This toolkit is designed to help Bellevue companies investigate, develop and implement commute programs that provide commute options to their employees. The kit contains simple, easy-to-use resources to help you identify your needs, design a custom program and roll it out to your employees. We are here to help every step of the way: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is a Commute Program?
An employee commute program can help your business manage your benefits and resources, while giving your employees more choices for getting to work. Regardless of size, budget or industry, every company is unique, and the elements of a company's commute program should offer customized solutions for its employees.
Why Should My Company Offer A Commute Program? Just like the type of commute program options, the reasons your company decides to provide a program are unique to you. Here are just a few advantages to offering a commute program to your employees:
The Company’s Advantage
- Improve Productivity and Morale– Employees will come to work more relaxed and ready to work if they do not have to worry about the stresses of traffic, finding a parking spot and increasing gas prices.
- Attracting and keeping the best employees – The ease and cost of commuting is one of the top considerations for employees and new hires when assessing a position.
- Tax Breaks – Commute benefits that offer a subsidy to employees can be federal and state business tax deductions.
- Enhances Your Corporate Image – Customers and clients notice when a company takes action to support employees and reduce their carbon footprint.
- Relieve Pressure on Parking and Traffic Congestion – Create more parking spaces for customers/clients and increase the mobility of our City streets.
The Employees’ Advantage
- Save Money – Commuters who use alternative modes to driving alone can save an average of $800 a year on transportation costs.
- Less Stress – Sharing the ride can reduce employee stress and fatigue by eliminating the worries about traffic or the cost of commuting.
- Get to Work Faster – Most commute alternatives allow employees to get to work faster by utilizing HOV lanes and not getting stuck in traffic.
- Flexibility – Employees will have the ability to choose the commute option that works best for them.
Starting a Commute Program
The first step to starting a commute program at your company is to designate a person to be the Employee Transportation Coordinator. This person will be charged with developing and implementing a commute program and sharing information with employees. The second step is to determine which options or services work best for your company and employees. Program options include:
- ORCA transit passes and Choose Your Way Bellevue ORCA Passport Rebate
- Commuter pre-tax benefits
- Telework or flex schedules
- Reserved or preferential parking for carpoolers/vanpoolers
- Bike facilities such as racks, lockers and showers
- Parking cash-out or charging for parking
- Incentives and prize drawings
In order to help you determine which of these program options would work best for your company, check out these resources:
- Sample Employee Commute Survey – Conduct a preliminary survey of your employees to see how they are currently commuting and what programs and modes they would be interested in.
- Worksite & Facilities Assessment Checklist – Conduct an assessment of your worksite or building to see what resources are currently available to your employees and what you could improve.
- Commute Program Budget Worksheet – After you determine your commute program needs, use this worksheet to determine the cost of providing a commute program.
Developing a Commute Program
Once you have determined which commute program elements work best for your company and your employees, use the following resources to develop and implement your program.
- Benefits of Transit
- ORCA Business Account Comparison – Compare the different ORCA business programs that you can provide to your employees
- Benefits of Carpool
- Creating a Carpool Incentive Program – Tips and resources for starting a carpool incentive program at your worksite
- RideshareOnline Employer Resources – Make managing your carpool incentive easy with RideshareOnline’s free employer networks that allow you to track employee’s commute trips and distribute incentives.
Vanpool & Vanshare
- Benefits of Vanpooling
- Benefits of VanSharing
- Vanpool Starter Kit – Resource guide for employees looking to start a vanpool and recruit riders
- JARC Employer Partnership Program – King County Metro program that can cover up to 50% of the cost of vanpool fares for low-income employees
Bike & Walk
- Benefits of Biking to Work
- Benefits of Walking to Work
- Cascade Bicycle Club Employer Resources – Resources from Cascade Bicycle Club for employers including on-site workshops, facilities assessments and tips for promoting biking to employees
- Benefits of Telework
- Creating a Telework Program – Tips and resources for starting a telework program at your worksite
- WorkSmart Telework Consulting – King County Metro program that offers free consulting to help your company start or improve a telework program at your worksite. Assistance includes developing a formal telework policy, recommendations for software needs and strategies for managing teleworkers.
Creating a Parking Cashout Program – Tips and resource for starting a parking cash out program
Marketing a Commute Program:
Once you have developed your commute program and you’re ready to launch it to employees, these resources will help you get the word out and motivate employees to give it a try.
- Marketing to Your Employees – Learn the basics of marketing your commute program to employees, managers and leaders at your company, including samples of successful marketing campaigns
- Tax Benefits – Find out how your company and your employees can receive tax benefits by providing commute programs.
- Get Recognized – See how your company can be recognized for offering an extraordinary commute program. There are a number of local, regional and national award and designation programs that will help you tell your program’s story.
- Commute Program Case Studies – See what other downtown Bellevue companies are offering their employees and the benefits they have seen from having a commute program at their company
- Commute Cost Calculator
- RideshareOnline.com – Free online resource and incentive program for Bellevue commuters and residents
- Wheel Options – Annual statewide commute options promotion to encourage employees to try a new commute
- Carshare – Help provide your employees who don't drive alone to work with a car to use for appointments during the day