Case Studies

Long Beach Case Study

Downtown Long Beach Alliance

Our program in Downtown Long Beach was only our second Ambassador Team to hit the streets west of the Mississippi when we launched the Downtown Long Beach Alliance Safety Guides in 2005.  Ever since, the DLBA has always been a key figure in Block by Block’s history.  The Gateway City of Long Beach introduced us to unique challenges combining an urban water front locale with a dense residential core and energetic night life and entertainment scenes.  This environment allowed us really hone in our operating plan for delivering effective safety services to fit diverse user group needs in a west coast market all while growing as a company.

Today, our continued growth has an uncanny resemblance to our expansion of service offerings for the Downtown Long Beach Alliance.  Just as we were once a “simple” Clean and Safe company transformed into the go-to Swiss Army Knife for service delivery in the public realm, we’ve seen our service model in Long Beach progress from a Safety Ambassador program to one that’s all encompassing to include: Outreach, Cleaning, Pressure Washing, Landscaping, Place Making and Fee for Service expansions.  In addition to working with the DLBA to continually find new ways to enhance service delivery on the streets, we have also seen no less than six Ambassadors from our Long Beach teams promoted to management levels positions within Block by Block during our 15 year partnership with the DLBA.  That’s what we’d call a success story!

Thank you to the Downtown Long Beach Alliance for allowing us to not only grow with you, but for trusting us to be the face of your downtown.

Downtown Long beach By the Numbers:

  • Curb lines are cleared of debris with 287% more frequency since adding litter vacuums
  • 1.38 square miles of district sidewalks are pressure washed every single week
  • We check in with over 900 businesses each month to ensure they are well taken care of
  • In 10 minutes or less we can come to the rescue and assist with your flat tire or dead battery
  • Over 12,000 miles are covered annually by our district bike patrols alone

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We provide superior specialized services through management of systems and people that allow our customers to focus on their core business. Learn more about how we have fine-tuned our cleaning and maintenance programs to bring your property better results at a better value.

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Bay Ridge Case Study

SMALL DISTRICTS: Taking this District ‘Beyond Litter’ to accomplish more!

Block by Block was hired by the Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID on August 1, 2020 to provide supplemental environmental services within their annual sanitation budget of $229,822 to elevate the sanitary conditions and physical appearance of the heavily trafficked 5th Avenue district.

The Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID is comprised of 40 block faces stretching from 65th to 85th Streets in Brooklyn, NY and has an annual assessment of $534,000.  The community mirrors much of NYC as a vibrant and culturally diverse residential and business district that is home to over 330 ground floor retail and restaurant establishments along 5th Avenue and over 70,000 residents in the surrounding neighborhood.

The previous vendor provided only trash services via broom and dustpan with no graffiti or weed removal, special project work such as power washing or painting of street furniture, leaving the district in need of significant restoration work on August 1st.

Block by Block’s approach to making an immediate and lasting impact was to add 208 “blitz” hours to the annual budget that would allow the Ambassadors to quickly bring the district up to a standard that could be maintained by the Team’s 160 weekly service hours.  The “blitz” hours included restoration work such as the power washing the 78 district trash cans, painting 192 street fixtures (streetlamp poles, hydrants, fireboxes and bus stops) weeding and deep cleaning the tree pits and removing graffiti and stickers from street furniture and storefronts.  Due to both storage space and budgetary constraints equipment for the program is limited to: rolling barrels, a special project cart with paint and graffiti removal supplies, battery operated blowers & weed trimmers and a power washing trike to clean trash cans/spills and stains, radios for communication and iPhones for data and photo collection in the SMART System.

The 90 day improvement to 5th Avenue was dramatic as noted by the before and after photos as well as the SMART System statistical measurements:

  • 225 graffiti tags removed
  • 520 bills & stickers removed
  • 1557 trash cans cleaned
  • 6211 trash bags used – representing over 217,577 lbs of trash removed from the district
  • 192 street fixtures painted
20/08 20/09 20/10 TOTAL
311 Requests 5 10 11 26
Bike Removal 1 1 2 4
Business Contact 48 87 87 222
Graffiti – Removed 50 12 163 225
Hospitality Assistance 146 137 114 397
Stickers Removed From Infrastructure 159 224 137 520
Storm Drains Cleaned 1233 869 604 2,706
Trash (# of bags) 2191 1992 2028 6,211
Trash Cans Cleaned 569 597 391 1,557
Tree Pit Cleaning 495 683 435 1,613
Weed Abatement (sites) 95 53 56 204

