Carpooling consists of two or more people driving together in their vehicle. Employers can promote NuRide as a way for employees to find a rideshare partner, and earn rewards for their smart commutes. With NuRide, there is no need for an employer to organize carpooling! In addition to promoting NuRide, there are many cost-effective ways for employers to incentivize carpooling, such as providing preferred parking for carpoolers, or establishing a commuter awards program that recognizes sustainable commuters. Employees benefit from carpooling by reducing the cost of their commute, wear and tear on their vehicles, and the stress of fighting traffic. Employers benefit from a reduction in the number of parking spaces, traffic congestion around the work site, and improved employee productivity and morale.
Vanpooling is like carpooling; a vanpool can typically carry 5-15 passengers and transports riders to and from work. Vanpoolers will typically set up a meeting spot before work to pick up all the riders, such as a VIA Park and Ride location or shopping center.
Vanpool programs can be administered in many ways – employer-provided or employee organized. Large businesses with a high projected employee participation rate may be able to rent, lease, or buy passenger vans to provide vanpools for their employees. Or employers can coordinate with VIA’s Vanpool Program to organize vanpool service to the work site. Employers should consider partnering with neighboring businesses to increase participation and reduce the cost of the vanpool. Alternatively, employees can simply contact VIA Vanpool Service to seek a vanpool on their own. However, vanpools are more likely to be successful when promoted through the employer. Employers can encourage vanpooling by providing preferred parking for vanpools, and establishing a commuter rewards program. Vanpooling is also eligible for commuter tax benefits [link].
Through VIA Metropolitan Transit’s VIA Works Program, employers have multiple options for encouraging public transit use among their employees. VIA offers both the Business Pass and EZ Ride pass for employers. The VIA Business Pass delivers monthly bus passes (31 days) to participating employers to sell on-site. Employers then distribute the passes to employees at cost ($38/month) or a discounted rate, if the employer chooses to subsidize the cost of the pass. Through the EZ Ride pass, employers may offer commuter benefits to all employees or a fixed number. In Option 1, the employer provides an annual bus pass (EZ Ride sticker) for all employees at a corporate rate of $82/year per employee, or at a government rate of $60/year per employee. For this option, participants must employ at least 25 employees to be eligible. In Option 2, the employer purchases a select number of passes to distribute to a limited number of participating employees at $365/year per employee. Employees benefit from a relaxed and stress-free commute, as well as a significant reduction in the cost of their travel. Employers benefit from increased employee productivity, morale, and reduced employee absenteeism and stress, as well as savings from commuter tax benefits.
Walk & Bike
Employers can encourage walking and biking to work in a number of ways, such as examining ways to make pedestrian and cycling routes to the work site safer, providing on-site changing facilities, bike racks, and commuter awards programs. In addition to encouraging walking and biking as part of an employees’ daily commute to work, employers can also remind their staff to walk or bike to meetings, lunch, or as part of their sustainable commute (when combined with transit). Employees benefit from improved health, reduced stress, and a far cheaper commute. Employers benefit from reduced parking demands, improved employee productivity and morale, as well as reduced employee healthcare costs. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, fitness programs have reduced employer healthcare costs by 20-55 percent! In addition to reduced health claims, qualified bicycling expenses are eligible for commuter tax benefits [link].
Alternative Work Schedules
Employers can implement a number of alternative work schedules, including telecommuting, flextime, compressed work weeks, and staggered shifts. Each of these options offers a myriad of benefits to both the employer and the employee. Employees are better able to accommodate personal and family needs, as well as reduce the cost and stress of their commute and daily work schedule. Employers realize significant savings in a reduction in office space, parking space, employee absenteeism, and health claims. They may also be able to extend their business hours by staggering shifts or implementing flextime. Alternative work schedules also increase employee recruitment and retention; in a recent survey by FlexJobs, 82 percent of employees surveyed said they would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.