The Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA) consists of eight of the nation’s top medical institutions, one of Boston’s most revered museums, the six Colleges of the Fenway, the largest Reform temple in New England, and leading research organizations. All of these anchor institutions draw tens of thousands of students, workers, visitors, and patients to the LMA every day, creating at times more sidewalk congestion than 5th avenue in New York.
The Medical Academic and Scientific Community Organization (MASCO) was founded in 1977 to address issues of inefficient land use, parking, traffic, and duplication of services for the LMA. As the area planner and shared service provider, MASCO is making it less complicated for LMA visitors and workers to find the neighborhood and get to where they need to go.
MASCO manages 41 buses running eight different routes that bring people to and from the LMA daily. The LMA shuttle bus, developed with Harvard University, carries 13,000 workers every day from public transit stops and offsite parking to their destinations, as well to interoffice locations. Each of the shuttle buses is equipped with a GPS device, allowing anyone with a computer or smartphone to monitor the exact position of each bus and receive accurate and up-to-date arrival times.
MASCO’s Call Center connects participating institutions to their callers 24 hours a day and seven days a week. More than 1.6 million calls are answered annually, including up to 2,000 emergency, disaster, and code calls. The Center answers members’ main telephone numbers, manages 8,000 pagers and wireless devices for messaging, supports clinical trials & special campaigns, and is back up for business continuity plans. For those members using the Call Center, MASCO connects patients, customers, students, and visitors more efficiently to their institutions.
MASCO also provides services or coordinates contracts in areas as diverse as childcare, elevator maintenance, travel, internet access, advocacy, and an emergency response system for members. “MASCO’s role is to continually seek ways for cooperation and collaboration among all the institutions in the LMA to support their core missions,” said Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd, president and CEO of MASCO.