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3 Hospital Commuter Solutions that Reduce Solo Car Commutes and Save Money

Looking to reduce vehicle trips to and around your hospital? Transportation demand management (TDM) is a great way to improve access, reduce pollution, and ease the costs associated with increased parking. Implementing some simple but effective hospital commuter solutions can measurable reduce the number of solo drivers traveling to and from your facility each day.

Here are three winning strategies that healthcare administrators around the country are already using to great success:

Pay employees to leave their cars at home

Regardless of the type of workplace, employers have great success with a simple but effective program: incentivize employees not to drive to work. The most successful employers offer cash in exchange for taking an alternative mode and passing up on parking. From payroll incentives to gift cards, and even paid time off, the right incentives lead to significant numbers of employees choosing  smart alternatives to solo driving.

Raise the cost of parking

Another straightforward, high-impact strategy for the hospital mobility ecosystem: make it more expensive for employees to park. For example, if you currently offer employees a discounted monthly parking pass, instead charge solo drivers regular daily parking rates.

This is a very effective strategy, but to avoid a mutiny, you need to pair this kind of initiative with hospital commuter solutions that make it less expensive for employees to use other modes. Rideshare matching paired with a guaranteed ride home programs is a great option, as is public transportation. To that end:

Your hospital commuter solutions should encourage public transit use

Hospitals are usually situated so they’re easily accessible via public transportation. Take advantage of this by offering to subsidize or fully fund monthly transit passes so your commuters can save money by taking the bus or subway to work instead of driving.

If local transit routes don’t serve your hospital particularly well, consider shuttle service as an option. Running private shuttles between the hospital and major public transportation hubs in the nearby area is a cost-effective and easy way to bridge service gaps.

For more tips on reducing solo car commuting, and for expert insights into your current lineup of hospital commuter solutions, talk to our experts to get started with RideAmigos today.

What is a TMA / TMO?

What is a Transportation Management Association (TMA) /
Transportation Management Organization (TMO)?

A transportation management association (TMA), sometimes known as a transportation management organization (TMO), is an administrative body designed to manage the transportation needs of a particular venue, district, or community. In most cases, TMAs are non-profit organizations, and they are usually controlled by members.

Most TMAs also use partnership models that combine private investment with public resources, thus casting a wider net of stakeholders.

TMAs operate on various scales, with larger-scale organizations holding jurisdiction over entire cities or regions, and smaller-scale associations governing the transportation needs of medical facilities, shopping centers, business districts, or industrial zones, among others. They play an important part in shaping and implementing transportation demand management (TDM) programs with specific objectives that typically include:

  • Single occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuter trip reductions
  • More efficient allocation of parking resources
  • Reducing peak-period traffic levels
  • Shifting traffic to off-peak periods
  • Promoting alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles
  • Improving transportation accessibility and system performance

Member-controlled transportation management organizations are more responsive than most government-run TDM initiatives, since they are not encumbered by administrative red tape and can implement new policies with greater speed and flexibility. They also play a key role in supporting smart growth initiatives and land-use patterns that conform to the mixed-use models being favored by a large number of forward-looking municipalities.

The RideAmigos commuter management platform is an ideal tool for TMA’s

The RideAmigos platform is a valuable ally to TMAs of all sizes, thanks to its proven ability to make smarter modes of transportation more accessible to a broader base of users. Transportation management organizations around the world are now using the groundbreaking RideAmigos TDM software package to:

  • Access network and reporting tools that provide an excellent basis for policy creation and implementation
  • Bring a broader range of sustainable transportation options to a larger number of community members
  • Generate meaningful statistical insights into network-specific transportation patterns
  • Manage parking demand
  • Reduce vehicular traffic during peak periods
  • Create and distribute commuter surveys that help program managers better understand the needs and desires of commuters and travelers

RideAmigos is specifically designed to address the TDM needs of organizations operating in both the public and private sectors, and it has become an indispensable tool for businesses, government agencies, and TMAs across the US.

