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Tips to Jump-Start Your Commuter Program This Winter

These proven commuter program tips drive higher participation rates

A growing number of businesses and organizations are being proactive about encouraging commuters to try smarter ways to get to work. Given the increased effort on this front, there is also a growing number of success stories that offer valuable lessons to those seeking to launch commuter programs of their own.

Winter is a great time to launch a commuter program, as they offer a fun way to beat the doldrums and keep employees engaged. If you’re going to be launching a program for the first time, or if you’re looking for ways to make your existing efforts more successful, these proven commuter program tips will give you a big boost:

  • Start with a strategy. Begin by looking at your facilities and the commuter base within your organization, and figure out exactly what kind of change you want to drive. Are you struggling with limited parking? If so, you’ll want to encourage ridesharing. Is your place of business located on a major public transit route? Then try to get people using the bus or subway.
  • Use benefits and incentives to drive participation. Here’s one of the most important commuter program tips you’ll ever learn: people are more likely to get involved if they benefit in some way by participating. Turn your commuter program into a game with prizes for teams who log the most trips or miles, or offer incentives to those who reach specific smart commuting thresholds. Parking cash-outs, tax incentive programs, and earn-a-bike programs are all proven ways to drum up greater levels of participation.
  • Use surveys to generate insights. Inform your strategic planning by distributing surveys that ask commuters about their transportation habits. Figure out how many people commute to work, how far their commutes are, how much money they spend on commuting each month, and which alternative methods they would be most likely to try. You can also ask about factors that might prevent them from participating in a commuter program so you can further tailor your efforts to preemptively address their concerns.
  • Track your results. By keeping close tabs on the statistical results of your efforts, you’ll generate important insights into what worked and what could be improved on next time around.

With an industry-leading suite of commuter management software tools that supports these and many other functions, RideAmigos is here to help make your commuter program a smashing success. Get started today!

Encouraging Employees to Use Transit

Even though trends are changing, we still live in a car-centric culture. That means a lot of people are still choosing solo driving even when convenient and cost-effective alternatives are available. For example, encouraging employee transit use delivers many benefits.

First, studies show that commuters who choose modes other than solo driving tend to have higher levels of productivity and job satisfaction. Experts surmise this is because they spend less time stressed out behind the wheel of a car in congested traffic. Using transit also helps commuters save money on gas and vehicle maintenance costs, all while reducing parking demand and benefiting the environment.

Here are some easy and proven ways to encourage employee transit use:

  • Provide subsidized or free transit passes to employees. This is one of the most direct and effective ways to get people off the solo driving habit and into buses, trains, and subways.
  • Play up any available tax benefits of alternative commuting, which can help employees and businesses alike. By taking advantage of a monthly tax-deductible allowance for alternative commuting expenses employees can cut their tax burdens by hundreds of dollars a year, all while helping businesses reduce their payroll tax obligations.
  • Create last-mile vanpool programs that provide easy point-to-point access between your business and local transit hubs. One of the main reasons commuters avoid transit is because destination stations are too far from the workplace. Vanpools solve that problem, easily and efficiently.
  • Offer first-mile connections using ride-hailing services like Lyft or Uber. By providing free or subsidized passes for employees to use between their home and transit hubs you can knock down one more barrier to smarter commuting.
  • Offer a guaranteed ride home program to ensure employees that they have a fast, efficient ride home in their back pocket in the event of an emergency or unforeseen circumstance.

Chances are you’ll experience the best results if you combine several of these strategies, or use all of them. Watch your employees’ reliance on solo driving diminish, and enjoy the benefits of a happier, less stressed, and more productive workforce.

Managing multi-layered commuter programs using strategies like these can start to seem complicated in a hurry, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Even complex programs are easy to implement using the tools available through a commuter management platform like RideAmigos. Want to learn more about how RideAmigos can help you use these ideas to increase employee transit use and decrease solo driving? Get started today!

TDM + Local Bike Shops = ❤️

Bicycle advocacy powerhouse People for Bikes recently shared a great blog post highlighting the mutual interests of transportation demand management (TDM) and local bike shops.

