• Will They Ever Return?

  • This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.
This forum will be for issues that don't belong specifically to one NYC area transit agency, but several. For instance, intra-MTA proposals or MTA-wide issues, which may involve both Metro-North Railroad (MNRR) and the Long Island Railroad (LIRR). Other intra-agency examples: through running such as the now discontinued MNRR-NJT Meadowlands special. Topics which only concern one operating agency should remain in their respective forums.

Moderators: GirlOnTheTrain, nomis, FL9AC, Jeff Smith

  by photobug56
 
I would note that other issues affect RTO. For instance, office layouts and ventilation / air filtering. I once worked just north of GCT in a mold filled office on Park. Top building, major bank, very sick office space. Also, while midtown has always been expensive to eat in, not that many firms have cafeterias, let alone ones that are affordable, and most smaller buildings with affordable delis, fast food (including Chinese) are long gone, and even food carts - at least the ones that are not disgusting, tend to be very fancy and expensive. IOTW, on top of several hundred bucks a month for the commute, plus car parking fees at your home station, and now $20 a day or more for not very fancy breakfast and lunch, commuting has become very expensive, a lot more so than a few years ago. And food options are few enough that you can encounter long lines, so by the time you have food you don't have time to eat. The Oriental bank I worked for pre COVID had one badly overcrowded lunch room for multiple floors, and water dispensers were frequently broken. Oh, and vending machines were like playing the slots!

IOTW, employers at many firms have made commuting something they require but make as painful as possible. And that's before I talk about how hard it is to get any work done in an overcrowded, noisy office.
  by eolesen
 
One thing I've noticed with a lot of the people that have returned to office is they are only going into the office a couple days per week, and often for only half a day.

Relative to transit, many of them are driving because the cost of getting a monthly pass for less than monthly usage makes no sense. Plus, with parking garages being fairly empty, there are some really good deals for day rates when you look around on Spot Hero and some of the other parking apps.



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  by photobug56
 
But traffic is awful.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Suffice to say that during the heat, I have been taking my daily three mile walk early morning, and along the BNSF.

While of course METRA's management has the actual ridership numbers and all I have aref my observations, I think that METRA's existing pre-COVID level of service, that they presently operate, is simply not sustainable. I don't see how drastic service cuts along the BNSF can be avoided.

I will not be surprised if the Sunday schedule of two hour frequency plus one or two limited stop trains during "rush hour" will be announced in the near future, along with of course additional service for events such as a music festival (not MY music) just concluded. I further fail to see how they will begin to assign the new equipment they ordered "in good faith" immediately prior to the COVID era.

Possibly other lines that serve areas where more "front line" workers reside than in "the land of the Burlingtons", have not been affected as badly, but out here the existing level is, again, not sustainable.
  by eolesen
 
photobug56 wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:42 pm But traffic is awful.
Not really --- I've been seeing people working 1000-1430 (working thru lunch) which beats traffic in both directions.
  by photobug56
 
Long Island highways, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx - everywhere we've been has been jammed full of traffic. But I can imagine that the Manhattan CBD is less so at this time.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
This morning on my walk, I observed BNSF 1202, 1204, and 1206. If on the Engineer side of 02 and 04, there were more than two faces in the window, well. "I missed 'em". 06 was an Express and on Fireman's side, didn't note too many more.

The existing service level, at least here (maybe not as severe on lines such as IC Electric and Rock Island where more "front line" workers reside), is simply not sustainable.
  by Ken W2KB
 
eolesen wrote: Tue Aug 02, 2022 7:36 pm One thing I've noticed with a lot of the people that have returned to office is they are only going into the office a couple days per week, and often for only half a day.

Relative to transit, many of them are driving because the cost of getting a monthly pass for less than monthly usage makes no sense. Plus, with parking garages being fairly empty, there are some really good deals for day rates when you look around on Spot Hero and some of the other parking apps.
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My observations are similar. As a result of two day office, 3 day at home work arrangements, businesses have reaped a very great cost savings by eliminating approximately half their office space. Many leases are being terminated at the earliest point in order to reduce the office space. Employers reap that benefit and employees reap the benefit of fewer hours and dollars spent per week on wasted time commuting by personal vehicle or transit.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
There are even TV shows now about this RTO dikemma:

https://www.hbo.com/industry

Glad it doesn't affect me.
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