Brandeis University’s Campus Carpooling Program Success

In 2017, Brandeis University adopted the RideAmigos software platform to help commuters more easily and efficiently manage their transportation needs. As the university was preparing to launch a RideAmigos-powered campus carpooling program, the school’s assistant director of English Language Programs, Amy Rinaldo, said, “Traffic can be long and stressful, and I also feel environmentally guilty and frustrated about my commute.” At the time, Rinaldo lived about nine miles from campus, and had been locked into the habit of solo driving. “[Solo commuting] takes a toll on life, which is why I was so excited about the possibility of carpooling.”

Now, just over a year later, it’s become clear that Rinaldo was far from alone in her feelings. Brandeis University officially launched their RideAmigos-powered carpooling program in October 2017, and the number of carpooling trips to and from campus nearly doubled after it was implemented.

Sustainability manager Mary Fischer noted, “We are making strides. More people realize that they live much closer to other Brandeisians, including those who have compatible schedules.” Since the launch of the campus carpooling program, Rinaldo has settled into a habit of ride-sharing about once a week, and tries to bike or take the train as often as possible. “Brandeis has a great community and carpooling has helped me meet people from across campus in a different capacity.”

The strong performance of the Brandeis campus carpooling program highlights a few of the key benefits of creating ride-sharing communities to serve educational institutions:

  • They fill a gap by providing a program that many people would use if it were available
  • They reduce commute-related stress and cost
  • They help commuters form new social connections

The RideAmigos commuter platform provides a complete suite of administrator-end and user-end tools that make it easy to create, join, and manage carpooling networks while connecting with community members looking to share rides. In our work with academic institutions, we’ve consistently found that commuters would be more than happy to use alternatives to solo driving if they were readily available, and that’s exactly what our platform achieves.

RideAmigos is proud to be a big part of the success of Brandeis’s campus carpooling program, and we’d love to help your organization become our next success story. To learn more, get started with RideAmigos today.

Top Incentives to Increase Ridesharing (Infographic)

Wondering how to increase ridesharing among employees?

Create incentive programs that turn negatives into positives:

How to Use Smart Incentives to Increase Ridesharing Infographic

One of the best ways to increase ridesharing is by creating incentives that neutralize the commonly cited reasons why people avoid carpooling in the first place.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey, only 9.4% of commuters use carpools to get to work. While one can hope that figure has come up a bit in the years since comprehensive federal data was last published, there’s little doubt that ridesharing still has vast untapped potential.

A poll performed by ABC News showed that while 20% of commuters were interested in sharing rides, 51% of commuters say they think carpooling would be “inconvenient,” 18% of respondents said they don’t take part in rideshare programs because they “don’t know anyone to carpool with,” and 11% cited issues related to scheduling and needing to rely on others.

Incentive programs that turn these negatives into positives have a great chance of success. Here are some tips for creating rideshare programs built on the very principles that supposedly prevent people from taking part in them:

Provide in-company or neighborhood-based rideshare matching. These are both great ways to address privacy-related concerns. Provide commuters with tools to make quick, safe connections with coworkers or neighbors so they don’t have to share rides with complete strangers.

Create flexible scheduling options. People may not need a ride when they have it, and they may not have a ride when they need it. The solution? Allow carpooling commuters to work on flex-time schedules, or adopt rideshare matching software that lets users set their availability for specific days and times according to their needs.

Offer a guaranteed ride home. Many solo drivers also want the freedom and flexibility to be able to respond to emergencies and unexpected situations, and don’t want to be without a way to get home if something happens. Guaranteed ride home programs reimburse carpoolers if they need to use a taxi or on-demand ride-hailing service on short notice.

The RideAmigos commuter management platform is filled with powerful features that are ideal for implementing these and many other smart incentive programs for increasing ridesharing.

Get started with RideAmigos today!

How to Encourage Employees to Carpool

Businesses can encourage employee carpooling by using proven strategies to reduce the use of single-occupancy vehicles.

