RideAmigos Named Finalist for Workplace in Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards

Santa Monica-based RideAmigos was a finalist for its World Changing Ideas for the Workplace and received honorable mentions from Fast Company in AI, Apps, and Corporate Social Responsibility categories for apps that leverage behavioral science to help everyone find a better commute. 

SANTA MONICA, May 10, 2022 RideAmigos announced that its Commute Hub platform has been recognized by Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards as a finalist in the Workplace category. Winners and finalists were revealed this month, honoring clean technology, innovative corporate initiatives, new designs for cities and buildings, and other creative works that support the growth of positive social innovation, tackling social inequality, climate change, and public health crises.

Commute Hub is a professional transportation demand management (TDM) platform with an experience tailored to the workplace. It enables employers like LinkedIn, Patagonia, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and the State of Arizona to optimize the employee commute experience with diverse parking, transportation and incentive programs across large campuses or multiple worksites. 

In 2021, employers used RideAmigos’ Commute Hub to administer over a million dollars in incentives and parking cash-outs, issue thousands of parking permits, and avoid 2.5 million drive alone trips.

Now in its sixth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase some of the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and companies tackling global challenges. A panel of eminent Fast Company editors and reporters selected winners and finalists from among more than 2,997 entries across dozens of industries. The workplace category is new in 2022 and honors projects that improve our lives in the office, increase employees’ rights, or make work safer, smarter, or more meaningful.

Commute Hub  also earned honorable mention in the Corporate Social Responsibility category. 

The honor for Commute Hub comes at a time when many employers are prioritizing programs to support commuters and complement hybrid work arrangements and other new realities that are emerging from the pandemic and an evolving talent market. 

“The enterprise has a renewed and larger role in the employee commute,” said Soren Eilertsen, CEO of RideAmigos. “We partner with our customers to navigate this paradigm shift and work to empower everyone to evolve the consciousness around everyday mobility choices.”

 “We are consistently inspired by the novelty and creativity that people are applying to solve some of our society’s most pressing problems, from shelter to the climate crisis. Fast Company relishes its role in amplifying important, innovative work to address big challenges,” said David Lidsky, interim editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists have identified some of the most ingenious initiatives to launch since the start of 2021, which we hope will both have a meaningful impact and lead others to join in being part of the solution.”

RideAmigos personalized commute app, Pave Commute, launched in 2021, also earned honorable mention in three categories. Pave Commute is a fully automated, science-based commute management app for employees that provides personalized recommendations, groups users with others who can share trips, and rewards them for making smart choices. Fast Company recognized Pave Commute in the AI & Data, Apps, and Corporate Social Responsibility categories.

RideAmigos is featured in Fast Company’s Summer 2022 issue released May 10, 2022 and at fastcompany.com. 

About RideAmigos: At RideAmigos, we are on a mission to change the way the world commutes, for good. Our mobile and web-based commuter engagement solutions combine innovative technology with proven principles of behavioral science to empower everyone to make smarter transportation choices. Large employers, universities and government agencies use our powerful products to reduce congestion, parking demand, and environmental impact while creating healthier, happier communities. We have helped our clients take tens of millions of cars off the road and reduce our collective CO2 footprint by over 280 million pounds.

About the World Changing Ideas Awards: World Changing Ideas is one of Fast Company’s major annual awards programs and is focused on social good, seeking to elevate finished products and brave concepts that make the world better. A panel of judges from across sectors choose winners, finalists, and honorable mentions based on feasibility and the potential for impact. With the goals of awarding ingenuity and fostering innovation, Fast Company draws attention to ideas with great potential and helps them expand their reach to inspire more people to start working on solving the problems that affect us all.

Six California Agencies Collaborate to Expand TDM Program Impact

Regional rideshare and Transportation Demand Management (TDM) programs across the country are providing valuable support as commuters feel the squeeze of increasing traffic and spiking gas prices. Bay Area agencies have been planning for this throughout the pandemic. Among initiatives to reduce traffic is a multi-agency connected carpool and incentives network that offers commuters access to six area programs with a single login.

In early 2022, six California transportation agencies with some of the most active commute programs in the United States launched the innovative solution designed to improve commuter access to shared alternatives to solo driving. The new integrated network is designed to expand the pool of available ridematches for participants in the various agency programs. It will also empower commuters across the region — many of whom commute across county lines each day — to access services and participate in incentives based on their eligibility without creating multiple accounts and logging trips.

