I'm responsible for a small group of employees and we just acquired a client that needs their skills, but require them to work on its premises.
The client's offices are located in an area poorly served by public transportation, and this means that my colleagues will have longer commuting time, about 45 minutes more than what they are used to now (from a 1h commute they will have 1h45min commutes, approximately).
This makes them unhappy, and I care for them and this worries me. I asked my own boss if there is a way to compensate the extra cost they're going to encounter, but the company's policy won't allow it in this precise case (although the commute is much longer, it is still within the borders of our city, and thus it is not eligible for compensation in our company).
They asked if, after a couple of months of trying the new job, they could request to come back working in our main offices, but I have no other colleagues with their knowledge background, so I cannot propose them to switch with others.
The client is a strategic one, and I cannot afford to lose it: I need to provide the service.
I don't have any clue about what to do to improve the situation, how could I make them understand I value their opinion, even though I cannot do anything reasonable to meet their preference?
Is it true that I do not have much of a choice or did I overlook some possibility?
EDIT: I know this is not an optimal situation for my colleagues, that is the reason I sympathize with them and I'm trying hard to find a reasonable solution.
My company isn't evil either (on the contrary, usually we take every possible extra step to make everybody happy). No company in this region organizes payed transportation for less than hundreds of employees (not that I know of), and it is hard/impossible to compete on the market having this kind of extra cost.