Best Workplaces for Commuters


Image: Best Wokrplaces for Commuters
Employers Should Make it Easy to Have a Green Commute
Yesterday, I wrote about how we need to make our society less auto-centric. This can't be achieved without collaboration from employers, since most people's primary use for the automobile is commuting to work. That's why certification programs like "Best Workplaces for Commuters" are a good idea, though I wish this one was a bit more like the green building certification program LEED, with multiple levels (certified, silver, gold, platinum) to better distinguish between companies just doing OK and true leaders.The standard was created by the University of South Florida's National Center for Transit Research and the EPA. Here are the basic criteria:

In order to qualify as one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters, your organization must offer at least one (1) of the following Primary Benefits:
At least $30 per month towards a transit pass or vanpool pass (or the full cost of a pass if it is less than $30) to each employee who commutes using transit or a vanpool.
At least 30 percent of employees participating in a pre-tax purchase of a monthly transit pass or vanpool pass of at least $30 per month (or the full cost of a pass if it is less than $30).

  • At least $30 per month towards a transit pass or vanpool pass (or the full cost of a pass if it is less than $30) to each employee who commutes using transit or a vanpool.
  • At least 30 percent of employees participating in a pre-tax purchase of a monthly transit pass or vanpool pass of at least $30 per month (or the full cost of a pass if it is less than $30).
  • A significant telework program that reduces by at least 6 percent the number of commuting trips employees make.
  • A significant compressed work week program that reduces by at least 6 percent the number of commuting trips employees make.
  • At least $30 per month (in lieu of providing a parking spot) to each employee who leaves their car at home and commutes another way.
  • An equivalent benefit that provides similar value to employees, reduces traffic and air pollution, and is agreed to by Best Workplaces for Commuters.
Your organization must also offer employees access to an Emergency Ride Home program and 3 supporting benefits, such as carpool matching, shuttles and on-site amenities (e.g., cafeteria, dry cleaners). If you have fewer than 20 employees, you need only provide one supporting benefit. Your organization must agree to work towards a goal of 14 percent or more of employees NOT driving to work alone, and agree to a membership due of $230 per worksite (multiple worksite discounts are available) that directly provides support to the program managed by the National Center for Transit Research at USF.

What I'd like to see is more verification to make sure that workplaces really do what they say they're doing, and a point system to differentiate between levels of commuter friendliness. I also think it would be a great idea if a kind of database/wiki was created so that information about green commuting best-practices could be stored in one place and be made accessible to everybody (no need to reinvent the wheel).

The list of workplaces currently certified can be found here (the mothership, Discovery Communications, is there).

If you think your company qualifies, or if you want to make changes so that it does (go for it!), check out the online application form.

Via Best Workplaces for Commuters
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Tags: Transportation

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