Companies looking to encourage employee carpooling can draw on numerous strategies that many businesses have already used to great effect. All successful employee carpooling programs have one element in common: they make ridesharing as easy and convenient as possible, positioning it as a viable alternative to commuting in a single-occupancy vehicle.

Here are three ways businesses can encourage employee carpooling by making ridesharing more accessible:

  • Help match commuters. It is common, especially in larger companies, for otherwise willing rideshare partners living in the same area to be unaware of available opportunities. Programs that actively aim to match prospective rideshare participants together stand a much better chance of success.
  • Offer parking benefits to rideshare drivers. Parking-based strategies can take several forms, including offering preferred parking spots or discounted parking rates to rideshare drivers. Parking cash-out programs also provide a meaningful financial incentive for commuters to use alternative transportation modes.
  • Introduce incentives and an element of friendly competition. Make ridesharing a game, and offer prizes to the teams that log the most commutes or the greatest number of rideshare miles traveled.

Commuter matching also helps employees forge friendships and valuable networking relationships. This, in turn, delivers intangible business benefits stemming from a more collegial and cooperative environment.

With parking benefits, it’s important to remember that giving preferred spots to vehicles used in carpool programs doubles as a form of free promotion. Other employees will see these vehicles prominently positioned in parking lots, understand the rideshare benefit, and become aware of the company’s carpooling program if they are not already. They’re also more likely to take part themselves!

As for carpool challenges and competitions: these can be fun, but their results don’t often make a long-term impact. Many participants simply go back to solo driving once the competition ends. You can help change this by supplementing challenge-based competitions with a commuter store. This strategy lets you encourage employees to carpool by offering points every time they log a rideshare commute. They can then redeem those points for enticing prizes, which is a great incentive and proven driver of continued behavior change.

Highlight end-user benefits to encourage employees to carpool and increase program participation.

It also helps to actively promote the many individual benefits employees can enjoy by taking part in carpooling programs:

  • Carpooling helps reduce stress, improve productivity, and increase overall happiness
  • Employees who participate in rideshare programs save money in fuel costs while reducing everyday wear-and-tear on their personal vehicles
  • Rideshare programs create a stronger sense of community and helps employees foster personal connections they might not otherwise have made

Here, the key is to remember a universal truth: most people want to do things that help the greater good, but they’re also interested in helping themselves. Thus, it’s a good idea to reinforce the ways in which individuals stand to benefit from your company’s rideshare policies.

Encourage employees to carpool and give your business a competitive advantage at the same time

Businesses that offer employee carpooling programs also project positive community values, helping attract and retain better talent. This is especially true for the millennial generation, which is now entering the workforce in large numbers and driving change in the way companies think about their commuter policies.

Market research shows that millennials look beyond compensation when weighing job offers. In addition to salary and benefits, they also consider the company’s culture and tend to favor employers whose values reflect their own. Thus, implementing a forward-thinking and easily accessible set of commuter programs can be an effective way to entice prospective employees to accept a position.

Survey data from 2018 also found that 23% of people have quit a job because of an unfavorable commute. Having an effective rideshare program to encourage employees to carpool makes it more likely that your business will retain the talent it attracts. It also helps you sell the idea that your company believes in a positive work-life balance, which is another key value shared by large numbers of younger workforce members.

RideAmigos helps encourage employees to carpool with user-friendly tools that drive behavior change

With rideshare matching, trip planners, interactive dashboards, and journey logging features, the RideAmigos software platform is an ideal tool for creating and managing company-wide carpooling networks. Administrators can also take advantage of RideAmigos’ many gamification and incentive features to boost participation rates by creating friendly competitions among commuters.

RideAmigos is one of the world’s most trusted names in transportation demand management software, and we’ve already helped a long list of businesses implement successful ridesharing and carpooling programs. If you’d like to become another of our many success stories, get started now.

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.

Create Incentives for Carpooling to the Big Game

With football season in full swing, fans are descending on stadiums by the thousands and transportation managers across the country are trying to figure out where on Earth to park all the cars. One less obvious but extremely effective solution is to reduce the number of cars that need to be parked in the first place. (Without reducing the number of fans at the game!)

