• WFH and Passenger Rail (Throw In Airlines)

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
WFH - Work From Home; if you didn't know the acronym BC - Before Corona - you know it now.

I'm starting to wonder if WFH will continue post-Corona, with businesses realizing that "electronic big brother" can monitor workers as well as can the boss in the back of the office. Further, new ways to teleconference are being found and could well continue to be used in same manner when this crisis ends.

The impact on commercial passenger transport could be "huge" - and adverse.

Thoughts, anyone?
  by MACTRAXX
 
GBN and Everyone:

This situation has the potential to decimate public transportation of all types for the foreseeable future.

Some transport operators may never recover financially and be forced out of business without a "bail out" from government.

With oil prices now around $25/barrel gasoline has become less expensive -
with $2/gallon or less a distinct possibility.
With "social distancing" those with the option to drive to their destination(s) are
going to be even more likely to do so.

It may well be found that the percentage working from home becomes even higher with the finding that productivity is as good as commuting to/from the office each day.

These riders are not likely to return to public transportation except for the limited times
they must visit their employer.

It remains to be seen how large the permanent ridership loss for public transport is.
The affects going forward are not going to be good...MACTRAXX
  by eolesen
 
I'd say that many naysayer top executives who were very resistant to WFH are going to be proven wrong by their employees during the next month.

Many were forced into this, and I know some will probably do a snap back at the first opportunity.
  by Tadman
 
Long ago I gave up on the office life to work on the road or home office. I strongly believe in the face-to-face aspect of work, but only in the right context. Certain sales tasks and collaborative tasks of groups are more efficient and effective when face-to-face. But I think we went from 85% of those tasks needing face time to less than 50%, perhaps as low as 10-20% in certain industries.

But there still will always be times when you need to show up and make a full court press to close a deal. Booze still helps make deals. Take your customer out, get them a steak and a bourbon, etc...
  by eolesen
 
I worked remote for about five years, and have no problem with it, but it does have downsides. Many companies have a "if you're not seen, you're not valuable" mindset which I think is dumb, but it does come into play with promotions, re-orgs, downsizing, etc. and WFH workers seem to be disproportionately negatively impacted by that.

We also saw in Wuhan and Hubei that the divorce rate spiked following their quarantine periods, and it won't surprise me to see similar happen here after the various "shelter at home" and forced business & school closures. Some workers and partners/spouses are already counting the days until they can get back to a normal routine. I pity those with elementary age kids right now who are forced to be locked up with them 24/7.

As I've said before, some companies are going to see how successful this is and let this continue post-Corona. I know from firsthand experience that we see greater productivity in that people stay online longer when they don't have to accommodate a commute. In places like NYC and Chicago where commuter taxes for employers are in place or being discussed, it also gives those large employers a way to better control their costs. Those things matter to corporate leaders.

It's also not the last time we will face an invisible enemy like this.
  by rcthompson04
 
I have been working from home for 2 1/2 weeks and drove the prior 1/2 week before it. I think some will be eager to get back to the office while many will not be as eager. I think employers are going either willingly accept more working from home in the future or are going to lose talent to those who do.

That said I will still use SEPTA or Amtrak when I head back to the office whenever that happens. Both are still cheaper than driving plus parking.
  by STrRedWolf
 
rcthompson04 wrote: Wed Mar 25, 2020 1:24 pm I have been working from home for 2 1/2 weeks and drove the prior 1/2 week before it. I think some will be eager to get back to the office while many will not be as eager. I think employers are going either willingly accept more working from home in the future or are going to lose talent to those who do.

That said I will still use SEPTA or Amtrak when I head back to the office whenever that happens. Both are still cheaper than driving plus parking.
Same here. Can't wait to get back in the office. Been stuck since the start of the month. Will still take MARC -- Odenton has a small coffee shop that has coffee that I miss now.
  by bdawe
 
checking from some news sources,

Translink(Vancouver, BC)
* Subway- down 76-82%(statistics for Canada Line & E&M Lines reported separately)
* Commuter Rail - down 90-92%

GO Transit(Toronto, ON)
* Commuter Rail - down 80 percent
TTC(Toronto, ON
* Subway - down 80%
* Streetcars - down 76%

MTA(New York, NY)
* Subway - down 87%
* Commuter Rail - down 71-94%

BART(San Francisco, CA)
* Regional Subway - down 92%
MUNI(San Francisco,CA)
* Light Rail/Streetcar/Cablecar - all rail service cancelled, bustitution
Caltrain(San Francisco,CA)
* Commuter Rail - down 86-95%

Amtrak
* Intercity Rail - down 90%
  by urr304
 
There will be some return to in person working, but many tasks can be accommodated using WFH. I have a friend in California who has been WFH about 75% time since 2000 or so.

There were a few times teleconferencing would have been more productive when I was in those work situations. Teleconferencing, videoconferencing has been around for a long time, we are talking 40-50 years ago. It is just there has not been a big enough incentive until this pandemic.

Outside of direct supervision, manufacturing, maintenance, shipping & receiving goods there are not many planning and auxiliary functions that can not be done distantly. Many service and financial industries will become more WFH than they were before this.

There will be a change in commuting and business travel levels from now on.
  by exvalley
 
Memories are short. Lots of face-to-face business dried up in 2008 only to return with a vengeance when the economy improved. I expect something similar this time around.
  by SouthernRailway
 
Clearly WFH and Zoom will have some long-term impact on passenger rail.

The only system that I really worry about is the NYC subway. I’m certainly not taking it anytime soon.
  by eolesen
 
Yep, travel did return in 2009, but that's because there wasn't any risk of catching a debilitating virus at the time...

Sales calls will resume. Internal company meeting travel, not so much.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
An NBC Nightly News segment aired yesterday is indeed ominous for the airlines, and relevant to passenger rail in thst Amtrak has one business travel market, and the commuter rail systems are "all about work" (me going to the Symphony, and all other such use is, well, "ancillary"):

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/busine ... s-n1205036

Expanded coverage aired.on Today:

https://www.today.com/video/boeing-ceo- ... 3326533868

Now directly relevant to both Amtrak and the commuter rails is this article appearing today in The New York Times:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/12/nyre ... d=em-share

Fair Use:
Before the coronavirus crisis, three of New York City’s largest commercial tenants — Barclays, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — had tens of thousands of workers in towers across Manhattan. Now, as the city wrestles with when and how to reopen, executives at all three firms have decided that it is highly unlikely that all their workers will ever return to those buildings..
If the Northeast's office complexes, located in clise proximity to the rail lines are dispersed to "a zillion WFH locations", that can only have adverse effect to Amtrak's Corridor business travel.
  by SouthernRailway
 
I'd say that the only upside is that air travel will be more affected. I'm not gloating- I love American Airlines and feel terribly for it, too.