Making it that ‘final mile’ to work in suburbia

bGlobeBy | Globe Staff

Say you take the commuter rail to work in the suburbs west of Boston. After you step off the train, you need to find a ride to reach your office. Do you call a taxi? Request an Uber? Wait for a shuttle bus? Wait . . . is there a shuttle bus?

Making that “final mile” can be difficult. It’s an issue that many communities along the Interstate 495 corridor face, and it was the main topic of discussion Tuesday at the Boroughs+ Economic Development Summit.

Boroughs+ is a collaboration among leaders of the city of Marlborough, the towns of Northborough, Southborough, Westborough, Hopkinton, and Hudson, and the 495/MetroWest Partnership, a public-private economic development initiative that serves 35 communities.

A panel discussion focused on finding ways to improve public transit west of Boston, and how to create more connections to that “final mile.” The panel moderator, Barry Bluestone of Northeastern University, noted that with housing prices rising in the Boston area, more families will be moving out to the western suburbs.

Bluestone said seniors also will need ways of getting around. Using himself as an example, the 71-year-old professor said, “Ten years from now, you won’t want me driving a lot.”

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