As the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Calibre, a defense contractor in Springfield's Metro Park, Jack Mutarelli was familiar with the area's transportation issues involving Metrorail, the bus system and the Transportation Association of Greater Springfield (TAGS). This familiarity landed him the position of the TAGS president for the coming year, and possibly further.
"Calibre has embraced all the commuter choice programs here," Mutarelli said. "Our employees ride TAGS. We see TAGS as an important part."
TAGS is behind a system of local commuter buses that circle Springfield on weekdays, enabling local commuters to abandon their cars for local trips. This route — known around the TAGS circuit as S80, S81 and S82 — currently makes stops at Springfield Mall, Springfield Plaza, the Springfield-Franconia Metro station and Metro Park, an office complex off Beulah Street. The Calibre offices are located in Metro Park. Since a majority of its 200 employees ride the Metro and TAGS, Mutarelli is combining his firsthand knowledge of TAGS with his program management experience in the president’s position.
"I bring the perspective of a customer," Mutarelli said, although he is a past Metro and bus rider and now commutes by car because of his long hours as a Calibre executive.
Nancy-jo Manney, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce executive director, appreciated Calibre's support for public transportation.
"They are very civic minded," Manney said. "They look how they can give back to the community."
One of the founding members of TAGS, the Fried Co. owns the building in Metro Park in which Calibre rents office space. Calibre relocated from Skyline at Bailey's Crossroads and chose the Metro Park area because of the transportation accessibility, Mutarelli said.
"They almost immediately joined the chamber," Manney said.
A RECENT ANALYSIS of the TAGS route revealed that some stops west of I-95 are also stops of the Fairfax Connector buses. When the county realigns its bus routes in September, TAGS will make some changes as well. Those stops west of I-95 are being eliminated from the TAGS route and picked up by the Fairfax Connector buses, and the TAGS routes east of I-95 are being extended. The Northern Virginia Community College medical campus is one additional stop that TAGS will include.
"The new bus routes that will kick off in September will give better service than we have today," Mutarelli said.