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Building an Employee Commute Program

A commuter program is good for employees and business!

A comprehensive employee commute program will give you a competitive edge in recruitment and retention. Better yet, productivity goes up and absenteeism goes down when employees can choose low stress, convenient ways to get to work. A well thought out and effectively marketed commute program can actually turn the commute into an employee benefit!

How to Get Started:
1.) Use Existing Resources
The easiest and cheapest way to start an employee commute program is to find the public transportation already available close to your worksite. Place a rack of brochures and schedules for these resources in a location that is easily accessible to all employees, such as the reception desk or break room. Try to include information on buses, BART, light rail, taxi services, and bike and walking trails.

2.) Commute Analysis
Every business has unique transportation needs and not all programs are appropriate for everyone, so to select the best programs for you, begin with a commute analysis. It sounds complex, but it is simply a quick and easy survey-based report that describes:

• What cities do your employees come from?
• How many miles do they travel round trip?
• How do they currently get to and from work on various days?

The survey can be placed in paycheck envelopes, distributed through office mail, or e-mailed. You can also have your payroll or personnel department run a zip code search. It is important to get the most accurate picture as possible of current commute patterns so you can best plan your strategy.

3.) Determine Goals and Strategies
Employee Commute Program Goals are typically a mix of: improving recruitment and retention, reducing parking congestion, helping the environment, improving public opinion, and complying with air emissions regulations.

Each goal suggests a specific strategy, which can be precisely targeted using the survey results. In general, you should:

• Adopt as many programs as possible to give employees appealing choices when considering the commute to work.

• Focus programs primarily on those that alleviate the need for a car and discourage commute driving.

• Couple as many programs as possible with green-friendly marketing.

• Institute any and all programs required by law.

4.) Add Programs
Congratulations, you are ready to start adding programs. Commute programs vary in their time and financial commitments, so you will be able to start as small as necessary and build from there. The key to success is making sure your employees know and understand the programs available to them, but the more options available, the better.

Click below to see program ideas for a implementing a particular strategy, or scroll down to view the whole program idea checklist


Encourage Walking
Encourage Bicycling
Encourage Vanpooling
Uninterrupted sidewalks and pedestrian pathways On site perimeter lighting On site showers/lockers Cash incentives Prize giveaways Walking buddy program/club Map of area and surrounding trails Local housing information/marketing Local housing subsidy Emergency Ride Home Program Uninterrupted sidewalks and pedestrian pathways Flexible Work Schedule Program
Install Bike Lockers Install Bike Racks Bike lanes/ paths to transit hubs and county bikeways On-site perimeter lighting Crosswalks at signals Showers/ lockers Bicycle purchase subsidy Electric bike subsidies Cash Incentives Prize Giveaways Biking buddy program/club Local housing subsidy Local housing information/marketing Flexible work Schedule Policy Emergency Ride Home
Preferred vanpool Parking Provide Park and Ride Lot Information Provision of Vanpool Vehicles Ridematching Program On-Site Vanpool Marketing Published Zip Code Maps Zip Code Lunches Cash Incentives Direct Cash Subsidies Prize Giveaways Flexible Work Schedule Policy Emergency Ride Home Program
Encourage Alternative Work Schedules
Encourage Carpooling
Encourage Transit Use
Spare the Air Day "Work at Home Policy" 4/40 policy (work 40 hrs in 4 days, 5th day is off) 9/80 policy (work 80 hrs in 9 days, 10th day is off)
Preferred/Reserved Carpool Parking Park and Ride Lot Advertisement Provision of Carpool Vehicles Ridematching Program On-Site Carpool Marketing Published zip code maps Cash Incentives Zip code Lunches Vehicle Maintenance Program Prize giveaways Local Housing Information/ Marketing Local Housing Subsidy Flexible Work Schedule Policy Emergency Ride Home Program
Turnouts for transit buses Transit Shelters at public Bus Stops Near Work Transit Benches Sidewalks/ paths to Transit Hubs Lighting at Public Bus Stops Employer Sponsored Shuttles to transit hubs Public Transit Bus near Site Caltrain Station near Site BART Station Near Site On-Site Transit Pass Sales Free Introductory Transit Pass Sales Cash Incentives Transit Subsidy Program(Commuter Check) Prize giveaways Local Housing Information/ Marketing Flexible Work Schedule Policy Emergency Ride Home Program
Encourage Telecommuting
Additional Programs
T-1, ISDN and other Computer and Internet Cabling On-Site Video Conferencing Room Telecommuting Policy Home Office Improvements (ISDN Cabling, fax line, office furniture, etc.) Home Computer Loan, Purchase or Subsidy Telecommuting training for managers Telecommuting training for employees
Limiting Parking Charging for Parking Provision of Carpool Vehicles Parking Cash Out CafÈ on Site Patios, dining areas, break areas with seating Exercise Facilities US postal Service Child Care Center Commute Info. Center Dry Cleaning Services Bank/ATM Commute Fairs/ Dedicated Transportation Coordinator New Employee Orientation Program Form a Shuttle Consortium with neighboring businesses Commute Services Website Mid-Day Shuttles

Bay Area Commute News