From TMA’s & TMO’s to universities, enterprises and municipalities, organizations concerned with shifting commuter behavior usually promote biking as a great alternative to single occupancy vehicle (SOV) commuting. In the TDM industry, we know bikes take up less space on roads and in parking lots, cut carbon emissions, and create happier commuters.

Local bike shops are also well aware of all these advantages of biking over driving, so for TDM programs looking for partners to help promote and empower bike commuting, local bike shops are a match made in transportation heaven.

The People for Bikes article mentions the success that our partner Sonos has had with their earn-a-bike program for employees, including partnering with local bike shops. The University of Louisville has also implemented a similar program for students who can trade parking passes for bikes.

When it comes to cycling-related TDM challenges and incentives, local bike shops are great resources for collaborations like prize donations and event leadership. Bike shops are eager to become known as the go-to location for local cyclists, especially new cyclists, and are often willing to be creative partners in bike-related TDM programming.

Here’s a great success story from the People for Bikes post:

Ginny Politz owns Bikesport in Trappe, Pennsylvania. When the Greater Valley Forge TMA approached her seeking prizes to distribute to local winners of the National Bike Challenge, Politz’s enthusiasm was instant. “I said ‘Yes, and why don’t we host a wine and cheese event to kick off the competition?'”

Bikesport’s early buy-in has paid off. “We are the only bike shop member, so they send everything our way. If they have a corporation contact them and say ‘we’d like to do a Lunch and Learn bike program,’ I get an email introducing me as the solution.”

Read more at the People for Bikes blog …

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!

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 Commuter Incentive Programs Are Important

Society at-large is becoming increasingly aware of the problems created by the overuse of single-occupancy vehicles. Even so, traffic congestion, pollution, and urban parking challenges still pose serious concerns. Commuting continues to be an enormous source of environmental impact.

Individual employers have an important role to play in moving towards a greener, healthier tomorrow. By taking the lead and encouraging commuters to use smarter, environmentally friendlier modes of travel, businesses can accelerate the path to progress.

The most effective way to get people to start using alternative ways of getting to work is to offer commuter incentive programs. These programs give commuters an added reason to embrace smarter modes of travel. Here’s why:

Help people take that all-important first step

Often the single biggest obstacle to change is taking that initial step, abandoning comfortable habits in order to try something new and different. This resistance is a common and natural part of the change cycle. Ask any smoker who’s managed to “butt out” about those difficult first days.

Incentive programs create financial, social, and community benefits to participants. They’re ideal for jump-starting commuter programs and getting people moving in the right direction.

Commuter incentive programs can target sub-groups in an equitable manner

Identifying specific sub-groups of employees who need a stronger nudge towards smart commuting is a good strategy. But, it’s difficult to mobilize these commuters into action without calling them out for having habits that you want to change. Targeted incentive programs offer an straightforward solution to a complex challenge.

Incentives are positive change makers

Congestion pricing. Exorbitant parking fees. Fuel surcharges. These are all examples of negative motivations for behavior change. They punish people for doing bad, rather than rewarding them for doing good.

Commuter incentive programs are just the opposite. They serve as positive change makers. From a psychological standpoint they’re a much more effective way to get people to adopt new habits.

The RideAmigos suite of commuter management software tools puts incredible power into the hands of organizations that want to create positive change. With a wide range of features for implementing commuter incentives and challenges, RideAmigos makes it easy for program administrators to get employees thinking differently about how they get to work.

Our goal at RideAmigos is to make commuter programs as easy and effective as possible. Want to find out how your current programs could be improved? Take our quick, 2-question survey and receive a free program analysis based on your top priorities:

Get a free analysis now!

Partner Highlight – WayToGo

Here at RideAmigos we’re always excited to see how our partner organizations are making the most of our commuter management tools. This month we’re featuring our partners at the Denver Regional Council of Governments and their WayToGo program.

WayToGo is transforming transportation for thousands of Denver-area commuters

RideAmigos is pleased to be the official provider of transportation demand management software for Denver’s WayToGo program, providing the power behind their MyWayToGo system. The WayToGo program is a regional partnership that pairs the Denver Regional Council of Governments with several local transportation management associations (TMAs) to provide local residents and commuters with a growing list of smart commuting options.