The key is to offer incentives to fans who carpool or leave their vehicles at a park-and-ride transit lot. Beyond freeing up parking space and easing traffic congestion around the stadium, you’ll also be making more room for tailgating. In addition, you’ll promote public safety by reducing the chances of an intoxicated driver getting behind the wheel after the game.

Here’s a blueprint for running a smart-transportation incentive program for your next game:

  1. Choose prizes. You’re more likely to connect with your audience if you offer a prize related to the event they’re attending. So, for a football game, try game jerseys, team memorabilia, or free tickets to an upcoming game.
  2. Promote the program. Advertising is essential to the success of your program. Can you get the PA announcer to let fans know about the promotion in advance of the next game? Can you flash your message on the scoreboard? Plaster parking areas with posters, and use social media to get the word out.
  3. Track participation. Use on-site or online tools (like RideAmigos!) to figure out who is participating and who is eligible to win prizes.
  4. Enjoy the game!
  5. Follow up. Allow users to log trips after game day to encourage higher participation rates. Just make sure your cut-off date for prize eligibility is clear.
  6. Draw for winners. To select winners from your pool of qualified entrants, random draws are a great way to go. Especially if you’re offering an impressive grand prize. Inform the lucky winning participants and publicize stats showing how many car trips your promotion saved.

The RideAmigos software platform is the ideal tool for creating and managing transportation incentive programs, logging trips, and promoting event ridesharing initiatives. Whether you’re managing traffic on game day or looking after a company of commuters, RideAmigos delivers the power to transform the way people use transportation.

Visit our Academy to see how easy it is to incentivize events using RideAmigos

Rideshare and Transit Integration

Rideshare and transit integration solves problems associated with single-occupancy vehicle commuting

The negative impacts of commuting in a single-occupancy vehicle extend beyond the environment. Sitting in traffic creates what’s known as an “opportunity cost.” People can’t engage in productive activities when they’re inching their vehicle along a street or freeway.

As such, stakeholders in enterprise-oriented commuter management programs have strong incentives to promote alternatives like rideshare and transit integration. Research shows that such programs support improved productivity as well as increased commuter happiness and overall life satisfaction.
To help give your commuter program a kick-start, here are a few ways you can integrate ridesharing, public transit, and other alternatives into your company’s commuter management plan:

  • Create a multimodal commuting challenge. Build excitement and increase commuter participation by incentivizing your commuting program with a challenge that includes ridesharing, transit, and other smart commute options. Log trips, track miles, and offer prizes to the individuals or teams who lead the pack.
  • Provide smart transportation from origin and destination transit stations. In addition to running vanpool shuttle services between your company and local mass transit stations, you can also provide geo-fenced, prepaid access to services like Lyft and Uber. Offer last-mile connections between destination transit stations and the office, and encourage commuters to carpool for travel from their homes to origin stations.
  • Offer free transit credits to carpoolers. This approach does double duty: it incentivizes ridesharing while encouraging employees to make better use of available public transit options. Create a points program where commuters who carpool a certain number of days per month are eligible for free or subsidized public transit access. 
  • Build a “buddy system.” Facilitate carpooling by matching employees who live close to one another as “commute buddies.” Sometimes, especially in larger companies, people simply aren’t aware that they have co-workers in close proximity who are willing to share rides (and costs). Matching can also be schedule-based, making it easier for people who arrive and depart from work at the same time to buddy up.
  • Set up reduced-rate and preferred parking systems for carpoolers. Offer reduced-rate or free parking to vehicles used in carpools, or give carpoolers privileged access to preferred parking spots or lots.

Remember: ridesharing/carpooling and public transit programs work well together. Integrating them, rather than approaching each program as standalone entities, will help drum up higher participation rates in your smart commuting initiatives.

A cutting-edge commuter management platform like the RideAmigos software suite is ideal for creating and administering effective programs that have a positive impact on your business, and in your community. To learn more about our industry-leading software, please contact us or view our free video demonstration.


Ridesharing Management

Ridesharing Management Tools and Apps

Advanced ridesharing management tools give you the power to make a positive impact.

