services as the Longwood Collective TMA demonstrates how much these offerings have grown in both sophistication and participation,” said David Sweeney, President and CEO of Longwood Collective. “The Longwood Collective TMA also provides a powerful new platform to continue to update and expand our offerings to meet the needs of LMA workers into coming years and beyond.”
As the state-designated TMA for the Longwood district, Longwood Collective TMA has worked for more than 30 years in promoting car-free commuting through a suite of free programs for Longwood institutions. These efforts complement the work of the Collective’s member institutions best-in-class Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs, including a multi-million-dollar MBTA pass subsidy program, free bikeshare membership, annual safety campaigns and promotional events. The combined result of these efforts, as documented in a 2022 White Paper issued by the Longwood Collective, demonstrates the number of people utilizing mass transit, carpooling, biking, and walking in place of driving soared from 53% to 70% over two decades, even as total employment and patients served in the district increased and public transit capacity saw a modest expansion.
The work of the Longwood Collective TMA centers around the transportation principles of LMA institutions, documented in the Collective’s 2022 Transportation Framework, which cites that transportation to and through Longwood: 1) Is safe, convenient, and affordable, 2) Offers services and amenities that are as world-class and innovative as Longwood’s institutions, 3) is clean, sustainable, and resilient, and 4) prioritizes vulnerable populations and users.
“Our work at the Longwood Collective TMA is grounded by the transportation principles we share with our member institutions and aims to support our members in achieving their ambitious institutional, land use and development goals,” said Dorothy Fennell, Transportation Planner focused on TDM, and who runs the Longwood Collective TMA. “Our institutions operate in one of the densest medical academic areas in the country; it’s the TMA’s job to push the conversation about how to most effectively deliver commuter transportation services and programs that maximize convenience.”
In addition to providing tangible TDM benefits, the work of the Longwood Collective TMA in turn has also eased congestion, lowered air pollution, reduced demand on already limited parking, and demonstrated the Longwood Collective and its member institutions’ commitment to sustainability, equity, and environmental stewardship.
Serving bicycle commuters has become an increasingly important focus for the Longwood Collective TMA. This year it launched the ‘Bike Longwood’ series, offering 17 tune-up events to provide free, 15-minute tune ups by a Landry’s Bicycles mechanic for the employees and students of Longwood Collective members. These tune ups are available both by appointment through an easy-to-use online reservation system created by the Collective and as walk-ins. By hosting these free tune-ups, Longwood Collective aims to remove barriers to LMA commuters opting for a bicycle commute. This inaugural season has been a success, with 500 bicycles repaired for our community. In recognizing the growing presence of E-bikes and E-scooters as emerging personal mobility options, Longwood TMA also hosted two successful electric bike demonstration events with Landry’s, engaging over 50 members of the community.