Take The Bus

I can’t help but notice – maybe it was the “donate your boat” sign – but there are an awful lot of regional bus stops in our area. I wonder how easy it is to take the bus outside of a major metro area.  I am betting it isn’t all that easy…at least not here.

We are no New York City (or Chicago) when it comes to public transit in the Greater Philadelphia Area.  Yet, there are plenty of people in Philly who don’t drive or choose not to drive. When I first moved here, I met someone, a recent college grad; he was 22 and just getting his license to drive. I almost fainted when I heard that; okay, maybe not that bad, but I was shocked… (then I saw him parallel park and thought, well, maybe he shouldn’t be driving even still!)

For those of us who grew up in the burbs, we couldn’t wait, desperate to get out and about – see the world – we got our driver’s license right away. We’d worked all summer and through the school year to save money for our first junker car: no airbags, no ABS and certainly not heated seats…but for maybe $500 up to a whopping few thousand.  It was a set of wheels that would get us to work, the mall and maybe, if we were allowed – to the city. (Of course, this was pre-9/11 and fuel was reasonable, and insurance didn’t cost an arm and a leg, either.)

In NYC, I know (even then) it’s just much easier, and part of every day life. From the early teen who goes to school or meets up with friends in the city to the seasoned commuter, day in and day out, traveling by rail, subway or bus to get here and there. There, you can pretty much get anywhere you want to go.

Not so in the former farmland, turned into housing developments and shopping malls with little pockets of communities, that we (I) love here in eastern PA. People just drive. Or, do they anymore?

How does this come into play if a company decides to open a restaurant, office or a branch in the burbs;  how easy it is for them to attract employees? We are not so far away, just 10-15 miles maybe, from a fairly large labor pool; but that may as well be on the other side of the world if no one can get there.

So what does an owner do?

Do they just call up the local transit authority and say, “Hey, I have a new business here and I think people will want to take the bus to get here. Can you add a stop for us?” This is just one thing that has never really come to mind when advising clients on setting up and establishing successful businesses…until now.

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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