Cost Effective Incentives for Transit

I attended PSU’s transportation seminar a few Fridays ago and heard an interesting student presentation on employer provided incentives for transit use (go to the seminar page to download or stream the presentation).

Some of the information was intuitive, e.g., if you give employees a transit pass, they’ll use transit more often.

The big insight for me was that there are a set of “soft” incentives that have a big impact, up to a 12% increase in use of transit. These include flex-time, compressed work-week schedules, telecommuting, a “guaranteed ride home” for emergencies and access to a company fleet vehicle for business-required trips during the day (which could b a Flexcar).

Most of these have relatively low expense levels (compared to buying transit passes) but have a big effect on the “I need to drive my car because…” factor for employees (e.g., the need to pay a cab for the guaranteed ride home doesn’t happen very often but relieves a worry that might motivate an employee to drive).

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