Challenging assumptions behind workplace parking privileges
Employers tend to assume that providing employees with free parking is just a necessary cost of doing business. The underlying assumption is that free parking makes commuters happy, and happy commuters make for a happy workforce.
While it’s probably true that many car-centric commuters wouldn’t be happy if they were suddenly told they had to pay for their own parking, it’s still worth asking whether the chicken or the egg comes first when it comes to free workplace parking. Do businesses provide free parking because commuters drive, or do commuters drive because businesses provide free parking?
It’s a question without an easy answer, but what we’ve seen in our years of experience in the transportation demand management industry is that commuters are more likely to adopt smarter modes of transportation if they’re given a strong incentive to do so.
Free Parking Isn’t the Only Path to Happy Commuters
If you’d like to reduce employee reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, cut parking costs and encourage commuters to use smarter modes of transportation more often, all while keeping commuters happy, there’s a smart, simple way to go about it:
Give employees the option of trading in their free parking privileges for a different form of transportation incentive, like a free monthly transit pass, credit toward a new bike, or a monthly parking cash-out program designed to encourage carpooling.
This way, you empower commuters to make their own choices, all while protecting the goodwill you generate by offering free parking in the first place. Not only that, these programs can even be seen as added employee benefits for those who prefer transportation modes other than driving!
Check out our learning center for more information on alternatives to free parking that save businesses money while encouraging smarter commuting. You can also find out about incentives to promote ridesharing and tools to manage parking right here on our blog.
If you’d like to learn how our industry-leading commuter management platform can power your parking incentive programs, contact RideAmigos today.