Six California Agencies Launch Joint Commute Support Programs

Announced in March 2022, the interconnected TDM programs primarily serve the nine counties surrounding the San Francisco Bay, with some of the agencies specifically focused on trips that start or end within a specific county. They are managed by six separate California-based commuter and transportation agencies with independent commute programs.

The partnership facilitates the seamless integration of six independent commuter management platforms, all powered by RideAmigos, making it far easier for commuters to find and choose more sustainable transportation options throughout the region. The list of participating agency programs includes:

Each of the six agencies operates its own unique set of commuter support programs within their jurisdictions. The initiative, led by MTC merge.511.0rg and piloted with Commute.org in late 2021 provides a seamless user experience for commuters, while continuing to empower each independent agency to operate targeted programming and also to more easily collaborate on easing congestion on key corridors (especially during peak travel hours), and reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with personal travel by car. To access the integrated network, commuters simply need to log into their existing account with one of the agency programs or sign up with any of the programs for which they are eligible.

Those who already had active accounts when the program was launched received automatic prompts. These prompts highlight new ridesharing options and potential benefits from additional regional agencies for which they are eligible based on their commutes.

How Will Commuters Benefit?

Thanks to the new program, commuters will enjoy expanded access to carpool, transit pool, vanpool and walk pool matching and other services. For example, commuters using a participating agency’s platform will be able to view relevant eligibility-based programs from all six participating agencies through a single account. This will increase the number of potential matches. .

Importantly, the partnership also integrates the various commuter rewards programs operated by the participating agencies. Commuters whose journeys cover multiple jurisdictions can use the integrated platform to explore all rewards and benefits that apply to their trips, even if the programs originate with an agency other than the one they originally joined with.

What Can Other Organizations Learn From California’s Rideshare Support Programs

Technology continues to evolve to better empower public sector actors in the TDM world. The innovative connected network created by these six California agencies also points to the transformative power of collaboration as transportation agencies work together in pursuit of shared goals. With this integrated network, better transparency and quality data about how commuters engage with their programs will enable deeper collaboration between these agencies working to improve transportation in the region.

“This solution best serves commuters who want to find carpool partners,” said Barbara Laurenson, MTC Principal Program coordinator. “The timing couldn’t be better as COVID-19 fears wane, gas prices increase and more dire news about the climate is released.”

“Commute.org recognizes that to solve the transportation challenges in San Mateo County, we need to have strong partnerships with our peer agencies in the region,” said John Ford, executive director, Commute.org. “Nearly 60 percent of the San Mateo County workforce travels to work from outside the county. This project opens up new ways to connect with those commuters, spur meaningful changes in drive-alone rates and promote better Bay Area air quality.”

RideAmigos agrees. “We have been partnering with individual Bay Area agencies for nearly a decade to encourage smarter transportation,” said RideAmigos Director of Customer Success Kathryn Hagerman Medina. “Connecting these programs creates a seamless user experience for carpool and commuter rewards across the region and, at the same time, [it] empowers individual agencies to collaborate in powerful new ways.”

Commuters and transportation industry observers can expect to see more innovative programming from participating agencies that leverages the new integrated network in the months to come.

RideAmigos works with these and other organizations at the forefront of TDM, providing best-in-class commute management solutions for the public sector, employers, and individual commuters. To learn more about this project and other products, reach out and start a conversation with our experts today.

How Business Is Leading the Charge to Make Commuting More Sustainable

Geneva, Switzerland

Meeting the important Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations and other commitments will require major global social and economic transformations across sectors. Yet, warnings about the stakes we face as a species have never been more dire. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) brings together the chief executive officers (CEOs) of more than 200 leading global companies to leverage their influence toward accelerating progress toward sustainable life on our planet. Participating partners represent a wide variety of sectors, and have combined revenues of more than $8.5 trillion.  Among other programs, the WBCSD leads an innovative and comprehensive Commuter Behavior Change project. It is designed to reduce the socioenvironmental impact of commuting and prompt increased migration to sustainable commuting modes.

RideAmigos participates as a member in the WBCSD’s Commuter Behavior Change project and other mobility initiatives, which are making a compelling business case for promoting behavior change. The organization also maintains a comprehensive database of “use cases” that document the strategic impact of established approaches to commuter engagement.

Here’s a breakdown of the project, its areas of focus, and our involvement.

WBCSD Commuter Behavior Change: Project Overview

The Commuter Behavior Change project seeks to address the unacceptable levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from transportation use. To this end, the WBCSD cites several key statistics:

Addressing these issues on the demand side by shifting commuters toward sustainable transportation alternatives holds the potential to meaningfully address all three of these issues. The organization stresses that employers occupy a very important position in the ongoing push to reduce transportation-related GHG emissions.

