Whether it’s financial, like offering commuter benefits, or other means, companies are making it easier for employees to commute with the help of government and nonprofits.
In Austin, Texas, the Central Texas Transportation Management Association works with businesses to help get employees to work. The association is called Movability, and it is “dedicated to working hand in hand with employers to improve the region’s economic vitality by connecting commuters with mobility options that save time and money.”
Movability works with businesses to help them offer different commuting-related options. Those include assistance with carpooling, subsidized transit passes, flex time working hours, telecommuting and passes to services like car and bike shares.
One Austin company, Cirrus Logis has offered shuttle buses for employees since 2012.
Other cities working together
Similar partnerships are found in other places across the United States. In Boulder, Colorado, more than 46,000 vehicles are on roadways on weekday mornings, stressing the area’s infrastructure.
The nonprofit coalition and advocacy organization Commuting Solutions is working with companies on similar programs as can be found in Austin. One company, Boulder Organic Foods, is working with Commuting Solutions to develop carpool options and improved transit options for employees, for example. At Boulder Organic Foods, more than 90 percent of employees live more than 5 miles from the company’s headquarters.
One way to make public transportation more attractive to commuters, so they stop the solo car commutes is to introduce commuter benefits as part of the employee compensation package.
With commuter benefits, employees set aside money tax-free in their paychecks. They can save up to 40 percent in commuting costs if they use public transit, rideshares (Uber and Lyft) or pay for qualified parking.
Employers benefit too. They can save up to 7.65 percent in payroll taxes because employees are setting aside their commuter benefits money without paying taxes on it. Administering commuter benefits requires little additional paperwork and is not stressful.
Edenred Commuter Benefits can help walk you through the process to see if it’s a good fit for your organization. Visit www.commuterbenefits.com for more information.