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!