As such, the project focuses on studying and promoting effective strategies businesses can use to encourage their people teams to choose sustainable modes that will also improve their work-life balance and satisfaction.

The business case for Commuter Behavior Change

The Commuter Behavior Change project stresses that businesses stand to benefit from a mass shift to more sustainable transportation modes. It cites multiple specific advantages enterprises can earn through innovative approaches to managing their commuter needs:

  • Strong commuter supports make companies more appealing, boosting their efforts to attract and retain the best available employment talent
  • Resilient approaches to commuter management improve business productivity and efficiency
  • The increased use of sustainable commuter modes is linked with positive health benefits, improving employee well-being and reducing costs related to absenteeism and healthcare benefits

Commuter engagement strategy and behavior change

The project’s use case database tracks more than 15 specific strategies used to promote mode shift and behavior change among commuters. Each strategy that appears in the database is accompanied by a summary of its associated benefits, potential challenges and ways to address them, and suggestions on statistical metrics that can track progress after adoption.

WBCSD advocates for several familiar and well-established engagement strategies, including:

It also details several emerging and technical approaches to commuter management, such as:

Among other strategies, the WBCSD use case database also offers insights on campaign and transparency measures, micromobility, electric vehicle infrastructure, and budgeting. These digital resources combine to create a comprehensive information repository that businesses and organizations can draw on to create, develop, and expand their own internal commuter management initiatives.

Our work with WBCSD

RideAmigos joined the over 200 member companies in the WBCSD in 2021 to participate in the project to transform mobility, beginning with building a business case and contributing to best practices for corporate commute management as well as a forthcoming framework for sustainable corporate mobility policies.

Of our participation, Thomas Deloison, director of mobility at the WBCSD, said, “RideAmigos’ unique expertise in behavioral science and solutions to help shift commuting habits will be an important contribution to WBCSD’s work on accelerating the transformation toward sustainable urban mobility. We’re excited to collaborate with RideAmigos and bring their knowledge to companies and cities alike.”

To learn more about RideAmigos insights and solutions for implementing or transforming your own commute program, please contact us to talk to an expert.

RideAmigos Supports the We Mean Business Coalition’s COP26 Call to Action

In 2021, world leaders convened in Glasgow, Scotland for the United Nations’ 26th climate change conference. The event, widely known as COP26, seeks to commit nations and stakeholders to aggressive, meaningful action to advance the goals of the historic 2015 Paris Agreement.

The We Mean Business coalition was among the climate action organizations pressuring COP26 participants to deepen their commitments to climate change mitigation. We Mean Business penned an open letter to members of the 2021 Glasgow climate summit, calling for immediate action across three specific areas. RideAmigos is a proud signatory of the coalition’s letter.

What does the We Mean Business coalition advocate for?

The We Mean Business coalition calls on world leaders to take action in three important areas to keep the objectives of the Paris Agreement within reach:

  • Increasing the agreement’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030
  • Ceasing the financing and development of new coal-fired power generation plants by 2030 in developed countries and by 2040 in developing countries
  • Coordinating economic policy, public funding, and COVID-19 recovery financing to advance the objective of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050

The coalition supports science-informed decision-making, alternative energy investment, and transparency in disclosing progress among stakeholders. It has emerged as an impactful, high-profile organization dedicated to sustainable forms of economic growth.

We Mean Business mainly targets members of the G20 countries, as they account for approximately 90% of global economic output and 80% of trade-related greenhouse gas emissions.

RideAmigos proudly supports the We Mean Business coalition.

We Mean Business boasts an impressive lineup of supporting partners including the International Chamber of Commerce, Solar Heat Europe, and the United Nations Global Compact. RideAmigos joins hundreds of businesses and organizations in endorsing the open letter We Mean Business submitted to the COP26 delegates.

We’re proud of the smart choices people are making every using RideAmigos apps, and we look forward to working with you to continue reducing emissions and other negative impacts of commuting in the next decade.

RideAmigos joins forces with Austrian startup Carployee to make commuting smarter

The merger enables RideAmigos to scale personalized commute support in new ways for employers of all sizes.

RideAmigos, whose commute management platform powers the largest public and private commuter management initiatives in the United States, announced the acquisition of innovative Austrian startup Carployee, the team behind the successful employee carpooling app used by European businesses like STIHL, Mercedes Benz and Würth Group. 

Carployee will continue operating from its headquarters in Linz as its team is fully integrated into Santa Monica-based RideAmigos. 

