How to Get University Employees to Carpool

Helpful tips for getting university employees to carpool more often

Universities face a unique set of challenges with regard to car-based commuting. At educational institutions, administrators often face rising year-over-year demand for limited parking facilities. Building new parking structures is very expensive. Given that reality, a growing number of schools are using their resources to get more university employees to carpool instead.

While some schools have overlooked employee carpooling and commuter programs in the past in favor of focusing primarily on student transportation needs, that is quickly changing. Administrators are realizing that employee carpool initiatives provide several key benefits. They offer excellent starting points like being convenient, engaging frequent commuters, and delivering outstanding cost-to-benefits ratios.

Colleges and universities typically employ hundreds if not thousands of staff and faculty members, giving them large communities to work with. This means university carpool programs are an excellent option to get more employees to carpool, especially when supported by proven strategies like:

  • Premium parking. Give vehicles used in carpools access to convenient parking spots. This also generates visibility for your rideshare programs, showing other university employees the popularity of carpooling.
  • Parking cash-out option. Offer employees financial benefits in exchange for giving up their parking privileges and watch participation rates soar.
  • Commuter rewards and challenges. Engage community members while promoting carpooling as an alternative to solo driving through commuter rewards initiatives and campus-wide commuter challenges.

Engage more employees through strategic communication

Administrators will also enjoy better success in their efforts in encouraging employees to carpool when they strategically promote the availability of ridematching resources. Here are some easy, effective ways to do that:

  • Build awareness through signage and email campaigns.
  • Mention the availability of commuter support programs, like rideshare matching, during new employee orientation sessions.
  • Draw attention to your program through periodic challenge and special events like rideshare month.
  • Promote rewards and incentive programs that encourage ongoing participation.

One particularly effective strategy used by a growing number of universities is to create commuter rewards programs that allow employees to rack up points every time they log a carpool trip to or from work. These points can then be redeemed for a wide variety of gift cards or other merchandise via a mobile app or commuter portal, which gets keeps people engaged for the long term.

Looking for more tips on how to deal with the parking crunch at your school?
Be sure to check out our free e-book on reducing campus parking demand.

If you need further advice on how to get university employees to carpool more often, or if you want a free, objective evaluation of your existing commuter programs, the RideAmigos team is here to help. Get started today!


Employee Commuter Programs

Engage employees and encourage smarter commuting with programs that promote alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles

As many businesses have found, getting employees to change their commuting habits requires more than just advertising alternatives. Even the best-intentioned directives are likely to fall flat if they aren’t backed up with action. So how can you find success? You can create lasting change by incorporating robust employee commuter programs into your workplace experience.

Enterprise-level commuter programs use proven transportation demand management tools to engage employees. Such programs dramatically increase the likelihood that employees will skip the solo drive and make use of alternative transportation. Drawing on a range of strategies that incentivize the use of smarter commuting options, they help guide employees away from single-occupancy vehicles. Commuter programs help create a company culture that places a high value on smarter, more environmentally responsible ways of getting to and from work.

Here are just a few examples of programs with proven popularity and effectiveness:

  • Ridesharing communities. Leverage the power of technology to connect commuters in the same geographic area with rideshares and carpools.
  • Incentive programs and gamification. Make smarter commuting fun! Use points programs and games that track employee use of transportation alternatives and reward ongoing participation.
  • Team challenges. Create friendly competitions between employees by organizing team-based rewards during bike-to-work or carpool challenges.
  • Subsidies and tax benefits. Cost concerns are one of the biggest barriers for commuters who are on the fence about using alternate methods of traveling to and from work. Therefore, one way to tip the scales is to subsidize public transportation passes. Another way is giving employees the option to use pre-tax income for transit or vanpools. These strategies can make other modes of travel cheaper than driving a single-occupancy vehicle.

Employee commuter programs pay big dividends for businesses and communities alike.

When people get on the alternative transportation bandwagon, everybody wins. Studies have shown that smarter commuting leads to increased employee satisfaction and productivity by reducing stress. Communities benefit through reduced pollution and eased traffic congestion. Businesses enjoy boosted employee retention rates and decreased facilities costs. All while making the company more attractive to prospective partners, investors, and employees through its commitment to forward-looking values.

The RideAmigos transportation demand management platform offers a comprehensive range of support tools for employee commuter programs. Commuters can leverage our software’s powerful trip planning and community features to make alternative transportation easy to access and use. Administrators can take advantage of a long list of advanced data tracking and management options that help increase participation rates and improve program effectiveness.

If employee commuter programs sound like they could benefit your company, contact the RideAmigos team or sign up to view our free video demonstration.