Walking the walk and riding the ride - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Walking the walk and riding the ride

On Sunday, both the Chicago Suntimes  and the  Chicago Tribune reported that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has issued a new travel policy designed to encourage City workers to get out of their cars and onto public transit. Corporate and civic leaders across the region can take a cue from Mayor Emanuel’s leadership by hopping aboard MPC’s Commute Options program.

With the Civic Consulting Alliance, Regional Transportation Authority, Active Transportation Alliance, and other key partners, MPC launched the Commute Options pilot earlier this year to make it easier for employers to provide their employees with alternatives to the daily grind of car commutes.  For more than 10 years, MPC has been working with area employers to help them start Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) programs, an innovative housing benefit that offsets a worker’s cost to buy or rent a home near their job or transit.  Commute Options goes the extra mile by identifying and tailoring many more options to ease commutes, such as pre-tax transit checks, bicycling incentives, I-Go Car sharing and van pooling, as well as EAH.

All of these incentives not only help alleviate workers’ stressful commutes, but they also promote bottom-line benefits to employers, which is why Loyola University, Labelmaster, Chicago Public Schools and a range of other employers already have “jumped aboard in the City.”  In the suburbs, Grainger and Champro and Underwriters Laboratories are also engaged and showing leadership with this Pilot.  While employees quickly accrue mental, physical and financial benefits of a less stressful and costly commute, MPC is also helping these trail-blazing employers – from both the public and private sector -- tally their resulting savings – in terms of workforce stability and the reduction of parking reimbursements, turnover, tardyism and other key indicators.  

To learn more about Commute Options for your employees, please contact Project Manager Tim Grzesiakowski at (312) 863-6040.


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For more than 85 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has partnered with communities, businesses, and governments to unleash the greatness of the Chicago region. We believe that every neighborhood has promise, every community should be heard, and every person can thrive. To tackle the toughest urban planning and development challenges, we create collaborations that change perceptions, conversations—and the status quo. Read more about our work »

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