The acquisition comes at a time when commuting is becoming a bigger focus for employers, many of which are reimagining employee transportation and parking for the hybrid workplace of the future. Businesses like LinkedIn, Patagonia, and Rivian as well as states and megaregions like the San Francisco Bay and Denver-Boulder areas already use RideAmigos solutions to make commuting more sustainable and less stressful. 

These and other customers rely on privately held RideAmigos to power the future of employee transportation during and after the pandemic with a flexible and streamlined commuter experience. 

The natural partnership between RideAmigos and Carployee merges both companies’ research and expertise in commuter experience, behavior change and mobility optimization. “Our missions and values are totally aligned and we are already seeing the amazing potential of our teams’ combined competencies in ways that will benefit all of our customers,” said RideAmigos CEO, Soren Eilertsen. 

Carployee CEO, Albert Vogl-Bader affirmed the synergy between the two teams. “While carpooling is a good start, we are all committed to empowering people to make better commute decisions across all modes. The opportunity to do that on a global scale with a like-minded and experienced team made this a perfect match and an easy decision,” he said. 

About RideAmigos

At RideAmigos, we are on a mission to change the way the world commutes, for good. Our mobile and web-based commuter engagement solutions combine innovative technology with proven principles of behavioral science to empower everyone to make smarter transportation choices. Large employers, universities and government agencies use our powerful products to reduce congestion, parking demand, and environmental impact while creating healthier, happier communities. We have helped our clients take tens of millions of cars off the road and reduce our collective CO2 footprint by over 280 million pounds. 

About Carployee

Carployee is a carpooling app for companies, business parks and universities. The talented team around CEO Albert Vogl-Bader has been active since 2018 serving major employers across Europe. The Linz-based company invests heavily in research and development, including groundbreaking grant-funded project in partnership with the University of Salzburg. Carployee is also a partner of klimaaktiv, the climate protection initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. (www.carployee.com)

Over 1,500 Transportation Leaders Gather Virtually To Discuss Commuter Behavior

Hosted by RideAmigos, speakers from leading research institutions, public transportation, and private employers shared insights on the future of commuting.

Santa Monica-based commuter mobility technology company, RideAmigos, hosted a virtual crowd of transportation industry leaders on Wednesday, April 1 for the fifth annual CommuteCon.

As the country prepared for another month of sheltering in place to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, transportation is one of many sectors facing uncertainty about the future. Always an online gathering, this year the CommuteCon conference came at a time when more people than ever are using technology to connect virtually, and online learning opportunities have taken on a new level of importance.

The theme for CommuteCon 2020 was “The Science of Smart Commuting.” Several of the presentations focused on applications of behavioral science to influence and optimize commuter mobility. Leading academics, planners and designers discussed science in practice from Chicago to Durham to Tulsa.

Others highlighted emerging research and technology. In the first keynote of the day, Professor Susan Shaheen of UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center discussed the role technology is having on shaping consumer behavior and expectations – including potential long-term impacts of COVID-19 on commute patterns.

The conference also brought forward other topics of concern to the industry. Tamika Butler, Esq. of Toole Design encouraged the audience to examine the question of equity in transportation. Andrew Duvall, Ph.D. of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory looked further at the equity issue in a specifically rural context.

Other speakers shared results of innovative projects such as the Los Angeles Metro micromobilty pilot, LinkedIn’s ambitious commitment to sustainable commuter mobility, Waze’s public partnerships, and a sweeping report on the state of the American commute based on survey data from across the United States from San Francisco-based carpool company, Scoop.

Closing the conference was Timothy Papandreou, an industry influencer whose resume includes roles like Chief Innovation Officer at San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency and strategic partnerships for autonomous vehicle leader GoogleX/Waymo. Papandreou provided his unique insights from private, public and community experience to highlight the trends and the policy and technology focus areas that will ensure safer, more equitable, and sustainable outcomes.

“Events that bring together industry thought leaders are important opportunities to learn, and share stories, successes and challenges,” said Jeffrey Chernick, co-founder of RideAmigos. “We conceived CommuteCon five years ago to make this kind of learning accessible to everyone in our field, whether or not they have a travel budget. This year, in the face of physical distancing and uncertainty across the industry, the virtual gathering is everyone’s way of staying connected to our shared purpose.”

First launched in 2015, CommuteCon has grown into one of the most important transportation and commuter mobility events in the world. It represents a live, collaborative exchange of ideas, bringing established Transportation Demand Management (TDM) leaders together with leading researchers, and rising innovators to discuss trends, opportunities, and emerging technologies.

