Employee transportation coordinators (ETCs) play a leading role in delivering commuter benefits to the members of a company or organization’s workforce. They also develop, implement, and update commuter programs and policies, and serve as internal and external “point people.” Yet, the role is also relatively new, becoming more widespread over the past few years.
Because the transportation demand management (TDM) landscape is constantly shifting as policies, technology, and best practices continue to evolve and change, ETCs need to stay focused and current to maximize their impact.
These are five of the most important things that every employee transportation coordinator should be doing now:
#1 – Get to know your local and regional commuter programs
Almost every major city or region has a government-affiliated commuter program that aims to promote alternatives to solo driving. These organizations work to empower commuters and lead the push toward smarter, more sustainable transportation choices.
As an ETC, you should be proactive about connecting and cooperating with local and regional commuter programs. Do more than just find out what they offer. Reach out to the people who run them, and get to know them. Attend their events and webinars, join their mailing lists, and stay engaged with what they’re doing.
Remember: an effective ETC is a company or organization’s in-house commuter programs expert. The most successful ETCs have advanced knowledge that reaches beyond their own walls and extends out into the broader community.
#2 – Stay current
On a related note, local and regional commuter management ordinances and programs can be complex, and they often have a lot of moving parts. They also tend to maintain long and detailed lists of requirements that partner companies and organizations are expected to meet. You could be dropped from the partnership for failing to meet even one of those requirements, even accidentally.
To that end, make sure to stay current with the details of all the local and regional commuter programs your organization participates in. If their requirements are changing, or if you’ve implemented organizational changes that may affect your eligibility, reach out to the appropriate administrators for help or advice. This is another incentive for maintaining close ties and open communication with your local program coordinators.
Plugging into organizations like the Association for Commuter Transportation that offer webinars, conferences and other learning opportunities at the local and international level is another great way to stay informed. And be sure to check out CommuteCon.com for information on upcoming virtual conferences for commuter management professionals.
#3 – Share commuter program info with new employees
Newly hired individuals often struggle to find their own way into commuter programs after starting a new job. It’s common for new hires to simply not know that commuter support options are available.
Coordinate with the person or team responsible for new employee orientations. Make sure they are mentioning internal commuter programs during welcome sessions, even if only briefly. Prepare materials that could be included in either printed or digital orientation packets. Then, make sure those materials contain your name, contact information, and a warm message that lets newcomers know you’re available and happy to answer any commute-related questions they might have.
#4 – Keep coworkers engaged and informed
Effective ETCs keep their coworkers engaged with commuter programs and informed about resources, opportunities, and special initiatives.
Here are a few strategies you can use:
- Create an email list that interested colleagues can join to learn more about programs and updates
- Generate and distribute posters and flyers about special events like annual commuter challenges
- Work with your human resources department to include commuter programs in new employee onboarding plans or and regular internal communications
- Do a lunch-hour presentation series on commuter-related topics, such as “Bike to Work 101” or “Ways to Get to Work Without a Car”
- Invite a representative from local or regional commuter programs to talk about their initiatives (and include an incentive for participating, like free lunch or a prize draw)
#5 – Take full advantage of available tools
First, look within your company or organization to see what tools and supports they offer. Does your company have its own carpooling network or ride-matching software? Is there a commuter rewards program in place already?
Many dramatic TDM success stories begin with creative and engaging commuter rewards, challenges, and friendly competitions. These are easy to implement and fun for participants, and they can really drive participation rates in the right direction.
If you’re a little short on the tech end of things, you can also reach out to local and regional commuter programs to see if they have any room to add your company as a network on their software. Of course, the entire RideAmigos team is also here to help you take full advantage of the impressive benefits of technologies like our signature commuter management platform.