As Transit Systems Cut Service across the U.S., Hub & Spoke Becomes the New Way to Roll

What has happened to mass transit systems in America over the last few months? You probably know the story already, but let’s review:

  • The pandemic struck, businesses closed or furloughed their employees, and fewer and fewer people used mass transit.

  • Across the country, transit systems of all kinds – subways, commuter trains and buses - started to lose money because fewer people were riding.

  • And now, as ridership declines even more, transit systems of all kinds are losing more money, so they are cutting back on service even more.

And this story isn’t happening in only a few places. Recent news stories report that it is happening in New York, Boston, Chicago, the San Francisco Bay area, and in just about any area where large numbers of people have used public transportation to commute to work.

To quickly summarize some of the transit cutbacks that are happening, let’s just mention that in many urban areas in America, hours of service are being cut and overnight service is being canceled . . . 10%, 20% or even more of the stations in subway systems are being shut down . . . fewer cars are being used in commuter rail systems and subways . . . staff cuts are causing trains and subways to be operated by fewer transit employees . . .

And the list goes on and on. No doubt about it, America’s transit systems are undergoing what can only be described as shrinkage.

What’s the Impact on Your Employees?

First of all, they are grumpy, maybe even angry because it has gotten harder to travel. But grumpiness and anger are only two results from transit system contraction. Here are some that might be making life a lot worse for people who are commuting to work, or who might be expected to resume commuting soon:

  • Their family routines are disrupted due to the availability of fewer trains and buses.

  • They experience greater inconvenience because the stations and hubs closest to their homes have closed.

  • They have security concerns because they have to use unfamiliar or under-traveled stations or conveyances.

  • They still fear exposure to the Coronavirus from other riders, even though trains are less crowded. And some stations still are traveled by a large number of travelers, even though the total number of people who use a transit system might have decreased.

That Explains why Working from Home and Work from Anywhere Are on the Rise

More and more companies and their employees are turning to those two solutions, often abbreviated WFH and WFA these days.

Plus, there is this new office trend called Hub & Spoke, which we recently wrote about on this blog. To use a Hub & Spoke configuration, a company established a central location – a Hub – where a core group of employees works every day, or people work occasionally. That company also sets up Spokes, which are secondary locations, closer to employees’ residences, where they can work.

Now that the age of American commuting is on hold, Hub & Spoke offices is an idea whose time has come.

Just when American transit systems are applying the brakes, Hub & Spoke is oiled up and running smoothly, letting people get their work done conveniently, efficiently, and safely.

KettleSpace is ready to help your organization shift to a Hub & Spoke office model and other configurations that let your employees continue to work safely, efficiently – and remotely. Questions? Give us a call today.

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