Commute Survey & Trip Reduction Plan

Commute Survey

The first order of business when initiating an employee-focused Transportation Demand Management (TDM) program is to have Rideshare conduct an employee commute survey for your business (like this one here). This easy-to-do online survey is created specifically for your business by Rideshare and is of no cost to you. Conducting an employee survey before you initiate your commuter benefits program can provide a useful baseline which you can use to benchmark the success of your program after a period of time has passed. This baseline survey also provides Rideshare with an opportunity to identify commuter benefits that employees at your worksite are most likely to use and thus would make for a more cost effective approach to providing your commuter benefits.  The information Rideshare collects can help manage the commuter benefits program more effectively by helping Rideshare measure changes in employee travel patterns over time and increasing understanding of the benefits that are most important to your employees.

Trip Reduction Plan

After the completion of the Commute Survey, Rideshare will bundle the data collected with specific recommendations into a complete Trip Reduction Plan. Trip Reduction Plans often include a toolkit of suggestions that are both applicable to established businesses in existing locations and also to developers, employers, and/or building managers that are looking to provide amenities and or incentives that encourage new occupants or employees to use alternative modes of transportation. Often times Trip Reduction Plans are required as part of the building permit process and establish various strategies or building design elements that will reduce auto trips and encourage alternative modes. Here are some examples of a Trip Reduction Plan toolkit:

RIDESHARE TOOLS DESCRIPTION COST TO EMPLOYER
Inclusion of Back ‘N’ Forth Club transportation information in all “Employee Welcome” packets. Encourage use of Rideshare’s ride matching tool and other mode-specific information. Rideshare will provide employer with information specific to each employer regarding relevant programs and/or travel information. Information included will be 511 details, mode specific details, campaign information, Emergency Ride Home information, etc. None.
Back ‘N’ Forth Club station in employee break rooms and common areas. Rideshare will provide employer with information specific to each employer regarding relevant programs and/or travel information. Information included will be ride matching information, 511 info, mode specific details, campaign information, Emergency Ride Home information, etc. None.
Back ‘N’ Forth Club transportation events at your worksite. Rideshare will help organize and host a transportation fair at your business location to educate and inform employees on sustainable commute options. None.
Level 1 Back N Forth Club: Identify a Champ within the employer. Provide transit schedules, rideshare, and Emergency Ride Home information to employees. Identify an employee to act as a liaison to Rideshare. Champ will work with Rideshare to establish an ongoing program internally that promotes sustainable transportation modes. Minimal. Cost incurred depends on time spent by internal employee Champ to promote sustainable transportation. Time allocated is determined by employer.
Level 2 Back N Forth Club: Utilization of Rideshare’s iRideshare.org trip logging and ride matching online tool to encourage smart commutes. Participants can win $25 prizes just by reporting their commute. Simply register, and start logging commutes at the iRideshare site. Each time a person logs a clean commute; their name is entered into a monthly drawing for $25 VISA gift card. The more clean commutes they log, the greater chances of winning. There is no limit to the number of times they can win. And they can receive weekly e-mail reminders from Rideshare to help them remember to log their commute. Minimal. $25 monthly incentive encouraged but not required. Employer determines incentives provided, Rideshare administers the program.
Level 3 Back N Forth Club**: Employer supported daily trip logging incentive program designed to motivate solo drivers to try a clean commute alternative like carpooling, vanpooling, riding transit, teleworking, bicycling, or walking. Commuters participating will earn $3 for each day they use a clean commute, up to $100, over an assigned 90-day period. Trips must be logged at iRideshare.org. Awards are paid through a VISA gift card at the end of the participant’s 90-day period. There is a $2/mo. fee per employee to be enrolled in this Rideshare-managed incentive program. This equals a potential investment on the part of the employer of $106.00 per employee for a possible lifetime of alternative commuting. Up to $106/per employee participating over a 90 day period
Creation of qualified transportation fringe benefit program. Qualified transportation fringe benefits (Section 132(f) of the Internal Revenue Code) or “Commuter Tax Benefits” are like money in the bank. This allows employees to use pre-tax money for payment of vanpools, transit passes, or bicycle expenses. Rideshare will help you determine how to set this up. None. Employers save on payroll related taxes. Employees save on federal income taxes.
Participation in Rideshare’s Campaign month activities. Rideshare is the principle organizer of both Bike Month and Rideshare Month. Employers across SLO County are encouraged to get involved and host an event during these campaign months. Past events include happy hour bike mixers, bike breakfasts, vanpool promotions, More Parks, Less Parking, etc. Dependent on level of event hosted.
ADDITIONAL SMART COMMUTE TOOLS DESCRIPTION COST TO EMPLOYER
Establish a bike share program Provide employees with bikes on the premises so that they have the optional use during the day. In some cases, employers allow employees to take bikes home to ride to and from work. Minimal. Generally only 1-2 bikes are needed to make an impact.
Work with SLO Bicycle Coalition for bike service program and/or education classes SLO Bicycle Coalition will work with your employees via their educational outreach program to provide basic bike smarts and/or on the road workshops. They also provide bike maintenance to employers via their Bike Kitchen volunteers. Small fee to SLO County Bike Coalition.
Enroll in a car share service Both Fun Ride and Zip Car offer car sharing services in SLO County. Work with Fun Ride to establish a car location near your place of business. Buy a corporate account so employees have the use of the car during the day. Dependent on level of partnership.
Provide end of trip facilities Bike lockers/Bike Racks/On-site showers: These are important ways to provide convenience and security for cyclists at destinations. Inadequate facilities and fear of theft are major deterrents to bicycle transportation. Moderate.
Subsidized Vanpool fares or Transit Passes Employer offers employees a direct subsidy towards the cost of a vanpool or transit pass. Rideshare will support creation of Vanpools via the iRideshare ride matching online tool. Moderate to substantial dependent on subsidy. Cost to employee is generally recouped long-term. See Parking Cash Out.
Parking Pricing Parking Pricing means that motorists pay directly for using parking facilities. Parking Pricing may be implemented as a TDM strategy (to reduce vehicle traffic), as a Parking Management strategy (to reduce parking problems), to recover parking facility costs, to generate revenue for other purposes (such as a Transportation Management Association or downtown improvement district), or for a combination of these objectives. No cost to employer. Cost is burden of employee.
Designated Parking Regulate parking based on the type of vehicles or users. For example, during peak periods dedicate the most convenient spaces for service vehicles, customers, Rideshare vehicles, and vehicles used by Disabled People. Assign carpool and vanpool parking. Minimal.
Parking Cash Out Parking Cash Out means that commuters who are offered subsidized parking are also offered the cash equivalent if they use alternative travel modes Parking Cash Out and transit benefits represent the savings that result from reduced parking costs. Businesses that own adequate parking may perceive little short-term savings from reduced parking demand; however, over the medium and long term most firms have opportunities to benefit financially from reduced parking demand: to provide additional parking to accommodate growth, to lease or sell excess parking, or to use the land for a new building, equipment storage, or green space.
Promotion of Telecommuting, alternative work schedules and/or flex time and compressed work weeks Telecommuting is the act of working remotely. Alternative Work Schedules (also called Variable Work Hours) include:
-Flextime. This means that employees are allowed some flexibility in their daily work schedules. For example, rather than all employees working 8:00 to 4:30, some might work 7:30 to 4:00, and others 9:00 to 5:30.
-Compressed Workweek (CWW). This means that employees work fewer but longer days, such as four 10-hour days each week (4/40), or 9-hour days with one day off every two weeks (9/80).
-Staggered Shifts. This means that shifts are staggered to reduce the number of employees arriving and leaving a worksite at one time. For example, some shifts may be 8:00 to 4:30, others 8:30 to 5:00, and others 9:00 to 5:30. This has a similar effect on traffic as flextime, but does not give individual employees as much control over their schedules.
None.