In 2019, the event set a record with more than 800 participants from across the United States and around the world. This year over 1,500 people were signed up as of two days before the conference. They represented a geographically diverse group of federal, state and local government agencies, large employers, mobility providers and technology companies, commercial real estate, and universities. The event was free and only required advance registration.

Hosted and organized by RideAmigos, this year CommuteCon was presented in partnership with Scoop (http://www.takescoop.com), and with support from the Association for Commuter Transportation (http://www.actweb.org), Waze (http://www.waze.com), and the Coalition for Smarter Transportation (http://www.smartertransportation.org).

More information about the event, and recordings from previous conferences are available at http://www.commutecon.com.

About CommuteCon

CommuteCon is a free annual online conference that unites members of the commuter management and transportation demand management (TDM) community. Its objective is to bring those in search of smart and sustainable commuting solutions together to participate in a robust and inspiring exchange of ideas. Each year, we welcome hundreds of TDM leaders and stakeholders from around the world. Beyond benefiting from the advanced insights of the conference’s all-star lineup of expert speakers, participants also enjoy excellent opportunities to build broader networks of thought partners while furthering their strategic skills.

https://commutecon.com

About RideAmigos

At RideAmigos, we are on a mission to change the way the world commutes, for good. Our mobile and web-based commuter engagement solutions combine innovative technology with proven principles of behavioral science to empower everyone to make smarter transportation choices. Large employers, universities and government agencies use our powerful products to reduce congestion, parking demand, and environmental impact while creating healthier, happier communities. We have helped our clients take tens of millions of cars off the road and reduce our collective CO2 footprint by over 280 million pounds. (www.rideamigos.com

RideAmigos Partners with Esri to Help Organizations Better Understand and Manage Commuters

RideAmigos and Esri Raise the Bar for Commuter Analytics

RideAmigos, the commuter engagement and incentives hub changing the way people commute to reduce traffic and pollution, announced a deeper partnership with Esri, the global market leader in location intelligence, including a new connection with Esri’s ArcGIS, to offer agencies and employers even greater insights and analysis into commuter patterns and trends.

Agencies and businesses using Esri’s ArcGIS will be able to bring key data from their commuter programs into the smart mapping and analysis platform to share with planners and analysts, combine it with other data to perform analysis, track program impacts, and visualize results.

“With this deep integration with ArcGIS, we are making it possible for RideAmigos administrators to put commute data into ArcGIS with a few clicks,” said Ben Dalton, RideAmigos Chief Technology Officer and co-founder. “Now, agencies and employers using ArcGIS can combine data from their RideAmigos commuter programs with other geospatial data from Esri and their organization to gain actionable insights about commute patterns and modeshift opportunities.”

“Many of the large employers and government agencies we work with are already using ArcGIS in key areas, so this partnership gives them the opportunity to unlock spatial insights for their commuter programs,” said Kathryn Hagerman Medina, RideAmigos Director of Customer Success. “It will help them better understand program performance, identify opportunities to improve transportation offerings and communicate results to stakeholders.”

“RideAmigos is a powerful solution for engaging employees or the public with commuter programs based on behavioral science,” said Gary Waters, Director of Transportation Engagement at Esri. “With this partnership, agencies using ArcGIS and RideAmigos will gain an even deeper insight into how commuters get around so they can plan for and influence the future of mobility.”

“The capability to leverage commuter program data within the ArcGIS ecosystem is a valuable addition for property management and real estate development customers,” said Mike Johnson, Esri’s Director of Commercial Sector Business Development. “RideAmigos is empowering large employers and property managers to better plan and optimize their transportation demand management approaches as they relate to other key operational considerations.”

RideAmigos users also benefit from Esri’s beautiful and high-performance basemaps in their mobile and web applications, offering commuters the best available interfaces for trip planning and exploring options.

About RideAmigos

At RideAmigos, we are on a mission to change the way the world commutes, for good. Our mobile and web-based commuter engagement solutions combine innovative technology with proven principles of behavioral science to empower everyone to make smarter transportation choices. Large employers, universities and government agencies use our powerful products to reduce congestion, parking demand, and environmental impact while creating healthier, happier communities. We have helped our clients take tens of millions of cars off the road and reduce our collective CO2 footprint by over 280 million pounds. 