Bay Ridge 5th Avenue BID – By the Numbers

  • 40 block faces/20 NYC blocks serviced = 1 mile
  • 330 ground floor retail & restaurant establishments
  • 78 district trash cans
  • 13 NYC transit B63 bus stops

The Ambassador Program – By the Numbers

  • 160 weekly service hours
  • 208 blitz hours
  • 4 FTEs
  • 3 rolling barrels
  • 1 power washing trike
  • 1 projects cart
  • 2 battery operated greenworks blowers
  • 2 battery operated greenworks trimmers
  • 3 radios
  • 3 SMART Devices

The 90 Day Results – By the Numbers

  • 225 Graffiti Tags Removed
  • 520 Bills & Stickers Removed
  • 1,557 Trash Cans Cleaned
  • 6,211 Trash Bags Used – Representing over 217,577 lbs of trash removed from the district

Total District Infrastructure Painted 192

  • 128 black light poles
  • 22 green traffic control boxes
  • 10 red fire boxes
  • 15 yellow bus stop curb lines
  • 10 black/gray hydrants and bollards
  • 7 gray storefront roll down gates

Get Connected with Block by Block

We provide superior specialized services through management of systems and people that allow our customers to focus on their core business. Learn more about how we have fine-tuned our cleaning and maintenance programs to bring your property better results at a better value.

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MBTA Case Study

Block by Block serves the MBTA

In 2015 the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) began searching for a more cost efficient solution for providing in-station customer assistance. The recognized cost efficiencies would allow the system to deliver more coverage to the most heavily traversed stations in the system, which is known as ‘The T’. Much of the need to implement broader customer service was influenced by the mandate given to the agency to better serve those riders having disabilities.

After seeing Block by Block’s many friendly faces of its Downtown Boston Business Improvement District’s Ambassador program, the MBTA engaged Block by Block to learn more about our services, along with our philosophies of culture and proactive engagement, which drive those great interactions in downtown Boston.

After a formal interview to share our ideas and strategies we were awarded a two-station pilot program. One of those stations was the Chinatown station, which long have been plagued by socially unacceptable issues related to the transient population in that neighborhood. The addition of the highly visible Ambassadors has been credited with improving not only the perception of safety of that station, but the feeling of cleanliness as many of the unacceptable behaviors generated cleaning issues for the station. The visibility of the Ambassadors in those stations was greatly attributed to the requirement for Ambassadors to be present in the entrances, near the areas where ticket machines are located and on the platforms. Many riders commented in the first few days that there was a much more positive vibe to the stations by having a smiling face in the station.

Upon conclusion of the two month pilot program there was an overwhelming feeling that the program had been highly successful. This led to an expansion of 11 more stations within the core of the system, followed by expansion ot 17, then 24 then 31 stations in the system.

The addition of friendly, helpful people was obviously one of the desired outcomes of the Transit Ambassador program. In fact some referred to this as one of the few initiatives in memory that received unanimous public approval.

There was however a significant secondary benefit recognized by the MBTA.  The agency realized a considerable reduction in fare evasion. Having an actively engaged, uniformed presence has been impactful on the number of riders who would piggy back in or jump the fare gates. While it’s hard to predict how much fare evasion has been reduced, estimates range as low as 8% and as high as 24%, which means that a significant amount of expense related to the Ambassador program is recovered through riders paying the expected fare.

If you find yourself in Boston, make sure to say hello to one of our friendly Transit Ambassadors!

The Block by Block Transit Ambassador Program by the Numbers:

Most widely recognized program with a positive impact.

  • Number of Transit Ambassadors – 271
  • Stations Serviced – 44 Core Stations with multiple positions in many stations
  • Number of persons assisted in 2019 – 234,000+
  • Number of disabled riders assisted – 41,000+
  • Number of incidents reported – 2,350
  • Reduction in fare evasion – 8%-24%
  • Smiles and Greetings Provided – Millions
  • Issues deterred – Countless

Get Connected with Block by Block

We provide superior specialized services through management of systems and people that allow our customers to focus on their core business. Learn more about how we have fine-tuned our cleaning and maintenance programs to bring your property better results at a better value.

Get Connected