The key focus of the WayToGo program is to make alternative modes of transportation and commuting more accessible to area residents across as many demographics as possible. WayToGo applications serve both the public and private sectors in the Denver area, and current programs include:

  • Regional rideshare matching tools that pair commuters with local carpools and vanpools
  • Schoolpool programs that enhance school zone safety and offer students dependable two-way transportation on every school day
  • Practical support and resources for local cycling, walking, carshare, and flex-work initiatives

WayToGo also partners with local businesses to help build commuter programs that encourage more people to choose alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles. The program is also a proud partner and co-organizer of Denver’s annual Bike to Work Day.

Consistent year-over-year performance improvements bode well for WayToGo’s future

The WayToGo program has been generating impressive results since its inception, including an impressive string of years in which the program’s vehicle miles traveled (VMT) savings have increased. From 2014 to 2015 alone, WayToGo saw a 9 percent jump in VMT savings, rising from 12.8 million in 2014 to just under 14 million the following year. Projections indicate these trends will continue into the foreseeable future.

Also of note in 2015:

  • The number of WayToGo-registered vanpools increased by 13 percent, to a total of 114 throughout the Denver metro area
  • 17,890 families were enrolled in WayToGo’s schoolpool program by year’s end, marking a 6 percent increase
  • 1,018 employers provided Guaranteed Ride Home taxi vouchers to 119,500 local commuters who elected to bike, walk, carpool, vanpool, or take transit to work
  • Overall participation in Denver’s Bike to Work Day rose 12 percent year-over-year, and included 32,805 participants

WayToGo is currently focused on four primary initiatives: increasing awareness, boosting the number of registrations, encouraging more commuters to commit to alternative modes of travel, and making smart commuting a bigger part of the local commuter culture.

The RideAmigos software platform has been a major supporter of the WayToGo program’s sustained success, with our comprehensive range of end-user features and administrator planning, tracking, and reporting tools.

Does your organization want to have a bigger impact on how commuters think of and use transportation? Contact RideAmigos today for a free analysis of your commuter programs.

Tips From Google For Planning a Successful Bike-to-Work Program

Use this recipe from our friends at Google to build a fantastic bike to work campaign

We were recently joined by Lucy Tice, TDM Program Manager from Google, for a RideAmigos Academy Coffee Talk. Lucy and her colleagues were kind enough to share the recipe they used to get hundreds of Google employees on board with the company’s bike to work program. Now we’re going to pass it along to you!

  1. Create a survey. Find out how many people might potentially be interested in biking to work, how far their commute would be, and how experienced they are with cycling.
  2. Divide into segments. Google’s survey yielded four distinct segments within their prospect pool: “brave and fearless,” “enthusiastic and confident,” “interested with reservations,” and “not happening.” See how many members of your organization fall into similar groups.
  3. Choose a focus. Concentrate promotional and marketing efforts towards the segment that comprises the most valuable slice of the prospect pool. For example, Google elected to direct its efforts toward getting the “interested with reservations” group onto the participation side of the fence, since about 60% of survey respondents fell into that category.
  4. Set up a challenge. Engage individuals and/or teams by creating friendly competitions to see who can tally the greatest number of trips and/or miles during the campaign. You can also divide into networks and groups to take advantage of team spirit. 
  5. Add incentives. Prizes for the individuals and/or teams that lead the pack can be advertised at the beginning of the campaign to provide an extra spark of motivation. 
  6. Start promoting. Keeping your focus segment in mind, use a full range of communication channels to put the word out about the incentivized bike to work campaign. By giving out some rewards early in the program you can increase the likelihood of winners sharing about your program.
  7. Evaluate the results. Using this recipe, Google got over 800 people on board with their challenge and racked up more than 15,000 bike trips. 

Learn more about Google’s bike-to-work program at the RideAmigos Academy: Beyond Bike to Work Day, How Google is Expanding TDM Programs Using RideAmigos

Our industry-leading RideAmigos commuter management software platform is the perfect backbone to create, promote, and administer bike to work campaigns, enabling a ripple-effect of long-lasting, positive impact on commuter behavior. It’s a fantastic tool, loaded with features that support route planning, bike- & carpool matching, challenges & incentives, community management, data analysis, and much more. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you transform transportation within your organization. 

