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Commuting Choices... putting 'choice' back in the commute!
Everyone faces a commute that's just a bit different. From what time they leave home in the morning to the specific route they take, each commuter must find customized travel solutions to meet their individual needs. The more choices that are available, the more opportunity there is to develop a personalized commute solution.
Mode Choice... How will I commute?
Whether taking mass transit or walking, commuters gravitate to travel options that best fit their individual lifestyle and personal preferences. Commuting alternatives and supporting strategies are listed below:
- Transit - traveling all or a portion of the commute on rail, ferries, buses or shuttles. Some programs which support transit include Commuter Choice Tax Incentives, transit pass programs, Bus/HOV lanes for buses, and guaranteed ride home (a program offering an emergency ride home for employees with personal emergencies or unplanned overtime).
- Vanpool - commuter highway vehicles, driven by an employee, carrying 7-15 commuters to and from work. Some programs which support vanpooling include Commuter Choice Tax Incentives, preferential parking, Bus/HOV Lanes, ridematching and guaranteed ride home.
- Carpool - 2-6 employees sharing a ride in a private vehicle. Some programs which support carpooling include preferential parking, Bus/HOV lanes, ridematching, parking cash out and guaranteed ride home.
- Bike / Walk / Skate - Programs which support bicycling, walking and skating include parking cash out, guaranteed ride home and other support facilities (bike racks, lockers, showers, etc.).
Time Choice... When will I commute?
Commuters often adjust their travel schedules to avoid rush-hour or to work around childcare or school schedules. The following alternatives can reduce rush-hour congestion, mitigate worksite access problems and parking crunches and decrease commuter stress:
- Flextime - offering employees the option of "flexing" their arrival/departure times.
- Staggered Work Hours - spreading out the arrival/departure times of employees.
- Compressed Work Weeks - allowing employees to shorten their work week by working longer hours each day.
Route Choice... How will I commute?
Some commuters continually alter their travel route in order to avoid delays caused by congestion, incidents, weather or construction. Programs include:
- Real-time Commuter Services - providing congestion, accident and weather information to aid in day-to-day route planning.
- Advanced Route Planning - providing employees customized route planning (i.e., transit route and schedule information) to facilitate the use of commute alternatives or mitigate the impacts of road construction.
Location Choice... Where will I commute, or, will I commute at all?
Often times, the location and design of an employees' residence and worksite can have significant impacts on the difficulty and length of the commute. Teleworking eliminates the need for the commute altogether, even if it's just a few days a week:
- "Live Near Your Work" - programs providing incentives for employees to live near their place of employment. Examples include down payment assistance, location-efficient mortgages and rent subsidies.
- Worksite Location and Design - worksite location decisions enhancing job access and commute choices. Examples include transit oriented development (TOD), locating jobs near services (banking, post office, etc.) and near other businesses.
- On-Site Services - providing services for employees on-site to eliminate the need for employees to have their cars at work every day. Examples include cafes, daycare, banking/ATM, dry cleaning and more.
- Telework - Telework brings the job to the person rather than bringing the person to the job. In addition to eliminating the daily commute, teleworking can reduce the demand for office space and parking facilitates.