Do you help run a TMA or TMO that could use a more efficient system for managing your programs and shifting commuter behavior? Get started with RideAmigos today to learn how we can help maximize your impact.

Don’t Miss the Bus – CommuteCon 2017 is Coming

CommuteCon 2017 – Wednesday, February 8th

Check your schedule get moving!

Let your friends and colleagues know it’s not too late to register. It’s going to be the most fun and informative four hours in the commuter transportation industry.

Register Now

We’re also excited to announce that the Association for Commuter Transportation is sponsoring CommuteCon. Please join us in saying “thanks!”

 

 

Press Release Follows:

RideAmigos to Host CommuteCon 2017 Online Conference

SANTA MONICA, CA, 02/01/2017: RideAmigos is pleased to host CommuteCon 2017, an online conference focused on current trends and topics in the field of transportation demand management (TDM). The event is scheduled for Wednesday, February 8, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern (10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Pacific). Participation is free, and open to all.

The conference provides an accessible online forum where prominent leaders in the TDM field can connect with citizens, stakeholders, and other TDM professionals. It is structured around notable speakers drawn from a variety of sectors including government, education, and private enterprise. Featured speakers will present ideas and discuss trending topics in the TDM space.

Registration information and a detailed schedule of speakers and topics is available at https://rideamigos.com/commutecon-2017/ .

Program highlights will include:

  • Creating strategies for changing commuter behaviors
  • Encouraging the adoption of alternate modes of transportation
  • Designing, implementing, and managing employee commuter programs
  • Leveraging peer-to-peer relationships through employee outreach programs
  • Reviewing the latest mobility legislation

CommuteCon 2017 is the second such conference hosted by RideAmigos and the first to be presented under the new CommuteCon label. Keynote speaker Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research at the University of California-Berkeley, said, “The last RideAmigos virtual conference was jam-packed with great insights from shared mobility operators from across all sectors.”

The Association for Commuter Transportation is also a sponsor of CommuteCon 2017.

Early registration for the upcoming conference has already made CommuteCon 2017 one of the largest commuter TDM-related events in the world. It will be an annual event going forward.

 

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About RideAmigos

RideAmigos is a Santa Monica, California-based producer of transportation demand management software. In addition to developing an online commuter management platform, RideAmigos hosts and organizes industry events and supports organizations in both the public and private sectors as they move towards more sustainable transportation and commuting policies. The company’s areas of focus include intelligent rideshare matching, advanced TDM automation and integration, and the promotion of robust gamification and commuter incentive tools.

CommuteCon 2017 Registration Open!

CommuteCon 2017 is shaping up to be the most fun, informative, accessible commuter conference of the year

Registration is now open for CommuteCon 2017, happening February 8th. The 4-hour online conference features top-tier speakers from around the world, sharing focused presentations on a wide variety of engaging topics.

Register Now

The fields of commuter management and transportation demand management come to an exciting intersection at CommuteCon. Whatever side street you arrive on – traffic reduction, smart mobility, parking management, sustainability, employee benefits, and more – there’s a parking space for you here.

Speakers include representatives from enterprise, education, research, and government, all working together to create real and lasting change. We’re all in this together at CommuteCon. Sign up now to be part of the movement to transform transportation.

New Speakers and Topics Added

Will the New Mobility Survive a New Administration?

Mark Dowd
Former Senior Advisor
White House Office of Management and Budget

Bringing Mobility on Demand to your City

Gwo-Wei Torng, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Mobility Innovation
Federal Transit Administration

Earn-a-Bike & the Sonos Commuter Benefits Program

Allison Griffin
Facilities Manager
Sonos

State-of-the-Art Transportation Systems Modeling
for Personalized Smart Mobility and Demand Management

Lei Zhang, Ph.D.
Director, National Transportation Center
University of Maryland

TDM and Commuter Management for Small Business

Peter Williamson
Employee Outreach Coordinator
San Louis Obispo Council of Governments

Schedule coming soon!

