Bay Area businesses of all sizes are joining the region-wide effort to support employees using innovative commute alternative programs. If you would like help developing your own program, contact
Employer Assistance program coordinator
in your area to schedule a free consultation.
Food Service Partners
At Food Service Partners in South San Francisco, 10-20 percent of the company's 90 employees bike to work every month. While the company also supports carpooling, they focus on biking for three reasons: 1) many employees work varied shifts, so it can be difficult to match carpool buddies; 2) 80 percent of their employees live within ten miles of the facility, so biking is manageable; and 3) the company has employee health and wellness goals which biking supports.
General Manager Mark Harris's
commitment to solo driving
alternatives is a key reason for
the program's success. He discusses work transportation options with
new hires and provides training materials in English and Spanish for employees who are game to ride, but have not biked in the city before. In addition, the company
offers $100 to each new bicyclist to use towards a helmet or bike and ongoing bike maintenance. Mark is a self-proclaimed recycler of "everything he can lay his hands on" and is often able to use the funds he raises by recycling company materials to cover the costs of the commute incentives. Mark credits the commute incentives program as one reason his branch has a nearly zero percent turnover rate.
City of San Ramon
The City of San Ramon has approximately 240 employees, about 15 percent of which use commute alternatives to work. The City of San Ramon, in concert with 511 Contra Costa provides commute incentives to the City employees, including a quarterly raffle for all employees who used a commute alternative to work. Two employees, chosen at random, receive a $25 gift certificate to their choice of a local San Ramon restaurant or business. Transportation Analyst Darlene Amaral says, "Having this type of incentive program, I noticed employees think more about trying an alternative commute to get to work. They want to be included in the drawing, so there has been an increase of employees
trying an alternative to driving alone. It may not be every day, but employees definitely enjoy having this type of incentive program."
County of Alameda
With 9,000 employees, the County of Alameda is
one of thelargest employers in the East Bay and manages many facilities that are spread across a large geographic area. The diverse locations allow for multiple types of commute alternatives. One tool the County offers is an enterprise version of
, which helps match employees with similar commute schedules to form carpools. Internal carpool matching for large organizations is helpful as many employees know only their immediate colleagues in their department - there could be other employees with identical commute schedules and they would never know. To successfully implement the program, the County engaged a large number of employees to sign up so that everyone has a better chance of finding a carpool partner.
The County's Clean Commute Program promotes and encourages employee's to try new ways of commuting rather than driving alone. This has consisted of outreach campaigns, such as a March Madness contest where divisions competed to see how many employees would sign up for Zimride. In this contest, different departments were matched against each other every week and "won" by getting more signups than their opponent. In the end, one division was recognized at a Warriors basketball game and by the Board of Supervisors. As a public agency the County's financial resources can be limited, so it relies on the excitement of friendly competition and departmental pride, public acknowledgement, and the empowerment of highly motivated employees through a "Clean Commute Champs" initiative to encourage participation