Jonathan Saltzman’s article “Biotech workers decry arduous commutes” (Business, Sept. 25) calls for infrastructure improvements and flexible work schedules, but does not suggest one obvious solution to traffic woes: the suburbs.
With close to 39 percent of biotech workers commuting more than two hours a day, clearly a large portion of this valuable workforce lives somewhere outside of Kendall Square and the Seaport District.
So why not consider the suburbs?
Thriving biotech clusters exist outside of downtown Boston and Cambridge. Woburn in particular has seen rapid growth of biotech companies as well as biotech incubators.
Thanks to record low vacancy rates, rental costs could reach as high as $100 per square foot in Kendall Square. Biotechs in Woburn and northern suburbs such as Beverly benefit from rental rates a third of that, allowing more dollars to be focused on research, innovation, and employee benefits. In addition, they also offer shorter commutes for suburban workers, reducing the frustration associated with traffic congestion and public transit delays.
Kudos to Robert Coughlin and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council for examining this issue. Woburn and Beverly support creative solutions to commuting and look forward to welcoming more biotech companies and startups to our thriving biotech clusters.
Founder and executive director