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Smart Commuter Management

Happy New Year! There’s no better time to create goals that will have a beneficial impact on your organization and the community at large than at the start of another trip around the sun. Here are five great ways you can make smart commuter management a priority in 2017.

#1: Collect More Information

The essential first step in generating behavior change is understanding the commuting habits of your organization’s members. Specifically, there are four key things you need to know:

  • What are the primary mode(s) of transportation currently in use among members?
  • How aware are members of the transportation benefits you currently offer?
  • What is the single most important consideration for members when choosing a way to get to work? Time? Cost? Something else?
  • What benefits or incentives would get members to try out an alternative mode of commuting?

Finding answers to these questions through commuter surveys will help you create a transportation program that’s got a much better chance of success.

#2: Experiment with Incentives

Providing incentives for leaving single-occupancy vehicles behind is a proven way to vastly increase program participation rates. Incentive programs come in many forms, with popular options including:

  • Pre-tax reimbursements for employees who use qualified modes of transportation
  • Preferred or lower-cost parking for carpool drivers
  • Parking cash-out programs that offer monthly payments to employees who give up their parking spots
  • Friendly individual- or team-oriented in-house competitions, with prizes for the winners who log the most miles or make the most trips using qualified modes of travel

Plan some experiments to try during 2017 and see which strategies best engage your commuters!

#3: Promote Transit as an Alternative to Solo Driving

Public transit is a great way for employees to save money, reduce congestion and pollution, and reduce wear and tear on their vehicles. Try offering partially or fully subsidized local transit passes and watch ridership soar.

#4: Participate in Bike to Work Week

Every spring, Bike to Work Week becomes a national initiative that helps get people moving and encourages greater numbers of commuters to make a permanent switch. Join in a Bike to Work Week being planned for your city or region, or if there’s not one in the works – help make it happen!

#5: Adopt a Comprehensive Commuter Management Tool

Commuters and administrators alike can benefit from a comprehensive platform like RideAmigos. Easily implement advanced carpool matching, distribute surveys, create networks and challenges, launch incentive programs, track results, and much more!

Learn More About Commuter Management Platforms

RideAmigos to Host Online Conference Feb 8th

CommuteCon 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017
10 AM – 2 PM Pacific / 1 PM – 5 PM Eastern

Designed to be a fun, informative, and accessible opportunity for learning and collaboration, CommuteCon will feature impact-focused sessions with industry leaders, relevant topics, and opportunities to interact.

Have we mentioned – it’s FREE!

The half-day online format makes it easy to join from anywhere, without having to give up an entire day or make elaborate travel plans. If your work (or play) relates to commuter management, transportation demand management, mobility, parking management, sustainability, or employee benefits, CommuteCon should be on your must-attend list for 2017.

Mark your calendars now!

Registration and schedule coming soon.

CommuteCon Biker Bar

Featured Speakers

Susan Shaheen, Co-Director, Transportation Sustainability Research Center
UC Berkeley

Steve Raney, Executive Director, Smart Mobility
Joint Venture Silicon Valley

Kent Epperson, Director of Traffic Solutions
Santa Barbara County Association of Governments

Phillip Kobernick, Sustainability Project Manager
County of Alameda

Justin Mog​, ​Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability Initiatives
University of Louisville

Jamie Jarvis, Transportation Demand Manager
Stanford Research Park

Peter Williamson, Employee Outreach Coordinator
Rideshare.org

Aaron Gaul, UrbanTrans North America
Century City Transportation Management Organization

David Weisman, Director of Business Development
Scoop

More To Come!

Program Highlights

  • Shifting behaviour with prizes & competition
  • Working with Scoop, Zipcar & Lyft in your community
  • Creating impact with Bike to Work  Day
  • Managing employer commuter programs
  • Employee outreach: Leveraging peer to peer relationships
  • Latest in Mobility Legislation
  • Moving the needle with Parking Cash-out Programs
  • And More …

To make sure you receive future CommuteCon announcements, sign up for our newsletter.