About Esri

Esri, the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping, offers the most powerful geospatial cloud available, to help customers unlock the full potential of data to improve operational and business results. Founded in 1969, Esri software is deployed in more than 350,000 organizations including 90 of the Fortune 100 companies, all 50 state governments, more than half of all counties (large and small), and 87 of the Forbes Top 100 Colleges in the U.S., as well as all 15 Executive Departments of the U.S. Government and dozens of independent agencies. With its pioneering commitment to geospatial information technology, Esri engineers the most advanced solutions for digital transformation, the Internet of Things (IoT), and advanced analytics. Visit esri.com.

 

RideAmigos to Host Fourth Annual Online Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Conference

Speakers from JUMP, Lime, USC, Patagonia, Alameda County and more to talk transportation.

RideAmigos is pleased to announce it will be presenting the online CommuteCon conference in 2019. First launched in 2015, CommuteCon has grown into one of the most important TDM industry events in the world. It represents a live, collaborative exchange of ideas, bringing established Transportation Demand Management (TDM) leaders together with respected experts and rising innovators to discuss industry trends, emerging technologies, and innovative best practices.

This year’s CommuteCon conference will be held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pacific time (12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time). RideAmigos expects to build on the success of last year’s event, which set an attendance record with more than 1,000 participants tuning in from across the United States and around the world. The event is free and only requires advance registration.

The theme for CommuteCon 2019 is “Navigating the Modern Mobility Ecosystem.” This year’s presentations will cover topics like transportation affordability, mobility scaling, workplace incentives, employee commuter programs, and many others. JUMP founder and CEO Ryan Rzepecki will deliver the keynote presentation, which will discuss the ongoing rise of the TDM industry’s micromobility segment.

CommuteCon 2019 will also feature a speaker from transportation provider, Lime, and research leaders from RISE Viktoria and UC Berkeley’s Transportation Sustainability Research Center. Attendees interested in enterprise commute trip reduction will hear from sustainability leader, Patagonia, innovative silicon beach company, Kite Pharma, and Bay-Area public employer, Alameda County. The event will also include sessions on changes to IRS rules around transportation benefits, and Missoula, Montana’s approach to changing commuter habits in a region where parking abounds. Finally, leaders from the University of Southern California and UC Berkeley will share how they make transportation sustainable, equitable and safe on campus.

“Events that bring together industry thought leaders are important opportunities to learn, and share stories, successes and challenges,” says Jeffrey Chernick, co-founder of RideAmigos. “We conceived CommuteCon to make content like this accessible to everyone working on TDM and commuter management, whether or not they have a travel budget.”

This year, sponsors include Scoop, TransitScreen and Waze Carpool. RideAmigos also partnered with the Association for Commuter Transportation and the Coalition for Smarter Transportation to support the content and promotion of the event.

Interested parties can learn more about the conference, register for attendance, and view recordings from previous conferences by visiting http://www.commutecon.com.

About RideAmigos

City of Austin, GoRedmond, UCLA and Cal State LA Win 2018 Association for Commuter Transportation Awards

The City of Austin, Go Redmond, UCLA and Cal State LA Partner with RideAmigos on Innovative Commuter Programs and Received National Awards from the Association for Commuter Transportation.

Fifteen individuals or organizations were honored on Wednesday, August 1 (https://conta.cc/2Atzdrr) by the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT), which recognizes and honors outstanding achievements in transportation demand management (TDM). The awards were presented at ACT’s annual International Conference (http://www.actconf.org/) in Anaheim, California.

Among those being recognized are four organizations that have partnered with RideAmigos on their commuter management programs.

Cal State University Los Angeles Transportation Services (http://www.calstatela.edu/parking/transportation-services) was awarded for Marketing and Outreach by a University. According to ACT, this award “recognizes a university that has implemented an educational campaign for their community that involves commuting options, current transportation projects, impacts of transportation on the environment, etc. The campaign must demonstrate a high level of creativity, generate a significant response and/or result in the rejuvenation of a previous/existing TDM program.”

“We are grateful to ACT for this recognition and proud of our efforts in providing transportation alternatives to our campus community,” said Carmen Gachupin, Director of Parking and Transportation Services at Cal State University, Los Angeles. “Cal State L.A. prides itself in fostering a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff. With nearly 28,000 college students and 2 high schools on a limited campus footprint, the university understands the urgency of confronting environmental problems on a global scale and hopes it can continue to mitigate its own carbon footprint by reducing vehicle emissions.”

ACT also recognized organizations for having outstanding programs to advance specific commuting options as alternatives to driving alone. For each of the categories, winners must have outlined clear goals and demonstrated progress towards achieving them. RideAmigos clients won awards in three categories.