Partner Highlight – SLOCOG

Here at RideAmigos we’re always excited to see how our organizations are making the most of our TDM platform. This month we’re featuring our partners at the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments – SLOCOG for short. One of SLOCOG’s major programs is the SLO Regional Rideshare.

Rideshare.org & iRideshare.org

The SLO Regional Rideshare breaks down a major barrier to smarter commuting by being very easy to find online. Rideshare.org is their primary homepage, full of information about their various TDM programs. Their partner site, iRideshare.org, is home to their local implementation of our RideAmigos ridesharing, route finding, and commute management software.

SLOCOG is a great example of providing relevant, behavior-changing programming through government-supported rideshare solutions.

Recently we had a chance to catch up with Peter Williamson, Employee Outreach Coordinator for SLOCOG’s rideshare programs, to learn about some of their successes. Here’s what we learned:

Back ‘N’ Forth Club

History

The Back ‘N’ Forth Club is SLOCOG’s program for employers to encourage and incentivize their employees to skip the solo drive and use smarter forms of transportation. Started in 2007-8, the Back ‘N’ Forth Club underwent a major expansion about 2 years ago when Peter began focusing on rideshare initiatives full-time. Over the years the Club has grown to support more employers and developed additional resources, tools, and structures of success.

One of the major evolutions of the Back ‘N’ Forth Club has been customizing their incentive plans to maximize benefits for employers. Since each employee base is unique, different employers often find different incentives work better than others. In addition to their in-house incentives, the Back ‘N’ Forth Club also works with employers to offer options like extra vacation days. Such perks may prove even more enticing than financial incentives to some employees. This collaborative approach has helped the Club stay clearly focused on finding out what employers want and need while supporting their goals and values.

Highlights

The most successful programs of the Back ‘N’ Forth Club center around creating competition and positive peer pressure using transportation challenges and incentives. Their campaigns like Bike Month and Rideshare Week push commuters to try new ways of getting to work, even if just for a day or two. The hope is always that by seeing how easy and fun smarter commute methods can be then people will be more likely to use them in the future. SLOCOG has found particular success with focusing on one-time events, like bike day or rideshare day. This is because committing to one day seems much less intimidating than a week or month.

SLOCOG’s experience proves the most effective way for getting employees to log trips is paid incentives from employers. The Back ‘N’ Forth Club provides their services to employers so they can offer incentives without adding internal overhead. As mentioned earlier, they’ve had great success expanding their incentives to include additional perks unique to particular employers. Currently they have approximately 45 employers involved and around a thousand active users on their iRideshare platform.

Future

SLOCOG’s next big TDM program will be Rideshare Week 2016. Coming up in October, Rideshare Week will challenge employees to pledge to ride share for a specific number of days that week. Education and personal presence is a big part of this program’s success. Peter will be on site with various employers throughout the week. His focus will be having one-on-one conversations with employees about ridesharing. It’s a great opportunity to encourage commuters to use iRideshare to their fullest advantage.

A particularly exciting collaboration that is in the works is with BoltAbout electric bicycle rentals. Electric bicycles are a great way to get more people interested in biking, but their initial cost is intimidating. By offering e-bikes for rent, BoltAbout aims to change that. Through partnering with BoltAbout, SLOCOG hopes to offer e-bikes as another mode option for smart commuters.

The final big project that has Peter excited is the brand new Downtown SLO program. Since existing SLOCOG employer programs are aimed primarily at companies of a particular size or larger, Downtown SLO serves as a targeted program for downtown San Luis Obispo. This creates a new option for employees and owners of small businesses to participate in the Back N Forth club more easily. Reaching out to small, downtown businesses has the potential to create an even greater impact in an area where larger employers have already found success.

 

We at RideAmigos applaud Peter and the whole SLOCOG crew for all of the success they’re seeing in their TDM initiatives!

 

If you’re interested in finding out how RideAmigos can help increase participation and impact for your organization’s transportation demand management programs, contact us today.

