Prices at the pump causing long faces? Commute Options program offer workplaces some alternatives - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Prices at the pump causing long faces? Commute Options program offer workplaces some alternatives

We knew the day would come when gas prices would start to edge up again.  Filling up has become a bit more painful recently, especially for those people in our region who commute long distances to work via car.

Inspired by the Chicago Climate Action Plan, local companies are signing on to participate in a voluntary pilot program to decrease the number of people who commute to work via single occupancy car.  The pilot — known as the Commute Options program — aims to reduce transportation emissions by helping remove 19,000 Chicagoland cars from the daily commute by providing other transportation options.  

So, what are these “other” options?  There is a long list of possibilities, and companies will chose different initiatives depending on their unique situation and goals, as well as the employee feedback we collect. Have a large corporate headquarters in the northern suburbs?  Designate preferred carpool parking spaces or offer a lunch credit for employees who ride to work together. Run a small manufacturing company in Chicago?  Consider covering a portion of a monthly CTA transit pass to give employees the incentive to hop on the L or bus, rather than drive. A suburban hospital? Think about encouraging nurses and allied health professionals to live close to work by starting an employer-assisted housing program benefit … and get a tax credit, too!

Employer participation in these programs is the single best factor for success, based on research on similar programs in other cities. These initiatives have been known to help enhance employee satisfaction, improve retention, and meet sustainability objectives.

For your participation, MPC will help design a program that works for your company and employees by identifying the array of options (like those above and more) available to you and help in implementing those options.  

Helping your employees purge less at the gas station … priceless!


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