Businesses Can Play Key Role in Boosting Public Transportation Ridership

TC Business

People who are offered transit benefits from an employer use them.

At Arlington Transportation Partners, we spend a lot of time building relationships with Arlington County, Virginia employers, educating them about the many transportation benefits they could be offering.

Click here for all our commentary on TransitCenter’s report.

Do they have a Capital Bikeshare station across the street from their office? We pitch Capital Bikeshare Corporate Memberships.

Does the company have a lot of shift-work employees? We pitch carpooling.

TC coverDoes it have a lot of employees who come from the exurbs? We pitch vanpooling.

But at the end of the day, our main goal with any of the organizations we work with is to communicate the necessity of providing a transit benefit to their employees. Why? Because our research shows that it is the key to getting people to replace some of their car trips with other less harmful modes of travel.

More than 64 percent of ATP clients offer a transit benefit. That equates to 116,400 employees having a transit benefit. Not every company can offer a direct benefit, but most companies can provide a pre-tax transit benefit. Pre-tax benefits reduce the amount of salary an employee earns and in turn reduces the amount of salary tax an employer pays. For some companies, this salary-tax savings easily justifies the amount of time an administrator has to put into a program. For other companies, these savings actually fund other initiatives at their organization.

TC MapTransitCenter’s new report, Who’s On Board: The 2014 Mobility Attitudes Survey, is further evidence that offering transit benefits to commuters is necessary even in “transit-progressive” cities like Arlington and Washington D.C. in order to get some people out of their cars to make the roads better for everyone.

More importantly, it boosts the notion that providing rich transit infrastructure isn’t enough. People still need a reason to change their commuting habits.

The model that has provided results in Arlington County since 1998 could be replicated in identified transit deficient places like Dallas/Fort Worth, Albuquerque, or Richmond.

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