Why Corporate Carpool Programs Matter

Corporate carpool programs help businesses build a positive culture and more productive workforce

The benefits of corporate carpool programs extend well beyond helping to reduce traffic congestion and pollution. Research has shown that they can have very positive effects on employee productivity and job satisfaction. Commuters who carpool to work tend to report lower levels of stress, and arrive at work more energized and ready to take on the challenges of the day. That can have a big impact on a business’s bottom line.

There’s another important angle to consider: company culture. More and more, prospective employees are choosing to work for companies that reflect their personal values. This is especially true of the millennial generation, who will soon make up the majority of the workforce.

These young, talented, tech-savvy individuals are poised to play a major role in the evolution of 21st century enterprise, and offering fringe benefits like corporate carpool programs help attract them. Such programs send a key signal about company values, which are increasingly important in talent attraction and retention.

Employees benefit in a big way from corporate carpool programs

Companies that offer commuter benefits like corporate carpool programs discover that benefits run both ways. Employees win too. Here’s how:

  • Carpooling is a proven stress reducer, as it allows passengers to take their attention off the road and focus on productive activities or enjoyable diversions
  • Corporate carpools are a great forum for networking and socializing
  • Employees that participate in corporate carpool programs enjoy financial savings by reducing fuel expenses and vehicle wear and tear

Winning strategies include rideshare matching and offering preferred parking to vehicles used in carpools. Rideshare matching involves connecting people who live within relatively close proximity to one another, and have expressed interest in participating in a rideshare programs. Carpoolers can create custom schedules, and share costs and driving duties.

Preferred parking programs offer choice spots to vehicles used in carpools. For businesses that have paid employee parking, a related strategy can include rebates or price reductions for carpoolers.

Starting an employee carpool program is easy with the right tools. Fortune 500 companies are using RideAmigos cloud-based commuter management platform to manage corporate programs and incentivize employees to use third party mobility providers like Waze Carpool or Scoop.

Learn more by subscribing to free Commuter Tips, or contact us to discuss your plans.

The #1 Commuter Parking Management Strategy

Use this proven method to boost the effectiveness of your commuter parking management

Parking demand can cause major problems in the workplace, especially if your commuter base is heavily reliant on single-occupancy vehicles. However, by implementing a single strategy, you can massively improve your approach to commuter parking management. This winning strategy is known as parking cash-out.

Here’s how these highly successful programs work:

Parking cash-out is an ideal option for businesses that provide employees with subsidized or no-cost parking. The business begins by calculating its daily per-vehicle parking rate. Then, offer employees who drive to work a choice: take a cash payout, or use your parking spot. The payouts can be calculated and distributed on a weekly or monthly basis, or processed along with payroll.

For businesses that rent their parking facilities, figuring out the daily per-vehicle rate is easy: just divide your total parking costs by the number of spots you rent, then compute down to a daily figure. Companies that own their own parking facilities can estimate daily costs by adding up construction, operation, and maintenance costs associated with their parking lots, then dividing by the number of parking spots it holds. That figure can then be annualized, or broken down into quarters, months, weeks, or days.

Studies have shown that if you’re going to use only one commuter parking management strategy, this is the one to try. Parking cash-out programs can reduce parking demand by as much as 45 percent.

This strategy works because it gives commuters an immediate, tangible incentive not to drive to work. Most commuters that have access to free or low-cost parking don’t think much about what it costs the company. Offering them a cash payout in exchange for their parking spot will make the commuter feel as though he or she stands to lose something by continuing to solo-drive to work.

Companies can achieve long-term savings by sharply reducing the amount of parking they need to rent, or earn additional revenues by renting unused spots to other individuals or businesses. It’s a classic win-win situation that is well worth a try if you’re a facilities manager for a business struggling to figure out how to manage steep employee demand for costly parking.

RideAmigos is the perfect commuter management platform for implementing a parking cash-out program. Empower your employees to make smarter transportation choices like ridesharing, biking, and transit. Track commuting patterns. Incentivize preferred behaviors. All within one powerful system.