City of Austin Smart Commute Rewards (http://www.austintexas.gov/smartcommute) won the Commuting Options award for successful advocacy in Carpooling.

“ACT is a wonderful organization that brings together practitioners to share their success and lessons learned,” said Tien-Tien Chan, TDM Program Manager at the City of Austin Department of Transportation. “I find it immensely valuable to see how other companies and jurisdictions are creatively tackling problems that we all face. We are honored to be selected for this award.”

The City of Austin, which also received a designation as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters in 2018 (http://www.austintexas.gov/news/city-austin-receives-national-designation-one-best-workplaces-commuters-2018), has a program encourages employees to choose alternatives to driving alone to work.

“We, of course, want our end goal be to properly manage our employee parking, but until we do…we loved having the opportunity to think creatively and work with RideAmigos to create this program,” said Chan.

Go Redmond (https://www.goredmond.com/), a partnership of City of Redmond, King County Metro and the Greater Redmond Transportation Management Association (GRTMA) (http://grtma.org/) , was awarded for Commuting Options – Biking. Go Redmond supports biking to work year-round, and RideAmigos proudly powered the 2018 Tour de Redmond (https://www.goredmond.com/tour-de-redmond) Summer Bicycle Commute Challenge.

“In Redmond we are very proud of our how bicycle friendly everyone is,” said Sara Robinson, Program Manager at GRTMA. As someone who only started cycling again this year myself, it was easy for me to get started with the adult bicycling classes and now I can get to a lot of my meetings on one of the bikes we got from the City’s grant program. All the facets of this program really help to support our riders. This year we even broke a couple of our records in Tour de Redmond with 19,117 bicycle commute trips, over a 60% increase in trips! A total of 161,389.8 commute miles. Together we circled the globe 6 ½ times, a full rotation more than last year.”

UCLA Transportation (https://transportation.ucla.edu/) won the award for Commuting Options – Public Transit. Responsible for nearly 80,000 employee and student commuters according to transportation.ucla.edu, UCLA Transportation “strives to provide smart and sustainable commute options for students, staff and faculty by offering discounted public transit passes, bicycle incentive programs, vanpool programs, carpool parking discounts and more.” In addition to its regular 50% transit pass subsidy, UCLA offered free transit passes to its commuters who were first time public transit users. UCLA Transportation was also a finalist in the Commuting Options – Biking category this year.

Jeff Olschwang, Bruin Commuter Services Manager, said, “We at UCLA, feel honored we can continue to offer subsidized programs in sustainable commuting options for students, staff and faculty by offering discounted public transit passes, bicycle incentive programs, vanpool programs, carpool parking discounts and more.”

“At RideAmigos, we’re proud to work with leaders in government, business, and education, who are making important positive impacts on mobility, sustainability, and community health and wellness,” said Jeffrey Chernick, co-founder of RideAmigos. “Together our clients’ programs have engaged hundreds of thousands of commuters and contributed to the reduction of more than 75,000 tons of CO2; and they are just getting started.”

Overall, eleven of the twenty-nine ACT Award finalists (https://rideamigos.com/blog/rideamigos-at-act-conference-2018/) are using the RideAmigos platform to support their innovative commuter programs. These individuals, agencies and organizations include:

Marketing and Outreach – Public
Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Marketing and Outreach – University
California State University, Los Angeles Transportation Services

Commuting Options – Biking
Go Redmond
UCLA Transportation

Commuting Options – Carpooling
City of Austin Smart Commute Rewards
TravelWise, Region of Waterloo and Sustainable Waterloo Region

Commuting Options – Public Transit
City of Toronto – Smart Commute Etobicoke South
UCLA Transportation

Commuting Options – Vanpooling
Patty Olmsted, Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission

Outstanding TMA
Stanford Research Park Transportation Management Association

Excellence in Advocacy
Tien-Tien Chan, City of Austin Transportation Department

ACT received over 80 nominations in 15 categories for this year’s annual awards. Winners were selected from among two finalists in each category.

“Each of these nominees are leading efforts within their local communities and nationally that aim to improve the quality of life of commuters, improve the livability of communities, and support economic growth,” said David Straus, Executive Director of ACT. “It is a great achievement to be selected as a finalist by your peers and we applaud all of their achievements.”

About ACT:

The Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) (http://www.actweb.org/), is an international association and leading advocate for commuter transportation and transportation demand management (TDM). Through advocacy, education, and networking efforts, ACT strives to improve the lives of commuters, the livability of communities, and the economic growth of businesses.

