How Public Transit will Save You Money and Make Your Employees Happier

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Provide public transit benefits to your employees to save money and improve employee recruitment and retention. Show employees how free tools like the RideScout app and the Capital Metro trip planner and app can help save them time and money. 

Commuting to work using public transportation may not seem as appealing as driving in your own car, but if you take a closer look at the benefits of using it, you might change your mind. Taking the bus or train eases congestion, reduces toxic emissions, and gives commuters plenty of time to relax and catch up on personal work. As a business leader, it makes even more sense to encourage your staff to trade time driving for time on the bus. The benefits include money saved, better employee retention, and great incentive for hiring new talent.

How Public Transportation can Save Businesses Money

There are a few ways that encouraging your employees to take public transportation can save you money.

Reduced Parking Demand If you provide your staff with free parking, it’s a no-brainer. A reduction in parking demand means that, if you lease parking spots, you can eliminate the cost of paying for parking to an outside company. Alternatively, you can create a new revenue stream if you own your own parking lot by leasing parking places to other people and organizations.

Tax Savings Benefits Twenty-five years ago, a simple yet ingenious idea took root: By allowing workers to defray public transportation costs through their employers’ benefits packages, we could reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality. In 1998, Congress amended the tax code to allow employees to take advantage of commuter benefits using their own pre-tax dollars. Federal law allows employers three ways to reduce the cost of commuting via public transportation (bus, vanpool, train or ferry) for employees. Your business can offer employees:

  • A tax-free employer-paid benefit
  • A pre-tax employee-paid payroll deduction, or
  • A combination of the above

MetroWorks The MetroWorks initiative in Austin, TX allows businesses to purchase deeply discounted Capital Metro transit passes (up to 20% off retail). You can combine these savings with IRS business tax incentives to offer your employees a commute benefit at little or no cost to you. With MetroWorks, both you and your staff will save money, but there are many more benefits to utilizing this program:

  • Reduces stress associated with long commutes
  • Provides dependable, reliable transportation
  • Increases employee loyalty and retention
  • Creates more on-site parking for customers to access your business

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Public Transportation Options Increase Employee Attraction and Retention

Mobility programs can be marketed as part of employee benefits packages. Ride-sharing, transit/rail passes, telework, parking payback, etc. are all listed by employee as benefits that attract them to an organization. In addition, companies that offer these options to their employees boast better retention numbers and higher rankings on employee satisfaction.

  • Two-thirds of employees would take another job to ease their commute (results as surveyed by Global Workplace Analytics)
  • Over four in five (83 percent) agree that the option of working from home is a significant job perk, and three in five (61 percent) agree that the option to telecommute has or would have an impact on their decision to take or stay at a job.
  • Employees report taking alternative transportation is more relaxing, allows them to catch up on critical home and work responsibilities, and improves their quality of life.

For an overview of the benefits of commuting using public transit, check out The Business Case for Commuter Programs in Central Texas Infographic.

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Use the Capital Metro Trip Planner to easily schedule your commute to work! And the CapMetro App shows real-time information on bus schedules and allows you to buy passes.

Are you ready to take the next step? 

Click here to join the mobility challenge and get free consulting support paid for by the City of Austin and Capital Metro to build your mobility program.

Plan Your Commute with RideScout

Available for iOS and Android, RideScout is a mobile app that helps you get from point A to point B using public transportation faster and smarter. The app gives you real-time information about public transit options including bus, bike, taxi, car share, rideshare, parking and walking directions when you need them.

Get the app and:

  • See all of your options in one place
  • Compare rides by cost and type
  • Activate alerts to arrive on time

Go to the RideScout website for more information and download the app.

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