The early years of the 21st century have seen an increasing interest in carpooling, and ridesharing management technology makes it easier than ever to connect and manage people who want to share rides. Cloud-based management software gives commuters the tools to carpool with coworkers and neighbors who want to save money and reduce congestion.

Modern ride-sharing takes many forms, but they all share the same set of objectives:

  • Ridesharing reduces pollution caused by greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Commuters who share rides can save big on their monthly transportation costs.
  • Carpooling helps participants forge and develop new personal and professional connections.
  • People who take part in ridematching programs report lower levels of commute-related stress than solo drivers.
  • Carpooling helps reduce commute times by giving access to specialized infrastructure like high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.

Businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes are taking notice of the benefits of promoting carpooling, and ridesharing software adoption rates are rising fast across the country. In addition to the community and commuter benefit, businesses and organizations win big when commuters carpool in larger numbers:

  • Increasing carpooling can reduce parking demand, saving businesses money on parking costs.
  • Ridesharing has been statistically shown to increase employee productivity and job satisfaction rates.
  • A strong culture of social responsibility helps businesses attract and retain higher-quality employees.
  • Integrating ridesharing into company culture helps reinforce a brand image of environmental care.

Ride sharing management tools and programs like RideAmigos make it easy for employers and organizations to drive higher participation rates, deliver end-to-end solutions, and make a positive impact.  on the environment and the local community.

Discover RideAmigos: cutting-edge ride sharing management solutions

The RideAmigos suite of transportation demand management tools delivers a wide range of advanced rideshare and carpooling features that benefit both commuters and administrators, including:

Want to learn more about our ridesharing management software? Need some insights into how to supercharge your commuter programs? Our knowledgeable professionals are here to help. Get started with RideAmigos today!

Ridematching Software

Advanced ridematching software eliminates the problems and inconveniences of carpooling programs

Soaring fuel costs and increased awareness of the environmental toll of solo driving have combined to create a dramatic resurgence of interest in carpooling. It also helps commuters reduce wear and tear on their vehicles, forge new social and professional connections, and enjoy the proven stress-busting benefits of sharing rides with others.

Even though people are carpooling more than they have in decades, there’s still a gap to bridge: research shows that while many commuters support the idea of carpooling in theory, they aren’t adopting it to the same degree in practice. This is because traditional approaches to ridesharing also have their drawbacks:

Carpools and matches are often tracked in onerous and inefficient spreadsheets, making ridesharing programs a headache for administrators.

If a driver unexpectedly can’t make it or has to work late, passengers can end up stranded.

Carpool participants have to be connected via an administrator then reach out manually and set driving schedules.

Flexible work schedules preferred by modern workers are practically incompatible with traditional ridematching solutions that require extensive administrator intervention.

There must be a better way…

And there is: RideAmigos ridematching software.

RideAmigos ridematching software puts more control in the hands of commuters and delivers powerful analytics and reporting tools to administrators

On the commuter side, RideAmigos makes it a breeze to locate rideshare matches. Drivers and passengers alike can conduct simple but powerful searches, locate matches, and communicate instantly. Need a ride at the last minute? Dealing with an unexpected scheduling change? No problem. RideAmigos will help you locate an alternate carpool in minutes. Users can search all locally available options to find the best available match. RideAmigos helps make carpooling every bit as easy and convenient as solo driving, which in turn encourages more people to give it a try.

Administrators also enjoy greater control and vastly improved ease of management, as well as powerful analytics and reporting tools. Accurate statistical and data-driven insights are the keys to creating robust ridesharing programs with high participation rates.

The RideAmigos platform has already been adopted by hundreds of businesses, organizations, government agencies and educational institutions, and its powerful ridematching software tools are a big reason why.

We’d love to add you to our growing list of success stories. Get started today with a free analysis of your existing commuter programs, a comprehensive demo of our cutting-edge software platform, or free tips to improve the success of your organization’s commuting initiatives.