Get started with the commuter management pros at RideAmigos to learn how you can implement a parking cash out program.

Why Are We Here?

Why ARE we here? Why does the field of commuter management matter? Why is RideAmigos so excited about transforming commuter behavior?

In just one minute, CEO Jeffrey Chernick tackles this all-important question at the recent Association for Commuter Transportation conference in Portland:

The reason why we’re doing this, the reason why I’m doing this, is because we’re shifting commuter behavior to create a better planet.

We’re all in this for the same reason, and by shifting commuter behavior we’re actually clearing the roads!

We’re getting people to take healthier routes to work, whether it be a bike, or a walk, or a Zipcar, or a Lyft line, or an uberPOOL. There are so many new ways to get around.

If people are motivated to do and try something new, we’re actually going to make a major difference in the world. And that’s a big deal! That means cleaner air for our children, that means lower energy consumption for our culture and our land use, and it just goes into so many facets of our lives.

If we decide to commute smarter the world is an actual better place and we’ll live here longer.

It’s almost necessary. We don’t have a choice in it anymore. We have to do it!

The transportation industry today – including ACT and RideAmiogs – we’re here to do this, and it’s pretty profound to be here for it.

Interested in finding out how your organization can make a difference? Take our 2-question survey and receive a free commuter program analysis:

Free Program Analysis

How Commuting Impacts the Environment

Every commute made in a single-occupancy vehicle puts more pressure on the environment

Even though alternatives like telecommuting continue to gather momentum, a large majority of the world’s workforce still travels to and from a physical workplace, day in and day out. While governments are increasingly focused on improving transit infrastructure to reduce the number of trips made in single-occupancy vehicles, commuting by car remains entrenched as a preferred mode of travel in many cities. This creates a huge amount of stress on the environment, our natural resources, and on commuters themselves.

Individuals may think they can’t make a difference, but the numbers tell a different story. Here’s a run-down of the carbon dioxide emissions produced by commuting 10 miles (one way), five days per week for one year:

  • Small car (35 MPG fuel economy): 1.4 tons
  • Midsize car (20 MPG fuel economy): 2.6 tons
  • Full-size car/SUV (14 MPG fuel economy): 3.8 tons

According to statistics from the 2009 National Household Travel Survey from the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, 93% of commuters drive alone with an average commute trip length of 12 miles.  

Getting even a small percentage of those vehicles off the road by having commuters choose cleaner, smarter modes of transportation would have an immediate and highly beneficial effect on the environment.

Small-scale but widespread changes lead to major positive impacts

To quantify the positive impact that alternative commuting can make, here’s a look at the statistical flip-side of the coin:

  • If 5 percent of the New York City residents who solo commute by car or taxi switched to riding bikes, they would save 75,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. That’s roughly equivalent to planting 30 square miles of forest.
  • In the United States, about 50% of all elementary students are taken to school by car. If just 20% of those students walked or biked instead, the environment would be spared of about 356,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually.
  • A recent survey found that 89% of Americans believe that reducing energy consumption should be a primary focus of transportation development strategies.

Clearly, the support for a cleaner future is already part of the public consciousness. The power to make meaningful changes just needs to be brought to a wider base of commuters. Which is one of our primary goals here at RideAmigos. We want to help people enjoy their commutes and contribute to creating a better world. Join us in our mission to transform transportation, one commute at a time!

Our powerful commuter management software platform was designed to make alternative modes of transportation more accessible to a larger number of people. A long and growing list of businesses and organizations have used RideAmigos to great success. Help reduce the commuting impact of your community by discovering the transformative capabilities of RideAmigos. 

Contact us today to learn more!

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What is Transportation Resilience?

Defining and understanding transportation resilience

In the context of risk management, “resilience” is defined as a system’s ability to continue to function at an acceptable level of efficiency in the face of disruptive or unexpected conditions. This concept has been imported into the world of transportation demand management, giving rise to the idea of “transportation resilience.”