What are Vanpools?

Vanpools are quickly emerging as a popular form of smarter commuting.

The vanpooling phenomenon is continuing to gain momentum, especially in major cities with a dense concentration of commuters. As a solution to helping people skip the solo drive, vanpools are a relatively new entry in the smart commuting lexicon. Therefore, people often have questions about what they are and how they work. We’re here to help!

Vanpool essentials:

  • Vanpools are made up of a group of commuters traveling from one or more origination points to a shared destination.
  • Most vanpools include between about 7 and 15 people.
  • Vanpools typically have one or two pickup locations, which frequently include designated transit stations or park-and-ride commuter lots.
  • At the end of the work day, vanpools provide return transportation to the original pickup location(s). From there, commuters can then make their way home.

Vanpools can be used just about anywhere, but they tend to be most effective in areas where long-distance commutes are common and public transit options are limited. They’re also an excellent option for companies located in remote or outlying areas that are only accessible by privately operated vehicles. Providing vanpool service to and from such locations helps these businesses attract and retain employees while making the daily commute easier and more manageable for employees.

Commuters and employers enjoy many benefits by using vanpools:

  • Cost savings and reduced wear and tear on privately owned vehicles.
  • Reduced commuting time.
  • The ability to talk, eat, read, work, or rest during the journey.
  • Reduced on-site parking requirements and associated cost savings.
  • Improved employee job satisfaction and productivity.

Use dynamic new technologies to make the best use of local smart commuting resources.

Employers typically administer vanpools themselves or contract with a service provider. Some have a high level of involvement, actively promoting vanpooling as a preferred commuting option. Meanwhile, others simply offer them as an alternative to interested employees. Regardless of how involved a given employer is in a particular vanpooling program, commuter management software like RideAmigos can provide convenient, effective, and easy-to-use management capabilities.

The RideAmigos transportation demand management platform offers extensive support for enterprises that offer vanpooling Vanpool support works seamlessly alongside many other features that are helping transform the way we access and use urban transportation. You can use our platform to create a new vanpool group, connect riders, track usage and stats, plan routes, and much more.

Contact us today to get started, or sign up to view our free video demo.

Photo Credit: UCLA Transportation

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Commuter Services

Commuter services as an employee benefit is a great investment in your company and community

Commuter services are programs that encourage employees to choose smarter, more efficient modes of transportation more often. The end objective is to reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs), which is known to deliver a long list of benefits to your employees, your business, and your community.

Research has shown that commuters who leave their SOVs behind in favor of other options have lower levels of stress, higher levels of life and job satisfaction, and tend to be more productive at work.

Beyond benefitting from a happier and more energized team of employees, businesses also win by reducing their parking costs. Commuters who choose active modes of transportation, such as cycling and walking, are also less likely to burden company health insurance plans.

There’s more, businesses that align themselves with values that serve the greater good tend to enjoy a more positive perception among the public. They also have an easier time attracting and retaining top talent, which can translate into a major competitive advantage as a new generation of environmentally conscious young people move into the workforce in growing numbers.

You’ll also help your local community by doing your part to relieve traffic congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These benefits become more pronounced and impactful as more businesses adopt commuter services programs.

Be strategic about the commuter services you offer and watch program participation rates climb

The key to building a successful commuter services program is to support a wide range of alternative transportation choices. This allows commuters to pick and choose the modes that best suit them, which in turn will generate higher participation rates. Here’s a run-down of the most popular options:

Ridesharing networks

Linking like-minded commuters to expand their range of ridesharing options is an excellent strategy. Build internal communities within your company, or provide support that helps employees connect with other carpoolers who live and work in the same area.

Carpool incentive programs

Adding incentive programs for your employees, such as preferred parking or parking pass discounts for vehicles used in carpools, is a great way to bolster support for your ridesharing network.

Vanpools

If a lot of employees use the same transit stations or local commuting hubs, you can make their journey easier by using company-sponsored vanpools to provide point-to-point transportation to and from the office.