About RideAmigos:

RideAmigos, based in Santa Monica, California provides a cloud-based commuter management and incentive platform and commuter mobile apps for regional, corporate, and campus commuter networks. RideAmigos partners with government agencies, employers, and universities to support innovative commuter and transportation demand management (TDM) programs.

RideAmigos Founder Trades His Car for an E-bike

Leading by example is an essential aspect of the RideAmigos philosophy. We aren’t just here to talk about smart alternatives to solo driving; we strive to put our values into action. Our team members are active participants in our internal commuter programs, and they’ve shown a remarkable level of commitment. More than half of our employees choose transportation modes other than solo driving most of the time, and one-quarter of our team never travels to work in a single-occupancy vehicle.

Embrace of alternative modes by our founders is a big part of the reason we’ve been able to foster such an exceptional company culture around commuting. Today, we’d like to highlight the forward-thinking transportation decisions of our co-founder and director Jeff Chernick, who made the bold move to divest himself of his car altogether. RideAmigos is based in Santa Monica, California, and if you’re familiar with the Los Angeles area, you know that navigating the city without a car is by no means the most common option. Jeff has persevered, and now does most of his local travel by e-bike. His story makes a great case study in the many benefits of embracing alternative modes of transportation.

In a recent interview, Jeff shed some light on what initially inspired his decision to get rid of his car. He talked about the daily cost of parking and monthly costs for car payments and insurance. When his car’s lease came up for renewal it was a great time to consider better ways to spend his money and time. After initially extending his lease for six months, Jeff decided to take the initial plunge and go for a car-free lifestyle.

“The first step was just to give up the car and start talking Lyft and Uber to work,” Jeff said. “I did the math, and I was spending around $300 a month on my lease, plus gas and insurance. It’s usually around $9 each way for a Lyft or Uber, and now I wouldn’t have to park.” So, round-trip transportation to and from work cost about $18 a day, but Jeff freed himself of $9 to $10 per day in parking costs.

“It just made sense,” Jeff continued. He commutes to the office three to four days per week, which averaged about $70 per week in ride-hailing expenses. That added up to about $280 to $300 per month, which was less than the combined cost of his car lease, insurance, and daily parking.

So, from the standpoint of commuting to work, ditching his car made sense to Jeff. But what about personal trips? “The bigger trips are definitely harder,” Jeff conceded. “It does add up, but I was already taking Lyft and Uber for some personal trips anyways.” Factoring those trips in, Jeff was basically breaking even switching from his own car to ride-hailing. However, he also discovered an added benefit of his new commuting mode: he was able to be more productive during his trip to work by taking phone calls, catching up on emails, and prepping for the day.

As time went on, Jeff became disenchanted with sitting in traffic, despite the added productivity time. One morning on his way to work, he noticed there was a bike path along the beach that covered virtually his entire commuting route. “I had been thinking about getting an e-bike for a really long time,” Jeff said. The mental wheels started turning, and after doing some research and consulting several other RideAmigos team members who own e-bikes, Jeff found a model he liked and pulled the trigger. (He picked out a Joulvert Playa Voyager – it’s got a backseat for your amigos!)

“[The bike] goes up to 22 miles per hour, and my new commute is essentially the same amount of time it would take to drive if there’s no traffic.” Jeff’s particular e-bike model retails for about $1,800, and he found that making the change vastly accelerated his cost savings because he’s reliably able to use his e-bike for both commutes and personal trips, given Southern California’s dry and sunny climate.

“It’s definitely life-changing,” Jeff said. Yet, there were some issues to be ironed out along the way, like assembling the e-bike he bought and learning how to use all its features properly. “My one recommendation is do our research, talk to friends and local shops, and if you do end up ordering online, get it delivered right to a local bike shop so they can put it together for you.” Jeff also points out that buying an e-bike from a traditional retail shop that is familiar with e-bikes has its benefits, like service and maintenance support. “You might get a better deal online, but the big pro of buying from a shop is the service.”

Jeff summed up his personal transportation transformation by saying, “I still use Uber and Lyft here and there. I still carpool. I mix it up. I don’t e-bike every single day. But every time I bike to work, I save $20, and that means this bike will pay for itself in just a few months.”

Here at RideAmigos, we know here are lots of people like Jeff who, with a little encouragement and some additional mobility resources, could skip the solo drive and embrace a car-lite or car-free lifestyle. It’s why we’re committed to providing tools and programs for organizations of all types to help them connect commuters, provide transportation options, and reward sustainable choices. If your organization is ready to reduce costs and environmental impact through smarter commuter solutions, let us know – we’re here to help.