Transportation resilience is defined as the ability of a transportation system to move people around in the face of one or more major obstacles to normal function. These obstacles can include extreme weather events, major accidents, and equipment or infrastructure failures. More specifically, the concept of transportation resilience has even more precise implications, depending on how the term is applied:

  • For individuals, transportation resilience means being able to get around if the person’s vehicle breaks down, or if the person is injured, becomes disabled, or suffers a loss of income
  • For communities, it means that public transit is accessible, and that traffic can continue to move despite accidents, emergencies, seasonal construction projects, or special events
  • On a design level, it means that transportation systems have specific built-in features to deal with extreme levels of demand and critical, unexpected problems
  • On an economics level, it enables personal transportation to continue functioning even if an important resource, such as oil or gasoline, becomes unavailable or prohibitively expensive
  • On a strategy level, it means a transportation system is created to accommodate future growth and possible changes to future usage or access patterns

At the day-to-day level, transportation resilience is of greatest concern to individuals and communities. It is something businesses and commuters need to think about, since the availability of transportation is critical to the function of both these entities.

What types of organizations have the most pronounced need for resilient transportation strategies?

Transportation resilience is critical to organizations with high concentrations of commuters. The more dependent those commuters are on single-occupancy vehicles, the more important it becomes.

All kinds of unexpected events can disrupt a person’s commute — car trouble, bad weather, traffic congestion, transit outages, accidents. The key to transportation resilience is to offer commuters alternatives that enable them to get around despite these issues.

The RideAmigos commuter hub is replete with features that support transportation resilience for commuters and the businesses that employ them. With easy-to-use planning features and connections to a complete range of transportation alternatives, users can take part in rideshare and carpooling programs, make better use of public transit, use carshares, and much more.

Get started with RideAmigos

Ridesharing Management Software

Why is ridesharing management software so essential to the resurgence of the carpooling movement?

After a brief period in vogue during the energy crises of the 1970s, carpooling receded to the background in the 1980s and 1990s. But more recently, ridesharing is dramatically resurging. Heightened awareness of the negative environmental impacts of single-occupancy vehicle commuting is one of the major reasons for its comeback, but there’s another: smart technology like ridesharing management software.

Today commuters experience unprecedented levels of Internet connectivity, making it easier than ever before for carpoolers to connect with one another, form groups, share costs, and enjoy the many benefits of ridesharing. Beyond reducing pollution, ridesharing also helps commuters save money on parking, fuel, and vehicle maintenance costs while reducing stress and improving workplace productivity.

On an organizational level, modern transportation demand management software is essential to the sustained success of carpooling and ridesharing initiatives. Such software provides ridematching tools to help commuters with similar schedules travelling from similar areas find one another, and can also manage carpool rewards programs to make sharing rides an even more desirable option.

Convenience is a crucial driver of behavior change, as commuters are far more likely to embrace ridesharing if it is as accessible as hopping in the car in the morning and driving away. Modern technology makes this possible.

Features to look for in ridesharing management software

Organizations that are looking to create a long-term culture change in their commuter bases should look for ridesharing management software tools that offers these user-friendly features:

  • Intelligent rideshare matching. Give users the ability to find rideshare matches along their commuting routes in seconds.
  • Network creation. Enable different organizational departments or locations to form their own individually administered rideshare networks.
  • Support for incentive programs. Encourage higher levels of participation through rewards programs, mode-based challenges, and other gamification initiatives that get people excited about taking part.
  • Built-in messaging. Help users make quick, efficient connections with other rideshare participants in their network(s).
  • Reporting tools. Track program progress, generate charts and maps, and draw on categorized data to generate key strategic insights that support long-term success.

The RideAmigos transportation demand management platform offers these and many other tools for creating and administering ridesharing programs. RideAmigos has already helped hundreds of private and public sector organizations build efficient and successful ridesharing communities, and we’d like to help you too. To learn more, click here to get started with further information, a consultation, or a free analysis of your existing rideshare initiatives.