Bike-to-work infrastructure

Provide secure bicycle parking, storage lockers, and showers to encourage more employees to bike to work. A lack of on-site infrastructure is one of the biggest obstacles that prevents more commuters from embracing pedal power as an alternative to driving. You can also create bikepool programs as part of a complete cycling support strategy.

Smart commute challenges and gamification

Tapping into people’s competitive nature builds buzz and makes smart commuting fun. Commuter challenges and gamification programs that offer prizes and perks to the winners are fantastic for getting people excited about participating, and community-wide challenges and gamification initiatives are also growing in popularity.

Telework support

The easiest commute is the one that’s never made. If a commuter’s work duties can be completed off-site, giving employees support to work from home one or more days a week is an excellent option that delivers valuable flexibility your team members will appreciate.


Another important part of any sound commuter services strategy is to anticipate possible challenges or objections, and build in a solution. This is where guaranteed ride home programs can have a major impact. Commuters are more likely to try alternative modes (and stick to using them once they switch) if they know they have a fast, convenient way home in case of bad weather or an emergency.

Finally, design your program so it leverages the most powerful set of motivators: immediate rewards. These incentives can take multiple forms:

  • A growing number of companies and organizations have used earn-a-bike programs to encourage commuters to adopt more active transportation modes. Commuters earn cash incentives or accumulate credit toward a free bike every time they log a smart commute.
  • Parking cash-outs are another great motivator. Offer employees the chance to earn a monthly payout for voluntarily rescinding their parking privileges or agreeing to limit the number of times they use the spot in any given month.
  • Recent changes to IRS tax codes have also increased the amount of pre-tax income eligible for commuting-related tax deductions. In addition to getting more people using qualified alternative modes of transportation, this strategy can also reduce employer payroll tax burdens.

The RideAmigos team can provide great ideas and a long list of commuter support services, including the ability to integrate these and other programs into a single, unified commuter management hub. Our industry-leading software platform is the ideal tool for planning, implementing, and administering commuter programs.

Get started today with a free program analysis, free commuter tips, or a comprehensive demo of our industry-leading commuter management software.

Carpool Incentive Programs

Use carpool incentive programs to increase participation rates and get employees excited about smart commuting.

The dynamic world of transportation demand management is always changing, as new technologies, insights, and best practices continue to evolve. Yet, one constant that’s lingered for a very long time is this simple truth: commuters might want to adopt smarter commuting habits, and they may well recognize the benefits of doing so, but they’re far more likely to make changes and stick to them if they are offered immediate, meaningful benefits.

This is where carpool incentive programs come in. These programs deliver those immediate, meaningful benefits in a multitude of forms, and that’s why they enjoy such high success rates when it comes to increasing commuter engagement and getting employees to choose smart, alternative modes of transportation more often.

These carpool incentive programs can make employee engagement soar:

Parking perks and rewards programs are among the most common and popular carpool incentive programs. Here are three specific examples of strategies that deliver proven results:

  • Preferred parking programs. Mid-size and larger organizations tend to find this approach particularly effective. Assign parking spots in premium locations to vehicles that are used in carpool and vanpool programs. The more visible and desirable these parking spot assignments are, the better! Visibility increases awareness and gets more people interested in participating.
  • Gamification. Turning your carpool incentive program into a friendly competition taps into powerful, universal aspects of the human psyche…all while giving participants the chance to win prizes like gift cards, sports or event tickets, dinner at local restaurants, or whatever else might get your team excited about taking part.
  • Parking pass discounts. If your business or organization uses paid parking passes, you can also offer discounts to employees and commuters who make frequent use of carpool and ridesharing programs. Financial incentives are usually among the most effective.

Increasing carpooling doesn’t take rocket science, but it does take the right strategies and tools. If you’re wondering how to create or promote an employee carpooling program, our recent blog post on encouraging employees to carpool contains a wealth of winning tips. Add in perks and benefits that reduce barriers to participation, such as a guaranteed ride home program, and you’ve got the basis for a successful commuter services program.

Learn more about how carpool incentive programs benefit employees as part of a comprehensive commuter services package – check out our ridesharing incentives infographic for eye-opening facts and solid strategies.

Photo Credit: Richard Drdul