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 

Employee Carpool Programs

Promoting participation in employee carpool programs has powerful organization-wide benefits

Employee carpool programs are one of the most effective tools businesses can use to help fight local traffic congestion. With the right software tools, they’re easy to set up, a breeze to administer, and go a long way toward helping organizations reduce their carbon impact.

While their environmental benefits tend to draw the most attention, enterprises enjoy many other advantages by encouraging employees to skip the solo drive and share rides.

Some of the key benefits of employee carpool programs include:

Savings on parking costs

When employees share rides, demand for on-site parking will diminish. This helps employers realize significant savings on parking costs.

Cutting back on parking costs can save businesses huge amounts of money, particularly for companies located in densely populated metro areas where parking facilities are at a premium. The demand for limited available space sends costs soaring in such cases. Investing in strategies that cut down on parking costs can generate very favorable returns.

Today’s next-generation tech tools can help you solve the parking crunch while delivering a one-stop shop for managing all your commuter programs.

Boosting employee productivity

Research shows that people who carpool arrive at work feeling better, with lower stress levels. This contributes to increased productivity throughout the day along with better health and improved job satisfaction.

Another productivity-related benefit of enterprise rideshare networks is that they help people get a jump on the day. When a commuter doesn’t have to drive, their hands and minds are free. They can get a leg up on their email messages, review their to-do lists, and even get started on some simple tasks that can be performed remotely.

A happier workforce

Studies have also shown that employee carpool programs help build a more collegial work environment, with strengthened social connections that contribute to higher overall levels of job satisfaction.

Carpool-based commuter benefit solutions bring people together in unexpected ways. Over the years, we’ve heard countless anecdotes about coworkers who had no idea they lived in the same area until they were matched together by ridesharing software. Lasting friendships and valuable professional connections often result from these types of relationships, giving you another benefit to sell to your commuter base.

A reduced environmental footprint

Companies that institute employee rideshare programs project ecological values in keeping with environmental responsibility. Thus, these programs go beyond immediate commuter benefit solutions and help organizations make tangible, discrete contributions to the greater good.

Building a happier, more productive workforce and making environmental responsibility a top priority also helps boost employee retention rates. Companies with high employee retention rates tend to attract better job candidates, and this helps position the business for sustained future success.

Positive company culture and identity

Today, talented job candidates look at more than just salary and benefits when evaluating job offers. They also consider the company’s culture, identity, and values. Growing numbers of people, particularly in younger age demographics, prefer to work for businesses whose values align with their own.

As topics like climate change and the environment continue to grow in the public consciousness, more and more people want to do something that makes them feel good about their choices. Companies that offer carpool programs and commuter transportation benefits that reduce pollution offer an easy, everyday path to healthier, more sustainable behavior. This, in turn, supports a positive organizational culture that makes working for your business more appealing.

Get commuters excited about employee carpool programs. Here’s how.

With employee carpool programs, greater participation equals greater benefits. These strategies are proven to help increase opt-in rates for corporate ridesharing:

  • Adopt a gamification approach by encouraging participants to align themselves in teams, then track the number of trips and miles logged
  • Offer incentives to participants and prizes to competition winners
  • Use commuter management software like RideAmigos to help employees who live in close proximity connect with one another
  • Match prospective participants who have similar work schedules
  • Offer free, reduced-rate, or preferred parking to vehicles used in carpools
  • Promote individual end benefits, like lower stress, savings on transportation costs, and reduced wear-and-tear on privately owned vehicles

Software tools like the RideAmigos platform are ideal for creating, promoting, and managing employee carpool programs. RideAmigos’ groundbreaking enterprise ridesharing solution offers companies and organizations an unprecedented suite of powerful rideshare program creation, management, tracking, and reporting tools. Our platform also makes it easy to connect program participants, create games and competitions, track and administer rewards, and much more. It delivers everything you’ll need to design, implement, refine, and manage commuter programs that make a big difference.

Put your carpooling program in overdrive and maximize its environmental, financial, and organizational benefits. Get started with RideAmigos today!

Ridesharing in the 21st Century

A new generation of ridesharing technology is leading the way to reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles and help more people skip the solo drive.

Shifting the Transportation Paradigm